This is a guest post by writer Lori Bruton, who is here to tell you that it is possible to start chasing your dreams if you can break free of the chains that are holding you back.
Sitting in a confining corporate cubicle, I looked at the clock to see if it was time to punch out for lunch. Not for another hour? Ugh! It seems like an eternity! This is torture. How did I end up here? This is not what I pictured my life to be like.
As I did my best to do my work, my mind wandered to a beach house looking out at the ocean enjoying the warm breeze and sun on my face while writing using my favorite purple pen. That is where I’d rather be.
How about you? Is your life how you pictured it? If not, you may feel stuck and think there’s no way out. How can you chase your dreams if you think there’s no such thing or you have not allowed yourself to identify your dreams? Have you ever asked yourself, “What am I doing with my life?” Most of us answer with, “I want something more.”
Just take a minute to get specific about your dreams. What kind of work do you want to do and where? Is your dream to have your own business? You may desire to work from home, set your own hours, and toss out your alarm clock. Maybe it’s working from a beach house, in a foreign country, or something totally different. Whatever it is, picture it, write down your thoughts and ideas. Hey, here’s an idea, find some pictures, cut them out and look at them daily. You’ve heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, right?
Here are 7 main reasons it’s so hard to start chasing your dreams
Do you believe dreams are just a fantasy that can never come true? If so, that would make it hard to chase something that you believe is not real. First, define what the word dream means to you. Let me assure you, dreams are real and they can come true for anyone.
Perhaps you are being limited by the belief that you don’t have enough time or money. One thing I’ve learned: there’s always a way. People may tell you it won’t work, but what if it does? My dad always told me, “It all starts with a dream and an idea and anything is possible if you put your mind to it.” I always admired his positive attitude, success, and encouragement.
Your belief system is where it starts. What do I mean by belief system? One definition may be your religion, faith, culture, or a support system that you were taught and believe to be true. It may be but look beyond that to explore and expand what’s right for you.
Another belief is how you perceive yourself. The people with high confidence in themselves are the ones most likely to make their dreams a reality. Others may feel unworthy, put themselves down, and not believe or feel they deserve to live their dream life.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” –Thoreau
2. OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS
Whether you ask for it or not, people offer their opinions. This can be very influential, but not necessarily in a good way. Maybe someone told you only certain kinds of people can be successful in certain businesses. That’s a lie! It could because they have not been successful or would not want to do that particular business. Don’t let that burst your bubble or discourage you. Listen to your gut and desires and do what’s right for you.
My mother often said, “You can’t do that!” Her words made me feel defeated, discouraged, and took the wind out of my sails.
If you hear other people’s opinions as facts, it could be another reason why you find it hard to chase your dreams. Consider the source. Who are you allowing to influence you? No matter who it is, even if they are family or friends, their opinion does not make them the expert. Do they have the life you want? If not, it’s best not to listen and be influenced by them. Check in with your inner self. You have those dreams and desires for a reason. Don’t let anyone crush or steal your dreams! Don’t let ANYONE talk you out of your dreams.
Birds of a feather flock together. Who you hang around can determine your income, activities, and lifestyle. Maybe it’s time to fly with a new flock. Find people who have want you want, believe in you, and will support and encourage you. Find out how they got there and hang with them.
Many of us were programmed to believe the only way was to go to school and get good grades so you could get into a decent college. After college, get married or become a workaholic, have kids and raise your family, get old and retire. You get the basic idea.
In the meantime, you may be in debt up to your eyeballs or beyond and be stuck in a cube thinking you have to give up on chasing your dreams. You feel the life being sucked out of you. Don’t let this prior conditioning limit your options. Break free of it.
At an early age, some of us were told what we couldn’t do, rather than what we could. Our weaknesses were pointed out, instead of our strengths. Some of us were even programmed to just get by and that life is a struggle. Where did we get this programming? From our parents, relatives, teachers, friends, and the media—just to name a few.
Once we learn to reprogram our subconscious, we can remove the block stopping us from being everything we desire.
Things we all fear: failure, success, the unknown, disappointment, stepping out of our comfort zones, loss, loneliness, rejection, letting go, learning new ways, taking risks, death, and never finding happiness. Fear keeps us from chasing our dreams. Fear paralyzes us.
Definition: Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Make your desire to bring your dreams into reality bigger than the fear that’s stopping you. Choose adventure over comfort.
What is the remedy to annihilate fear? ACTION! Maybe it will be a baby step or giant leap of faith; just get in motion. Make a decision and do something. You may still feel fear; do it afraid. With each step, you will build confidence and make progress. Even if you fall back at times, get back up and find the courage to take another step. Have a support system in place. Use resources that keep you motivated.
We keep putting our dreams on the back burner. Daily life and routines take over; same thing, different day. Time keeps slipping by. We tell ourselves we will get to our dreams later, but later never comes.
[bctt tweet=”We tell ourselves we will get to our dreams later, but later never comes.” username=”loribruton”]
Helping other people is good. In fact, Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want in life.” That’s true. However, when we sacrifice our own needs and wants to help others and forget about ourselves, it puts us in danger of never getting what we really want.
Why do we do that? Again, it could be fear, not believing in ourselves, thinking we don’t deserve to live out our dreams, or just procrastinating and not taking the time to make it happen. There may be many reasons. It could be simple avoidance. By helping others, you are avoiding looking at yourself and what you want. Stop self-sabotaging yourself. Ignore or conquer your fears and go out and get busy.
Our minds are a powerful tool. What we think and what we say has a major impact on where we end up and what we do.
Here’s another story about my mom. She often said what she was thinking: “I give up. I don’t know anything. Why do I have so many diseases? I’m losing it. You may as well put me in a home.” Guess what? She ended up in a home. She spoke it into existence.
What is the difference between people who think their dreams will never come true and those who are living their dream? It’s the way they THINK! They don’t have excuses such as I’m too busy. I have no time or money; that’s not for me.
Change your thoughts and the words you speak, and watch how much your life improves. They best way to learn this is through personal development. Train your brain daily by listening to motivational material and reading books to help you grow personally and professionally. Attend live events and get around like-minded people who are taking action. A life-changing event for me was www.firststepstosuccess.com that my mentor recommended. Investing in myself was well worth it!
John C. Maxwell and Les Brown are two other successful leaders who provide great value and speak life and encouragement into people.
7. LACK OF VISION
Have a clear vision of what you want your life to look like. You may have a bucket list of experiences you want to have, places you want to go, work that you would love to accomplish, and goals for your bank account. Those are a start, but go deeper—know your “Why”. What do I mean by that? Write out why you want what you want. Say you want a large bank account. What would you do with that money? Would it give you freedom? How so? Would you be able to help a cause you are passionate about or pay off debt? What else?
Chasing my own dreams started with a list of WHY I wanted to get out of my corporate cube, and then grew to include what I really wanted to do instead.
Get to chasing your dreams! It’s not as hard as you think. Put down the TV remote and pick up a book (or audio) that will speak life into you and show you how to reach your highest potential and make your dreams come alive.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Here are a few books I have read and recommend. Whichever ones resonate with you, get more like those.
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential by John C. Maxwell
“You must know yourself to grow yourself.”
Greater by Steven Furtick
“For everybody who is sick of playing it safe, for every dreamer who has been disillusioned, your moment is now. The mantle is yours.”
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
“Be careful what you think. Because what you think, multiplied by action plus time, will create what you get.”