See our conversation below.
Thanks for making it easy to communicate with you. I LOVE YOUR BOOK.
In your story, “Find Greatness,” you challenge the reader to discover their dreams (a brilliant and difficult challenge). When you have a moment, I’d love to get your perspective on why it sometimes feels so hard to discover dreams and why it’s so easy to NOT take action.
A fellow dysfunctional in recovery
Hello! And thank you for the email fellow dysfunctional in recovery!
This question is not easy. Many of us struggle to find and follow our dreams. So I thank you again for asking this very important question.
It's funny how different those two comments seem when you say them out loud. (hard to discover your dreams and why it's so easy to not take action). Yet they have the same answer.
I feel the reason people don't take action and why they struggle to discover their dreams is fear.
Fear holds us back. Our minds fill with "what if's" What if I fail? What if I mess up? What if people find out I failed? Before we start to take any action we've managed to talk ourselves out of it. Maybe if we don't talk ourselves out of it, there will be someone in our life that will feel the fear and talk us out of it. (I call those people dream squashers.)
On page 71 of my book, Pieces of Me I talk about following my dream of starting a business. I had told myself all the reasons I could fail. All the reasons I couldn't start my own business. And had just about succeeded in my own sabotage. But finally one single, lonely thought popped into my head "What I have to gain is so much more then what I have to lose."
(worth repeating) What I have to gain is so much more then what I have to lose.
In just about any situation we can talk ourselves out of following that dream. Let the fear win. If the fear wins, we lose.
I don't suggest anyone just jump into following any dream. But I ask you to think about what it is you want in and out of life. Using my example above, for me the possibility of setting my own hours, setting my pay rate, and no boss to answer to. That strongly out-weighed embarrassing myself if I had to tell people "I tried to start my own business but I didn't make it."
And honestly, where I would feel much embarrassment for that perceived failure. Others might be saying "good for her for trying, I wouldn't have the nerve to do that." Again, it's us holding ourselves back with our own words.
So I ask you, next time you find yourself taking a step back or taking a seat ask yourself "why?" Why did I step back? Why did I sit down and ignore that call to action? Was it because of fear?
Were you scared how people would see you if you failed? Were you worried it wouldn't work? Maybe its a stupid idea?
But what if it did work? What if its a great idea? What would you have to gain?
I'll give you a little homework.
If you are trying to discover your dreams and what you really want out of life, write. Do a 10-15 minute free write. Don't put down the pen or pencil for 10-15 minutes. Just keep writing. Let anything and everything come out. Don't worry about spelling, grammar, or if it even makes sense. This is just for you. Start writing everything you want out of life. What is your ideal life? What would you do if you have all the money in the world? What would you do with your free time? Who would you be with? Write it all down. The more you write the deeper you go. Sometimes it can be surprising what you discover about yourself.
Good luck! Thank you for reaching out. Please let me know if this was helpful to you.