By Suzanne Falter-Barns
Pursuing your dream can be oddly tricky. You’d think mere desire, alone, would be all you need to pursue your dreams in earnest. But if you have a mind, you may hit roadblocks like these:
1. Thinking you're in it alone Believe it or not, you were given your dream the day you were born, and it’s still etched into your soul … even if you’re not clear on exactly what that dream is. Furthermore, your intuition, or God, or whomever you recognize that greater force to be is always in the background, gently guiding, nudging, and planting clues along the way for you to follow.
In 1997, the author Stephen King was hit by a car, and suffered a smashed hip and a shattered leg. The pain was so great he could scarcely sit in a char, let alone write. Yet, he knew that he had to do it: "... there was that voice in the back of my mind, telling me that, in the words of the Chambers Brothers, 'the time has come today.' It was possible for me to disobey that voice, but very difficult not to believe it."
However you see that assistance, know that it is real. When the going gets tough, all you have to do is listen, for help will be at hand.
2. Assuming you have to know what you're doing. Do not presume that you have to know something about how to accomplish you dream before you can begin. The knowing comes simply through the doing. Yes, it can help to have certification courses or training, but the act of creating is not usually a controllable process. Rather, it's an emotional one, in which your taste, your gut, and your intuition guide you from one step to the next. Which could be why Raymond Carver likened writing short stories to riding in the back seat of a car at night with the headlights turned off. Go for the Zen state of Beginner's Mind, and allow yourself to truly make it up as you go along.
3. Waiting to feel like it. Are you waiting for the day when you're finally going to wake up and know it's time to start your dream? That day will probably never come. None of us ever want to face the blank page, and start at the very beginning. And yet, that's where you must start or nothing gets accomplished. It's a long-standing myth that you have to be inspired to create. Instead, you have to have the fortitude to risk feeling foolish, and dig in with gusto.
4. Thinking it's supposed to be fun all the time. Nothing else in life is hilarious all the time -- so why should pursuing your dream be? Just like any other process, there are hills that have to be climbed to make things happen. The dreamers who get derailed assume that when the going gets tough, that means they weren't really supposed to pursue the dream in the first place. Those who reach their goals understand that sometimes life is hard, and sometimes life is easy ... whether or not you're in the midst of pursuing your dream.
5. Believing the fears. All too often, our fear is so real, it's almost palpable. What if we offend our mothers, or our bosses? What if we go broke? What if we wind up looking majorly dumb? Or worse ... what if we're a screaming, overnight success and the media eats us alive in a wild feeding frenzy? May I remind you that such fears are to be expected, and are no reason to stop? They are only a little electricity between the ears. The only truly legitimate fear should be that you won't do that thing you set out to do, and will die disappointed.
6. Assuming being vulnerable is weak. Your strongest position in life is one of true vulnerability. I'm talking about that clammy feeling that overtakes you when you begin to speak your dream, making you suddenly feel twelve again. Such vulnerability is a very good sign, for it means your gut is talking loud and clear. The world is not interested in yet another slick, well-packaged product with no soul; indeed, the world is interested in you. By allowing yourself to feel a little stupid, you begin to exert your true power. This is the real stuff dreams are made of.
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