I received a super fantastic question from my girl, G, the other day and I wanted to share it with you because I know for a fact she’s not the only one wondering about this.
G wrote: What is the best course of action when you no longer trust in your dream because you’ve put off, talked down and invalidated it for so long? How do you figure out if all the putting off and negative self-talk about an idea or dream means that you aren’t really aligned with it or that you’re so scared of it you need to do it now?
Can you relate??? I know I can.
I learned a really great tool for gauging whether your dream is still really your dream or if you’ve outgrown it. Here it is:
When you imagine yourself having already achieved your dream, do you feel expanded or contracted? What the hell does that mean? I’ll use a personal example.
I’m currently in the process of preparing for my first live performance here in NYC. Does it scare the living crap out of me? HELL YES. But holy moly, when I think of how I’ll feel when I’ve done it? It’s like I’m floating. I feel totally expanded because, despite the fear and the process, I still really want it. Words like freedom, power, and happiness come to mind here.
On the other hand, if when you think about achieving your dream you feel kind of disconnected from it or that other people might be happier about it than you are, it’s probably not what you really want deep down. You feel small, stressed out, bogged down and maybe even burdened.
Here are a few more tips to help you get clear about whether you’re aligned with your dream or whether it’s time to drop it:
1. Fear and self-doubt aren’t indicators to stop. They’re telling you to keep going.
If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be scared. I’ve shared this before but I’ll do it again. Steven Pressfield wrote in his book The War of Art (which I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend you read),
“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
It’s completely counter-intuitive to what we’ve been taught about our dreams. We’ve been taught that it should just come naturally and everything should feel easy, no sweat. But in reality the more fear and self-doubt you feel around it, the more you need to keep going. Instead of letting fear stop you, follow it. Listen to it and let it lead you instead of you trying to suppress it.
2. The fact that you’re still thinking about it means it’s still important to you.
The only time limit on pursuing your dream is death. But if you’re dead, you’re not worried about pursuing anything. You’re just dead. Seriously. A buzzer isn’t going to go off in your life if you haven’t pursued your dream after a certain amount of time. That’s the fear talking and because you read #1 above, you know that “it’s too late” really means self-doubt, which really means GO FOR IT.
3. Deep down, your body knows whether to drop something or to go after it.
Would you be reading this blog post if you really wanted to drop it and move on? No. I know it helps to hear other people rationalize your emotions for you. Trust me I know. And I feel grateful that you come here to the blog for that support every week. I have coaches who play this same role in my life as well. It helps a ton and I wouldn’t be where I am, having accomplished what I’ve accomplished without the help of those people. But if I’m truly honest, the answers I seek I already have within me and so do you. We know already it’s just the doing that’s the hard part. If you need support with the doing, get it. You can do it