Recently, I’ve been inspired by a couple of good friends who plunged into the adventure of pursuing their shared dream. In doing so, they demonstrated their faith in staying true to their dreams. They’ve reminded me of the value of following the internal compass of desire despite persisting fears. Moreover, they’ve stirred up my own sense of ambition and adventure around some forgotten dreams which I’ve stored in the back burner as I buried myself in work in the past 13 months.
As I examined my own fears around pursuing my dreams, I realised that a lot of the fears are just excuses. They aren’t that real once I put myself through an honesty test. Whenever I spoke to my dream-following friends, I would get a spurt of inspiration to nurture my own dreams. I knew that this inspiration would not last, so I dived into the energy of Inspiration to set forth some actions.
Inspiration is a powerful force that can turn dreams into reality. It’s a feeling of being deeply-moved and of spirit dancing with joy. It releases a flood of ideas and possibilities in our minds. Dreams get a clearer tint when we’re inspired. It seems and feels all so possible, so worth pursuing.
Great things can be achieved when we dive into Inspiration. It supports us in our journey to making our dreams come true by elevating us from the level where fear operates. What are some of the common fears that stop people from pursuing their dreams?
Unworthiness is a common issue – you may stop yourself from realising your dreams because you don’t really believe you are worthy of them. Another way of saying this is, your dreams may appear to be too great for who you think you are. While you want it, you’re not allowing yourself to get it, so your efforts often get cancelled out. Before you can achieve what you want, you need to work on increasing your self-worth so that your dreams can match who you think you are.
The fear of not being good enough may block you from going after your dreams in case you fail. Perhaps a history of being disappointed has created a nightmare of having positive expectations and then being let down, or putting effort into something and then failing, that continues to haunt you today. You shy away from taking a leap into the unknown, feeling safe to step forward only if you’re assured of the outcome. The downside to this is that you live a less-than-fulfilling life and your dreams remain unrealised because you may never feel safe enough to venture forth.
The way forward is to honour your dream while keeping an open mind about what the outcome may be. This is the best mindset to adopt around dream-following. It would not imply failure on your part should the outcome turn out to be different from your dream. The gift may not be the outcome you envision but something you discover along the way of pursuing your dream; the dream may only be an illusion to drive you to what you really need.
Then there is the fear of being good (which is just as damaging as the fear of being not good enough). If in the past you’ve been persecuted for being successful, you might think twice today about actualising your potential. So you minimise your exposure and stay under the rock to avoid any chance of being judged for what you’re doing. It’s likely that you have overblown the proportion of judgements against the encouragement and support you will get. A change from focusing on the potential judges to focusing on those who will admire you for pursuing your dream will start to shift your view to a more balanced perspective.
Knowing that those who judge you will tend to be projecting their own inadequacies may help you to take their judgements less personally. And knowing that people’s perception of you is not set in stone can help you to transcend your current feelings around certain people – sometimes, we stop ourselves from doing something because we anticipate critical reactions from only a few people in our life, not the whole world. Know that these people may start to feel more respect for you or even find inspiration from you.
If the thought of leaving someone else in pain about their own inadequacies is a major deterrent to your own success, you’ve got to stop feeling pity for them. The fact that the idea of this person suffering is deterring you from being happy means that you care about that person. Feeling pity for someone is disempowering and degrading. Elevate your view of that person. Recognise their strengths and achievements. In your mind, raise them to your level so that you can appreciate the existence of unique paths in life, rather than seeing it as a game field of winners and losers.
A lot of our emotional-mental blocks to self-actualisation are fears that are irrational. They are leftovers from our childhood pains and are no longer valid. As an adult, those fears are keeping us stuck. We may need to heal the emotions that are imbedded in those experiences on which we base our current reality. Then we can move on from that past reality to create a bright future for ourselves.
How Real Are Your Limitations?
There are many people who complain about not having any dreams to pursue. I don’t know what it is that I want to do… I don’t have something I am passionate about…. Life is dull and uninteresting…. The sad thing is that many of those who do have a dream that inspires them will then find it hard to move forward with that dream.
Often, what we perceive to be limitations that get in the way of our dreams aren’t that real. Some of the common deterrents I keep hearing from people are the lack of resources (financial, contacts, market demands), geographical limitations, relationship considerations and work commitments. If you put every one of those limitations to the test – with brutal honesty – you’re likely to find some creative ways around it. Also, by stretching your internal resources, you’ll find that you can summon those qualities which you believe are important to pursuing and living your dream.
Staying true to what you hold as important to you is an admirable trait. Yet sometimes in being too rigid about what we won’t compromise can result in us compromising ourselves. In dream-following, having the flexibility to consider other options will open doors to being on our path to that dream.