Tell your problems to go take a hike!
by Wendy Keller
One of the things I HATE most about the problems and suffering we all encounter in the course of a normal human life is this: They detour us from living our dreams! That’s a rip off if there ever was one!
When you’re mired down in feeling sad or struggling to overcome something acute, you’re seeking comfort, encouragement, help, support and such from the world. That’s normal and natural, but there comes a time when you decide that it’s YOUR turn to have as good a life as possible under the circumstances. It’s YOUR turn to say, “Heck with suffering! I’m going to start living my dreams T-O-D-A-Y!”
We gather up so many excuses for why we can’t begin now. We think living our dream has to be this Big Grand Thing that’s so exciting it’s overwhelming. We’re like a Chihuahua who just brought down an antelope on the African plains, asking “How do I begin?”
The place to start is right here.
The time to start is right now.
If you’re tired of your own problems interrupting your plans to get started on living the life you dream about, here are SEVEN STEPS to starting today. Small steps, yeah, but “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Screw up your courage and pretend you’re brave, fearless, have no problems, have everything you need to get started, all the support, money, love and open doors ahead of you. Then…
1. Recognize that you’re not getting any younger. Sorry, but it’s true for all of us. Yep, you’re going to die someday. Me too. Perhaps sooner than you’d like, perhaps later than you’d like. We all imagine these glorious futures for ourselves when everything will be great and the circumstances will be in our favor to start living a great life. Well, here’s a news flash: This is it! The only thing really stopping us from that first step is that we’re chicken. Plain ol’ chicken. The rest is illusion.
2. Decide to take the first little baby step. It’s not like you are going to wake up tomorrow and be Oprah, or live in a gigantic mansion or write a best selling book or be president of a multinational corporation. Figure out what you’ve gotta do right now, today, to move just a quarter inch toward that goal. Oprah took a lot of steps to become who she is now. If you go back and watch her very first shows, you’ll see how she’s grown, evolved, learned and expanded her consciousness. Yeah, your first step could be wrong. OK. But since it’s just a lil’ ol’ baby step, it’s not going to damage the rest of your life if you screw it up. Is it a phone call? A bit of research? Asking someone a question? Decide to take it.
3. Tell them to “Shut the hell up!” No offense to my dear mom or yours, but our mothers’ voices – or father’s or spouse’s or best friend’s or some teacher or boss from way back when – may have said “You’ll never do that!” or belittled you once when you shared your ideas and dreams for the life you want to live. When you’re preparing to take that wobbly little first baby step, those voices start shrieking inside your brain. Well, you know what to tell them. Give yourself a “Negative Thinking Free Day” – a day when you refuse to allow any of those annoying voices to influence your behavior, destroy your self esteem or make you too scared to step out toward your dream. Who do they think they are anyway?!
4. TAKE the baby step. Just do it! And then chronicle it somewhere. Yep, just write down what you did – the baby step – and how you felt before, during and after. Doesn’t have to be a long fancy journal entry. Write it on a gum wrapper and hide it in the pocket of your winter coat! By putting it down in writing, you have one piece of proof that you CAN take a step in the right direction – the direction of your dreams. You might choose to chronicle the whole journey to your success, so when they make the movie about your life…
5. SEE what happened next. Sometimes we get so busy, we don’t monitor the effects of our actions. What happened from the baby step? If you felt like it was a good step, what did it create? If it didn’t go the way you’d hoped – like, you found out there are already 4,500 books on Amazon just like the one you had dreamed of writing – what can you do to make YOUR dream bigger, better, brighter, different? If the person you asked for a raise or to marry you or just for a date said no, then you got feedback. OK. You can get a new job or a new romantic partner…or do nothing at all. But at least now you’ve got bona fide data about your Big Dream.
6. Determine your Next Action Step. If your dream is that big mansion, and someone GAVE you the land, the plans and the materials for free, no matter how much you wanted it, there’s still a lot of work between now and moving in, right? What’s first? Pouring the foundation? One of the challenges with Dream Building is we want it RIGHT THIS INSTANT. Not many things happen “right this instant.” Ask, “What’s the next step?” Scrunch up your courage and take that step, too. Pretty soon, you’ll be running!
7. Prepare for speed bumps. Bad things will happen. Things won’t go as planned. People and things will get in your way. So what? Does that mean you give up? No. If you’re a regular reader of my blog posts, you’re already dealing with a hell of a lot of “bad things” in your life. Don’t let those things – or other things – stand in your way. (If you want to know WHY you mustn’t, refer again to Step #1.)
No Good Fairy is going to drop down from the sky, fix all your problems and shine a strobe light on the path you should take. Ya gotta do that for yourself! Achieving the life of your dreams requires courage and dedication to the task at hand. No matter what has happened to you, the fact that you even HAVE that dream means it’s attainable for you. Just try these steps and you’ll start to see progress – promise!
Would you like a copy of Wendy Keller’s FREE ebook
“The Top Ten Tips to Coping with Crisis”?
12 thoughts on “Too Burdened to Live Your Dreams? Seven Steps to Start Today”
Thank you, Wendy! I’m just starting my business and have great support from friends, but have heard the “I don’t think it’s the right choice” from my wife. I wanted to start a business 8 or 9 years ago but she said the same thing then and I listened to her negativity. I’ve taken the baby steps to get my license and will work toward this opportunity with or without her. Your words of encouragement were much appreciated and so helpful today. Thank you for your site. I’ve read a few of your posts and have found great words of wisdom. Thank you! Taking baby steps toward my goal.
Go, John, go!!! I’m a lifelong entrepreneur, although I took a few detours to work at some newspapers and magazines along the way. I think that all things considered, there’s no better way to live. May I recommend the book by my literary client Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak, A-list international business consultant “The Mirror Test”? I wish I’d had it when I first began. And the books that were my BIBLEs when I began my literary agency 23+ yrs ago: “Growing a Business” by Paul Hawken (if it’s still around anywhere!) and “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber. Gerber’s book is super-hard to put into practice in every way, but the principles make you really stop to think about what IS possible to implement. I use his theory of systems in about 70% of all I do, and I’m in a professional services business, not McDonald’s or manufacturing. Just my humble opinion. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Wendy. I feel too burdened (by past experiences and a chronic illness) to live my dreams. I am in pre-nursing school, and would love to go to medical school one day. My boyfriend and I have been planning on me moving 2000 miles away to start building a life with him this Summer. I am frightened by past experiences to leave my life here, and move to a different place for the love of my life that would very possibly ultimately end up in marriage (and a successful career). Thank you for your inspiration.
Shucks, Lynn! Sounds like you ARE living them! Going to nursing school? Planning a future with a guy you love and who loves you back? You go, girl! Good job!
All the best,
I haven’t taken a lot of time to go very far into your website yet but I intend to! I loved your blog today. It was not only encouraging, but it felt honest, direct and real. There were ideas to help but not the “oh, don’t worry, everything’s gonna be ok flowers and marshmallows” so to speak. Instead, kinda like a Dutch Uncle with Gramma’s tenderness…perfect mix. Thank you!
I’ve never been compared to a Dutch Uncle before! That made me laugh – along with the marshmallows! It’s my strong desire in all I write to stay in integrity with what I’ve learned from my own hardship and from counseling, supporting, helping and encouraging so many other people. I believe people always can sense if someone is being inauthentic. But you know, if we had enough marshmallows, a big bonfire and a whole bunch of sticks, we could have a BIG campout together!
Thanks for the humor, Cathy. Wishing you a life full of joy, love and peace from this moment forward.
I am a real believer in the statement… When the student is ready, the master will appear. It amazes me how many masters of thought have been presented to me as I have started taking the baby steps for my business. Thank you for the push again today. I had again let my dream take a back step to worry and fear. Mum has leukemia and son had encephalitis and I have recently been bogged down in feeling overwhelmed and fearful. Thanks for the gentle kick up the bum.
Glad to be your “kick in the bum”, Esther. You DO have a lot on your plate, but that’s when heroism rises if we let it. I think everyone is capable of more than they think they are. Best wishes to you, your family and your business.
This was a good one to talk about. After reading this new blog I realized that I have been doing some of this. When I first realized that my marriage couldn’t be saved, and that my partner was a completely different person (verbally abusive, and narccisitic personality disorder) 🙁 I felt like my dream had died. My entire life I wanted to have a good family life raising kids, and loving one another. All of those things became impossible, because no matter what I did it became wrong, and she projected her issues onto me to avoid them. I struggled with her negative words daily, and questioned myself entirely too much. Now that the divorce is final as of 4/12/12 I feel 100 times lighter. I still feel sad for her, and that everything turned out this way, but I am stronger. I also realize that there are many other women in this world, and that I need to find one that understands that type of treatment isn’t ok. I now am using my knowledge of this to help others (with you and many others’ help). I am finally feeling the strength I need to make some dreams happen. I have resorted back to a hobby of mine to help boost my self-esteem, and it’s been great. Anyways, keep up your amazing work, because it’s helped me, and it’s helping me help make a difference for others 🙂 Thank you!
Thanks so much for sharing, Jason. Congratulations and condolences on your divorce four days ago. Sounds like you’re going to be fine. And you’re sure right about that – there are plenty of women in the world who will treat you with love and respect and kindness. Of course, you have to set the example by treating yourself that way first, but you know that.
Wishing you a life of peace and joy from here forward,
Your writings are really peppy 🙂
Most people exist’they don’t live !
And yes I too thought I would grow old together with the man I got married too but 25yrs of marriage and still the jerk never realized the value and broke a beautiful home.
Sure it was a shocker for me initially after investing all my beautiful years to make a home ..it is a tremondous job …all the sacrifices /compromises/putting yourself on the back burner!!!!!!1
But hey I am in a happier place now / doing things I had given up doing/ social work/ going to the theatre to watch plays /movies/
I love myself and am enjoyng all myself.
Love u Wendy keep pumping the Pep Talk <3
Thanks Jacqui —
You know, the third time my daughter moved out for college, I went out and bought candle-making supplies because it was a hobby I’d enjoyed with my grandfather when I was really young. I can relate to you going back to social work, theatre, etc. now that there’s no one to say what they’d rather do!
She’s moved back in again, my little yo-yo. But I realize that just the act of living with someone makes us make different choices. I’m glad you’re in a happier place and enjoying yourself. What a refreshing opportunity!
Wishing you continued peace, love and joy!