Make your big dream happen isn't easy but it might not be as complicated as you might think either.
Big, sweet dreams, look different for everybody. Advertising suggests we should want the same, but the reality is that big dreams look different for everybody. So, it doesn’t have to be a six-pack and one million in the bank, unless you want to.
The problem with big dreams is that lots of people think it’s out of reach. They think that only a few selected people are going to have their dream life, while “the rest of us” is going to have a hard and disappointing one.
The truth is, there’s no such thing as “life”. “Life” is your current situation and the people you surround yourself with. In other words, “life” is you. How you perceive things, and if you think you’re in control to a certain extent or not.
The difference between people who make their big dreams happen and the others, is, that they relentlessly work on their limiting beliefs and they consistently take action towards their dreams.
In this article, I want to talk about the limiting-beliefs-aspect of making your big dreams happen because it’s where it all starts. If you don’t believe in yourself and don’t think it’s going to work, everything you’ll undertake will be half-hearted and you’ll give up at some point. Besides, if you do things half-hearted, people are going to notice.
Here is how to work on your mindset in order to put strong, convincing action into the world, and start believing in yourself and in making your dreams happen.
You need to be excited about it
When it comes to building your dreams there is one thing, I want you to do. Instead of thinking that your current situation is what it is and that it will stay that way (more or less), I want you to think from a place of possibilities and options, not limitations.
I want you to let go of the “musts” and “shoulds”, the false modesty, the “what you think is realistic”, the “what you think you are skilled at or not”, and the “what you think you are allowed to do or not”, or the “what is going to work for you or not work”.
What you need to realize, is that for now, you’re in a bubble. And not a bubble of hope, otherwise, you wouldn’t be struggling, but a bubble of “there’s not so much that is possible for me.”
And if you act from there, you’re not going to get results. Unconsciously (or consciously) you’re going to stop yourself from taking the necessary actions to get there.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take action before you believe it will work, but that you need to work consistently on your mindset while you take actions.
So, when you think of a big dream you have, concentrate on excitement first and figure out the reality after you’ve let yourself dream.
One step to go towards your dream is to first admit to yourself that you want it.
This sounds obvious but it isn’t.
Most people stop even at allowing themselves to dream big because they’re afraid of being disappointed, delusional, or even of what people might think.
And that’s understandable: What will happen if you speak out what you want – even to yourself – and you fail?
Now, let me change the question: What will happen if you don’t? You will fail for sure.
So, now I want you to be brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself this question:
- If I had a magic wand and I could make everything I wish to happen, what would it be?
Now, you might have more than one answer to this question or even feel overwhelmed by it but try the exercise as honestly as possible.
Write down your answer(s) and keep it in a place where you can go back to regularly.
How to fuel your dreams and make them goals
1. Write your goals down, ideally regularly.
Now, that you know what you want, I want you to take the habits of writing your goals down, at least every week, but ideally, every day for at least 3 weeks.
This exercise, as silly it might sound, is there to trigger a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System. The RAS filters all information coming your way. Sounds, images, smells, and so on and it helps you focus.
If you set yourself a goal, the RAS will seek answers and help you find solutions until you have. You'll find answers you wouldn’t have thought of in the first place without constantly thinking about it.
Writing your goals down will support your brain even more in that direction.
In fact, people who write their goals down are 20 to 40% more likely to reach them than people who don’t.
It’s not magic, just science and it works for two main reasons:
- If you write it down on a piece of paper, you’ll be remembered daily by it and align your actions with it.
You might think that you’ll remember your goals and you don’t need a piece of paper to remind you of them, but it’s not completely true. Commonly, people don’t reach their goals because they lost track of them. In other words, they lose focus. Reminding yourself of them on a piece of paper will strengthen your thinking pattern in a positive direction and help you make the right choices every day.
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- The second reason why it works is “encoding”. Encoding is a biological sorting and storing process.
It’s what happens when the information we perceive is eliminated or stored in our long-term memory. Writing things down helps to improve the encoding process and make your goals a priority.
2. Make a vision board
You might have heard of this seemly “woo-woo”-method before but here again, vision boards fulfill a function in the pursuit of your dreams.
First, it can be fun. And fun is an essential factor to help you make things happen. If you pursue a dream, and you’re never having fun, it’s going to be hard and you risk giving up pretty fast.
It’s essential to nurture the childish part of ourselves and make “silly” plans. If you make a vision board, you’re going to trigger your imagination and feel joyful about it.
Secondly, it has the same effect as writing things down. If you put it in front of yourself so that you can look at it daily, it’s going to influence your decisions positively.
In case you don’t know what a vision board is, it’s a board you create where you depict all your dreams and goals with a collage and eventually drawings if you want to.
Here is an example:
What needs to be done?
Once you’ve done that, become clear about what needs to be done. Now, of course, if it’s a big dream, you’re not going to be able to plan every step of the way to know how to get there.
You just possibly can’t find out all of the steps and actions that need to be taken in order to reach a big goal in five or ten years from now. Besides, it might change along the way.
However, you can start to work in that direction.
For that, you could pick a goal that is nearer in time. For example, 6 months to one year, and that you think is going to bring you nearer to your big dream.
Then you reverse-engineer your mid-term goal (with researching and the amount of knowledge you have for now) and see what needs to be done next.
Goals stay dreams if they don’t have a system. They need to be SMART.
In case you’re not familiar with that project management method, SMART stands for:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bounded.
Now, there are other versions of this where A stands for attainable, and R for realistic. But I think that attainable and realistic in the same system are redundant, even if you could “make it fit”, so, I’m going to concentrate on the achievable and relevant version.
Again here, I want you to take a piece of paper and answer the following questions for yourself:
- First, you have to be specific: What do you want to achieve exactly?
- Then you have to make your goal measurable: What must be achieved in order to let you know you’ve reached your goal?
- Then you’ll have to think about the achievable aspect of your goal and be very honest with yourself on this one: Do you have the necessary skills now to achieve it? And if not, which efforts can you and are you willing to put in in order to achieve your goal? (Of course, use your common sense.)
- Then make it relevant: Is this exciting enough for you to put the effort in? No matter if your goal is small or big, you’re going to put a certain amount of effort into it. So why not pick a goal that excites you?
- Finally, without a deadline, goals never happen. Your goal must be time-bounded. In other words, pick a deadline and create a climate of accountability to meet it.
Often, we underestimate how much time a goal is going to take, but even if you miss the deadline, it’s better than not to set one at all.
You must constrain your workload in a certain amount of time so that you don’t feel the agony of never finishing.
Having a limited amount of time to achieve something is not about competition and delivering everything on time just for the sake of it. It’s about experiencing progress, a general sense of achievement, and releasing stress.
Once you’re done with your SMART plan, I want you to answer this question:
- Which step do you have to take now to get closer to your goal?
To make a big dream happen you first must dream it fully.
If you’re not even able to admit it to yourself, it’s not happening!
Once you’ve fully experienced your dream, you need to make it concrete, otherwise, it will stay a dream.
It means making concrete plans and following through – aka taking actions daily towards your dream, that has now become a plan.
However, you shouldn’t understand plans as a prophecy but as a roadmap to help you get where you want to go.
Especially if you don’t have any experience yet, it’s whether possible to imagine how much time it’s going to take exactly, nor less what will happen and how it will happen.
But having a roadmap to not lose track of your desires, is a must if you want to get any kind of results.
Until then, sweet dreams <3