So close, and yet so far.
I recently watched the 2013 American documentary film 20 Feet From Stardom featuring Judith Hill, Darlene Love, and others, which took a look at some of the best background singers in our history and then dives into the question of how one goes from being a background singer to the main star. It was as heartbreaking as it was entertaining. You could feel their testimonies of working so hard to be a star only to see their dreams fade in the background along with their careers. But seeing this movie made me beg the question, what does it truly take to achieve your dreams? As it pertains to relationships, what does it take for a woman to go from being the bridesmaid (you know "always a bridesmaid, never a bride") to a bride? I've pondered this question in depth and hope this will give you a few insights from my perspective.
When some of the big musical legends in the documentary including Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Sting, and Mick Jagger were interviewed and asked what they thought made someone go from being a background singer to the star, some of them thought it was simply a matter of luck. Well, I beg to differ. While I think luck may have had a little to do with it, I still believe hard work and a will to succeed had much more to do with it than meets the eye. It takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance despite the obstacles to make it in that industry or to fulfill any dream for that matter.
Now, as I sat and thought about those background singers, I thought about the key steps one has to take to be able to achieve success. You see, I believe that the background singers never made it to the front of the stage because they either didn't truly see themselves in that role, did not believe it was really possible, didn't take enough action, or simply didn't own up to their destiny. In getting back to the question of why some women achieve their dreams of being a bride and why others just seem destined to be a bridesmaid, it's really the same thing. It's just not enough to want it, you have to own it and believe it can be so without any doubts. Below I have listed the 5 keys I believe a person should use to achieve their dreams.
1. See It—If you were married, how would you see yourself? How would you describe your role as a wife? How would you feel as a wife? Where would you be living? How would you raise your family? Be specific as possible in your visualizations. This helps you to walk into that role and bring it into existence. You have to see it before you can believe it. Try visualization exercises or use vision boards to help you to see your dreams and make them a reality.
2. Believe It—The power of belief is a key ingredient in our recipe for success. Nothing can happen without it. This is where faith in yourself becomes important. How strong is your faith? If you don’t believe this can happen, then no one else will believe it. Eliminate the negative thoughts telling you this is not possible and replace them with positive ones. You can use guided meditations until you can believe it in your heart and your soul.
3. Act On It—Let's say you practice visualization exercises and guided meditations yet don't take any action. I would argue you can do all the positive thinking in the world but if you don’t take the necessary steps to having a great relationship, it won't happen. Do you need to end a toxic relationship or stop dating a guy who is not meeting your expectations? Do you need to post your dating profile online or simply go out more to meet people? Most of us don’t put nearly as much work into doing the things we need to do to achieve our dreams. Make a list of actions you can take right now to get closer to finding that special someone.
4. Own It—See yourself in the role of a bride. Believe in the possibilities. Take the necessary action. Then simply own it. Become responsible for your own success. Take control of your life. Find an encouraging partner to help you. Hire a coach or get a friend who will hold you accountable. Your destiny is yours for the taking. Own it!
5. Repeat—As they say, practice makes perfect. Let's be honest. Following these keys for a day or two is going to do very little. You have to make this a daily ritual (at least 21 days). Every morning you get up, you start seeing yourself in the role of a wife. Every day you look in the mirror, see your husband standing with you at the altar. You take action whether it be dating in a healthy manner or learning more about yourself in order to be in a great relationship. Then own it. Take control of your destiny. No more excuses. No limitations. Your destiny does not belong to other people. It is in your hands.
If I were to be asked what could have made these background singers stars, I would have been glad to offer the above 5 keys to success. And you don't have to have the desire to be a bride or the lead singer to use these keys, they can apply to any area of your life where you need a little motivation. Remember, you have to see it, believe it, act on it and own it. Then repeat. Soon, you will have climbed the top of the mountain looking back down on it smiling because you will have achieved what others are only dreaming.
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