Once upon a time, I had a dream. It was a dream to write and be read by people around the world, like many of my favorite bloggers and authors. Yet, I could never get started on this project. I thought it was something that I would do some day later.
I could become a writer after a lifetime of working and after I retired, I thought to myself. There was much more time to write when I had more time, more finances and more creativity. It would take me awhile to improve my writing. I would have to take some writing classes.
These were some of the many thoughts that floated around my mind as I contemplated a life of writing. Then, one day, I decided to make the plunge and started writing. I gave myself permission to start writing that day. I told myself that I would work on an ebook and if I could write and complete one, then I would show myself that yes, I could write and yes, I could write now.
When I completed that ebook, I realized, holy Stephen King, I am a writer! I had the ability, the desire and now the completed work to show myself that I could indeed work on my writing today.
Do you have a dream that’s been floating around in your heart? Here are 7 habits of people who follow their dreams:
1. Give yourself permission
You don’t have to wait for permission. You don’t need it from someone else. You don’t have to fear if you’re not an authority, expert or have experience in your dream. You will learn as you need to and be guided on the journey. You have to be willing to realize that you are worthy when it comes to following your dream and that you deserve to start today. You are the only person whose permission you need to get started.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
2. See fears and move past them
When you see a dream, you likely will see the uncertainties and doubts that come along with the dream. Instead of allowing your dreams to paralyze you, use your fears as a starting point. The biggest fear than the fear of pursuing your dreams should be the fear of regret and not starting. Use your fears to inspire and move you forward. Fear means you’re onto something, big, exciting and challenging. You conquer your fears by taking each one on at a time. Each fear you move past prepares you to face the next one.
3. Take small steps daily
The big dreams you have don’t happen overnight. You can’t materialize a dream without preparation work or patience. The people who achieve their dreams work on it consistently. You don’t have to do everything in a day either. Work on your dream at your own pace but make progress on it daily. Think of one thing today you can do to further your dream. You may not start today but you can do something small today to progress your dream.
4. Ignore society’s chatter
It’s easy to lose your dream to “reality” or “practicality”. All your dream-crushers out there, friends and family, will use code words to discourage you from your dream. They will insist you follow society’s dream: college, advanced degree, stable job, family and home in the suburbs. That’s the tried and true path for success, they’ll tell you. If it’s not a path that will make you happy and that’s not your dream, you have to ignore the naysayers. Instead, listen to yourself. Your intuition will be your guide to fulfillment and happiness.
5. Have a vision of the future
Seeing your dream come to fruition is necessary when you pursue a dream. Visualization is key to starting. You have to be able to imagine your dream coming alive so you can get motivated to start on it. You have to believe that it’s possible for you to achieve your dreams. You have to believe in what’s possible in the future although you get there by working on it each day. What they say is true: seeing is believing. Once you see something in your mind’s eye, you start believing you can make it happen.
6. Work through obstacles
You don’t allow one failure to stop you. You’re not sitting around and making excuses or looking for ways to not keep going. Just the opposite. You allow the obstacles to help you get more creative and find solutions. You let failure inspire you and guide you to a better way to do something. You see obstacles as challenges to be overcome, not roadblocks that will stop you from going forward. You welcome each obstacle knowing that moving past each one will get you closer to your dreams.
“I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.” – Steven Spielberg
While you’re working on your dream and moving past the obstacles in the way, you also know that dreams don’t materialize overnight. You are willing to put in the work but you’re also willing to be persistent. You’re willing to wait. You’re willing to give your dreams time. You are willing to be patient in the face of failures, adversity, and obstacles. You’re willing to change course or alter the dream if something isn’t working. You don’t expect overnight results or instant gratification.