You’ve probably seen the saying on a t-shirt or maybe a coffee cup: dare to dream.
It’s a directive meant to inspire each of us to imagine what is possible, to visualize the thing that, if it weren’t for lack of money or abundance of fear, would keep us excited about getting up every morning. It’s that thing that would give your life purpose and drive you forward.
Does your big dream get you in the gut? Almost make you want to cry when you envision how incredible it is?
If it doesn’t, it’s probably not big enough.
What’s your vision?
I’m reading a book right now called The 12 Week Year. The subtitle is Get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months. It’s a book designed to help you reach your goals by having shorter deadlines for yourself and coming up with a plan of action toward your goals.
The entire program begins with setting your vision. And this is where I got stuck. I thought I knew what I wanted and have been very fortunate to have accomplished some big personal goals in the past few years, like writing a book, one of my lifelong dreams I wouldn’t have thought possible five years ago. Now I’ve written two novels and publshed them myself.
While I feel good about that accomplishment, The 12 Week Year has helped me see that my vision was incomplete.
The truth, I realized, is that I’m holding myself back from bigger dreams.
Because writing and publishing is not enough. I want to connect with people through my writing. That’s something entirely different.
But how can I make that happen?
The problem is when I think about what I have to do to take the next step toward my goal, I feel Resistance pulling me down. I mentally whine and come up with all kinds of reasons it’s going to be awful.
The truth is I don’t know much about it but I know I probably won’t be good at it. It’s too much to learn and I hate it. (Can you tell I have a teensy bit of negativity about it?)
But I realized (thanks Coach Kathleen!) that in order to get what I really want and do what I really want to do, I have to change my mindset about this thing I feel I don’t know anything about, don’t want to do, and it’s gross and I hate it. It begins with an “M” and ends with “keting.”
This realization was kind of a breakthrough.
My big dream requires I do something I’ve been avoiding….commit to connecting with more people by putting myself and my work out in the world, otherwise known as “Marketing.” My own limited beliefs about this thing are blocking me from moving toward my big goals.
In a recent coaching session, my coach helped me see that I am holding myself back. I had a major lightbulb moment (even though people, including my husband, have tried to tell me this for a long time) and saw how my negative attitude was keeping me from moving any closer to my goals.
“Marketing” is a powerful tool I can use to help connect with people.
That was a major mindshift.
Because my big dream, what I really want to do in this life, is to encourage people, to help people realize their dreams matter. To offer an encouraging word, to be a glimmer of light through inevitable dark days. To be a voice of kindness and encouragement, a voice that urges, Don’t give up.
When I was writing my first novel I had days when I was so full of self-doubt I wanted to quit. My husband encouraged me every day to stick with it. His encouragement made all the difference.
On page 1 of the 12 Week Year the author says, “I agree with Stephen Pressfield, author of the War of Art, that most of us have two lives: the lives we live and the lives we are capable of living.” (Click here for a link to my thoughts on The War of Art.)
It starts with a dream.
So dare to dream big.
Don’t wait. Set aside some time (no kidding) to visualize the life you’re capable of living without thinking of reasons it could never happen. Because it’s important.
What could you do? Who could you help? What impact could you make on the world, your community, people you know, people you may not know and may never meet?
Dare to dream. And don’t hold back. Dare to dream big.
Can you relate? Or would you like to share your vision/dream? It’s scary, I know, but I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments : )