5 tools to nurture your dreams
One of my coaching clients has a dream to quit her 9 to 5 to start her own venture combining creativity with education; a brilliant innovative idea. She often finds herself visualising it, daydreaming about it but then a sneaky voice takes over – “Is it even realistic? How can I be certain I can support my family with this? Do I have the resources? Where do I even start?” Within minutes she is paralysed with self doubt and too overwhelmed to make any step.
Can you relate?
We all have this voice that shows up whenever we are contemplating change, something new, something that requires stepping out of the familiar. We can get really excited about an idea (I like to call it an intuitive ping) and a moment later we can reject the idea completely. We cancel it before we even give ourselves the opportunity to truly explore it.
The thing is, that this voice, this protective voice that wants to keep us safe, will always show up and get louder and louder, when we put our heart on the line. There is nothing more vulnerable than doing the thing that is calling you from within. It expresses your most authentic self – your gifts, your inner world, your aspirations, your longings.
It’s important to become aware of ‘the voice’ – you may call it your inner critic, your fears, the voice of self doubt – and understand that this voice is not a sign to quit. More often than not, it’s a sign that you're tapping into your inner genius, your passions – the materials that dreams are made of. And it’s important to actively and intentionally nurture your dreams.
PROTECT YOUR DREAM
At the very beginning of a dream, when you are still exploring it, unsure of how it will evolve and unfold, when the voices of self doubt are still very present and you haven't had the chance to "tame" them, be very wary of who you’re sharing about it with. Friends and family, with the best of their intentions, are often too involved in our lives. They'll often (unknowingly) project their own fears or desires onto our personal situation. While your dream is still in its very raw form, think carefully about if and whom you’d like to share it with. PARK THE ‘HOW’
Every dream consists of a ‘what’ and a ‘how’. The ‘what’ is the essence of your dream – the thing you want to create. The ‘how’ is the plan, the strategy, how you’re going to get there. At the beginning of a dream, the ‘how’ can feel so overwhelming that it paralyses you. Because it’s a very vulnerable phase of the dream, the voices of self doubt get louder and tend to “latch” on the ‘how’ – basically our mind comes up with rational reasons to block the idea. Early on, the "how" of our big dreams is blurry, unclear. And that is absolutely ok. It doesn't mean you’re not capable of figuring it out, it just means your dream needs more nurturing and sustaining, before moving onto the planning phase. Trying to answer ‘how’ questions, when done too early, blocks inspiration and creativity and kills the vision. When these ‘how’ thoughts come up, park them, you’ll get back to them later on. FLIRT WITH IT
Think of your dream as building a relationship, a solid one. Just like you probably won’t move in with someone after your second date, you don’t need to commit to your dream before you have the chance to flirt with it and get to know it. Think about your dream as a breathing living thing. Live it, live through it, live with it. Let it visit you, but also invite it into your life. Daydream, journal, doodle, brainstorm, make a mood board. Pay attention and get curious about your ‘intuitive pings’ and creative waves when they occur. GO ON ARTIST DATES
In her book, The Artist’s Way, Juila Cameron recommends that once a week, you treat your inner artist (or writer, or what have you) to a fun, engaging experience that will spark your inspiration. The only ones on this “date” are you and your creative self. You can think of it as having a weekly (or bi-weekly, or whatever your schedule allows) date with your dream. The idea behind it is that nurturing your dream involves spending time with it. This can be done in many ways – whatever sparks your inspiration. Grab a pen & paper and make a list of things that inspire you and can help you connect with your dream – walks in nature, listening to a playlist you love, going to a museum, sitting at a cafe, going to a bookshop, gardening, cooking, doodling, writing… THE CAVEAT
There’ll be a point where staying in the ‘what’ will feel comfortable. After all, this phase is fun and doesn’t require a lot of getting out of your comfort zone. In this phase your dream is still in the field of potential and you might get scared of risking it. You might want to keep it in the cozy, fuzzy, warm phase a little longer. When you’re getting too comfortable it’s likely a sign that it’s time to stretch yourself and move on to the ‘how’. Deep inside, you'll know when it’s time to move into planning and executing. When your ‘what’ is rich enough, it’s time to move on to the ‘how’. You have dated enough and you’re ready to move in, to take the next step towards commitment. At this stage, what matters most is to be aware of what part of yourself you’re listening to. “What part of myself is speaking here? Is that the voice of fear? Of self-doubt? Or is that coming from my inner wisdom? My aspirations? My values?” Is the tone diminishing and deprecating or is it coming from a place of commitment and creativity? What’s important to remember in the ‘how’ phase is that you’ll never have all the answers before you take the first step. There’s no detailed manual for a path that hasn’t been paved yet. A general vision, an overview, yes. Some action steps, yes. Some options and possible landmarks, absolutely. Don’t let the ideal of a ‘perfect plan’ hold you hostage. You don’t know the way, because you’ve never walked it before. Your dreams are there for a reason. They chose you. They deserve to have you, the FULL YOU, and you deserve to have them. Bring them into life
Rooting for you. Love, Naama P.s. Want to have my support in exploring and executing your dreams? Let's jump on a discovery call so we can talk about your dreams and see if we’re a good fit to help you get there.