6 Steps to Reclaim Your Power and Dream a Bigger Dream
How I turned my life around — and six steps to help you do it, too.
Do you live each day going with the flow, taking the path of least resistance even when it doesn’t feel good? This is what I call “Living by Default”, and it’s threatening your ability to thrive. You’re not alone — it has become the norm in a society where we have too much chaos and noise. But it keeps us from living the life our soul intended.
We receive over 3,500 messages a day telling us what to wear, where to go, what to do and how to spend our money. But we receive very few messages telling us to live a life we love.
As a child, my big dream was going to Florida to become a marine biologist. Instead, I became a teen mom, got my diploma and got a job. At the time I was happy to survive from one week to the next, knowing if I did what I had to do, eventually, I’d get my happiness. My goals were simply to pay rent, utilities and have a little extra after groceries for some fun time with my daughter.
Then one day my mom told me that she’d heard about free online courses that could lead to a better job. This was an opportunity to make money faster. I was in.
By my 21st birthday, I had my paralegal certificate and I settled into a great job at one of the top Chicago law firms. My daughter’s father and I moved into together, we moved to Florida, and the world seemed good. We had all our needs covered and I was living a better life than I’d expected to. I was able to provide things for my daughter that I never had, and that felt good. I had a thriving career I was well respected in, and a very comfortable lifestyle.
But I didn’t know what true happiness was until I achieved it almost 10 years later. I’d come to the realization that that my happiness was fickle. It was based on happy events, rather than an overall sense of wellbeing that comes from living a fulfilling life with purpose. I had still been taking the path of least resistance and it lead me to a feeling of depletion. I yearned for that steady sense of tranquility and joy that lives within you and is not affected by what is going on around you.
I’ve asked myself: “Why didn’t I think bigger? Why didn’t I aspire to be an attorney with my last name on the firm walls? Why didn’t I aspire to be Madonna dancing in the limelight? Why didn’t I aspire to be Judy Bloom, authoring inspirational books for children?” That’s when I realized that my dreams were limited by my experiences. Everyone around me lived the same way. We put our needs and desires on the back burner, and assumed we’d find our happiness — eventually.
I hadn’t dared to step outside of the box that society created for me. I didn’t want to be judged. I didn’t want to be rejected. I had somehow learned that if we worked hard enough, for long enough, retirement would come and then… happiness and freedom. Hopefully.
My life felt exhausting, and I got to the point where I was sick of accepting the status quo. That’s when I made a decision to make life more effortless. Hey — I deserved it! After all, life is about the journey, not reaching a particular destination. If you can’t find happiness — create it. We don’t have to do work we don’t enjoy. We don’t have to live in chaos. We don’t have to be around anyone or anything that doesn’t make us feel good. We have the power to create passion and meaning in everything we do. We have the power to create joy and fulfillment in our lives. We have the power to focus on what makes us feel good. It’s that simple.
It’s time to stop accepting surviving as a default for living a life well-lived. Have the courage to dream big and go after it! Here are six steps to reclaim your power and dream a bigger dream, so you can create a life you love:
- Get carried away! We stop ourselves from dreaming big because we immediately think we have to be realistic. We feel stuck and don’t allow ourselves to dream. We convince ourselves we are too old, not enough, too young, too inexperienced, or some other version of the same old story. It’s always something. I want you to go there and know if you can dream it, you can achieve it. A goal is simply a dream with a deadline.
- Write your dreams. When you write your dreams, you connect to them on a more meaningful level. Also, studies show when you write your dreams you are more likely to create big goals and make them your reality.
- Focus on how you feel. Use your feelings as a GPS to guide you to your happy feeling place. If things don’t feel good for you, then change it up. That’s a sign you are not on the right path. Don’t accept your reality as the way it’s supposed to be. If your dreams don’t propel you out of bed and make you leap with joy, you need to find a bigger dream my friend.
- Know what it’s going to take. Write everything it would take to make your dream your reality. If it includes learning, that’s okay. As Marie Forleo’s mom says, “Everything is figure-out-able.” You can use books, YouTube, Google and a mentor. Everything you need is within your reach.
- Get busy. Take inspired action and remember this is not a race, it’s a marathon. Give yourself time and have patience. Take one step at a time knowing with each action you take, you are one step closer to making it happen. If you find yourself stuck, focus on the dreams which will make the most impact on your life for the better now.
- Read through your dreams every day. Hang them where you can see them. Put them on your devices so you can read them anytime. Do so knowing with each step you take you are creating the life you’ve always craved and wholeheartedly deserve. You are shifting from surviving to thriving.
What’s your goal and what are you doing to achieve it?