Thursday 22 August 2019

Finding the courage to follow your dreams

Most of us talk about our dreams in a hypothetical way, secretly convinced that we will never achieve them. They seem too ambitious, too crazy to even try, so we don't try, which makes our worst fears come true: we don't achieve them because we don't do anything about turning our dreams into reality.
Putting your energy into something that's important to you is scary. What if you fail? It seems easier to not even try to keep the possibility alive, to make yourself believe that you could always do it *one day*.

Believe me, I get it. I've been there, right along with everybody else who has ever chased a seemingly impossible dream. The good news is that the scariest part is actually happening before you start, when you keep thinking about it and imagine the worst. Once you get started, fear will be replaced by the work you are doing to get closer to fulfilling your goals.

Here are a few things that helped me follow my own dreams:

1. Realize that the future gets shorter the longer you wait

Acknowledge that the longer you wait to start going after what you really want, the shorter the future gets. I know too many people who postponed travelling until their retirement, reasoning that they would have time for it then, only to get sick, or lose the spouse the wanted to travel with, don't have enough money or lack the courage. We may think that we will find the courage or the time or the money later, but that's not true. The more we tell ourselves ‘tomorrow’ the less likely we are to actually get started. We are wasting valuable time and energy. This doesn’t mean we have to rush anything, but we should start taking steps towards achieving what we want to achieve now, no matter how small. 

2. Ask yourself: What lights a fire inside of you? 

If you’re going to summon up the courage to follow your dreams, then you need to know exactly what lights that fire inside of you. This is harder than you may think, because we are conditioned to believe that money and fame are what make us happy, which isn't true for many of us.
Making a list of everything that excites you is a good place to start. Another one is to look back to your childhood and remember what used to set your world on fire as a child. We rarely lose the passions we had as children.
One mistake to avoid is thinking that it will be easy. It won't be. It will be a lot of work, there will be days when you're ready to give up, and more than once you will curse yourself for having started on this journey. But trust me: it's worth it.

3. Why do you want to follow your dreams?
Having a strong why is the only thing that will keep you going when things get rough - and they will get difficult at some stage. A strong why is the key to every success-story. Why, exactly, are you doing what you’re doing? What are your values? What are you passionate about? Maybe you’re passionate about landscape supply delivery, helping others run a farm, work with animals or live with nature. Whatever it is, keep your why in mind.  

4. What’s one small thing you can do today to work towards your dreams? 
Breaking a task or challenge down into baby steps is the best way to make it seem easier and achievable. There’s likely at least one small thing you can do today to work towards your dreams, whether that’s buying your domain name, setting up an Instagram page, starting to save for your next trip or start to write that book 😉
Don't just focus on the goal, enjoy the journey! Working towards something you are passionate about is the secret to a happy life.

5. Visualize the life you could have if you decided to do this 
Visualize the life you could have. What would your work/life balance be like? Where would you spend most of your time? What money would you be making? Having a solid idea of the life you want and the life you’re doing this for will motivate you and bring you closer to your goal. 

Finding the courage to follow your dreams can be tough - but do you want to live life for yourself, or everybody else? 


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