We’re all told to “dream big” without knowing how to overcome the challenges that come with that. Build confidence to set your goals high by taking steps to overcome fear and by asking the right questions. (Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”— Michaelangelo
It goes without saying that if you want to achieve more in life, you will have to want more out of it.
History has repeatedly proven this through the lives of many, showing a direct correlation between a person’s level of achievements and the expectations that they set for their life.
Pioneers in every field of life were able to succeed at great things because they were pulled by a grand vision. They had to first conceive this vision within their mind and then believe, with all their heart, that they could accomplish it.
I like to compare this process to the act of planting seeds. The sowing represents the affirmation of your desires, and the nourishment of the sapling represents the steps that you take to manifest those desires.
Strong feelings of hesitancy, self-doubt and worry prevent them from seeing the beauty and possibilities of their dreams. They allow their fears to cloud their vision.
In this state, it’s important to ask ourselves this question: Am I feeling hesitant because of my own fears or because of real limitations in my situation?
In my younger years, I faced the opposite problem. People around me labeled me as being overidealistic and impractical. They weren’t entirely wrong.
There were many times in my life when I charged ahead in certain pursuits with a child-like hope and naiveté, only to crash later on because I didn’t consider the practical aspects.
But even after experiencing past disappointments, I would not change my approach towards thinking big. I’m prepared to face the challenges that come with having high expectations for my life (and make the effort).
Having big dream is not a bed of roses. You have to be prepared to work harder than most people do, and be willing to go against the status quo. Your self-confidence and faith will be constantly tested as you face obstacles and disappointments along the way.
If you’re still uncomfortable with taking the less traveled road, use this checklist to decide if you’re ready to take on the challenge:
1. Do I have a clear target? This helps you easily identify the action steps you need to take to reach your target, and also makes it easier to measure and review your progress.
2. Does this opportunity align with my personal values, ethics and long term vision? You have to ensure that whatever you’re considering aligns with what’s most important to you.
3. Do I know what needs to happen to attain the outcome I desire? You don’t have it all figured out yet but it definitely helps to have a strategy and the initial steps you need to take. The road will get clearer as you move along.
4. Do I currently have all the resources to make it happen? You need to figure out if you have enough time, money and energy in your present situation to realize this goal and see tangible results.
4. Am I prepared for this pursuit on a mental, emotional and spiritual level? Remember that the bigger the dream, the more your faith and inner strength will be tested. You’ll have to do some soul-searching to see if you can handle failures, obstacles and uncertainty. If you can’t handle it on your own, you’ll need to either take time out to work on building your inner reserves and find people who can support you and give you encouragement along the way.
Like a mountain climber getting ready for a challenging climb, looking up at the snow-covered peak, you may question whether you have what it takes to reach the peak.
But the rewards of your climb shouldn’t depend on whether you make it to the top or not, but on how much you learn and grow from the experience— who you’re becoming is more important than what you have done.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Pick one personal dream that is very close to your heart. Is there anything causing you to be afraid to dream big? How can you begin to overcome that?
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