Any other crazy dreamers out there? If so, can we be friends because I live in daydream land 97.3 percent of the time and I’d love to know if I have any neighbors…
But seriously, if you know anything about the enneagram, I am a BIG FAT SEVEN.
I am always, always looking forward to the next big thing. I am always dreaming up something big and trying to figure out how I can make it happen. They affectionately call us sevens “the enthusiasts.” That’s because we (sevens) are extremely excited about almost anything that catches our attention. And it’s true. I am absolutely exhilarated by the rush of ideas.
If that’s you, you know how it feels. It’s so exciting, yet it can become so overwhelming to have so many dreams with zero direction. The weight of the desire to see your dreams turn to reality can quickly result in frustration if you don’t know where to start. I know, because I have been there so many times. I have had a dream and a vision, yet zero clarity and direction. I have wanted to make things happen but haven’t known how. I have even started things without strategy and direction only to get stuck. I have been stuck for long enough at times that I have just given up. Sometimes I get stuck for so long that I just give up.
And then I start dreaming again and the process repeats.
But the good news is you don’t have to stay stuck. Even better news? You don’t have to get stuck in the first place.
I say this in all humility, but from experience. I have finally learned how to take steps to turn my dreams into realities.
I started blogging in 2008 with dreams of being a well known writer. I blogged faithfully for nearly nine years, but during that nine years I got stuck many times, and “gave up” in my own ways on multiple occasions. Nine years later, I have finally figured it out. I have turned my blog into my full time business, and I am living my dream.
Before you think, “that’s not my dream, so this isn’t for me,” just hear me out. The tips I want to share are not limited to writing or blogging. These same tips are what helped my husband launch his Lean Manufacturing company Lean Smarts- and trust me when I say I couldn’t tell you ONE thing about Lean.
If you want to turn your dreams into reality there are just a few steps you need to take! I’ll lay it out for you in a simple way:
- Know what your dream really is! This is quite possibly one of the greatest challenges for most people. If you have a million ideas, it can be difficult to narrow down and know which big idea is really the one. Which one is the big dream? If you don’t narrow it down, it is impossible to turn your dream into a reality. So how do you figure it out? Write things down. Imagine your life with each idea as the ultimate dream. Talk to people. Process your ideas and hear what other people think about them. Be honest with yourself about which ideas are probably hype, and acknowledge which ideas keep coming up. The ones that you can’t seem to forget about or let go of are the ones to really focus on. The one that makes your heart skip a beat when you imagine it as reality, that is the one.
- Be confident in your dream! Know that you know that you know that this is your dream and you want to see it happen. The confidence you have in your dream is the foundation for your success, and that same confidence is often what keeps you from being overwhelmed. It is also the backbone you need when faced with challenges or even negativity. When you feel like a dream is too big or out of reach it becomes easy to get discouraged. Being discouraged is not part of this plan! So how do you get that confidence? Think hard about it… what would you want to see your dream become if you absolutely knew without a doubt that you could succeed? Once you know what you want it to become, imagine your life with that dream as a reality. If you can imagine that, and it is the life you want, then it is time to act on that dream. Your confidence in your dream as a reality is vital to your success. Believe it can happen, and live in the process with that confidence.
- Act on your confidence! If you never take action on your dreams, they will remain dreams. Without actions, your dreams cannot turn to reality. As Harry Styles says, “a dream is only a dream… until you decide to make it real.” You don’t have to do it all at once, but you do have to take simple steps towards your dream even if it seems impossible to conquer. My best recommendation is to do at least one thing every single day to make your dream a reality. If your dream is to open an online boutique, start by nailing down a name and site domain. That might be all you do in one day, but that simple action brings you one step closer to your dream. The next day you could take one small step towards building your website. When you take these steps, it breaks it all down and makes the big picture feel less overwhelming. Creating a daily action plan is so beneficial. It allows you to place your efforts on the one thing in front of you rather than feeling scattered and not knowing which steps are most important. Whatever you do, do at least one thing every day.
- Ask for help and input! One of the best decisions I ever made was to share my dream with a business coach and get help! The moment I realized I didn’t know it all and that learning from another person’s experience was a good thing was the moment my business took off. My business coach helped me accomplish in two months what I had been trying to figure out for over 6 years on my own. There is nothing wrong with getting a little help! I think our dreams can often feel very vulnerable to us and we can have the desire to guard and protect them. It is easy to want to figure it out all for ourselves that we can just present a successful finished product. That makes total sense, but how much more valuable are our dreams when they actually become reality? Sometimes letting people into our headspace and allowing them the honor of helping us is the best decision we could make! Those that have already done what we want to do are a wealth of knowledge and the most valuable resource. They may have tools and strategies that we never would have thought of! Find someone who has walked the same road and get some input!
- Do the hard work! No matter what you have going on, keep your dream at the forefront of your mind. You may not have time to focus on your dream exclusively, but take it back to number two- take one action every single day to bring you a step closer to making the dream a reality. Unfortunately, most amazing things in life aren’t just handed to us. Too often we get discouraged when are dream isn’t successful overnight and we give up. Being successful requires doing hard work, being disciplined, and pushing through even when you feel stuck. Don’t let the mundane process hold you back, and certainly don’t let it lead you to frustration. All the little details and seemingly dull items on your checklist are what add up to make that dream your new reality. If you want it to happen, do your part and keep doing it! It may feel like nothing is happening for quite some time, but there will be a shift where you begin to feel momentum and realize that of your hard work has actually paid off and your dream is far more tangible than you imagined.
And y’all, that’s all it takes. Obviously every single one of these steps looks different for every single person, but I can promise you that having knowing your dream and having confidence in it is where you need to start! From there, taking one action a day, getting help, and putting the work into will be your game changing strategy. Whatever your dream is, and whatever the work is that needs to be done- just do it!