Have you ever known someone who has big dreams or plans for themselves, but for some reason, can’t seem to make any progress? Someone who idealizes a certain job, lifestyle, or even partner, but hasn’t made any strides in that direction?
Perhaps this is you: Are you putting something off ? Are you waiting for the “right time”? Maybe you are rejecting opportunities that you think are not perfect, but could be a stepping stone towards that thing. Or, do you just lack confidence in yourself toward that dream? Is there a longing for something in their or your life that you aren’t paying attention to?
If this sounds like you or someone you know, here’s a handy checklist of questions to ask yourself:
- Is anxiety taking over? Pay attention to your anxiety. It’s telling you something; it is pulling at you. It might be the feeling that you are missing something. Once you have determined what you are yearning for, action is the most immediate way to calm that anxiety. Anxiety is not being fully present, and grounding yourself through action will empower you. It is in peaceful silence that anxiety has no home.
- Is fear stopping you? There is always going to be some fear in going after what you want, because actualizing your dream involves risk- risk that you may fall down or screw up, or make a fool of yourself, or lose money… The fears are easy to list. There is no reward without risk. But what are the possibilities if you succeed? Go ahead, write them down- you might be exceedingly happy, empowered, healthy, or joyous. Write about the enormous abundance that you imagine.
- How invested are you? How much time, energy, and focus are you dedicating toward this dream? Sacrifice and making hard decisions is a part of journey towards that dream. You simply must put the time in. No one gets a free pass.
- Is it too late because you’ve reached a certain age? Do you think it is too late because you have “real-life” responsibilities: bills, family, children, health, friends? When is it really too late to keep working towards your dream? I am an optimist at heart- a dreamer- and I can get caught up in the dream and nearly float away, but I also have a grounded, practical side that wants to see results.
- When do you call it quits or decide to modify your dream?
My simple, quick answer is: When there is no longer joy in your pursuit of this dream, then you have to find it in yourself to let go and modify that dream.
Questions to help determine if it is time to reroute your dreams:
Are you asking everyone for their opinion on the topic?
It’s always good to turn to those few people whose opinion you admire or that someone you meet who has some connection to what you are seeking. When you are looking to everyone for assurance as to whether it’s too late or not, you are going down the path of it being too late. That means you don’t believe you can create that something that you want. You can create that something, you just have to decide to create it. It’s when you are looking to others to confirm (“Can I do this?” or, “Did I miss the boat?”) that you are on the border of missing the boat.
What is it that you are looking to create?
Go ahead: sit back and think on it , but it shouldn’t take that long. What do you really, really want? What do you yearn for? What was the last step or action you took toward your dream? You must invest time in your dreams. Have you? You will know you are seeking this dream for the wrong reasons if you just can’t find it in you or the time to take action toward it. Are you just talking about it? Real action- taking chances, making concrete plans, and working at it in any possible way that you can. If you are not, I think you need to reevaluate and consider if this is something you think you want, but don’t actually desire.
My final question is: Are you seeing results from your efforts toward this dream?
If you are, keep on the path. If you aren’t, the modification may be to keep at it, but “on the side.” There are times that you do have to say, “I have given this my all, now I need to change course because it just isn’t working.” You aren’t giving up; you are making a choice to reroute your journey.
Letting go is not a negative thing. It may initially feel uncomfortable, or it may actually give you relief. What you are doing by letting go is creating flow. Flow brings new things and new opportunities, often sparking new ideas and inspiration for those things that bring you joy. Creating a new map of life can bring you some of life’s biggest surprises and joys, but you must let go of what is in one hand to be able to receive something new. Finally, we all have our own journey and our lives unfold in different ways. You do not have to conform to the typical anything in life, you just have to remain true to revealing who you are to the world.
I wish you confidence and empowerment toward your dream. You can do it.
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