If you are like many dreamers, you have probably don’t know what to do that will make you happy.
Some dreamers have many dreams, so the idea of picking just one seems impossible, while others have no idea what it is they want at all.
In both cases, these dreamers put off taking any formal action at all. You tell yourself, “I know I should do something else,” but you seem to come up with a million reasons (or tail-enders) for not attempting to find your dream.
Then you put yourself down for not being like other people who successfully achieve their dreams.
Then the cycle starts all over again —
“I wish I knew what my life purpose is,”
“I have so many dreams that I can’t choose,”
“It’s too hard to know what I want to do,” or
“I just don’t feel like I can do it at this time.”
How do you find your dream?
Find Your Dream in 5 Steps –
1. Get out 3 sheets of blank paper.
2. Write 0 – 10 on the top of one sheet of paper, 11 – 20 on the top of the 2nd sheet of paper, and 21 – 50 (or replace the number 50 with whatever your age is today) on the third sheet of paper.
3. Place a giant T on all three sheets–dividing each sheet into into two columns.
4. On the left column header write This Gave Me Joy and on the right column write I Felt.
5. Then sit somewhere you won’t be disturbed and list all the things you loved doing throughout your life and how they made you feel.
I walk you through this exercise and more in my ebook, Find Your Dream, but I promise you if you do just the 5 steps outlined above you will become more aware of what you need to bring back into your life and what dream is calling out to you.
You’ll begin to see a pattern in the things you enjoy spending time doing and how they made you feel. The feeling part is often the most misinterpreted part of discovering your passion. For example, when I do the T-sheet passion exercise, bike riding comes up in every age group. But I don’t want to be a professional bike rider or own a bike shop. How did bike riding make me feel? Free. I feel free when I ride a bike. Freedom is a feeling that comes up for me over and over. I realize to be happy; my passion has to allow me the freedom to travel, to explore–to feel free.
Writing is a form of freedom of expression. It takes me on a journey–just like riding a bike makes me feel. Do you see where I am going with this exercise?
Remember what makes you happy–but focus on WHY it makes you happy.
Here Comes the Resistance
Sometimes when you narrow down your passion–what you might want to go after in a big way, resistance will suddenly appear, and this is usually a sign you are on the right track
Best-selling author, Steven Pressfield, says:
“…the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no resistance.”
Resistance is the flashlight shining on what you are being called to do.
In the practice of emotional freedom techniques, “resistance” is referred to as “tail-enders.” They are the “Yes, buts” that show up when you begin to explore something your subconscious is pushing you to try.
Resistance shows up as:
“Wow. I’d like to go back to college and take a creative writing class and publish some short stores…”
The “Yes, buts” or “tail-enders” that may show up:
“BUT when will I have the time?”
“BUT how will I pay for it? I don’t have the money right now!“
“BUT what if I don’t like it?”
“BUT what if I fail?”
“BUT no one my age is doing that!”
Unfortunately, too many people listen to the words of the resistance “buts” by giving up instead of saying:
“Even though I think I don’t have the time to go to college, I am going to make an appointment with a college counselor and talk about this fear because I deserve this dream.”
When you see resistance coming up as you narrow in on your dream with whispers of “But this is stupid!” or “But I can’t do this!” take a piece of paper and write them down on one side of the paper and try to remember if these whispers aren’t fears put on your when you were much younger.
Maybe you have an older sibling who used to tell you that your dream “was stupid.” Or perhaps a parent or a teacher made you feel like you couldn’t do certain things. Looking back, you see that what people were negatively saying to you was actually their naysaying opinions of themselves they projected toward you.
All too often your fears arise from past experiences when you were young and impressionable, and someone hurt you deeply by what they said to crush your spirit. Afterward, throughout the years, the world seemed to show up enough times to support what someone said about your abilities. If this happens enough times, you will subconsciously begin to believe what was told to you in your past is now your truth in the present moment.
It’s like someone saying you are a terrible athlete when you are 13-years-old trying baseball for the first time, then afterward, every time you try a new sport you make all kinds of mistakes. You begin to believe that you must not be athletic, so you stop trying. Later in life as an adult, you decide to try your hand at swimming because you want to be able to swim with your kids and you get a swimming instructor who believes in you. Through practice and working on your mistakes without quitting you find that you are a good swimmer.
You can be athletic.
What was said to you as a kid was a lie.
When you see the dream resistance “buts” coming up, practice telling yourself positive statements like:
“Even though putting on a swimsuit makes me feel foolish, I am going to learn to swim anyway because I deserve this dream to swim in a triathlon.”
“Even though I haven’t written anything in 20 years and I feel like I am a bad writer, I am going to sign up and attend the first night of that creative writing class because I am a good person and I deserve to take a chance on myself.”
“Even though my family always told me that I’m terrible with money, I am going to set aside $10.00 a month for my travel dream to Ireland and not touch the money until I have enough to take my dream trip because I am a kind and loving person and I am going to be kind and loving to myself.”
Don’t ignore the resistance “buts” appearing when you are honing in on what you would love to do for your passion, instead, take it as a sign that you are on the right track. Write your resistance “buts” down and create positive statements around them.
“Even though I feel [state resistance “but”], I choose [state what you are going to do for yourself and why you deserve it].”
Then trust that you do deserve to find your dream then go out and achieve it!
Catherine Hughes is the founder, content director and editor-at-large of 8WomenDream. She is passionate about helping women step out of their own way and strike out into a world waiting for their special talents. She’s a published author and a former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine has helped companies both large and small create engaging web content, social media narratives, and unique blogging platforms. She claims to be a redhead, but don’t hold that against her.
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