Do you want to feel more alive? Like your heart is dancing? Like your life has exploded with so much joy?
I think we all want to feel like that, deep down. We want to feel like life is magical and full of beauty. We want to feel like our dreams can give us wings to fly. We want to feel centered in the moment, perfectly enjoying things just as they are.
So often though, we sell ourselves short. We tell ourselves that we have to accept a lot in life that we have been given, we act as though we have no choice and no free will.
We allow ourselves to stay stuck in lives, jobs and relationships that aren't working because of stories we tell ourselves about not having any choice.
The thing is though, we always have a choice.
We can always make a change, and do things differently or better than we have been up to this point. We just need to find the courage inside ourselves to be willing to make changes, and to let go of our expectations about how things 'should' be.
Everyone has dreams
Whether we ever tell anyone what are dreams are or not, we all have them. They are those soft voices that whisper to us at our silent moments, asking us to be more than what we currently are.
Do you want to be an artist? Musician? Business owner? Travel?
What is it that moves your heart in secret, that makes you think, "wouldn't it be so cool if..."
Those are the thoughts that make you come alive inside. Those are the ideas that represent the deepest wishes of our hearts. Our deepest dreams that we seldom give voice to in the daylight.
But why? Why do we keep our dreams a secret?
Mostly because in society, we are asked to fit into prescribed roles that have been set out for us. We try to fit in with what we think we 'should' be, and do the things that we 'should' do. We try to follow the path that everyone else is taking, so that we can go where everyone else is going.
To follow your dreams, you have to break away from the social script. You have to be willing to color outside the lines and do something new and different. You have to be willing to take a chance on yourself and do something that other people aren't doing, and it can be scary.
We are afraid
Many of the reasons that we don't chase our dreams are fear-based. We think that it is unreasonable to want more out of life. We feel like asking for a life that is outside the norm is no place for us to go. We think that we are supposed to be just like everyone else.
Societal pressure is huge.
However, according to Better Up,
Studies show that living as your authentic self can help you find more meaning in life, among other benefits. People who refuse to follow their dreams for fear of what others think are missing out on life.
Research has clearly shown that people are far more likely to regret what they didn’t do, than what they did. We tend to think that if we push down or ignore our dreams, they’ll go away. The truth? At the end of your life, you’re almost sure to wonder why you never followed your dreams.
There is value in conquering your fear and trying to live your dreams. Sure, people might look at you like you are crazy. They might tell you that something can't be done. They might try to get you to quiet that still, small voice inside yourself telling you that there is more to life.
But those are people who have already given up on themselves and their dreams. They are people who don't have the idealistic spirit that tells them that there has to be more than just plodding day to day, working our 9-5, and living for the weekend.
We deserve to have lives that are fulfilling all the time.
So, how do you do it? How do you follow your dreams?
Get clear on your vision
Before you can make something real in your life, you have to first make it real in your mind. So, taking some time to clearly visualize how you want your life to be can be incredibly useful.
You can try journaling about what you want your life to look like, meditating about your ideas, or making a vision board.
Once you have a clear picture in your mind of what you want, it will be so much easier to make your dreams into a reality. Thinking about what you want, allowing yourself to daydream, is an incredibly powerful way to begin manifesting the life that you really want.
Having a clear mental picture is key to getting started down the path to success.
Set goals to take you there
Once you have a vision clearly set in front of you, then you can start to set smaller goals to get you to where you want to be. It is important to make small, incremental goals for yourself.
If you start with something that is too difficult, then you are just setting yourself up for a failure from the beginning. So, having different goals for each day, week and month to take you towards fulfilling your dreams is crucial.
Then, write your goals down. Make a checklist or use a planner. This way, you can be very clear on your steps.
It can be helpful to use a SMART Goals framework.
According to Mind Tools, SMART Goals are:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
When you use this framework, it is easier to see how you are making progress towards your goals.
If there is a dream that is lighting a fire in your soul, let that dream begin to take shape and come alive. Do something small today that is a step towards achieving your dreams.
The first step of a new journey is always the hardest one. So, take that first step today. Even if all you do is spend five minutes thinking about your dream. Then, tomorrow you can spend five minutes writing it down.
You don't have to take huge steps, but all the small steps that you take will start to add up over time, if you dedicate yourself to taking one small step each day.
Think about where you want to be in a year from now. Do you want to be in the same place you already are, or do you want to be somewhere completely different?
If you take one small step every day for the next year, you will be amazed at the progress that you will be able to make by then! A year from now, you could be looking at a completely different person, with a completely different life, in the mirror.
All it takes is dedication, and the strength to take that leap of faith and start!