Protect your dreams

This weekend, I had a conversation with a family member which has inspired me to write this post. Have you ever had those conversations where the individual has an agenda and don’t have the capacity for listen to anything you have to say? Sigh…it completely drains you and my natural reaction to this is to completely shut down and become indifferent. It induces hair pulling and much frustration, but family is family, right?

My partner and I are looking to purchase a property together and has become an all-consuming process and has been on the back of my mind every single day. I tried to share the good news with said family member that we have found a place. The said individual then fires questions in machine gun-like succession:

  • Have you showed your mum?
  • Have you asked her approval?
  • Have you asked anyone else’s approval?
  • Is it a good area? It doesn’t sound like a good area
  • Do you know what you want?

They then ended their soliloquy with a dismissive, well do whatever makes you happy. -DEEP BREATHE-

With every dream, you will have to face the non-believers and others with their opinions. Some individuals have good intentions, though some would inadvertently project their fears and insecurities onto you. Others may have not so good intentions, some may be jealous of you pursuing your dreams and would try to hold you back where they can’t handle you getting ahead. Whatever it may be, it is important to recognise their opinion for what it is and then move on. Use that energy to refocus on yourself and gather information to make a better decision for yourself.

Whether it is trying to set up your own business, make a major purchase or quitting your job; take the time to know your why. As a performance coach, some of the key questions I ask individuals are, what do you think will be the challenges going forward? And, how do you think you will be able to overcome them? I have found that it is easy to identify technical difficulties when it comes to dreams, such as, I need to ensure I have this licence to set up this business; but not necessarily the emotional or relational difficulties.

What do you need to ask yourself?

After the conversation with said family member, I felt defeated. I started to lose focus and started asking irrational questions about myself and my dreams. Upon reflection, it is because I had expectations of what the individual should have said and feel. This is exactly where I went wrong – this is the wrong way to have conversations about your goals and dreams. We are incredibly social creatures and it is understandable why we would want to share them with others, but to ensure you don’t lose focus on the end goal.

I have narrowed it down to the follow options:

  • Either keep it to yourself, though this is not always easy
  • If you share your dreams, be objective when listening to others and only process what is worth processing.  
  • Better yet, share it only with select individuals who have the right experience and you think will be able to assist in your dreams or decision making.

It is natural to think about others and their opinion, but ultimately, you are the only person who would have to live with the decisions you have made. Stop worrying about others and what they have to say or what they are doing. Focus on your why and you will get there.

Courage

I am going to give a big shout out to my colleague Ben who encouraged me to write my next post on courage.

As we continue to enjoy the new decade, starting new things can be scary. What if it is too difficult? What if I fail? Can I really be bothered? Is this going to make me happy? Will it be good for my wellbeing? Is this going to be waste of time? Basically, a lot of questions to make you chicken out. It is as discussed previously, discipline is what is the difference between success or failure.

When I look back on 2019 with a fresh pair of eyes, I remember that I was constantly battling between wanting to be this incredibly determined and courageous individual vs f*** it – I am tired and I want a more comfortable life (i.e. eating snacks in my T-Shirt and watching Netflix). By the end of the year, I was definitely the latter. I had set out to achieve many things in 2019; in my mind, I was going to become this incredible influencer who would blog twice a week and organically build a loyal and dedicated following. Reviewing my timeline, my readers were lucky to have one post in the six months! As a result of my inconsistency, writing was became a chore and my creative juices struggle to flow. I did not build the discipline or habit. Blogging has became an increasingly difficult thing to do, which in turn had meant I avoided it even more. A lose-lose situation.

Why? Why is it so hard to keep determined/have willpower in what you want to do? The beauty of a new year is that you can start again and do things differently. I know I had more to give and I want to achieve more as I was not okay with the status quo.

The Choice

The choice is ours: “We can either stay in bed where it’s comfortable, warm and there are no critics to judge us, or we can face the world and push beyond our limits”. Courage as a muscle that has to be exercised which starts with the simplest, yet daunting, step.

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen – Brene Brown

Brene Brown discusses courage in-depth in her books, in addition, she has a Netflix special which I highly recommend to watch as it introduces some key ideas that I have tried to exercise in my life in relation to vulnerability, courage and relationships. Personally, I think she is much better speaker than writer so save yourself some time and watch the show or her TED talk.

Courage

I have recently met an extraordinary individual, who I am going to shamelessly introduce on my blog – Rachida. She is a career coach and blogger, I would encourage anyone to read her articles as they are inspiring and easy to digest. I know she will become a life long friend, especially if I have anything to do it with it!

I only spoke to her for 15 minutes during an event, but in that short amount of time, she concluded that I need to pick up the courage and just do it. She said it is not necessary to make any grand announcements or get buy-in from others. If I felt that something was right then I should just go for it, no excuses, nothing should be holding myself back. *Phew* that 15 minutes was one of the most intense conversations I have ever had in my life. After recovering from the shock of her energy and message, and letting myself process what she was trying to tell me, it left me invigorated and I sat down to consider what was holding me back. I realised that I spent most of 2019 unhappy was because I was stuck in my comfort zone; I knew that my job was not providing the mental stimulation I required.

Taking Rachida’s advice to just do it; I finally picked up the courage to hand in my resignation letter at the end of November! I decided that there is no point continuing to work in a job that I could not give my 100%, but instead to focus on moving to a new industry that I have a passion for. Now, I am not going to lie to you, it wasn’t this awesome WOW moment, instead, I had to battle the creeping dread that I might have done something rash. However, since that day, I have become a more and more excited. I have been offered a role in a company that I admire. By taking a bet on myself, it has enabled me to work in something I care deeply about and align with my values.

I am certainly not telling you to quit your job (but totally do if that is what you want). As I blog this journey, I hope it will prove that taking the courage to do something different will give great rewards.

So here is the call to action: Be courageous and start something new, change something you don’t like. Take that first step and show up!