1. Articulate your dream. How can you achieve it if you don’t know what it is? Be very specific. If you hate your job and you want to change jobs, do some serious soul searching and figure out what your dream job would look like. Where would you be? What would your office look like? Who would you work with? What would you do? What would you wear to work? How often would you be working? What would you eat for lunch? Be as detailed as you possibly can. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn just by asking yourself these questions. Write down your answers, so you can reference them later.
2. Answer this one question: “What would you do if you took fear out of the equation?” My husband once asked me that, and I tell you, it changed my life. It helped me bypass all the bullshit so I could whittle decisions down to their essence. What I realized was that I was not living my dream because I was desperately afraid- of financial ruin, of failure, of letting people down, of regret, even of success. Asking this question helped me separate the fear from the dream, and in doing so, I realized that I really wanted to move forward, in spite of the fear. The question helped me identify the fears and determine whether they deserved as much power as I was giving them. That way, I could address the fears separately. Do I still worry about those fears? You betcha. Sometimes I have those dark nights of the soul at 3am when I’m overcome with them. But do I let them rule my choices anymore? Nope.
3. Timing is everything. If you don’t know what to do, it’s probably not time yet. When the time is right to act, you’ll know. Which leads us to #4…
4. Listen to your intuition. You’d be surprised how brilliant your inner wisdom is. Your gut knows more than any other individual ever will.
5. Believe that your dream will come true. Visualize it. Richard Bach said, “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.”
6. When the time comes to go after your dream, send naysayers to time out. Chances are, you have all the criticism you can stand between your own two ears. Kindly inform well-meaning family members, friends, and co-workers that you’ve got plenty of self-critique happening already. What you need from them is faith in your ability to achieve your dreams- or silence. Which leads us to #7…
7. Gag your inner critic. This is the time to be your own best cheerleader. You won’t be able to eliminate that fearful voice of criticism within, but you can muffle it so it doesn’t drown out the stadium anthem music you hear when you dream big.
8. Make room in your life for your dream to come true. I’m serious. Be careful what you wish for- because if you approach it right, it WILL come true. Then what? Build your life to hold space for your dream. Then when it comes true, you’ll be prepared.
9. Don’t be afraid to fly with eagles. You may have been living a sparrow kind of life, but if you’re dreaming big, you’re gonna be flying with eagles, baby! Let the eagles inspire you, but don’t let them make you feel small or unworthy. If I’d been afraid to fly with eagles, I wouldn’t have met Rachel. Dream big- FLY!
10. Work hard and stay focused. Few people who are living their big dream got lucky. Most worked their ass off to achieve their dreams.
11. Be gutsy and take risks. You may feel like you’ve jumped off a cliff and you’re free falling through outer space- and if you're living your dream, chances are, you are. Embrace it! The free fall is exciting, and you never know where you’re going to land. Jumping off the proverbial cliff means that anything can happen. My all time favorite cartoon shows a stick woman floating in an upside down umbrella. The caption above her says, “If you hold onto the handle, it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control. But it’s more fun if you let the wind carry you.” –Brian Andreas
12. Go with the flow. Once you’ve jumped off the cliff, ride whatever wave you land on. I call my flow the “lavender-scented river.” Quit fighting the current and just enjoy the ride. It’s how big dreams come true, when you finally quit fighting and let go.
13. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Yes, it’s trite. But SO true. I can’t tell you how many rejections I’ve suffered in my life- from medical schools to art galleries to literary agents to men to publishers…But it doesn’t keep me from putting myself out there. Grab the core of you, hold it close and keep it safe, but be willing to put the rest of you out there in the world. If someone rejects you, it’s not personal. Try again.
14. Nurture yourself. Get a massage, take personal days all to yourself, have lunch with a girlfriend, take a hike in nature, meditate, go on a retreat away from the family…whatever it takes to fill you up so that you’re overflowing and have more to give to your passion. It’ll serve you well when those naysayers show up…
15. Put yourself out there. Do you think Susan Boyle was ever going to be discovered when she was home singing in the shower? No! The woman had the guts to get herself on Britain’s Got Talent, and voila! Big dream come true. How much you wanna bet she’ll be singing for the queen? If you missed her unbelievable performance, click here to weep, laugh, and revel in big dreams come true. If Susan Boyle singing “I Dreamed a Dream” doesn’t rock your world, I give up…