Do you really believe in your dreams? Do you believe your dreams are attainable? Do you actively pursue them every day of your life? Do you even allow yourself to have a dream?
For most of my life, I didn’t have dreams; I had fantasies. Fantasies are things you know are impossible. Mine included being the next Lucille Ball (In today’s world it would be Kristen Wiig from Saturday Night Live), singing for thousands (like Beyonce), and having a happy home life, birthing twelve children with an adoring husband by my side (Sigh!)
It wasn’t until I had a roommate who divulged how she became a real-life working actress in Hollywood that the acting fantasy turned into a maybe-possible-dream. A dream I could do something about and, with a lot of luck, become a professional actress. (It happened by the way. Not the Lucille Ball part but, at one time, I was a working actress living the dream in Los Angeles.) But my other fantasies still felt impossible.
For too many of us, dreams stay dreams. Or worse, they get stuck in the fantasy category—never acted on, and never invested in. And as each year ticks by, we just get older.
Dreams can so easily fade away the older we get. The wide-eyed optimism and big ideas we allowed ourselves to flirt with when we were younger get trampled on by, well, our day-to-day, regular ol’ life.
It has you thinking, how can I believe in my dreams when I have so many other things going on in my life? How can I find the time for my own dreams when I have a career and my family to focus on? Or worse, Do I even have a right to have a dream? Isn’t it just too late for me?
We see others fail, so we believe we will fail too. We see others get hurt, so we assume we’ll get hurt. We’re told not to think we’re better than the rest of the world, so we give up.
If you’ve ever had a dream you’ve forgotten about, if you’ve put your dreams on hold for your family or career, or if you’ve lost sight of what your dreams even are anymore, this article is for you.
Today I’m going to discuss why dreams are important and provide strategies to help you light that spark once again. Because dreams are not only for the young at heart and the brave amongst us—they are for everyone, and they keep us inspired, thriving, and waking up happy to be alive. ✨
Why is it Important to Believe in Your Dreams?
Dreams are beautiful, magical things. They contain our hidden aspirations and our deepest calling. They keep us going, help us look forward to the future, and inspire us to be our best selves. But far too often, the daily drag of life, the ups and the downs, and general busyness keep us from achieving our own dreams.
It’s so easy to go day after day without believing our dreams could be a reality, and that leaves us uninspired and even more likely to succumb to our fears.
Believing in your dreams is far from the only thing that will keep your fears at bay, but it will help you build a life you truly want to live—one where you feel passionate, vibrant, and fulfilled.
Your dreams are YOUR dreams, not someone else’s. They belong to you. It’s your own life, and that means you are the only one who can make your dreams happen (with some help, of course). You can’t rely on friends, family, complete strangers, God, or even the universe to intervene and force you to make your dreams happen. Instead, you must decide to claim your dreams and state them aloud so that you get them into your bones—because they are your dreams.
Just like the long-dead but so very much alive in spirit through his words, Ralph Waldo Emerson states: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. “
You’re the only one with control over the decision to say yes to a dream. You’re the only one who decides if you follow the nudge or not and which dreams are worthy of your effort. Because turning a dream into reality takes effort. Sure, it’s great to have support and other people who also believe in your dreams, but without you, the dream dies.
Not sure you believe in your dreams? Or maybe your dreams lack the passion and excitement they once brought you? Let’s talk about how you can light that spark again to begin believing in your dreams and actively pursuing them.
For now, think of claiming your dreams as a pathway to your purpose, giving you the internal permission (and nudge) you need to live the life your soul intended™.
How Do You Believe in Yourself and Your Dreams?
Don’t Let Fear Overcome Your Dreams
If you’re already a part of the Fearless Living community, it’ll come as no surprise that we’re going to talk about fear first. If you’re new, welcome to the community! 💗
Believing in your dreams is all too often tied up in your own fears. That’s what fear does—it hog-ties your dreams, so they can’t breathe or have room to grow.
Fear is so overpowering and all-encompassing, and at the same time, it’s so, so, so sneaky. Fear makes us believe our dreams are not possible, could never come true, and aren’t worth pursuing—let alone thinking about.
When fear is leading the way, our dreams are pushed aside, forgotten, and even ridiculed.
Truth be told, fear usually presents itself as the rational, grown-up, and intelligent part of ourselves. It praises us with a stern voice, telling us we will come out ahead if we give up all the silliness of that stupid, wasteful dream. And when it convinces us to say no to the nudge in our heart that would lead us toward a bigger, bolder life, it’s almost as if we’re dying a slow death, convincing ourselves this is the “right” choice to make while killing any chance for our dream to keep us inspired, on fire, and feeling alive.
How does fear convince us to lay down our dreams?
Fear makes us think we can’t do it. It makes us think we’re not smart enough, not young enough, not old enough, not rich enough, not good enough, and on, and on, and on. But that’s fear’s trick. It’s making us think those things because of something much deeper.
For example, you dream of starting your own small business and selling inspirational wooden signs, signs you carve yourself. But fear might tell you no one will buy your signs because folks can buy cheaper ones from Home Goods. And what about all that paperwork you need to do to start your business? It’s so easy to believe you aren’t capable enough. You aren’t smart enough to figure it out. And the real dream killer phrase you find yourself saying, I don’t feel like it. Fear is sooo good at convincing us we really don’t want to make our dream happen.
Fear goes into overdrive, convincing you that giving up your dream of making inspirational signs is all for the best because wouldn’t it be selfish or stupid to focus on this frivolous enterprise? Imagine the time it would take away from your family. And how are you going to find buyers? I mean, really. Who do you think you are?
But what’s really going on here?
Your fear of failure is kicking in. Your fear of failing overpowers any will or desire to try. Instead of pursuing your dream, you falsely believe it could never happen, and this way, you never have to find out if you will succeed or not. Fear wins, and your dreams die out.
Or maybe you’re like my BFF Marta, who had a dream to pursue her lifelong love of singing and become a professional singer. She’d taken lessons since before she could remember and was quite good. She was even the lead singer for a band or two, and people cheered. But her dream was killed off when an agent told her that her voice was nothing special. At that moment, fear took hold. It told her she didn’t have what it took. Her fear of rejection was so intense that she didn’t even try after that. Again, fear won, and her dream died out.
Psst. Good news. Marta IS singing again. Once she started the work of Fearless Living, she understood what happened. Of course, she was sad she had let one person decide her future, but now she knew what to do. Marta has been singing ever since, doing solo shows and singing with an A cappella group of four women who are fulfilling their dream together.
Overcoming your fears is an incredibly challenging and complex topic that we can’t completely cover in this post. But I encourage you to continue following my blog for future fearbusting articles and to begin by learning more about the 10 Most Common Types of Emotional Fears and Overcoming Them.
As a start, begin by becoming more aware of your dreams and what fear may be lurking by asking yourself: When you find yourself casting a dream aside, is there something deeper going on? What’s the worst that can happen? Or ask: What’s the real reason you don’t believe in that dream of yours? Is it that you don’t believe in yourself?
Prioritize Your Needs
Oh, gosh. This is a hard one because needs are so hard to name and claim. But it must be said: You’ll never be able to pursue your dreams if you don’t prioritize your own personal needs.
Now, if you’re like so many other humans out there, you might look at prioritizing your own needs as being selfish or weak because you either should be taking care of the people you love, or you shouldn’t need anything at all. Worrying that you may appear selfish is especially common for parents and grandparents who are used to giving everything of themselves to their families. And weak? You know who you are—the fiercely independent and gotta-be-strong-at-all-costs folks. I used to be afraid of both—appearing selfish and weak—and this stopped me from even contemplating my needs.
Here’s the cold hard truth—you aren’t able to effectively care for others or build your internal strength if you don’t effectively care for yourself. Ensuring your own needs are met is actually to the benefit of those around you. When you get what you need in life, you are able to be a happier, more focused, more forgiving, more patient, more interesting human being. And who doesn’t want to be THAT person or have that kind of person in their life to support them?!
When your needs are met, there’s no more stress, no more burnout, and no more losing your cool. You can then focus your energy on being there for those you love. And being there for yourself and your dreams!
Ever lash out at someone you love unexpectedly and feel terrible about it? These sort of situations happen when we are not making sure our own needs are met. So, how do you ensure your needs are met, and how do you know what your needs are anyway?
You may already know what your needs are, or you may need to take some time to think about it. It boils down to what’s most important to you. What do you need in life in order to feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled? Each person’s needs are different, and there’s no right or wrong answer.
Here are some ideas to get you started, but don’t limit yourself to these alone:
- Financial Stability
Figure out what your needs are, and then do all you can to stand up for those needs. Your health, happiness, and dreams depend on it!
Be aware of your needs, practice identifying and meeting your needs, and always be on the lookout for when your needs are neglected. After a while, you will begin to see the signs. Feeling low? Starting to snap back at people? Tired even though you’ve had plenty of sleep? Haven’t smiled in a while? There’s a good chance one or more of your needs aren’t being met.
The path to believing in your dreams and finally pursuing them begins with ensuring your needs—all of your needs—are being met. Don’t worry. You’ll get better and better at figuring out your needs and learning how to fulfill them.
Stop Waiting for One Day
Are you waiting for something to fall into place for you to begin pursuing your dreams? Are you waiting for ideal circumstances? Are you waiting for more money or more time? Are you waiting for your kids to get older? Are you waiting for the “right” moment?
Believing in your dreams means taking steps towards your dreams all the time—right now, today—not just when you “think” the time is right. Let’s face it; the real world won’t stop for you, and there will always be some reason to put off your dreams.
So do not wait!
I will when I have…
I will if I get…
I will when the time is right…
I will when other people…
I will if I have enough money…
I will when I have more time…
Reality check! Those ifs and whens may never happen! When you’re waiting for one day, you could be waiting forever, and you most likely will. And I don’t want you or anyone else to have those types of regrets!
Here’s one of the phrases we live by at Fearless Living:
Invest in the life you have to get the life you want.
Now is the time to invest in yourself. Now is the time to stop making excuses. Now is the time to believe in your dreams.
No more ifs or whens—your journey toward fulfilling your dreams continues each and every day.
Smaller, More Attainable Goals
Let’s take a moment to get a bit more practical about how we reach our dreams. I get it—no matter how much we believe and how many manifesting principles we practice, our dreams sometimes just seem so far away… so far away that it’s hard to even know how to get started.
This is when it helps to take it back a step. Instead of focusing on those big, wild, amazing dreams you have, break it down into something smaller—something much more attainable. You don’t have to accomplish everything all at once. What’s one small step you can take towards your dreams?
Let’s say you’ve always wanted to publish a book. That’s an impressive, monumental feat, but just because it’s a big dream doesn’t mean you can’t work towards it. It could be a long road, but that road needs to begin somewhere. Instead of waiting until you have the time or waiting until inspiration strikes, what’s one step you could take to help you get closer to people buying your book on Amazon?
Break down that large goal into smaller steps. What needs to happen first? Could you sign up for a writing class? Are there writer podcasts you could begin listening to on your daily commute or while you’re washing the dishes? Is further research required? Could you reach out to someone who has published a book in a similar genre to ask for guidance?
Here’s another example. Let’s say you’ve always wanted to go to Italy. You’ve dreamed of taking a delicious bite of fresh Italian pasta while sipping red wine next to a Venetian waterway. But when will you go? When will you ever have the time? When will you have the money to take that trip? By wondering and waiting, you will never realize that dream.
What step could you take today? You could start learning Italian on Duolingo for 10 minutes every day. You could bring lunch from home twice a week and put the money you save aside for your trip. If you’re in a stable spot financially, you could begin researching what cities you will visit and what time of year is best to book your trip.
A small note about dreams. Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to dream about living in a mansion or running a $1 million company. Those might be your dreams, but it’s also quite possible that some or all of your dreams are less than huge. Don’t think that just because they’re called dreams they need to be some out there, wild, and extravagant idea.
Your dreams are whatever you want them to be, and they could be as simple as wanting to plant your own vegetable garden, learning how to play an instrument, finding more freedom in your career, or taking your kids to Disney World. No idea is too big or too small to be one of your dreams.
It’s Time to Realize Your Dreams
Imagine you woke up every day with a sense of purpose. Imagine you began to pursue your dreams now instead of waiting for that one day to come? Live the life your soul intended™—today, not someday.
If you’ve been struggling to make your dreams a reality or find it difficult to believe in your own dreams, my 10-week Fearless Living Training Program is for you. It is designed to crack the secret code to fear, including all of the fears that keep us from pursuing our dreams.
With Fearless Living, you’ll learn how to prioritize your own needs, maintain boundaries, manage negative thoughts, find self-fulfillment, and pursue more opportunities for growth. Getting started is only a click away.