Have you ever had a dream or goal that you gave up on? Was it a worthy goal or dream? Why did you give up on it?
Have you ever considered what it would take to resurrect those worthy, discarded dreams?
Adults often ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answers kids come up with are usually big and delivered with a twinkle in their eye. I call that the twinkle of possibility.
That’s when a big dream or goal is so exciting it shows up behind the eyes of the dreamer. That twinkle is then often accompanied by a change in energy, too. The child becomes animated, happier, and has big boisterous ideas. No idea is too big or impossible. And they don’t have a problem changing their dreams either — going from astronaut to marine biologist in a snap.
The problem is, as adults we don’t ask the right question.
So what is the right question?
I challenge you to ask yourself this question now:
What do you want to be today?
Or more importantly, who do you want to be today?
What would you have to think, or believe, to be that person?
Whether you want to be an independent entrepreneur or a part-time side hustler, consider what you want to change about your life. It’s the act of contemplation that spurs possibility in your life.
Give Yourself Permission to Resurrect Old Dreams
Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves and dim our light, yet not even know why we do it. We may have beliefs that aren’t even ours, but instead, we hold on to programs given to us by parents, teachers, or even social expectations.
We need to challenge our beliefs to see if they really are things we personally value.
For example, if you once dreamed of a professional career but instead took the road of stay at home mom, know that it’s ok to change your mind. You don’t need outside permission to resurrect your dreams. The ultimate decision to change is a personal one because it’s your life.
Know that there is no one “right” path. Choose a direction and forge your own path if necessary. That might look like a part-time job, or a full time career. You always have the option to pivot later if necessary.
Whether it’s long-discarded or recently shelved, know that you can choose to resurrect worthy dreams.
Be Specific About Your Fears
An article in Psychology Today encourages “emotional granularity”, or the ability to be specific when describing an emotion that keeps you stuck, such as fear. So instead of just saying you’re in fear, face your fears and take a deeper look.
Do you have:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of making the wrong decision
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of other people’s opinions
- Imposter syndrome
Although this list is in no way exhaustive, it can be used to start the query process. You can overcome obstacles that keep you stuck once you know what those obstacles are!
Being fearless is not the same as eliminating fear. Being fearless means knowing how to leverage fear. And the first step to leveraging fear is to identify what scares you. –Theo Tsaousides, Ph.D.
What’s Your Brass Ring?
Back in 2011, I knew a 9 to 5 wasn’t where I wanted to be. It wasn’t until I questioned myself deeply that I learned exactly what it was that I wanted. I got clarity over the situation and moved forward never straying from my vision, even when things got tough.
I envisioned freedom. The freedom to do what I loved on a time schedule that still allowed me to have a life.
I wanted to earn a great living while not being chained to a desk or an office.
And I also desperately wanted to work in an environment that was positive, upbeat and promoting. No more office gossip.
The brass ring I was reaching for was definitely freedom. Today, I work from a laptop and that could be from my home office, a plane, a beach, or somewhere in between.
It was only when I acknowledged what I wanted to change that I was able to dream a bigger dream for myself, and it has turned out way better than I could have imagined.
I never dreamed I’d be invited to speak at a conference on a different continent, expelling writing advice to hundreds. I’m so grateful I trusted myself and my vision.
What’s Your Awesome Sauce?
If you’re not sure what is going to work for you, take the “What’s Your Awesome Sauce” quiz and discover not only your awesome sauce but the awesome side hustle ideas that will work best for your personality!
If you don’t know what you do want, list out what you don’t currently enjoy about your life. Then think about how you can change those things.
Remember that there isn’t just one solution to any problem, and a solution may just come in a way that you can’t predict.
For example, prior to joining Self-Publishing School back in 2014, I had no idea how much I would enjoy writing books. At the time, I was still working as a freelance writer but I was becoming disillusioned with the writing work I was doing.
I had no idea that in a few short months, I’d be able to replace my freelance writing business with my book business.
Had I not been open to possibilities and aware of what I wasn’t enjoying, I wouldn’t have taken the step and joined SPS.
So, what’s holding you back from reaching for your brass ring?
Not All Is Lost
If you gave up on a dream and it has haunted you for years, allow yourself some grace. Life isn’t about being perfect, it’s about learning, trying, and pivoting.
If you worry about what others will think of you, consider this: does it really matter what they think? Guaranteed the person whose opinion you care most about has stumbled more than once. Do you admire a person who tried and stumbled or a person who never got on the playing field?
Be the person you admire most. Be a person worthy of admiration.
One of the most significant things I’ve discovered is that it’s never too late to change. Whether it’s something like a job you hate or a relationship that’s lacking, you always have the power to change the situation. Revisit the dreams you gave up on and resurrect the ones that could make a big difference in your life and your future.
One of the best things to do when you want to change is to be around people who are either trying to change in the same way or be around those who are already at your intended destination.
Check out Facebook groups, attend seminars or online courses; anything to become part of a tribe of like-minded thinkers. Encouragement and enthusiasm can be found in those types of groups and get you out of your rut.
The first step you need to do is give yourself permission to change. It doesn’t need to come from an external source. It’s your life. You get to choose what it looks like. Resurrecting dreams and choosing the best ones to follow is your choice.
Then ask yourself: What does my ideal life look like? The sky is the limit here. What does that look like? What does your perfect life look like? Take a moment and write that down. It’s for your eyes only, so don’t hold back. Burn it after if necessary 😉. Give yourself the permission to dream.
What would you need to think to have that life? Who would you need to become? What needs to change?
It takes effort to uncover the answers to these questions, but there is also power in that. It takes courage to even ask yourself these questions. You are so worthy of the brass ring. Reach for it.
Dream big my friend.