As a psychotherapist and mental strength coach, I have the privilege of listening to people share their dreams with me. I also have the honor of hea
As a psychotherapist and mental strength coach, I have the privilege of listening to people share their dreams with me. I also have the honor of hearing about the deepest fears that stand between people and their dream life.
I understand these fears completely. In the past, I always worked a traditional job and lived in a real house.
But four years ago, I quit my job and began living on a sailboat in tropical places. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. But it was scary to make such a big change. Like most other people, I was afraid I’d go broke or that I wouldn’t be happy with the changes.
Other common fears include things like the fear of failure or the fear of getting hurt. And quite often, it’s a combination of several fears that prevents people from stepping outside of their comfort zones and crushing their goals.
Fortunately, no matter how big your dreams are and no matter how big your fears are, these steps can help you create your dream life.
1. Make a Plan
Don’t quit your day job or head for the hills without a proper plan. Without a clear plan, your fears are likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Write down your plan but stay flexible. Even the best plans need to be revised regularly.
2. Create a Timeline
There’s a big difference between saying you’d like to travel the world “someday” and saying, “Two years from now, I plan to have an RV and a remote job that lets me travel.”
Since “someday” never appears on the calendar, you aren’t likely to move toward your goals until you create an end date. Establish a realistic timeline for creating your dream and get to work now.
3. Establish Short-Term Goals
The steps in your timeline will include the short-term goals you’ll need to reach to make your dream a reality.
Start taking action steps now, even if the action only involves research. You might decide to spend 30 minutes each day researching a topic or two days per month attending workshops thing that will help you get closer to the life of your dreams.
4. Take At Least One Step Toward Your Dream Daily
Make sure to set aside at least a little bit of time each day to work on your dream. Whether you do intense planning or even just do a little research, this is necessary to keep you focused on making it a reality.
5. Be Ready for Obstacles
Inevitably, there will be obstacles along the way. So plan for the ones you can predict, and be prepared to do some problem-solving when unforeseen obstacles arise.
Rather than give up when you run into problems, overcome them. The effort you put forth now will make reaching your dream all the more worthwhile in the end.
6. Keep Track of Your Progress
Review your plan, and measure your progress periodically. Adjustments will most likely be needed along the way.
In order to stay motivated to keep on, you must keep track of your progress. Seeing how far you have come will help you if you are ever feeling discouraged.
Tracking your progress can be simple. A paper calendar with checkmarks that show you spent 20 minutes researching a topic or an app that logs how much debt you’ve paid off can help you stay motivated.
7. Visualize Your Success
Visualization is powerful but don’t just imagine the end goal. Picturing yourself enjoying the good life might actually zap your motivation.
Instead, visualize yourself putting in the hard work that it will take to change your life. Imagine yourself pushing through tough times and doing whatever it takes to create the life of your dreams. That will help you maintain the realistic yet optimistic outlook that is key to success.
8. Remember the Benefits
If you are ever tempted to quit, remind yourself why you started.
You might even write a list of all the reasons why you should keep going when things get hard. Then, on tough days, read over that list. It will help balance your emotions with logic, which is essential to persevere.
9. Tell Others About Your Dream
Telling people about your dream also increases the likelihood that you will make it a reality. Some people will probably question your dream, so let this fuel your determination even more.
But there will also be people who support your dream, and they can help you along the way. So don’t be shy to tell your family, friends, and even coworkers what you hope to accomplish. It can help you stay accountable.
10. Get Inspired by Others
Read books and articles about people who are living their dreams. Join organizations that are filled with like-minded people. Connect with people who are doing what you want to do.
Not only can those people help you conquer your self-doubt, but you can also learn practical strategies about how they succeeded.
Go For It
You can create any type of life you want for yourself. And while it may feel scary to make big changes, fear doesn’t have to stop you. Start taking steps right now to turn your dream into a reality.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
This article is from Inc.com