We all have dreams. Some dreams are easy to accomplish, like going out next Sunday to enjoy a giant ice cream sitting on a bench and watching people, others involve a lot more planning and investment, like parachuting out of a plane or swimming with dolphins. Both of those are dreams that really depend on planning, foresight and a bit of engagement. However, there are dreams that are more likely to remain dreams, like becoming rich, making a lot of friends, learning to fly a helicopter, or climbing Mount Everest.
As you can see, there are dreams, and there are DREAMS. Some depend on your own activity, some rely on money, some on luck and some need a bit more investment and belief in your own abilities. These last ones are the most difficult ones because we cannot simply say “I can’t do that because I don’t have the time or the funds to do it”, as they depend on your will and determination to get them sorted … and a bit of luck, if you believe in that kind of thing, of course.
So, where does that leave you and your ‘impossible’ dream?
If your dream is ‘impossible’, is that because you really cannot achieve this or because you cannot see a way towards achieving it? Perhaps you simply don’t BELIEVE you can achieve it? Or ultimately, are you afraid of the steps you have to take to get there?
Some dreams are based on physical impossibilities: and it is highly unlikely that you’ll ever win a regular marathon if getting up and walking across the room is a painful exercise for you. This will likely remain a dream forever, and if that makes you unhappy, maybe it’s time to let go of that particular one and exchange it for one that is at the very least within your physical capabilities.
Some dreams might actually be within your reach, but you simply have not found a way to make it happen yet. In many cases, it is a question of figuring out the right way or looking for help to figure it out by making the right connections and doing your research. Maybe it’s a question of adapting a solution for something else to make your dream a reality? Don’t give up: keep looking and you might just find a way!
If you have a dream that you don’t believe you can make happen, quite apart from the practical issues that anyone might have with this particular dream, the main obstacle here is YOU, because your mind is stuck on a setting that tells you “it’s no use anyway, I’ll never make it”. Listen closely: the first and most important rule of achieving your dream is to believe in the dream and in yourself, else that dream is doomed to remain a dream! If you cannot get over this, just let go of the dream: it will never happen anyway, because you cannot even jump over the hurdles you have set up for yourself in your mind.
That brings us to the last one, and it is linked to the previous one: besides the lack of belief in yourself, what are you afraid of? Trying and failing? Not trying for fear of failing? Ridicule? Last minute jitters? All of these are common enough, but are they good enough reasons to not even try? And that is assuming you are physically able, have found a way and are willing to try, of course.
Being afraid is a useful reaction for us humans in many situations: it keeps us on our toes and prepares the fight or flight reflex to kick in when needed. However, catching your dream is a different thing: being afraid of jumping off a mountain is entirely understandable, but part of the dream is the expectation of the thrill of doing it, right? Part of the dream is overcoming those fears. In fact, I believe that that might be the main reason for the dangerous kind of dreams we wish to happen to us.
Take a chance
Sometimes, the only way forward is to take a chance on something or someone. That certainly applies to the kind of dream that involves deeply rooted fears, but it also applies to dreams involving the kind of risk that is not of a physical nature, but rather more dangerous: risk to continuity, financial risk, risk of ridicule, risk of personal security.
You may be stuck in a job you don’t like but cannot overcome the feeling of insecurity if you just pack your bags and quit. You may be reluctant to talk to the lovely guy on the other side of the bar for fear of rejection. You could be overly careful to approach someone in the same business to find out more about how they run their shop, or make a professional connection with them. You might be uncertain about investing money in someone else’s project for fear of losing your share.
All of these involve a certain level of competence to see what is really there and how to make use of it, a modicum of overcoming your shyness, an ability to assess situations and take calculated risks, but what really matters is much broader: it’s the ability to take a chance when you do NOT quite know how it is likely to turn out, to take a leap of faith to go for something we ourselves regard as unrealistic, unusual, or plain crazy. And yet it is important to occasionally go for these things as well.
Taking a chance is not always about trying the impossible, it could simply be about overcoming our own perception of what seems impossible, and the act of trying! This may be exhilarating, it may be fantastic, silly or plain stupid. Taking a chance takes us out of our comfort zone, and it gives us new perspectives on what we see as ‘normal’.
We all occasionally need these jolts to stay sane and get to a point where we believe in our own ability to follow our dreams and make them happen, no matter what.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.