Diving into the actions that will lead you to your ‘dream life’ can be incredibly daunting. As much as we may aspire to live more fully, to push ourselves to bigger, bolder things, we may also have an equal amount of fear and hesitation tethering us to the status quo. We may doubt ourselves. We may doubt our resources, our abilities, our support, our commitment.
Change is hard. There is no doubt about it.
And pursuing an unknown future at the possible expense of current comfort does not improve our desire to tackle change, even if it is likely to bring us good things!
The whole ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ adage is timeless and true. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown are a given.
But what will you do to overcome them?
I find that whether I’m coaching someone on their career, or their personal lives, there inevitably comes a point where their dreams and aspirations are asking more of them than their fear and trepidation are comfortable allowing. Meaning, we reach a place where they can literally ‘see’ their future selves. They can taste their success. They can describe in specific and tactile terms, exactly what they want to achieve or do. And yet…the fear of the journey to those aspirations is usually quite powerful. At times, even debilitating.
When we hit this wall of fear and uncertainty, I’ve found a few things that can help clear the deck (so to speak), and allow the action to take precedence and priority over the fear. Once that happens it is usually full steam ahead!
So when you find yourself excited about your dreams and possibility, but feel that cold shroud of doubt and fear dampening your enthusiasm, try these steps to keep yourself on track:
Always make your dreams and aspirations as tangible and specific as possible. Write them down. Make a list. Journal. Whatever you need to do so that your vision is clear in your mind’s eye, and you can see yourself in that dream state/achieving, accomplishing, being, whatever the case may be. Make it specific and tactile.
What are the things that need to happen to get you there? Again, be specific and write the steps out. Do you need to quit your job? Start a business? Get new childcare? What are the steps, and what are the obstacles standing between you and your vision? Be clear. Be real. Don’t hold back. Face the things that stand between you and your dream!
What are your feelings and thoughts about each of the steps or challenges you’ve identified? For each action step you identified in #2, you surely have a reaction. You may even have a visceral or physical reaction to thinking about some of them. Take a minute and acknowledge your fears or concerns about each thing you’ve identified. Is it expensive? Will it require a lot of time? Are you lacking resources or help? Do you need more education? What are the specific fears related to your action steps. Document these fears. Write them down next to each step.
Problem-solve and Brainstorm. You have articulated your vision. You know where you want to go, and what you want to do. You’ve identified what your challenges are in getting there. And you know what your concerns are about each challenge. Now it’s time to brainstorm solutions and options for each challenge. As Marie Forleo says, “everything is figure-out-able!”. And this is SO true! Let yourself just ponder the possibilities, and free flow the ideas. There are many ways to problem solve, there are always multiple solutions to a problem. Don’t let your fear be your guide. Instead, allow yourself to consider all options available to you. Document your possible solutions for each of your challenges.
Create your road map. Select the strongest solutions and write them down next to your dream list. So now, you have your vision. You have your steps to get there. You know what your fears are and have thought through steps to mitigate them or go around them. And guess what? You’ve just created a map! A vision map. You know where you want to go. You know what needs to happen in order to get there, and you know what your likely challenges may be, as well as what you can do do address them!
Congratulations! There is power in being real with yourself, with your dreams, and with your fears. You have more tools and options at your disposal than you give yourself credit for, and sometimes we need a map to find out way to our dream destination.
Don’t let yourself get stuck at the dreaming phase, as you are likely to get hung up on the many challenges and obstacles you may face in achieving them. If you apply a methodical process to achieving your dreams, you will find that the fear of the unknown, the doubts and uncertainty give way to a reasoned and measured mind-shift. This mind shift allows you to focus on the specific action you need to take, and your tools and resources available to problem-solve and get you further down your path.
Check out heidialbritton.com for more insights and resources to help you on your journey.
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