So, you have this burning desire in you to do more, see more and be ‘someone’. You have big dreams to pursue your passions, change your life or do something impactful but when you share them with others, they don’t really take you seriously… you get shut down, ignored or told they’re unrealistic. I feel you, I’ve been there. It sucks; it knocks your self confidence, makes you feel silly, lonely and trapped…
You live in a small town, so small it feels like everyone knows what you’re doing before you do. Your alarm goes off at the same time every morning and you take the same route to work every day. Your job is unfulfilling, you wake up at 5:45am and don’t get home until 7pm after sitting in rush hour traffic questioning why your boss can be so damn mean sometimes and dreaming about a better lifestyle, exploring the world and a career which excites you.
You have this cool passion project which, if took seriously, could potentially earn you a living. You’ve been thinking obsessively for soooo long how cool it would be to do it full time, but every time you share that dream with others, the reaction throws you off… “that’s just a hobby”, “You’re in a stable job, why risk it?”, “that’s a pipe dream, it won’t happen”.
You shrink back into yourself - ‘they’re right, I’m being stupid, I’m not good enough for my dream career anyway’. So you continue in the job which gives you Sunday night anxiety, turn down opportunities coming from your dream career, and stop talking about your dreams…
Relate? That story was mine, but here’s the deal; not everyone will believe in your dreams, and that is absolutely no reason to give up! By definition, your dreams are yours alone, and you are the only person who can make them happen anyway, so try not to take their opinions personally. The likelihood is that they don’t understand, they’re projecting their realities onto you OR, for the most part, they just want what’s best for you, and usually that means stability, safety and security - which is probably the absolute opposite of what you want right now.
As soon as your path seems ‘unconventional’, in the eyes of society, it’s likely that no one close to you will believe you can succeed. That can be hard to swallow, I know, it took me years to get past, but I did and I’m now living a life which seriously fills me up! In this blog post, I’m going to share with you seven tips of how you can empower yourself to pursue your dreams, too.
What is it that you’ve always wanted to do? Is your dream to build a van and travel the world, write a book, be an actor or run your own business… whatever your heart is calling, if you want to pursue it, you need to get really clear on exactly what it is.
Like, crystal clear! Write it down or put it on a vision board and list the steps you need to take to achieve it. What are the things you might need to learn, investments you might need to make, people you should reach out to, any things you need to sacrifice, physical preparations, what are the goals you want to achieve along the way?
There’s a few reasons why you need to get crystal on your dream:
It sounds simple, but it’s so important! To achieve a dream, you have to believe in it yourself. We all have negative thoughts, but if you consciously reverse them, you’re more likely to succeed. If you don’t believe in yourself to achieve your dream, you’re not going to breed much confidence in others to believe in you either, and it will only take one comment from somebody who doesn’t to knock you right back to square one. It can be tough for some, I know! I oftentimes struggle with my self esteem, but what I find helps me is affirmations, to rewire my way of thinking and my subconscious. I write them down and check back on them when I go through moments of doubt. Here’s a few examples if you need:
The difference between people who live out their dreams and those who don’t (the dream makers and the day dreamers) is ACTION. You can dream all you like, but unless you take action that’s all it will ever be.
Making those first steps is probably the scariest part, and you’ll undoubtedly have the sceptics reminding you of the risks and reasons not to: “You can’t make money like that”, “what if you don’t make it”, “it’s not safe” - don’t let that paralyse you, take your first steps, because if you don’t try, then you’ll never know.
Once you break through that huge wall and start doing, you’ll find yourself rolling and trusting in your path. Things begin to slot together, make sense and fall into place when you’re living in alignment with what you want. Nothing will prove to yourself and others that you’re serious about your dreams more than taking action. Which, by the way does not have to be huge to begin with, it can be as simple as taking a course to learn a new skill or sending out some initial emails!
“Your circle of friends must match your own aspirations and dreams, or you will find little support when you need it most.” — Leon Brown
You might not have the support system you want around you right now, and I will reinforce that that’s ok, it shouldn’t stop you, you have everything you need in yourself. However, there’s no denying the power of understanding and encouragement, or the success stories of others to reaffirm that the dream you want to achieve is possible, so find your tribe!
Chances are, you’ll begin to meet them organically when you’re living in alignment with your dream, but if you’re not at that stage yet you’ll need to proactively find them and in this modern digital world, that’s pretty easy. The power of the internet is amazing, we have access to more opportunity, learning resources and people now than we ever have before, so make the most of it! Listen to podcasts featuring people who think like you or are successfully doing what you’re dreaming of, they will teach and motivate you. Follow people on social media who inspire you, or others who seem to be on a similar path and reach out to them, build that community online and even meet up in real life. Branch out and start building new relationships, the people you spend the most time with influence who you are.
Soooo the people around you, to some extent, have substance to what they’re saying - a level of stability is actually really important, especially in these early stages. Deep down, you know you’re capable of earning a living at what you really want to do, but just take some time to think of what will help you in the short-term, too; how can you generate a quick income, which isn’t limiting your pursuit and is still somewhat related to your original, bigger dream?
For example, if you want to be an ‘influencer’, and know how to grow an account, you could manage other businesses accounts in the mean time. Perhaps you want to be a make up artist or a fashion photographer? Apply for assistant job roles. If you want to travel the world, save up before, or get visas so you can work in other countries as you go.
This is important for a number of reasons:
It’s not possible to please or make everyone happy and trying to do so is exhausting. In order to be successful in the pursuit of your dreams, you have to make you your priority and invest in yourself. If you try to make the people who are telling you not to pursue your dream happy, then guess what!? You won’t pursue your dream! They might be happy, but YOU won’t be - and in the long run, seeing you unhappy might lead to them being unhappy too, so putting yourself first isn’t selfish.
What ever life throws at you, it’s up to you to decide how to react to it. In the process of working on your dreams, you’re going to hit many mistakes, disappointments and ‘failures’ - at these times, you can bet the dream-crushers will say ‘I told you so’. You can either sulk and give up, or you can treat these obstacles as learning curves, pivots and character-building exercises which help make you stronger for your next chapter. Steven Spielberg didn’t make it into film school because they didn’t believe in him, did he give up? No, and now he’s one of the biggest directors in film history. The Beatles got rejected by a record label who told them they wouldn’t make it because guitar bands were over, did they listen? Nope, and now they regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time.
Know that you have greatness in you, and you’re a rare breed. Not everybody is going to think like you, and that’s ok - there’s no wrong or right, everyone is different and whether or not they believe in you shouldn’t stop you from trying. Believe in yourself, once you start living your dream, those people will support you anyway. GO GET ‘EM TIGERS!