“Follow your dreams”.
Sounds good in theory. But, taking it into practice and actually doing it takes patience, dedication and plenty of balls. Because let’s face it: it’s freaking scary heading out into the unknown towards something that might, or might not work out.
To pursue your dreams – whether that means starting a side hustle, pursuing a passion project, or trying out your artistic skills – is like drinking a Mojito mixed with Fernet. Sweet, exciting, and enjoyable yet also intense, challenging and overwhelming.
Taking action and moving towards your dreams is one part of the process. But, dealing with fears, insecurities and doubt is perhaps even more important when it comes to turning goals into a reality.
No wonder Tony Robbins, known as the world’s #1 life and business strategist, says that success is only 20% skills –– the rest is all in your head.
So, to set yourself up for success, it’s crucial to get your mindset right.
To help you find the courage, determination, and mindset to pursue your dreams, I’ve listed 10 powerful quotes below. Let them inspire and stir your mind so that you start moving towards your dreams.
Time isn’t something we simply find. Instead, it’s something we make for the things that matter, depending on our priorities. So ask yourself, how high up is your dream or goal on your priority list?
If it’s high up, but you still struggle to find the time – then dedicate a few hours per week to it. If all you can give is 2 hours per week to your endeavors, then that’s great. Make those hours count. Remember: consistency beats intensity.
At first, when we decide to follow a dream or passion project we get excited and enthusiastic. But then, fears and limitations creep in. Those will always rise to the surface and our job is not to keep our gaze focused on them for too long.
Instead, shift focus towards what you can achieve. Ask yourself what you can do, instead of what you can’t do. Also, start imagining what type of person you’ll become if you start achieving your longings. You’ll most likely become a bolder, wiser and more inspiring person to yourself and others.
If you worry that others already have done what you plan to do, or that you might be less talented or skilled than someone else – then this is for you. Instead of comparing yourself to other people, aim at stepping into the best version of yourself.
Do quirky things, use your story to your advantage and build on your strengths, uniqueness, and interests. Choose to embrace what you were given and trust that what you have is enough to pursue your dreams. Just stay flexible, open-minded and let preparation meet with the right people and circumstances.
After having spent 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela went on to become the first black president of South Africa. Today, he’s a symbol of global peacemaking and proof that one person can change the world.
Use Mandela’s story as your permission slip to dream big. (If that’s what you’re called to do). He was “just” a human being, like you and me, who managed to turn the most difficult and challenging situation into positive changes for many. Get inspired by him and trust that, like him, you’re more capable than you think.
Dreaming can often sound abstract and fuzzy. But, it’s an important aspect when it comes to clarifying your vision. When we dream and fantasize, without constraints, we open up to new ideas and ways of pursuing what we want.
Don’t hold yourself back when you imagine. Just like when you were a kid, allow yourself to play with thoughts and possibilities – even if they seem unrealistic. Simply, make dreaming part of your planning.
Oh, the future! That magical place where things will fall into place, where fear won’t exist and the perfect timing will appear. Right? I’m saying this because this is what I used to believe. For years, I was waiting for the perfect moment in time when a change would feel easier.
But, that day never comes unless we decide to act. Because tomorrow never comes – it always shows up as today. So choose to make change happen today, not sometime in the future. And remember: the changes don’t have to be big and dramatic (like leaving everything behind to become a monk in Nepal). They can start small and realistic (like dedicating 2 hours per week to your passion project).
This first sentence is epic. In today’s on-demand, instant-delivery and fast-moving society we’re used to making things happen in an instant. But, change and making something happen with quality and passion, requires time.
There is no rush. There is no set timeline unless you decide so. So give yourself space to move forward and to craft, create and sculpt your dream in a way that feels good and right to you. Better to move forward consistently and slowly, and to create what you truly desire – than to move forward in stress and then one day realize that you didn’t create what you envisioned.
We need to remind ourselves of this, often. Nobody was born a pro or expert. It’s something we become after hours of practice and dedication. So give yourself the space to be a beginner. Allow yourself to fail, make mistakes and mess up.
When I started doing personal development workshops with my partner-in-shine Sophie, we did lots of mistakes. We went over time, talked non-stop about ourselves and made it all about us – instead of the people listening. (Almost blushing as I’m writing this). But, we needed to make those mistakes to grow, learn and become better at public speaking.
P.S. The good news? You barely notice those mistakes when you make them. They usually surface after. (Which makes it sooo much easier to deal with them!)
Let’s face it. People love giving their advice and opinion. It’s sweet and thoughtful, but not always useful. The thing is, we give advice based on our experience and perception of the world. So, if someone lives with a scarcity mindset and a belief that there are great risks with turning a dream into reality – then the advice they give will be based on fear.
Use their (or your own) worst-case scenarios to cushy-comfort yourself, in case things don’t work out. But, then set yourself up for success by taking advice from the right people! Ask those who are where you want to be or those that have done a similar journey to the one you want to make – they’ll guide you in the right direction.
Following your dreams is great! But, along the path, don’t take yourself or your dreams too seriously. If you do, then you won’t enjoy the journey. And if you don’t enjoy the journey, you most likely won’t enjoy the destination.
Make sure that the path is enjoyable and fun. Personally, I’d rather have something take 5 years and me enjoying the process than something taking 2 years and those years being stressful and frustrating. If you need more time to complete something, give yourself that time. If you need a break to gain inspiration and energy, give yourself that break.
To follow your dreams is a path filled with excitement, rewards, and fulfillment – but also fears, doubt and insecurities. Let these quotes inspire you to focus on what you desire and to face the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead.
Eventually, “following your dreams” isn’t so much about accomplishing something externally, as it is about becoming a better version of yourself in the process. Because once you try new things, connect with new people, and takes steps outside the comfort zone (even if they’re baby steps) you step into a grander version of yourself.
That’s the greatest cherry on the cake.
About the author: Maria Stenvinkel is on a mission to help people get a career they truly love. Download her free worksheet Get a Clue to Your Calling With These 10 Powerful Questions.