This article is part of The Workbook Project’s Dream Building Series, a 7-day event where I asked blog contributors what dream building means to them. Whether it’s creating a daily life that you’re madly in love with, building a business or a little of both, this dream building theme aims to teach readers how to build a brand and life of their dreams.
Have you ever felt like the Universe is giving you gentle nudges towards your calling? The saying “follow your dreams” is thrown around quite frequently in the realm of motivation and life coaching, but what happens when your dream follows you?
A dream can find you in the most unconventional ways – through a firing or lay off, forced participation, or very often, a guilty pleasure. It’s when the dream burrows into your soul and starts to cause the ache that you know it’s officially stalking you. Little comments here and there from friends about how you should try doing something that you secretly want to do as well. Pangs of unhappiness until you get the chance to do something you love. These are the signs that a dream is following you and they shouldn’t be ignored.
Of course, there’s a bunch of different ways that we blow off our dreams too. Excuses are the number one dream killer.
Some people suffer from lack of confidence in their abilities: “I’m not good enough. Everyone else is better than me.”
The desire to be perfect rather than productive stops many dream builders in their tracks. Dream building is a skill that requires commitment to the dream but also acceptance that failure is important and welcomed for learning and growing.
And then there’s the classic someday syndrome: “I just don’t have time right now. I’ll get to it someday.”
Elizabeth Gilbert talks about an idea being part of the ethereal “big magic.” When an idea is neglected for too long, it moves on to and finds a new host to bring it to fruition. People are so often caught up in perfecting or putting off their ideas that they forget ideas can and will move on without them. Same goes for dreams.
So when you find a dream following you from chapter to chapter despite your best efforts to shake it, what do you do?
Once you’ve invited your dream to be a part of your life, it requires recognition and cultivation. Those are pretty much the water and sunshine to your dream seed.
Identify your dream and its anatomy. Sounds silly, but if you hone in on the specifics of what it is that you’re deeply yearning to accomplish, it will help you recognize the steps necessary for cultivating your dream. Plus, acknowledging the depth and width of what it takes to make your dream a reality gives you better idea of a realistic timeline.
Feed the dream. While some people believe in the laws of attraction and talking about a dream, it can also work adversely by causing an inflation of ego and decrease in productivity – that is, if you’re not putting in the work behind the scenes to make your dream happen. The transition from dreamer to doer is a dirty one full of dedication, scrapes, and the occasional serving of humble pie to keep you from getting too far ahead of yourself. Set yourself task reminders and deadlines to keep your dream sustained and cared for.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. While there’s usually a financial investment or adjustment once you decide to pursue a dream, trying to do everything yourself can end up costing you in the long run. Finding professionals or experienced allies in your areas of weakness will help you delegate tasks that may deter you from getting to your dream.
When a dream follows you, return the favor to the Universe and share your talent with the world. Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. Either I win or I learn.” Now is your time to follow your dream and start winning or learning.
Ashley Murphy is a professional writer turned entrepreneur/dance fitness instructor. She is a strong believer in the power of human connection and relationships fostered through empathy and core values. Her blog, the Do Your Best Sanctuary, is the passion project where she shares ideas and stories that support this belief. In early 2016, she dreamed about starting a prenatal and babywearing dance fitness program. With some help from The Workbook Project and lots of encouragement from her husband, she has made it into a real business venture. Ashley resides in Sarasota, Florida where she is the mom of two wonderful kids, and the wife of a pretty all right guy.