Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live the life of your dreams? Wouldn’t it be rewarding to wake up every morning feeling excited, inspired and passionate? To be more engaged in your life, find the courage to pursue your hopes and ambitions. Perhaps you want to run a marathon, write a book, give a speech or start your own business. What’s stopping you? Chances are, your Number 1 obstacle is you — your “shoulds,” beliefs and fears. If you want to blast away these roadblocks to your happiness, use your determination as dynamite.
1. Unplug your “shoulds”
“Shoulds” can make you feel miserable, guilty and stop you from focusing on your true priorities. A useless “should” imposes an outside set of priorities that may or may not be what you want to be doing. In the end, “shoulds” compromise your ability to live your dreams. You can only follow your passions when you stop doing what you think you “should” do.
To stop “shoulds” from blocking your path to fulfillment, assess which of your “shoulds” can be eliminated and which are really wants or can be transformed into wants. Aim for a “should-free zone” by using this four-step formula:
1. Stop. Realize you’ve said “should.”
2. Look. Assess your choices.
3. Listen. Differentiate between wants and “shoulds.”
4. Learn. Understand the consequences of saying no to the “should.”
By following this process, you will notice that you start saying no more often to your “shoulds” and yes more often to the things you want to do, which in turn allows your wants, passions and dreams to blossom.
2. Blast away defeating beliefs
Think about what can propel you forward or keep you stuck. Limiting and negative thoughts about you, your abilities and the possibilities open to you are defeating beliefs. They are often simple, yet they can have a profound effect on your life, keeping you from even trying to succeed.
To liberate yourself of defeating beliefs you must first identify them. Pay attention to your spoken and unspoken words. What do you tell others, and yourself, you cannot do? A defeating belief often lurks behind an excuse or a fear – particularly something that concerns the things you are most passionate about. A defeating belief can be: “I’m too old to start this now.” “I won’t be able to make any money doing that.” “I have to be in much better shape.” “I don’t have time.” “It will never work.” When you explore your excuses and fears, you will discover your defeating beliefs and be able to create a plan to eliminate them.
3 ways to pursue your dreams
Live the life you want by shedding fears and other obstacles.
By Lisa Martin
3. Face your fears
Making you feel unprotected and insecure, fear exposes your vulnerabilities. When you live in fear, you become susceptible to the risk of success or failure, to the thoughts and comments of others, to loneliness or to your inner critic. Yet feeling frightened can also be enlightening. Becoming aware that fear is playing a role in your life is often a gift. It gives you a chance to assess what is holding you back.
Don’t be afraid of fear. Instead, expose your fear to the light and determine whether it is real. Fear definitely evokes real physical responses and emotions, yet the fear itself — the source of your trepidation — may not be real, it may be imagined or the product of worry. When you identify which fears are getting in your way, you can then take all proper and possible precautions to move safely through them. Understanding your fears will help you minimize them as you aim to pursue your dreams.
Blow up the obstacles between you and your best life. When you use your dynamite to dispel your “shoulds,” overcome defeating beliefs and understand your fears, you gain the courage it takes to pursue and realize your life’s ambition. It’s your life, live it to the fullest.
Lisa Martin, professional certified coach, is the author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers’ Lives. A working mother with 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, she is the founder and president of Briefcase MomsTM, an international coaching and personal development company with a mission to “make it easier for working mothers to live balanced and successful lives.” She helps professional, executive and entrepreneurial women pursue their dreams without stress and guilt. Visit her website at: http://www.briefcasemoms.com.