How to Find Your Dream in 5 Easy Steps

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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How to Find Your Dream in 5 Easy Steps: Find your dream quoteIf you are like many dreamers, you have probably don’t know what to do that will make you happy. Some dreamers have many dreams, so the idea of picking just one seems impossible, while others have no idea what it is they want at all.

In both cases, these dreamers put off taking any formal action at all. You tell yourself, “I know I should do something else,” but you seem to come up with a million reasons (or tail-enders) for not attempting to find your dream. Then you put yourself down for not being like other people who successfully achieve their dreams.

Then the cycle starts all over again — “I wish I knew what my life purpose is,” or “I have so many dreams that I can’t choose,” “It’s too hard to know what I want to do,” or “I just don’t feel like I can do it at this time.”

How do you find your dream?

Find Your Dream in 5 Steps –

1. Get out three sheets of paper.

2.Write 0 – 10 on the top of one sheet, 11 – 20 on the top of the 2nd and 21 – 50 (or whatever your age is today) on the third sheet.

3.Place a large T on all three sheets – dividing them into two columns.

4.On the left column header write This Gave Me Joy and on the right column write I Felt.

5. Then sit somewhere you won’t be disturbed and list all the things you loved doing throughout your life and how they made you feel.

I walk you through this exercise and more in my ebook, Find Your Dream, but I promise you if you do just the 5 steps outlined above you will become more aware of what you need to bring back into your life and what dream is calling out to you.

You will also remember what makes you happy.

Here Comes Resistance

Sometimes when you narrow down your dream, resistance will appear and this is usually a sign you are on the right track

Best-selling author, Steven Pressfield, says:

“…the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no resistance.”

Resistance is the flash light shining on what you are being called to do.

In the practice of emotional freedom techniques resistance is referred to as “tail-enders” the “Yes, buts” that show up when you begin to explore something your subconscious is holding on to.

Resistance shows up as: “Wow. I’d really like to go back to college and take a creative writing class and publish some short stores…” and the “Yes, but” or tail-ender that may show up: “but when do I have the time?” or “How will I pay for it? I don’t have the money right now!” or “What if I don’t like it?”

Unfortunately too many people listen to the words of resistance by giving up instead of saying:

“Even though I think I don’t have the time to go to college, I am going to make an appointment with a college counselor and talk about this fear because I deserve this dream.”

When you see resistance coming up as you narrow in on your dream with whispers of “This is stupid!” or “I can’t do this!” take a piece of paper and write them down on one side of the paper and try to remember if these whispers aren’t fears put on your when you were much younger. Maybe you have an older sibling who used to tell you that your dream “was stupid.” Or maybe a parent or a teacher made you feel like you couldn’t do certain things.

Looking back you can see that it was their opinion of themselves that they were projecting on to you.

Often your fears come from past experiences when you were young and impressionable where someone hurt you deeply by what they said to crush your spirit.  Then the world seemed to show up enough times afterwards to support what others said about your abilities until subconsciously you began to believe what was said as your personal truth.

It’s like someone saying you are a terrible athlete when you are 13-years-old trying baseball for the first time, then afterwards, every time you try a new sport you make all kinds of mistakes.  You begin to believe that you must not be very athletic so you stop trying. Later in life as an adult, you decide to try your hand at swimming because you want to be able to swim with your kids and you get a swimming instructor who believes in you. Through practice and working on your mistakes without quitting you find that you are a good swimmer. You can be athletic.

What was said to you as a kid was a lie.

When you see resistance coming up, practice telling yourself positive statements like, “Even though putting on a swimsuit makes me feel foolish, I am going to learn to swim anyway because I deserve this dream to swim in a triathlon.”

“Even though I haven’t written anything in 20 years and I feel like I am a bad writer, I am going to sign up and attend the first night of that creative writing class because I am a good person and I deserve to take a chance on myself.”

“Even though my family always told me that I’m terrible with money, I am going to set aside $10.00 a month for my travel dream to Ireland and not touch the money until I have enough to take my dream trip because I am a kind and loving person and I am going to be kind and loving to myself.”

Don’t ignore the resistance that comes up when you are honing in on what you would love to do, instead, take it as a sign that you are on the right track.  Write them down and create positive statements around them.

 “Even though I feel [state resistance], I choose [state what you are going to do for yourself and why you deserve it].”

Then trust that you do deserve to find your dream … then go out and achieve it!

Catherine Hughes
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Give us your thoughts!


  • Heather

    Congrats! To infinity and beyond!

  • Catherine

    Why thank you Lisa and Toni

  • Toni Schram

    Bully for Cat, for being our fantastic leader for existing so things get done around here! Hallelujah!

  • GREAT JOB CATH!!!!! Proud of you for going for it and now setting the bar higher for all of us too :) (to create our own video podcasts… I have wanted to and it’s ABOUT TIME….).

    Great job being our fearless leader as always :) And great exercise that you featured… I talk about that a lot in my public speaking engagements – how it’s important to do what we love, and how lucky I am to be doing what I loved as a child (dancing, writing, speaking…)


  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Yeah, it’s not so bad once you get over yourself and get out there. Thanks!

  • katherine beardsley

    As a child, I was afraid of everything: escalators, heights and cockroaches the size of pralines. At the age of 8 I even became afraid of getting Halloween candy. It was difficult to change this until I realized that success is not about the achievement. Every time I step out into the unknown and try something new, win or lose, I succeed. I might break a leg or invest in a losing business idea, but I won’t end up at my 90th birthday with nothing more than stale white cake and regrets. Bad things can happen when we step out of our comfort zone and try something new, but I believe worse things happen to our souls when we don’t.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you Remy my coach and Kim – Kim we miss you. Cath

  • Kim

    I remember this excerise! You did great, nothing to worry about, you’re a natural speaker.

  • Remy, the photographer

    A-MAZING Lady! First off, great energy, great direction and it does make sense…I will also take on this exercise again, its always good for a refresher! You are beautiful. Rem

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