There is truth to the adage that “you are your own worst enemy.” This is especially true when it comes to dreams. That’s right, your own dreams, to be exact. It is one thing to dream, and another to get your head out of the clouds and actually do something to realize that dream.
Unfortunately, the idea of chasing a dream – especially a lofty one – is often marred by doubt, uncertainty, and a great deal of worry. After all, what trip out of the comfort zone isn’t? And as a result, a lot of people end up making excuses to stay where they are, and the dream remains, well, just a dream.
It’s a trap – a deceptive and often comfortable trap that will leave you stagnant and unfulfilled. You can shove it in the back burner all you want, but your dream will not let you forget it. And because of that, you’ll be in danger of spending the rest of your life thinking about the “shoulda, woulda, couldas” and beating yourself up about them.
So how can you spare yourself a lifetime of regret? (Because you can, you know!) By letting go of worry and chasing your dreams head on, that’s how! You’ll be surprised to know that though it won’t be easy, it is actually much easier than expected. Here’s how:
1. Believe in your dream.
Lupita Nyong’o said it: “Your dreams are valid.” Provided, of course, that they fall within the spectrum of reality, which means that your dream of becoming a superhero probably isn’t. But capes and tights aside, know that there is no dream too big for you to realize. We kid you not. So stop pecking at it furiously, looking for ways that it shouldn’t, wouldn’t, and couldn’t work. Instead, believe that it is within reach, and then decide to reach for it. This is the sort of commitment you need to make your dream a reality.
2. Fight fear.
Once you start chasing a dream, you have to be prepared for fear. It won’t come at you once, and then disappear forever once you’ve conquered it. It just doesn’t worth that way. Instead, it will come at you over and over and over again. The key to fighting fear is to simply stand your ground, and don’t let it break your momentum. Address it as it comes, but don’t give in to its false promises of “it’ll be over soon.” Instead, face it head on. Rinse. Repeat.
3. Take action.
Speaking of momentum, you must know that you need to take some form of forward action to actually start building it. So just do it! Make sure you take a step forward daily. It might not always be the right step, and you might make mistakes along the way. Keep going, anyway. Eckhart Tolle said it best: “Any action is better than no action.” And yes, even the bad ones, the mistakes. Which brings us to our next point . . .
4. Learn from your mistakes.
Most people panic when they make a mistake – so much so that they just end up giving up. This, in itself, is the biggest mistake there is. Mistakes have a bad rap because people keep seeing them as a setback when, in truth, mistakes are an opportunity. So don’t wallow in your mistakes. And under no circumstances should you think that your mistakes reflect your character as a person. Instead, see mistakes as an opportunity to do things differently. You’ll be surprised how much things turn out for the better.
5. Trash bad habits.
When the going gets tough, it is so easy to turn to our bad habits as an escape, as a defense mechanism of sorts. Well, you should know that your bad habits are likely getting in the way of your dreams. Not only are they self-destructive, they’re also “dream-destructive.” So know what these bad habits are, and address them accordingly. Remember that every little decision matters, so make the right ones.