Today is the Best Day to Start Living Your Dreams
I’ll do it tomorrow.
I’m too young.
I don’t have enough education.
I’m not talented enough.
Maybe I should wait until my kids are in school.
Maybe I should wait until my kids graduate.
I don’t have enough money
I don’t have enough time.
I’ll do it when I retire.
I’m too old.
Any of these excuses sound familiar?
We invent so many reasons not to act when we are afraid to follow our dreams. All of the above excuses have one thing in common: they are all lies we tell ourselves. None of these reasons will stop us if we can face our fears and keep going.
I’ve had a dream of being an author and holding my book in my hands since before high school. It was beyond anything I believed I could accomplish, so I majored in education and became a teacher instead. Still, I hoped someday I could be a writer. I wrote on and off through my twenties, but never worked up the nerve to submit anything. I fretted about never being able to get published instead of actually writing.
In my thirties, I submitted one picture book manuscript to one publisher. I got back a personal and reassuring rejection letter, and I shut down and stopped trying. Looking back, I can’t believe I let one rejection keep me from sending my manuscript to any other editors. In my extreme fear of rejection, I didn’t realize that an editor’s taking the time to send a personal rejection was a good sign and that needed to move forward. Now I know rejections are a sign of progress and that all writers get them.
When I hit 40, I decided it was do-or-die time. I was going to be an author someday, somehow. I started writing every day, took writing courses, and connected with other authors. After a year, I started to submitting my writing and learned how to accept rejection.
Now I am 43 and I have an award-winning blog that I started a year ago. I won third place in a writing contest last year, and I have several completed manuscripts that I am submitting now. I don’t have a book to hold in my hands yet, but I don’t hope to be a writer anymore.
I am a writer. Holding my published book in my hands no longer feels like a dream. It feels inevitable. Why? Because for the past three years I have pushed past fear and took baby steps toward my goal every week. Now I’ve picked up momentum and it’s easier and easier to keep moving forward toward my dream. I can see progress and I’m not deterred by small failures. I know that if I keep going, I will achieve success.
You can do it, too. Following your dreams makes life feel richer, even when you hit bumps along the way. You will grow and change and be a different person from the one you were before you started.
Here are three ways to push past fear and start living your dreams today:
1. Take baby steps. Break big goals down into small steps and just keep taking one or two small steps week. Maybe you need to sign up for a class or even just research what classes are available. Maybe you need to purchase art supplies or practice your performance.
Do something that puts you just a little bit closer to your goal. Even if you don’t know all the steps, you’ll find that taking one action will lead you to the next. The path to your goal is often different from and better than what you picture in your mind.
2. Find an accountability friend. If you know someone who has a similar goal, pair up. Tell each other what steps you are going to take that week and then check in and make sure you each completed your goals.
If you don’t know anyone, you can find accountability partners in classes or on message boards related towards your goal. There are many places online and in person to connect with people who have the same or similar dreams you do. It helps to work together and support each other.
3. Do it for others. It might be hard to believe, but whatever you dream of doing, there are people who would be blessed by what you have to offer. Someone wants to read your book, decorate with your art, or needs your accounting skills. Thinking about how you can help others with your gifts can give you the confidence to push through.
Now go on, take some action, and start living your dreams today. It may take a little while to reach them, but probably not as long as you think, and the journey, with all its ups and downs, is so worth it. As Eckhart Tolle says “It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” Don’t be one of them.
Remember you don’t have to “be there” to be living your dream. Once you commit to following them, then you are living them. They’ll always be another step you want to achieve. So keep moving forward and enjoy the ride.
I’d love to hear how you decided to start living your dreams or any comments you may have. To prove it, I’m giving away a bottle of Abundance Essential Oil blend to one of my commenters during the month of January. It’s one of my favorite oils I’ll put everyone’s name in random.org and choose a winner to be announced here around Feb. 1st. Then I’ll email the winner to get their mailing address. Watch this space as I’ll be changing up my give-aways this year. Some months it’ll be oils and maybe crystals and some months it will be some of my new services and classes that are coming soon!
Transforming through Love and Joy,
Michelle Martin Dobbins