One thing I’ve learned over the last year since quitting my corporate job is just how much your mindset affects whether or not you go after or achieve your dreams. There’s really three steps in the process of achieving your dreams:
- BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE
- TAKE ACTION
- KEEP THE FAITH
STEP 1: BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE
Let’s talk about Step 1 – Believe it’s possible. Most dreams die a horrible death or get dusty because we don’t believe they are even possible. We come up with excuses like “it’s not the right time” or “I’m not ready” or “why would it work for me and not anyone else?” And thus, the dream dies. I will be honest and say that I struggle with this too and that’s why I know. My dream is to run my own profitable business with a flexible schedule. I even wrote this down at a conference in January 2016, but I don’t think I actually believed it was possible.
My excuse? I was the breadwinner of the family which made a big shift in income a no go. But, given that I did indeed leave my corporate job and have been working on two businesses since then, you probably can spot that it was just an excuse. Yes, it took making some hard choices. There were tears, negotiating with my husband, and a lot of fear. I wondered if I was crazy multiple times or if I was having a breakdown of sorts, but I held tight to the belief that it must be possible and I had to try. Even if I tried and failed, it was better than leaving it as a regret that I never tried.
STEP 2: TAKE ACTION
This brings up to Step 2 – Take action. It’s not enough to sit around and believe that you are capable of achieving a dream. These things don’t just fall into our laps. You have to actually take steps towards what it is that you want. In my case, it meant an insane amount of financial planning and exploring business ideas while still at my corporate job. After I resigned from my job, I had coffee with a colleague who said “it’s great that you have this opportunity to pursue this.” It stuck with me as no one gave me this opportunity. I MADE this opportunity. It didn’t magically appear at just the right time. If there’s something you want, you have to do the work and take the steps towards it. I read a lot of biographies and memoirs and I haven’t read a single one from someone successful where the origin of their success was something that dropped into their lap. They did the work. They continued to show up.
STEP 3: KEEP THE FAITH
The secret to going after your dreams really is Step 3 – Keep the faith. Going after your dreams is not easy. It’s extremely difficult. It may be working hard for a long time before you see any signs that it’s working. It may be failing and getting back up again to try something new. It may be dealing with family and friends that do not understand why you’re choosing this path. It may be picking yourself back up when self doubt creeps in.
I recently read the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. The most striking thing is that he lived in debt for a huge period of his life just chasing the dream of his footwear company. There were multiple times where it looked like things were all going down, but he kept the faith and ended up a billionaire with a fantastic company culture.
This path is not easy, but it’s worth not having regrets about the dreams you didn’t pursue in your dying days. What are your dreams? Can I help you achieve them?