I’ve never been a person who has bought into statements like:
· “If you can dream it, you can do it!”
· “You can be anything you want to be!”
· “Visualize the thing you want and it will be yours!”
Even since I was a child, these types of statements felt trite and cliché to me. I didn’t truly believe them. They felt too “woo-woo” and lacked the grit and dedication it takes to do something hard in life. For most of my life, I wrote off these statements and the people who lived by them, as fantasy. Things said by people with their heads in the clouds and feet not firmly planted in reality.
But as an entrepreneur for the last four years, I can definitively say my attitude of poo-pooing of these concepts was mostly wrong – but a little bit right. Let me explain.
The statements I listed above, and others like them, are a critical part of the goal achievement process. In fact, they are one of the first steps that I like to call – Dream Big.
Dream Big means to carve out time for yourself to think, daydream, and picture what your ideal life at work and at home could be. This is the fantasy part of goal setting. It’s contemplating what’s possible: seeing yourself as the parent you want to be, living the retirement lifestyle in comfort without worry, making the money you want to live the lifestyle you desire, and finding passion and joy in your work.
If you don’t make the time to stop the three-ring circus of your daily life to pause and Dream Big, years can slip by without you living the life you were meant to lead. I know that feeling because it happened to me and I was completely unaware of it. I spent decades at jobs that took me far away from my home and family each day. They were jobs that I sometimes liked but required that I give up weekends, holidays, school events and time with my husband, family and more.
One day I was given a golden ticket to walk away from those types of jobs and start something new. At the time I didn’t see it as a golden ticket – I saw it as a pink slip. My first reaction was panic. I quickly began searching for another corporate job just like the one I was leaving. Until a friend sat me down and invited me to Dream Big.
If I could have my dream job, what would it be like? What did I really want from the work I put so much time and effort into? Here are some of the things that surfaced from my first Dream Big session at the age of 44.
· The ability to spend more time with my family.
· Work from home and avoid a long commute.
· Do the parts of my previous jobs that I really loved – not the stuff I didn’t like as much.
· Have the opportunity to make a comparable salary or more from my work.
· The freedom to not be tied to a computer from Monday-Friday 8 am -5 pm. I wanted to be able to flex the hours I worked and make my own schedule.
After a few Dream Big sessions with myself, I decided another corporate job was not for me and I started my own business. As you can see, if I didn’t take the time to think about what might be possible, to visualize what my life could be like, I would likely be at another corporate job, feeling guilty about spending time away from the kids and really only liking a portion of the work I was hired to do.
There is one problem with the Dream Big concept. When you stop after the dreaming part. This is a place so many people get stuck with. They can Dream Big, but they don’t take the action to pursue their dreams. When you stay in the Dream Big stage – phrases like the ones I mentioned at the introduction of this blog, become trite and cliché. When there is no action behind the dream, it is doomed to fail.
For those who dare to Dream REALLY Big, the dream stage can feel too risky. Taking action toward achieving the dream results in fear and excuses as to why the dream really isn’t possible.
So I challenge you to make time to Dream Big! If you aren’t sure how – I have a guide to walk you through it. Download it below.
But when you have completed the Big Dream – remember, it is just step one of the process to create the life you are truly meant to live.