We all have dreams for our future - dreams of a better life, more financial security, more freedom to live as we see fit. Sadly, the majority of our dreams never see the light of day. We still carry the same ones around…five years….ten years…twenty years from now.
It’s a reality most don’t want to face. But think about it just for a minute…can you say, with absolute conviction that you’re living your dream, right now, this very minute? Can you say you’re any closer to it than you were five years ago?
The answer may not be what you want to hear but you’re certainly not alone. What is it that keeps so many of us from living our dreams?
More importantly, how can we overcome it?
No matter what your circumstances, no matter what you think is stacked against you, there is really only one overriding reason for not moving forward – fear. Fear is often masked as other problems - procrastination, being scattered, inexperienced.
Often the fear is completely ignored.
We blame our lack of progress on external factors - inexperience, the economy, lack of resources. But when you boil it all down – and strip away the layers (i.e. excuses) - the root cause of the issue is always fear.
The difference between successful people and those whose dreams languish and die is this - those who found success worked through their fears – they took action in spite of their anxiety. Sure, they may have experienced failure. In fact, many experienced tremendous loss and incredible defeats throughout the course of their life. The difference is that they got back up –they faced their fears head on – and they blew right past them.
Here’s how you can do the same.
1. Dig deeper till you get to the real fear:
We tend to focus on the surface issues and ignore the real reason for our fear. For instance, one of the biggest fears in the world is the fear of public speaking. But that’s just the surface fear. The real fear is that people will laugh at you, you’ll look foolish or that you won’t be able to handle the pressure. The real fear is based on your PERCEPTION of the event – not the actual event. Once you become aware of the underlying issues you’re actually dealing with, you can finally start to tackle the challenge head on.
2. Visualize the whole incident – not just the beginning:
When our fears take hold, we tend to see the worst case scenario play out in our head. And we always stop the tape at the moment of humiliation – the point where we feel the lowest. But that’s not the end of story. Think about any good movie you’ve seen – the good part of the story happens AFTER the moment of truth. There is always a second half. And if you play the story through, you’ll see that there is nothing that can’t be overcome. Sometimes the lowest points in our life lead to our greatest triumphs.
3. Play devil’s advocate:
Our fears have been a part of us for so long that we tend to just accept them as fact. But what are they really? They’re really just beliefs we have formed that keep us in our comfort zone. Don’t just blindly accept your fears as truths. Challenge them – break them down – see how they hold up to the scrutiny. You’d be surprised how many fears just melt away when exposed to the light of day.
Your fears don’t have to hold you back any longer. You can break free. You can see your dreams realized NOW. It all starts with facing your fears rather than simply accepting them. Like the bully who is finally confronted, your fears are not nearly as scary or powerful when they’re confronted head on.
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