Last time I wrote about the importance of looking at your environment to understand what may be limiting your growth. Understanding the current situation must happen before you can move forward and grow. The next step is to Listen. Listen to your dreams. Listen to your heart's desire. As Mary Oliver writes in The Summer Day, listen to figure out what you are meant "to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Your dreams. I don't mean your checklist. I mean the dreams you have for your life. Not the, "it pays the bills" activity. A dream is something that is an involuntary series of images, feelings or a vision you have for your life. It is involuntary because it is what you were made for even if you don't realize it yet. It is that thing at the core of your heart's desire. Chances are that if you don't understand what I am talking about, you have become a victim of utter practicality and limiting beliefs. Practicality has no place in dreaming. I'll explain in a later blog. Limiting beliefs are thoughts in your brain that stop you from pursuing your dreams. They are tricky because you believe them to be true but are in fact not true. I bet as a kid you had dreams. I'm curious why you stopped dreaming? Did you share your dream and have your heart broken because someone laughed at you? Did someone tell you that you couldn't do it? Did their negativity infiltrate your head and become indistinguishable from your own voice? People like me don't do X. No one in my family has ever done Y. I could never do Z.
How do you know you have limiting beliefs? This will require some reflection. Most of you subconsciously limit your own potential without even realizing it. Do you ever let someone else's expectations shape who you are or what you do? Do you ever change yourself around others out of fear they won't accept you at full strength. If you do, then I lovingly suggest you delete them from your life or significantly distance yourself from them. Who you choose to surround yourself with has significant impact on your life. Their limiting voices echo in your head. The naysayers. The 'can't be done' voices. Their bad choices and negativity impact you. Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler wrote a book about the impact of social networks in Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. You are who you hang out with. Choose wisely.
Let's get back to those dreams. How do you know what your dreams are? I like to tap into my inner child to do this. Children dream big because they don't let annoying things like reality and the space time continuum stop them. There is something to be said for that. Create the vision first and put the 'how' as secondary. I look for inspiration in fairy tales, science fiction or anything Disney related. One of my favorite fairy tales is Lewis Carroll's, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that Disney made into multiple movies. Think about Alice. I just love her and the nonsensical world she created. Alice is the perfect example of what it means to be a courageous, uninhibited dreamer. She explores the world with curiosity, and relentlessly moves forward even when things don't make sense. It sounds a lot like the world we are all living in right now.
I was terrified of my dream once I realized what it was. I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want to hear any negativity about it. Guess what? I still don't. The first person I told, was through a text message. The request was simple, "What's your dream?" I hesitated to reply. Then finally I texted that it was Winspire, "my coaching business. I want to light up the Universe!" I want to positively impact the lives of everyone in the world. Not just in my immediate environment. That is what I want to do. It is my dream. Did I know how I was going to launch my business and make it happen? Nope. Did I know how to create a website, write a blog and manage four social media accounts? Nope. Did I know how I was going to balance my health, family, day job, dream job, grow a business and take exceptional care of my clients? Nope. That's the practical side. It happens, but it comes later. Start with your dream. Paint a vivid picture of your future, first.
Your dream. It is the very thing you were created to do. That feeling inside you that makes your heart want to explode out of your chest. That feeling of butterflies in your gut when you think about it. That thing that sets your soul on fire and makes your spirit sing throughout its very being. That thing, that the very thought of uttering out loud takes your breath away. That's the thing. It scares you to death and you want it fervently. You passionately pursue it with every fiber of your being. Vivid enough? That's how you know it is your dream. Here is what I want you to do. Once you figure it out, write it down. Write it down and tell someone. Are you scared to tell someone? Good. Then it is probably a great dream. Don't have anyone to tell? Tell me. I want to hear it. I will be your biggest fan. I know you are extraordinary, limitless and evergrowing. I'm here to cheer you on and tell you to go for it. Proceed as if the only option is to succeed. I hope you will join me on this dream quest. Because that is how we light up the Universe!