Don’t worry. This is not a post about writing down your goals and putting them where you can see them. Everybody knows that.
It’s a post about why.
Smother Your Fear
Have you ever had a lofty goal in your head, only to downsize your dream as it drifts out of your mouth? Maybe it’s because you’ve been asked, disbelievingly, if you really think you can. Or maybe you’re somehow the one asking that ugly question.
Change is uncomfortable, and changing your own status quo and heading into unknown territory can be terrifying.
Mark Twain said, “Do the thing you fear the most, and the death of fear is certain.”
Being bold is how you start to suffocate your fear and open fresh, new doors for yourself.
Remember to Live the Dream
What do you see in your head when you daydream about what you want? You can probably imagine what you’re wearing, who is with you, where you are, and most importantly, what it feels like. Write those things down. That’s your vision, and you need to be reminded of it.
Think about how kids pretend. A little “dinosaur” might not break character for hours on end and might not answer to anything but “triceratops.” He might even seem to know as much as a real paleontologist. That’s because to him, it’s real. He’s living his dream.
Very similarly, living your dream later in life takes reminding yourself who you are and what you want. High schoolers do it with posters in their lockers and notes doodled onto book covers. Adults do it with sticky notes and vision boards.
As long as your reminder is made of powerful words that you can begin to believe, it can be enough. Write it down, word it as though you’ve already achieved it, and read it often enough so that you can feel what it feels like.
Say It Out Loud
Read your vision out loud as often as you can. Hearing yourself say it does something different to you than simply reading it does.
You probably remember Aron Ralston, the hiker whose arm became trapped between a fallen boulder and a canyon wall in southern Utah back in 2003. The world still marvels that he found the will to cut off his own arm to free himself. It’s not insignificant that leading up to the act, Ralston talked out loud to himself: “You’re gonna have to cut your arm off, Aron.” “I don’t want to cut my arm off.” “Dude, you’re gonna have to cut your arm off.” He did it, and he survived.
Will it be that dramatic for you? Let’s hope not. But we all need to dig deep at times and do hard things that feel unnatural, and the belief that we can do it comes in the same way.
Don’t be afraid to listen to your inner voice. Write down what it says, what it feels like to have what you envision. Repeat that stuff out loud as often as you can, believe it, and see what happens.