What do you do if you have a dream and everybody around you is laughing at your dream? This might sow the seeds of doubt in your mind. I have gone through this and am right now living the way that I always wanted to Live. I am doing things that I wanted to do, not be chained by negative people, small talk and most importantly office politics which most of us at some point of time experience it. Last week when I spoke to a young teenager about his dream of pursuing a career in wildlife photography he was more worried about how his parents and friends might respond. Incidentally he is a part of a big flourishing family business.
Well he is facing what most of us do at some point of time in our life. Naysayers who cry hoarse on our dreams and at times go to any extent to prove us wrong. If it sounds familiar then you are not alone. The people who are successful today would have surely faced this and incidentally there is a roadmap which each one of us can follow to live our dreams. Some of the things that I have learnt in my journey which is still ongoing are –
Doubts are the Enemy:
We all have doubts, and they’re unavoidable. Sometimes it’s good to be realistic and practical because you need to be able to analyze whether a dream is achievable or not. If the only thing stopping you is fears and doubts and not some insurmountable obstacle then you need to banish those fears and doubts.
Why? Because a doubt as innocuous as it may seem at first has a way of creeping its way into your subconscious and into the depths of your heart like some kind of evil creature that has infiltrated your body. The doubt lingers at the back of your head without you being aware of it and will eventually conquer your dreams if you let it.
When this happens, doubt is more powerful than you realize. When you are making the tough decisions like whether to apply for the new Job in this unpredictable economy or to go off to another city and pursue your dreams, you will lose out because of that doubt in the back of your head. When you think about yourself, your image will not be of that person that you want to be, but the person that others want you to be.
Doubts will keep you in a job you hate because you’re afraid to do what you really want to do. Doubts will keep you with a person who abuses you because you don’t think you deserve better. Even worse doubts will eventually make you live the Life you dislike. The next question which pops up is how do you squash the doubt in your head and move on in your life. Well some of the things according to me would be
1. Being aware: Doubt gets its power because it is deep in our subconscious level and we’re not aware of the effects it has on us. Instead we have to bring it to the forefront of our minds. That means concentrating on our thoughts, trying to search those doubts and negative thoughts as they come up. The ones that say- “Maybe I can’t do this”. “Maybe it’s not realistic.” If you make a conscious effort to be aware of these doubts, you can catch them and beat them. I guarantee you this.
2.Squash the doubt: Once you identify the doubt then consider it like a Mosquito and squash it immediately. Not literally of course but in the mind’s eye do it and feel the pleasure of doing away with this energy sucker. When I use a metaphor like this with my clients to squash their fears and self doubt, it help them tap into their sub conscious more easily without me trying to explain the process.
3. Replace it with something positive: Now that you’ve squashed the doubt, replace it with positive thoughts. It sounds corny, but it works. Think to yourself – “I can do this! Others have done it, and so can I! Nothing will stop me.” Or something along those lines appropriate to whatever it is you’re doing.
You have to continue to be vigilant and aware of your doubts before they stop you cold in your tracks. This is a constant process as you pursue your dreams and not a one-time thing. Doubts are like insects that will continue to come back even after you’ve killed the first wave or two. You can’t let them thrive and overcome you. No matter how many insects are around.
What to Do About Naysayers:
What about those external negative factors — the naysayers? These include friends, family and people in authority who tell you to stop dreaming. Those who tell you to be realistic and take a more traditional path. Those who tell you that you can’t do something.
You have to learn to block them out. If you have a bull dog like attitude in you then learn to let those naysayers fuel your determination — make it your desire to prove the naysayers wrong!
How do you block out naysayers? The same way you block out doubts and negative thoughts in your own head: you squash them. OK, don’t literally squash another person. When they say something negative or something that is likely to cause doubts in your head take that thought (in your head) and squash it. Then replace it with something positive.
If someone is constantly bringing you down and making you feel like you can’t do something, you might consider removing them from your life. This sounds drastic and it can be but the truth is that having a life full of negative people will drag you down to their level and stop you from doing what you want to do. I’m not saying you should get a divorce or never see your friends again (if they’re the naysayers) but I am saying that you should pick your friends carefully.
Instead try to surround yourself with positive, encouraging people. If you have friends like that, you can do anything.
How to take the Plunge:
So you’ve blocked out the naysayers, you’ve learned to become aware of your doubts and to squash them and you’re ready to pursue your dreams.
But you’re afraid to take the plunge.
It can be very helpful to do a lot of research and to carefully plan your plunge. Once you’ve done that research and planning, you still have to take the plunge. How do you do that?
Imagine that you need to swim out to a boat on a lake, and you’re standing on the dock, looking down at the icy cold water. You are afraid to dive into the water but you know you need to take that plunge to get to your boat. How do you do it? Do you go in one toe at a time? Do you stand there for awhile waiting for the right moment? Do you wait for someone to give you a push?
No. You have to just do it — just dive in! You’ve already done all the thinking you need to do. Just dive in.
Once you’re in, it’ll be freezing, but you’re in. You now have no choice but to swim to the boat. Once you’ve gotten to the boat, you’ll be glad you took that plunge.
That’s how it is with your dreams. You can’t wait for the right moment to come along or for someone to give you a push or for the lake to heat up. Just dive right in!
Once you’re in, you’re committed, and you have to go for it. You don’t want to turn back once you’ve taken the plunge. Now you’re more likely to achieve your dreams.
Plan it out, do your research … but when you’re ready, just dive right in. And don’t look back.
How do you keep your motivation levels high in the face of adversity and obstacles that are sure to come up? Motivation goes up and down and comes in waves. It’s impossible to keep it high all the time.
Some of the things which have worked for me over the years are
Keep the end in mind: Have a clear picture (see it in colour and like a movie) in your head about exactly how you want your dream to turn out in the end. Know where you’ll be. What it’ll look and feel like. Know exactly what needs to happen for your dream to be a success. How will you know you’ve arrived? Keep this clear picture in your head as much as possible.
Stay focused: Don’t get distracted by other goals or pursuits. If you are tempted to pursue other dreams, do so only with the awareness that you are abandoning your current dream temporarily. If you don’t want to do that, then fight off the temptation of those other pursuits. For now, just stick with this one goal.
Get inspired: Who else is achieving this dream or other dreams? Read about them, talk to them and email them. Go to websites that inspire you. Read books that inspire you or better follow me on my Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/B.N.Satishrao. Inspiration is one of the keys to achieving any dream. I spend most of my free time being inspired.
Celebrate any success: Anything, however small, that you achieve is a cause for joyous positive celebration. If you’re writing a novel and you’ve created a great character sketch, celebrate! If you’ve written your first few paragraphs, celebrate! Your dream will be achieved in baby steps and not in leaps and bounds. Every step is a cause for celebration … with enough steps, you’ll get there.