You are full of magic and dreams that the world needs and wants. There are people who are waiting for your dream to become a reality, because it is what they are looking for in their own lives.
You are more than your childhood, your past, and even your present. You are a complex and rich person who brings a set of dreams and ambitions and gifts to the world that no one else can. You are uniquely you, and no one can crawl inside your head and “know” you quite like you can.
But when we allow ourselves to be put in a box, we allow walls to go up mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and beyond. In an attempt to protect our psyche and maintain a level of stability, whether financial, marital, mental or what not, we shut out other people, and in the process, shut ourselves in. We essentially trap our dreams in our own minds, withholding immense possibility not just from ourselves, but from the entire world.
Remember your dream?
It’s still there. You tucked it away in the very sad corner of your mind that you reserve for “things I’ll never accomplish.” But, my lovely, courageous friend, it is part of your DNA – your purpose for living, the unique seed of truth planted just in you in just the right way. No one can dig it out of there except you.
Maybe you don’t remember your dream, because you’ve got layers of protective mental “scar tissue” covering it. We’re going to tackle this problem, too, by addressing how it ended up there in the first place. But eventually, you, too, will be able to scrape away the difficult layers and come to recognize your dreams once again.
Practicing Active Dreaming & Listening to Your Desires
How do we begin the process of identifying our dreams? We have to first remember what we used to desire when we were carefree.
Let’s go back to your childhood. Yep, all the way back to those first days when you were a dreamer.
Maybe you dreamed of opening a coffee shop, or fronting a band, or building the tallest skyscraper.
Maybe you were the future CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or you wanted to backpack around Europe and live off wanderlust blogging and writing.
Perhaps you wanted to start a family and settle down in a certain place.
Maybe you wanted to dig for dinosaurs or be an astronaut.
Did you want to go somewhere? Be something? Achieve something? Write those ideas down, then track their development. Did you nurture those ideas with other exploration? How far can you go in your timeline before those dreams start to change? Was there something specific that caused you to change? Are those dreams still important to you or were they replaced by new and more exciting dreams?
Are You Self-Sabotaging?
Once you have an idea about your dreams and visions, ask yourself, “How do I talk to myself about these dreams?” Would the people in your inner circle appreciate them, or would they scoff at them and judge you?
Do you take that same approach with yourself internally — telling yourself that those dreams are unrealistic and impossible?
Many people do this as a form of self-protection again. If we talk ourselves out of the dream, then we don’t risk sharing it with someone who will shoot it down.
Once again, we shut others out and shut ourselves IN to the oh-so-safe Box of Self-Deprecation (where many dreams go to die).
With some simple determination and a commitment to practice thinking differently, we can not only recover those dreams, we can change the inner voice to resonate positively and with mind-blowing self-love.
Get back to the dreams you had, the ones that make you excited and nervous. The dreams other people don’t know you have.
The Outrageous Dream List
Enough of that! If you’re stuck in a cycle like the aforementioned, or you can’t bring yourself to remember old dreams, let’s start a fresh list. Time for a new “bucket list”. If you don’t know what a bucket list is, it’s a morbid term, really. It’s that list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”, or die, so to speak. I frankly hate the term, so I’ve renamed it the “Outrageous Dream List”. Many people have lists that include things like “travel” or “skydive”… but your Outrageous Dream List should be different. Maybe you’ll have those items, but let’s see if you can dig for other things you haven’t realized in your life.
Examine parts of your life – family, friends, spirituality, career, relationships, hobbies, health… write down everything! Think small, think big, think realistic, think ridiculous! If you can dream it, you can achieve it. So do not hesitate to put those words on paper and turn them into a goal.
- What are your true passions?
- When did you know they were your passions?
- How is your passion reflected in your dreams?
- Have you been able to incorporate that passion in your life despite the box?
- Can you imagine a life full of your most exciting dreams realized?
Daily Dream Action
Add a lunchtime 2-minute dream session. If you need to go sit in your car at work, or use the bathroom if you have kids, do what you need to do to gain two minutes of peace. Set a timer on your phone or watch, then let yourself practice actively dreaming about what you love.
- Make yourself a Pinterest board, vision board, or a creativity journal to begin to once again embrace ideas that might tend to be “outside the box.” Revisiting these will help spark creativity in you and remind you that you are a creative, passionate human with more than just basic needs.
- Are your dreams for something that is no longer possible due to unforeseen changes in the world while you’ve been in your box? (I.e., visiting Notre Dame and now it is closed due to the fire they experienced) Do you need to imagine some new dreams that fit your life better now? Practice the exercises above but allow yourself to dream in new colors and looking through a new lens.
I get it. You need someone who understands the importance of finding your voice and dreaming big. I’ve got you. Because I know that this is the exact focus of our our P2V2 Women’s Leadership Retreat, I want to invite you to join us. It will provide an intimate weekend that not only allows you to relax, recharge, and recalibrate but also provides you with new friendships, tools for outrageous dreaming, and memories to last a lifetime. I would be honored to have you join our circle of dreamers!