I feel you.
Taking a leap of faith isn’t always easy – but it is awesome. It will be awesome.
Are you wondering if you are doing the right thing?
Freaked out and wondering when your savings are going to run out following your start up or leap of faith?
Worried you are going to somehow accidentally burn a bridge or three chasing various jobs, efforts, businesses or dreams?
Feeling over extended and like you are neglecting other parts of your life that were once perfectly balanced and important to you?
Just generally feeling a little crazy from the roller coaster of glee then fear, then glee, then fear, then glee again from the thrill of following your dreams, taking action, and making things happen?
Me too. You’re not alone.
Thing is, this isn’t my first rodeo (with start ups or business). It is, however, the first time I have felt like I am absolutely on the right track for myself. I’m not saying I have a crystal ball. I just know that if I were not on this path right now, I would never get where I am going – to the life and work I have been dreaming of. The same thing goes for you.
The thing about following your dreams in general is that it take a tremendous amount of emotional fortitude to get you through the crazy times of fear and self doubt. You may pop in The Secret or read any number of “Follow your dreams” and “Do the work you love” books but in the end, you have to know, trust, and compassionately love yourself no matter what in order to get through the doubtful times – and there are always doubtful times.
What’s really cool about all of this is the point I made at the beginning: you are not alone. None of us are.
I know I’m on the right track. Do I know exactly where I am going? Yes and no. But I know that I am absolutely on the right path. Think of it as driving home for the holidays in a thick fog. You have taken the road 1000 times. You know you are on the right road home, but you can only see about 30 feet in front of you. That is the path of the Courageous Follower of Dreams!
Common Freak Outs of the Dream Followers
- Some of you, oh courageous ones, may still be wondering where your next mortgage payment is going to come from if you quit or lost your job and are pursuing a new career, business, or dream.
- Some of you don’t know the first thing about legal issues with starting your new business.
- Some of you have no freaking clue how to get your dang resume looked at in the dream career you’ve been dying for.
- Some of you are putting in so many hours at your new endeavor that the other parts of your life are slipping away.
The list of common road blocks the Courageous Dream Follower may run into are numerous. That is why I want to give you a few tips to get you through and, tomorrow, let you know about some really amazing people who have been carrying me at times as well: my amazing friends.
You are not alone in your quest. I, too, am an entrepreneur and a human – just like you. I am not invincible to stress, fear, or the sudden bursts of joy and glee I experience more frequently each day.
Top 5 Tips to Help You Continue to Follow Your Dreams
1. Ask for help.
“Yikes! No way! I don’t want anyone to know I’m vulnerable or need help. I can do it! I know I can! I can do it myself!”
No you can’t actually. I’m not saying that to be mean or doubtful. The opposite actually. No one does it alone. No. One.
The most successful people you know at least hire professionals to advise and help them. In this economy, however, there is lots of bartering and bootstrapping going on. It’s awesome!
Further, it is smart to stand on the shoulders of giants. Learn from the best then grow past them. If you fear competition, don’t. There is plenty to go around. Instead of fighting competition, embrace it. How can you work together? The more alliances you make, the faster everyone will grow. Competition is a good thing. You just have to have the right perspective.
2. Share your vision and goals with others.
Sure, some of your visions and ideas may be proprietary information if you are building a business. However, most of the time, sharing your ideas with others will show them that you mean business – you aim to win! When you share your goals with others, you will be amazed at the resources that begin to appear out of seemingly thin air. This isn’t magic, though. There is a trick to it. Want to know the secret? (Hint: it isn’t the Law of Attraction.)
“Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness.”
That’s it. That’s the secret. When you ask what other people most desire – what will bring them happiness – then listen and offer real solutions to inspire them toward achieving their goal, the world will return this effort 10 fold. If there is a dream you truly want to achieve, share it with the world. Then ask how you can help them achieve their dreams. Not only are you no longer alone in your efforts but you also begin to build a support team.
The more minds you have working on a common problem, the sooner you will reach a solution.
3. Take breaks.
I know, I know. “You are in it to win it! No rest for the weary!” Trust me, darlin’… You are singing my song. But I know probably better than anybody, you cannot give up all those things which you use to love. Life is all about balance. It is hard as heck when you are focused on a vision or a dream but your physical body doesn’t know the difference.
I’m actually writing this article from this very place. The past several months, I’ve been really focused on Love Your Work Life. Why? Because it is fun as heck! But that doesn’t mean I need to go constantly. I’m still the President of my Rotary Club. I still need to exercise. I still need to eat right and, honestly, I’ve been neglecting those things because I’m focused on that paycheck. The cash money is important… but not that important.
Take care of yourself first and you will be amazed at how easily everything else comes. Especially the dream. You can’t run a marathon on no sleep, crappy fuel, and no support. Don’t forget: manifesting your dreams is a marathon!
4. Stop and celebrate!
You will have little victories all the time. Stop and notice them for goodness sake! You are working hard! When you feel discouraged and doubtful that you are doing the right thing, stop and ask yourself, “How am I measuring my success? Heck… how often am I measuring my success?”
If you only count the launch of your dream or vision as success, then you are going to have a very long and lonely journey. What might surprise you is that when you actually get to the end and make it happen, you’ll look back and find that the journey was a lot more fun than arriving.
It isn’t just a saying about “life being a journey.” It’s a truth. You can’t wait to start living when ________ (fill in the blank) happens. You had better start living it now… and enjoy it while you are at it!
If you are still struggling with this point, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you purchase Earl Nightingale’s Direct Line audios. They will make your whole life better. His voice is soothing and he has such great points. You’ll feel loads better after listening anytime you are discouraged or doubtful.
5. Don’t. Give. Up.
You’ve heard it all before but here are some of my favorite quotes on this:
“I don’t understand why more people don’t just keep on keepin’ on.” - Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
“I had to succeed… I ran out of ways to fail.” - Thomas Edison
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.” - Anonymous
“Success builds character, failure reveals it.” - Dave Checkett
“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong” – Benjamin Franklin
I’m writing for myself as much as I am writing it for you. I, too, need to hear this… often. Admitting that is where the strength and inspiration comes from. (I actually wrote this a couple nights ago. After letting this article out of my head in a moment of doubt, I had the most inspired evening and the most productive, inspiring, exciting day the following day.)
Feel what you need to feel. Share it. Be yourself. Follow your dreams. Be courageous. But have a team of smart, skilled, experienced supporters around you to help inspire you and make sure you are on the right track!