Doing what you love, and dreaming big, is well, complicated.
How do we trust what we are going after will be something in the end that we really want?
How do we know it’s the right dream?
And why is is so hard for some of us to find out what it is we dream of doing? Why does the idea of dreaming big scare me so much?
Worrying about dreaming big and stepping out of your comfort zone is the surest way to keep you from moving forward and trying something new with your life.
Trying to dream big without looking at the challenges that you face and deciding that you will go around them as the arise is like jumping into a moving river without knowing your level as a swimmer and without understanding the river’s depth, flow and where the current will take you.
But here’s the thing:
Trying to change your life and go after your big dream takes guts and an understanding of why it can be hard, accepting that fact and deciding to do it anyway.
9 Reasons Why Dreaming Big is Hard —
1. It’s Difficult To Know What You Want
The toughest part about dreaming big is that it isn’t about finding the right dream–it’s about finding yourself. Do you know what you want out of life? This is the first question you need to ask yourself. It’s a seemingly easy question that many answer by listing what they DON’T WANT instead of what they DO WANT.
Dreaming big is about finding out who you are.
Have you ever listed all the things you love to do and see if there is a similar thread running through them? Do you remember all the things you liked to do as a child? Do you remember why? Do you remember how certain play time activities felt as a child? Are you able to recreate those feelings anywhere in your life?
2. You’ve Been Told What To Be
You’ve been told what to do for so long that it’s hard to know what it is you really want. When we were kids, adults were serious people, who worked to pay the bills.
You know, money doesn’t grow on trees . . .
As kids, we didn’t work for the most part, but we did have to go to school, which is really a watered-down form of work to prepare us for the “real” work world. As much as we may have disliked school, our parents felt their work was more difficult, and we kids had it easy.
It’s a cycle I hear over and over: “When is my child going to get a j-o-b?” And if the kid has a job he loves, I often hear the parents say, “When is he going to get a r-e-a-l job?”
Just get a job we’re told, be responsible – forget about loving it – love your career if it is stable and has good benefits.
3. Dreaming Big Requires Change
Let’s face it, change is hard. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t”? Meaning, it’s better to know something is awful, rather than risk changing for the unknown and have it be worse than awful–if that’s possible. We are intimidated by the unknown.
This is coupled by the fact that we’re too often motivated to change by only when we experience fear, regret, or guilt. Experts who study behavior change agree that long-lasting change is most likely when it’s self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking. (Harvard Women’s Health Watch).
Change is a process, not a one-time event.
4. You Lack Support
You lack the necessary support you need to feel comfortable in researching what it is you love. Maybe you feel like there’s no time due to family obligations.
Sometimes it’s the people closest to us who don’t want us to change, so you may have a situation where someone you love doesn’t help you make time for your big dream, or ridicules you when you begin to step outside your comfort zone.
Maybe there are people in your life that when something good happens to move you forward in your dream, they find some way to turn your triumph into something negative. It’s hard to stay strong and committed in that environment.
5. You’re Not Sure of What You Value
You feel a little lost with pursuing a big dream, because you don’t really know your values. Ask yourself: “What do I really value?” Is it time? Money? Freedom? Fun? Hard work? If you value time then you know the dream you are searching for must offer more time in your life. Or maybe you like freedom, then your dream needs to bring more freedom into your life.
But what does that look like? List a set of values you treasure. Compare it with the things you love spending time doing – is there something that stands out? Is there a pattern?
6. You’re Not Willing To Make Tough Sacrifices
Do you have the knowledge and skills which fit the requirements of your big dream? If you don’t, how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to add these skill-sets to your repertoire? How long are you willing to give your best shot? Are you willing to live on rice if that’s what it takes? Are you willing to forgo watching television, dinners out, vacations to work your dream?
Are you willing to do your dream to your very best ability?
Not 60%, or 40% but give it 100%? If your book requires 23 re-writes to make it better, would you do it? Can you look at your dream with a critical eye and tell when you are halfheartedly trying?
7. You Won’t Do The Necessary Research
You must find out about the industry you are moving into. Do you understand the expectations, the knowledge and skills needed to achieve your dream? For example, let’s say you want to be a top blogger, have you studied the top bloggers? Have you contacted them to find out what it takes to be a top blogger? Do you understand the time involved? How about the money it takes? What are the worst mistakes you can make as a blogger?
And if an expert tells you that you can’t get there from the direction you are heading, are you willing to change course? Are you willing to do things someone else suggests if it gets you where you want to be?
Are you willing to admit when you’re wrong? How are you at taking honest feedback?
8. You Don’t Network With Enough People
You need to find your tribe. You need to network with people who live the dream life you want to live, so you get a feel of what it is like upfront. You also need to hang out with people who share your passion and support you in achieving your dream.
Do you know where there’s a group of people who can help you?
9. You Don’t Know How To Create A Plan
You don’t know how to get started, how to create a plan, or how to achieve it. You don’t know where to begin, or what direction to take.
Every first step begins with action, and the first thing is to write your dream at the top of a piece of paper (that is if you have an idea of what your big dream might be). Then write all the things you think you need to do to accomplish this dream. Doing this part alone is an accomplishment in itself.
Is there a way you can do a little of your dream – something small?
Let’s say your dream is to be a published author. Maybe you join a local writer’s group who publishes members writings in a small booklet, or maybe you write a 3 page story on your own. You work the 3 page story until it is something you love. Then you take it to a printer and have it printed on quality paper and enclose it in a presentation binder.
Put it on your bookshelf and consider it a published piece. Then decide to write a 6 page one next. The point is to do your dream in a small way, a way that’s comfortable, and a way that begins to move you forward in your dream.
And with each baby step do a little more research on your dream. The Internet is an amazing resource – use it.
As author, James Allen said in his book, As A Man Thinkith,
Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built.
Now that you know 9 reasons why it’s hard to dream big, are you going to try anyway?
Catherine Hughes is the founder of 8 Women Dream. She is passionate about helping women step out of their own way and strike out into a world waiting for their special talents. She’s a published author and a former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine has helped companies both large and small create engaging web content, social media narratives, and unique blogging platforms. She claims to be a redhead but don’t hold that against her.