This past week, I had the opportunity to speak at Toastmasters and the topic was dreams. Of course you know this is right up my alley so I had a great time preparing for this speech. I thought I would put it in a blog post too. Instead of talking about my dreams specifically, I decided to discuss why I think most people decide not to chase their dreams and lessons I’ve leared as to how to overcome this and get moving on your goals and dreams. Check it out.
Always Chase Your Dreams
“Aways” is an absolute and I know it is something you should use carefully but in this case, I think it is a necessary word to use.
I would like to run through 3 reason why I think most people don’t go after their dreams.
I am going to discuss fear first and actually break it down into 3 types of fear that I believe are the most common that hold people back.
3 Types of Fear
1) Fear of other people’s opinions
2) Fear of Failure
3) Fear of Success
Fear of Other People’s Opinions
I think this is a huge problem for women. What happens when we have a dream or a goal? We tell the people closest to us right?
We tell our mom, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, spouse or best friend and sometimes without even thinking it through, they give us their opinion and tell us why they think we can’t accomplish that goal. Maybe they are trying to protect us from failure or hurt as they don’t see us achieving the goal or maybe they are just trying to give us constructive feedback, but here is the thing – if we listen to their feedback and not go after our goal, we fail to grow.
LESSON: Here is what I have learned from dealing with this is my own life; Your dreams are between you and God. If you let someone else’s opinion matter more than yours or God’s, you run the risk of coming to the end of your life and wondering what if. You have to live with regret- not your spouse, mom or best friend. Don’t be afraid of growth, be afraid of not growing.
Fear of Failure
I think most people deal with this one. We all fear committing to a dream or a goal and falling flat on our faces. We tell the people closest to us and we fear that whatever we go after will fail.
We start to think about “what if’s”
- What if we start the business and it fails?
- What if we take the new job and we hate it?
- What if we move to a different state and we can’t find friends or a new church and move back?
- What if we try the fertility treatments and they don’t wor?
“What ifs” are supposed to help us with the worst case scenario, but not keep us stuck.
LESSON: Failure is not a destination- it is part of the journey. Failure means you gave up, if you didn’t give up, it is simply a lesson you learned along the way to achieving your goals and dreams.
I was reading a journal that I got for my son recently and Thomas Edison was highlighted in the journal. He was interviewed after creating the lightbulb and asked about how he felt about the failures he had along the way to achieving his goal. He was surprised that he was even asked the question and responded “I haven’t failed, I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.“
Failure of Success
This is one I didn’t know existed until about 6 months ago and yes it is a real thing.
I’m going to give you an example to demonstrate what I mean.
Let’s say you have a goal to lose 50 pounds and you succeed. What happens? People ask you how you did it right?
You succeeded so now you may start to feel uncomfortable with the success and the attention you are getting. What somtimes happens is that we self sabotage at this point because we are uncomfortable with our success and in this case it may mean gaining the weight back.
When we are successful, people start looking to us for answers and sometimes are feel uncomfortable being in the spotlight so self sabotage is easier and brings us back to our comfort zone.
I read a book in the last few months about this called The Big Leap and it was fascinating. Gay Hendricks, the author, calls this the Upper Limit Problem which means we step out of our comfort zone, get uncomfortable and do something to go back to our comfort zone.
LESSON: You get past this by setting another goal and moving forwards before you have time to slip backwards. It is so interesting and I can see where I have done this in my own life.
The second reason I feel that people don’t chase their dreams and goals is doubt.
The person who is going to be your biggest enemy is the person who stares back at you in the mirror every day.
- You will second guess your ability
- The unbelief you have in yourself will keep you stuck at times
- Sometimes the negative self talk will completely get to you
- Sometimes you will allow the limiting beliefs take over- “I’m too fat, I’m too old, I’m too young, I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough.”
So how do we get past that?
LESSON: As I was preparing for this speech, I listened to this amazing Podcast about Alter Egos on the Achieve Your Goals Podcast with Hal Elrod. The guest is a mindset coach or Olympian Athletes and he was talking about how a lot of them tap into an alter ego when they compete because they have confidence that they don’t naturally feel.
Beyonce has an alter ego. Martin Luther King Jr. was said to wear glasses from time to time even though he had perfect vision because he felt more confident and distinguished when wearing them.
An alter ego is something you can tap into immediately and use if you don’t feel confident about your ability. You basically think about the most confident person you know and emulate how they would appear/act in a given situation and that is tapping into an alter ego.
The last reason that a lot of people do not chase their goals and dreams – struggle or obstacles that may get in the way.
Let’s say you do decide to go after your dreams and something gets in the way. Our natural reaction is to give up because things got hard, right?
LESSON: There will be seasons when life is hard. Sometimes you take a break or think about different steps you can take to still get to your dream while you face adversity, in my opinion, you ALWAYS CHASE YOUR DREAMS.