In an ideal world, we would never stop dreaming. Unfortunately, life gets in the way. We get sucked into work, school or family obligations. Our jobs consume us. Our children’s lives dictate our own. And we struggle to just make it through the day, let alone continue to pursue our dreams.
Often, when we’re doing out best to serve others – our best friend going through chemotherapy, our aging parent needing constant care, our significant other learning their new job and working 12 hour days – we get lost. Our identity is an extension of whoever we are devoting the majority of our time to, and we find ourselves filled with confusion and resentment.
But you already know this, because you or someone you know has experienced this. And it can happen to the most ambitious, driven and intelligent of the bunch. That sense of responsibility we feel to everyone else may come from a place of love and commitment, but what’s actually happening is that we set aside our own ambitions to suit the needs of others.
Luckily, you are in the perfect place to make a change. There really is no better time than now to refocus yourself. So I pose this question: when was the last time you did something you were truly passionate about? Something that makes you happy? Excited? Hopeful? If it has been a long time – a year, ten years, or even never – do not let that get you discouraged. Remind yourself that you are in there; you may be living for others now, but your authentic self never disappeared.
You have ideas. You have goals. You have dreams. You may not be sure what they are. You may have an idea but be afraid to pursue it. You may even have written down a plan, talked to people about it and decided to do it. But something stopped you and you have decided to put it on the backburner to do the things that you feel you are more suited for – like being the caregiver, parent, friend and worker. Though all of these jobs are important, you still know that there is more to your life than what you are doing right now.
Give yourself permission to let go of your doubts and walk into the you that you know deep down you can be. What better time is there than right now? Start taking small steps towards those big dreams. You don’t have to ditch all your other responsibilities; it can be as simple as a phone call, a vision board or buying a domain name.
Each day, devote a portion of your time to that thing – your thing – that makes you excited about getting out of bed. When you feel you come to an impasse, remind yourself that there are no obstacles. There are only a series of problems that you are 100 percent capable of solving. As you solve each one, you will build confidence in yourself. Every area of your life will improve. And you’ll see that life – in all of its complicated, difficult and sometimes painful glory – is a beautiful journey. It’s your journey that you have defined, and your first step in your path to your authentic self begins now.