How to Move Mountains When You Feel Like You Can’t Move a Crumb

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela

I have always had a pretty low self-confidence in myself when it comes to doing things I’ve never done before. I haven’t given many things a chance, because of that ugly little word can’t, and there are many things I never thought I could do, but surprised myself and did.

A small, and probably silly, example would be my current job as a church secretary and bookkeeper. I can remember thinking about the job when I was a teenager, and seeing the secretary for the church then, Ray (he was amazing at it!), and thinking “I could never do that.” I was young, low self-confidence, inexperienced, etc. etc. Regardless of that thought, I’ve always had a tiny interest in it, but I knew in the back of my mind I would never do it, because I didn’t think I could. Flash forward to a few years later, the job opens up, but it’s more than just a secretary job now, it’s also bookkeeping. If I didn’t think I could do it then, there was DEFINITELY no way I thought I could do it now! I may have had a business degree, but I also had zero experience with bookkeeping, but I still just couldn’t get the possibility of it out of my head, because it was a good opportunity. I had just graduated college not too long before, I had never really earned that much of an income, I had no real world experience, and literally no idea what I wanted to do. After days of torment and agonized discussions with my husband about it (never would have been able to without his encouragement), I decided to go for it. I got the job, and ended up being much better at it then I thought I could be.

I don’t think it’s just a me thing when it comes to having low self-confidence in your abilities. I figure it’s a human nature sort of thing, but some of us are better at pushing past it than others. Is there something that has been itching in the back of your mind, but you keep telling yourself you can’t do it? Well, here is my personal method for overcoming self-doubt and pushing past the I can’ts.

1. Stop feeding the negative beast inside of you.

Stop telling yourself, “I can’t do that, or this, or that thing over there.” You can do more than you think. Things are never as impossible as you make them seem. They only look that way because you’ve never done them before, or you don’t have much experience .

2. Consider your past experiences.

Think back to something you just really didn’t think you could do, but you did it, and it was a lot easier than you thought it would be. I’m sure there are plenty of things you could come up with if you really thought about it, and plenty of things you have forgotten about altogether. It doesn’t matter how small or stupid you think it may be, write it down, dwell on it, whatever you want to do, but take that knowledge and use it to encourage yourself to try the thing you are scared of now, because you know you’ve done more than you thought you could before.

3. Be prepared.

I am insecure about most of the things I’m inexperienced in, but that fear has also benefited me, because it has caused me to prepare like crazy for whatever it is. I try to understand every nook, cranny, and crook of it before I ever attempt it. Never go in blindly to a situation. Let your lack of confidence push you to work harder to achieve it and understand it, not give up.

4. Talk to people you trust about it.

I never would have attempted my current job if I hadn’t had my husband encouraging and pushing me, and so it has been with most of the things in my life. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that you’re capable, and help you work through your insecurities. I think we know we are capable deep down, we just need someone to confirm it for us sometimes.

5. And finally just do it.

We tell ourselves we can’t do something, and then we never do, so we continue on assuming we can’t do it. The only way to truly build your self-confidence is to do the things you are afraid of. You can do way more than you give yourself credit for, so get out there and like those folks at that shoe company say, just do it!

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Create a List of Possibilities

Sometimes are minds get stunted, and we get stuck on the boring old path we are on thinking that is the only option. I have a fun exercise for you that will hopefully get you excited about your life, and open up your mind! Interested? Read on:

Envision absolutely anything you could possibly want for your life. Don’t put any limits on yourself. Remove from your mind the limitations of time, location, or money and dream of anything and everything that sounds amazing, fun, or just something you are interested in as a possibility for your life. This isn’t a bucket list or list of goals you hope to achieve, but more of a list of possible ways your life could go. What are all the things you could possibly want? Don’t limit yourself based on what you think is right and acceptable for you, and don’t let fear of judgement limit you on this. Be open minded to yourself! I’ve created five categories, and I want you to make a list for each one. Here we go:

1. Career:  Think of exciting careers that interest you (anything  & everything you can think of), and don’t let your insecurities or fears hold you back, such as I’m not talented enough, smart enough, or unique enough to do that. Here are some ideas to get your brain juices flowing:

  • Fashion designer
  • Basket weaver
  • Writer
  • Doctor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Hula dancer

2. Home:  Think of the place you want to live. A big city with a tiny apartment? Maybe a little cottage in the woods? Or is a small town with sidewalks and a strong sense of community more your thing? Or maybe you want to live in all three! List em all. Here are some ideas:

  • Country farmhouse
  • Big city loft
  • Small town
  • The forest in a cabin
  • Different country all together
  • Self-sufficient tiny house

3. People:  Think of the people you want your life to be filled with. This life wouldn’t be much of anything without the people we have in it, and the love and conversation they fill it with. So who do you want around? Name names.

  • Significant other
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Strangers
  • Foster children
  • Screaming fans

4. Extracurricular:  Think of all the things you want to do, like goals, hobbies, daily activities, etc.  To me this is just as important as the career you choose. One of the reasons you have a job is to support these types of things. So what kind of lifestyle are you interested in?

  • Travel
  • Spending time in nature
  • Growing your own food
  • Climbing Mount Everest
  • Helping people out of debt
  • Donating to a charity

5. Stuff:  Think of the things you want to have. “Stuff” might not be the most important thing on this exercise, but it is definitely fun to think of, and can add a lot to your life, especially when it’s a cute cuddly kitten.  So think of everything you have an interest in owning. Here’s ya some examples:

  • Cat farm
  • Horses
  • Smart car
  • Room filled with books from floor to ceiling
  • A vacation home

Thinking of all the things you could do or have without any limitations is exciting. It opens your mind up to all the possibilities life really has, and can help you get past the humdrum path you were set on. So have fund and be creative. Put up a piece of cardboard with representative pictures if you’re feeling fancy or maybe just make a Pinterest board. Get to dreaming.

See ya folks!

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Evaluate Your Destination: Achieving Your Dreams Step Six

Once you have become something you had a great desire to be, you must bravely ask yourself, “Do I really want this?” Picture it:

Your dream is to become an award winning journalist. You constantly yammer to your parents, friends, whoever will listen to you, that this is your calling, the thing you were meant to do. You practice observing and writing things, you join the school newspaper spotlighting high school football games, you spend countless hours and moolah getting a college degree in journalism, and then you land your dream job with killer benefits and such, and everyone is so stoked for you, and…. you hate it. Every single thing about it. What’s the easy thing to do here?

When you end up disliking something that you had so much hope to love and put time and effort into, it’s tempting to ignore the fact that you don’t actually like it, and keep pushing on through it. You must decide whether this is actually something you want or not. It is what it is. If you don’t like it, move on to the next thing, and continue being content with what ya got. Within this life it isn’t about point A or point B, but it’s about the line in between. Don’t keep wasting your line on point B just because it was supposed to be your dream if it ends up being a rundown ghost town on your soul.

We often worry about what other people will think of us when we have built something up and we think they have expectations of us, but you must make the decision that is best for you, because you’re the one that has to live it. The majority of people won’t really care, and the rest won’t dwell on it too long. People have the attention spans of toddlers when it’s not something that involves them. Yeah, maybe most people won’t understand giving up on something you put a lot of time, money, and effort into, but those are the ones who settled for the mediocre. The only decisions you make that truly matter are the ones you make in relation to God. The rest are up to you kid. Don’t let others make you feel bad for them.

We never really know how we will feel about something until we are in the midst of it. Feelings are hard things to plan for. You just have to work around them like little pets that constantly get under your feet as you are trying to walk from place to place (annoying little boogers, but it’s what makes life warm and fuzzy).

If you evaluate your situation and decide it was everything you hoped it would be, then oh my goodness! Giddy jumping, pizza, pie, dance party for one, explosion of screams! Seriously reward yourself. It’s something worth celebrating whether you finally accomplished your goal of getting a fish named Fred or you opened a breakout Italian restaurant. Go buy yourself some ice cream or a cake, plan a vacation, invite your friends over with party hats and those loud blowy thingies. Celebrate! It’s fun.

Finding and achieving your dream is something many fail to do, and believe me, it’s not easy. You must have the self-confidence to recognize what you want, the bravery to take action, the endurance to keep going when it gets hard, and the ability to find contentment without it.  Remember: enjoy the journey,but once you get to the destination, eat some pie.

If you’ve been keeping up with my Achieving Your Dreams posts then thanks for sticking with me! I hope I’ve helped you in at least some small way.

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The Journey: Achieving Your Dreams Step Five

Once you have started down the road to become what you hope to be, you will have to overcome obstacles along the way, and most importantly you will have to allow yourself to enjoy the journey. Smack that bear in the face, whatever it might be, and trek on (or maybe just throw a hot dog in the opposite direction and run), and then commence with plenty of picnics and much frolicking.

If you want to be successful then listen up and understand the following sentence. Your journey to what you hope to become is NOT going to go as you planned it. We can’t predict the future, so when those roadblocks come you are going to have to make adjustments (i.e. failing a class, being told no, getting married, etc.). You must recognize now that it won’t go as planned, and something will most likely throw a wrench in your tire, so you are prepared mentally when things do go wrong. That way you won’t give up just because it got hard and you are able to handle it, a.k.a. smack that bear in the face, and mount his head on a wall (or load up on hot dogs). The more you overcome the more endurance you will have to keep pushing on, and you will develop muscles the size of Texas (what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger). When you don’t think you can do it just focus on each step, and put one foot in front of the other. You will get there eventually.

Now we are going to talk about something I find a little more serious in this area of achieving your goals, and that’s allowing yourself to be unhappy because you don’t have something you want. We become like little kids in the store crying for a toy. Once you get the toy, you just pitch a fit for another one the next time you go to the store, while the last toy sits on a dark corner of a shelf getting dusty.

You want to know what the trick to being happy is? Learning to be content with what you have now in every situation that you are in (Philippians 4:12, try jumping in this rabbit hole, and see where it takes you), not focused on the thing you want in the future thinking that is what will make you happy. We often get to that thing in the future, and then find something else that we want, and forget that we were supposed to be happy with the thing we just got. And so the cycle continues on and on. I’m not saying that means you don’t try to achieve new things or change your life, but throughout all the changes, wherever you are in life, find an underlying sense of contentment. Be happy with what you have. Stop focusing on the negative and what you want to change about your life, but focus on what you do have that you love. Set your road map for the thing you hope to achieve, and let it do the thinking for you. We plan so we can forget. Focus on the now. Enjoy now. Now is all you really have.

The journey is where most of the fun happens, most of the memories. We waste our lives by focusing on the destination, and never realizing that we were actually living our lives when we were on our way there. Your life is not when you become a doctor or a wife or whatever it is you hope to become. Your life is now. Sometimes we say “I just can’t wait to get my life going,” because you haven’t started whatever you think a life should be made up of. Um, your life is going whether you like it or not, constantly and without your control! So do things now that you enjoy, and don’t wait to enjoy life until you get to your destination. Take walks, go out with your best friend, cuddle with your little wee ones (or in my case your cats). Laugh, love, and most importantly live.

Next week will be my last post on my Achieving Your Dreams series {sad face}. If you haven’t been keeping up or you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, then get to clicking and reading! Just click this link here, and follow the yellow brick road. Enjoy the journey, and remember achieving your dreams is going to make your life better, but it is not going to make you happy. Find your happiness today.

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Finding the Courage to Start: Achieving Your Dreams Step Four

Once you are armed with a map, pack your bags & start the journey! Put your plan into action.

You know what makes someone a writer? Writing. You know what makes someone a singer? Singing. Just because you are slumming it on the streets singing with your guitar case in front of you doesn’t make you any less of a singer than Beyoncé. If you know how to do it, start doing it. Being rich and famous or successful is not what makes someone a certain thing, it’s action. Now if you want to be a dentist please don’t start pulling peoples teeth out. You obviously must learn how to do these things before you can actually do them, but you will never be what you want to be until you start somewhere. Sometimes the hardest part of your journey is actually taking that first step. It’s so much easier to keep pushing it off until it never happens. We are lazy people, and there is very rarely someone there to kick your butt except yourself. So I’ve made a list of steps so you can get your butt in gear:

1. Recognize your fear. If you are still in the planning stages by all means keep planning, but make sure you aren’t using that to procrastinate because you are too scared or lazy to begin. There is only so much planning that you can or need to do, eventually the only thing left to do is start. It’s easy to let every thing you have to do overwhelm you and freak you out, but you have to remember to stick to your plan and focus on each individual step as you get to them. You get places with one small step at a time, and only occasionally a leap thrown in.

2. You must change your mindset, and stop thinking of your dream in the future tense, but start thinking of it in the present tense. Sometimes we dream and think and hope about something incessantly thinking “one day I will do this” and then one day never comes, and it’s never going to until you say “today I will do this.”  You only really have today. We are not promised one day. One day you will be dead. Stop thinking about it as something you may do in the future, and start thinking about it as something you are going to start working towards right now. Remember, our days are limited, so use every day as the opportunity it is.

3. Start achieving your dreams right now! Get up off your couch, turn off your TV, and take your life somewhere new. Do something small, just a baby step, that will get you closer to your goal. It doesn’t have to be anything big and scary right off the bat. Start your timeline that you hopefully created from last weeks post. Buy a book and start learning, register for school, do ten push-ups, etc.  Marie Curie had to start somewhere. Madonna had to start somewhere. J.K. Rowling had to start somewhere. We all have to start somewhere. You don’t just do it and instantly become it. It’s a process. A year from now you will be thankful for the work you started today.

A beautiful painting doesn’t just happen in mere seconds. It happens one brush stroke at a time.

If you have been following my series on Achieving Your Dreams and going through the steps, then you are ready to start. If you haven’t been, well you can still do one small thing today that gets you closer to your dream. You need only to have the courage to begin, and the endurance to keep going.

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Making Out a Map: Achieving Your Dreams Step Three

planning, dreams, goals

Once you have figured out what dream you wish to pursue, the next step is figuring out how you will get there by drawing out a road map, and deciding which path you will choose. Sometimes there are multiple ways to get to a destination, and sometimes there is only one way…up a steep mountain road…with wildcats…in a desert.  You just have to figure out what your way is (hopefully no wildcats are involved). I call it the planning process.  Yeah I know, not very original.  But regardless, to me this step is one of the most fun! That may be because planning is one of my passions, but I believe it can be fun for you too. Who doesn’t love to dream about their future?

Below I have outlined the process I use for planning out most of the major things in my life. Hope it helps!

Step One: Create a Dream Board of whatever it is you hope to achieve for no other reason than it makes it fun and exciting! It can be a Pinterest board or a legit piece of cardboard with pictures glued to it (how it was done in the olden days). A cork board with cute heart shaped push pins is another fun option for people with a little more dough to throw around. Do whatever floats your boat. I personally recommend a physical dream board that you can hang on your wall, so you will see it everyday and be inspired. Say you want to be a ballerina, then post pictures of places you want to perform, dance schools you want to attend, dance moves you want to learn, other ballerinas living their dream, etc. Whatever inspires you and excites you.

Step Two: Figure out the what. Research, research, research, and then research some more.  Figure out what you need to learn and everything you need to do to get where you want to go, then make out a list of every little thing. It doesn’t have to be in any specific order, just get it down. Breaking something down into smaller parts makes it seem more attainable, and it’s much easier to focus on each small step than the journey as a whole. What credentials do you need in order to achieve it?  Do you need a degree? Work experience? Practice? A brood of chickens? I will use one of my dreams, living off the land, as an example. I haven’t listed out every little thing, but just enough to give you an idea:

  • Research energy efficient homes with solar panels and wells (this can be broken down into smaller steps)
  • Learn how to garden (smaller steps)
  • Learn how to raise chickens
  • Learn how to raise goats
  • Learn first-aid
  • Save for a house
  • Buy land & build a house (smaller steps)
  • Buy chickens & goats

Step Three: Figure out the how.  Now that you are armed with a list of everything you need in order to make your dream happen, figure out how you are going to make it happen. Make out a budget, pick out a school if you need a degree, find books to read, etc. I will use my living off the land example again:

  • Research house, gardening, chickens, & goats: Find books,  google it, or watch youtube videos
  • Learn first-aid: Find a class, research through books, or google tutorials
  • Save for a house: Set a goal amount to start building
  • Buy land & build a house: Decide on how much I can afford, make a building budget, build credit score, & get a loan
  • Buy chickens & goats: figure out where to buy them & and how much they cost

Step Four: Make an action plan with specific and measurable goals. You have the what and the how, now set up a timeline for when you hope to complete each aspect. That doesn’t mean you will stick to the timeline (you will probably have to readjust it many times, that’s life), but it will give you something to measure your progress by. For example… I want to save for a house, so I have determined how much I can save each month, and then how long it will take me to reach my goal amount by saving that every month. Then I can start building! I can measure my progress by how much I actually save every month (believe me, my timeline has been readjusted many times). Write down your action plan and pin it to your dream board.

Now obviously not everything has to be planned out to a T, but you do need to at least have some direction of where you are going. If your dream is to have a bowl of Wheaties every morning for breakfast, then all you really need to know is what aisle in your local grocery store to go down, but if you want to be a doctor with a small family practice in Idaho, well that takes a little more planning and research. You must realize that in order to achieve what you want you have to put in the work to get it.  If you are willing to do that, you can do anything your heart desires.

Tune in next Monday for Step Four: Starting the Journey. Refer back to the Achieving Your Dreams page for all my previous posts on this series. 

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Overcoming Self-Doubt: Achieving Your Dreams Step Two

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” -Suzy Kassem

This is probably one of my absolute favorite quotes, right behind one by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt ( I may share that one later), just because it rings so true to me. Would you like to know one of the most likely reasons why you have yet to achieve your dream? Because you have yet to start. Duh, obvious answer, but what is the reason you have yet to start? Probably because you doubt your abilities. Ask yourself this question right now “why have I not tried?”, and you will probably come up with answers such as “I’m scared”, “people will think I’m stupid”, “what if I’m not any good at it?”, etc. etc., excuse after demeaning excuse. Once you realize what it is you want to do, the next step to achieving your dream is realizing you have the ability to get where you want to go. Confidence in your ability to do something is the gas that keeps you going. It’s the food for your journey.  In order to achieve whatever it is you hope for you are going to have to acknowledge and work through your lack of confidence in yourself, your fears. Batman became the thing he was scared of (according to the film adaption “Batman Begins”). Be Batman.

How to overcome your self-doubt in six steps:

1. Acknowledge what your self-doubt is. Examine yourself, and write down answers to these questions: “why do I think I cannot do this?” “what is holding me back from trying?” “why did I give up on it?” I will use myself as an example to get your brain juices flowing. There were several things that held me back from trying my hand at writing.

  • I was afraid of wasting my time on something that I would probably never be successful at.
  • I was afraid that I was actually no good at writing, and that anything I did write was stupid.
  • I was afraid that people would judge me or think I was dumb for going after a non-traditional career, that they would think I was no good at writing, and then I would prove them right.
  • I was afraid that I liked the idea of being a writer more than actually being one.

2. Play devils advocate to yourself, and write out an argument against each of the things you wrote in the first step explaining why you can do it and why the thing(s) you fear is baseless. Here are the arguments I came up with:

  • It doesn’t matter whether I am ever successful at it or not. I have already failed if I never tried, and anyways trying and failing just makes you wiser and more awesome.
  • Even if I am not good at it now that doesn’t mean I can’t be. I might just have to try harder than others to get better at it. You can learn practically anything if you are willing to put in the hard work.
  • People probably will judge me, because everyone has an opinion, and people tend to judge things that are different, but when it comes down to it people are self-centered and won’t spend too much time thinking about something that doesn’t have to do with them (no offense to someone who is judging me right now). I also have my mom, my husband, and my bestie encouraging and supporting me. What does anyone else’s opinion really matter?
  • I have no way of knowing whether I like writing unless I actually do it, and spend time on it. Thankfully I am enjoying it :) Fear squashed.

3. Read inspirational things. Put up quotes that you find inspirational on your wall as a reminder. I can’t tell you how many times I had completely given up on being a writer, and then read something that lit a fire under my behind, and made me pursue it again. The fire eventually died down, and my old fears returned, but always a little less strong than before, and I finally read one last inspiring article and decided “I am going to do it!” and did. Here is a good one to start with from James Altucher (he has LOTS of good stuff): How to Get Rid of Your Excuses (or… What Are Your Excuses?)

4. Realize that failure is awesome, and those who don’t fail are losers. With great risk comes great reward…or great failure. Either way you win something. With reward you obviously get the thing you have been wanting, but when we fail we become wiser and stronger. Failure is just a learning opportunity on the path to your destination. It’s not the destination itself, but just a hill along the way that gives you rock hard thighs, so you will be able to climb all the other hills a little easier and a little faster. Failure makes life interesting and exciting, and it becomes the stories we tell our children.

5. Realize that if you aren’t good at something now, it doesn’t mean you can’t be later. You can do anything you want. I told this to a group of young girls once, and of course they immediately tested me. One asked, “become a mermaid?” Unfortunately my response was “well, within reason of course.” But you know what? If you want to be a mermaid, you can be a flippin’ mermaid. Sew up your own water friendly mermaid tail, take some vigorous swimming lessons, and stock up on oxygen tanks, and boom! You’re a mermaid. Now obviously I don’t think that would be a desirable lifestyle for most, but my point is there is almost always a way to accomplish the thing you want. Some just might have to work at it harder than others. Something that might take one person a month could take someone else years. We are all on different levels. That doesn’t mean you can’t become good at it though.

6. You will constantly have to reassess and kick yourself in the butt. Once you go through steps one through five you are probably going to have to go through them again, and again, oh, and again, before you finally push yourself to go through with whatever it is you want to do. Self-doubt has a way of creeping back up on us no matter how many times we slay it, and we easily forget that failure makes us stronger, or that we can do anything we want with hard work. You will have to keep reminding yourself that you ARE good enough. The only true cure for self-doubt is finally just doing it.

I still have doubts, and I probably will always have doubts in myself, but the key is to keep trying, and keep pushing. If you want something bad enough, you will achieve it, no matter if you fail at it once or a hundred times. You just have to begin.

Remember we are all only here for a short time, whether we die young or old. Don’t waste it being what the world tells you to be, and don’t waste it being what your self-doubt scares you into being. Be a bag boy at a grocery store if that’s all you want, or be a flippin’ mermaid.

Tune in next Monday for the third step in my “How to Achieve Your Dreams” series: Figuring out how you will get there, making out a map. 

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Finding Your Passion: Achieving Your Dreams Step One

dreams, goals, passion, purpose

The first step to getting anywhere is deciding where you want to go.

What do you want to do with your life?

The question I have spent many nights pondering over in a dark corner of my room cradling myself with the mannerisms of a crack addict. The first step to getting anywhere is deciding where to go. That doesn’t mean that is where you will end up, but those who aim for nothing don’t become much of anything, unless you are like royalty or something. This step involves deciding exactly what you want, which surprise surprise most people don’t really know. Unless it’s a bacon cheeseburger this can be one of the most difficult steps, and this step sometimes isn’t figured out until you are halfway down the road to somewhere else. So, with all that said, I’ve laid out several questions to ask yourself, so you can discover what you want to do. Have fun, and don’t stress! Life goes on whether you make a decision or not.

  1. Do you have some secret dream that you’ve let go of, because you decided you couldn’t do it? I think there are many of us who have a dream we have always longed to do, but at one time or another we gave up on it.  So go back to that thing, the thing you decided you couldn’t do. This is where you start. Ask yourself, “why am I not pursuing this?” Did you think you weren’t good enough? Did you think it would be too hard? Were you afraid of what people would think of you?  Those are not reasons to give up! The only excuse for giving up is if you TRIED it and decided it’s not for you. It’s ok if you fail. Don’t give up on your dream just because you weren’t born being awesome at it like being able to carry a tune from the birth canal or do math in your sleep. These child prodigies are a rarity. For the rest of us average joes we have to work at it. Just because you are not that good at something now doesn’t mean you can’t be. You can achieve anything through hard work and determination. We either become good at something because of our circumstances or because of our effort or a combination of both. My secret dream since I was in the fourth grade has always been to be a writer, and I can’t count the amount of times I have given up on it, and then came right back to it. The biggest obstacle for any dreamer is self doubt (I will discuss this more in next week’s post). For my mom it was being a photographer or working on a dude ranch. It doesn’t have to be one thing! Some people have multiple dreams! And it doesn’t have to be a conventional career or a career at all. Maybe you just want to live off the land with solar power, and grow your own food.  Whatever you do don’t give up on your dream! See it through, then decide whether it’s for you or not.
  2. Is there something you think you want to do, but you’re not really sure?  We don’t always really know what we want, sometimes we may think we do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore it. If you are interested in something try it out. I got set on this idea once that I wanted to be a librarian, so what did I do? Work in a library of course. I was bored out of my mind. I almost went to school for this, and would have ended up in a job that I didn’t really want, and would have most likely stayed there because of all the time and money I had put in to getting it. So explore jobs, and things you are interested in. You might find out that you really do love it! Or maybe not so much. Don’t be scared of wasting time trying things out to see if you like it. Be scared of wasting a lifetime on something you are miserable at.
  3. Do you have absolutely no idea what you want to do?  If you have literally no idea whatsoever what you want to do or what you like, and you have no secret dreams that you gave up on long ago, then you need to get out there and do more things! Someone who climbs Mt. Everest doesn’t just wake up one day and realize out of nowhere that’s what their dream is. It has to start somewhere. Maybe a friend invited them to go hiking, and they loved it, and it just gradually progressed from there. Passion starts with a spark and turns into a fire. You MUST explore and overcome the one thing that is most likely holding you back. Laziness. If you are being a couch potato and watching other people live their lives (fictional or real) on T.V. then you are never going to figure out what you want to do. You have to get off your hiney and go out and discover. It doesn’t have to be something big like going skydiving or joining a class (it totally can be), but it can be something as small as just going for a hike that leads you to Mt. Everest. Draw, read interesting things, cook, watch someone’s kid, talk to someone going through a hard time, write a fun little story, take pictures of pretty things, dance, sing, plan an awesome trip, debate someone, go to garage sales, go horseback riding, learn first aid, look at pictures of outer space, go to a museum, tutor someone, on and on and on…. Life is brimming with possibilities and adventures, we just have to be brave enough to try! Finding your passion doesn’t mean you will start out being great at it, it usually starts with being pretty bad or sort of ok at it, but really enjoying it. Some people start when they are very young, and never realize where it comes from, but it came from some small decision by them or their parents that they never realized lead to it. If you fit in this category then figuring out your passion, dream, number one goal (whatever you want to call it) will take you longer than anyone else, but that’s ok. Knowing what you want to do and starting a career, family, or a lifestyle is not when your life begins. Your life began when your mama and your papa got a little cozy. You are living your life now! Just because it doesn’t look the way other’s lives do or it’s not the typical American dream doesn’t make it any less awesome! Have fun and enjoy where you are at now. Discovery is fun!
  4. Have you already decided exactly what you want to do? Now if you are one of those weirdos who already knows what they want to do with no self-doubt at all, then I’m very annoyed by you (I kid I kid). But you need to ask yourself a question before you proceed on to pursuing your path. Why do you want to do it? Is it for the fame? Is it because you will make a decent living? Is it because it sounded easy or not too scary? Maybe it’s because someone told you that you were good at it, but you really don’t care about it that much. Always check your motives before pursuing a path, and if it’s something you really want to do or try then proceed on!

Remember: the world is FULL of possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to some simple boring list of options: Doctor, teacher, plumber, manager, you get the point. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting those things, society needs them, but there are so many more options! Sky diving instructor, movie producer, Disney princess at Disney World, brick mason, circus performer, 911 operator, and the list could go on and on. A wealthy life doesn’t equate to the amount of money you make, but the amount of meaningful moments you create.

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” -John Irving

This is a part of a six week series on Achieving Your Dreams. For other posts in this series refer back to my Achieving Your Dreams page. 

Disclaimer: I don’t know everything.

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