I love the rejuvenating energy of early summer. The promise of fresh flowers, vegetables, and colors. I love the morning dew and how every leaf in my strawberry bed seems to be hiding some sweetness ready to be picked and devoured by my children. It always inspires me to dream bigger and imagine another fresh beginning for myself. It’s so exciting to dream bigger. I once read that if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough and it spoke to me. But I also realized that there are some very specific steps to take when we have a dream that is big, bold and beautiful that terrifies us. I want to share what I do when I get myself imagining some incredible things but need a little courage to go after it.
When a goal is definitely for me but I am hesitant to pursue it, out of fear or intimidation. I do the small things around it. A supplemental goal here, a similar but not quite goal there. I take smaller steps, incremental progress is not substantial enough to scare me. I do just enough to move forward and slowly but surely that larger goal doesn’t seem so terrifying and it gets done too because the rest of the work is already complete.
Another way I face a goal that seems daunting or overwhelming is that I write out my fears and answer them. I write down all of the scary ideas that are floating around in my head. For example,
“Will this be embarrassing? What if I fail? What if someone judges me and finds my work wanting?”
And then I reply, “It could be embarrassing, so what? Will you die? No. Embarrassment has yet to kill anyone. If I fail I learn. And then I will be more prepared for whatever comes next. And there are always judges ready to heckle our work. Criticism is easy, showing up and stepping into the arena is hard – that’s why there are so many critics and so few artists. It’s hard because it matters. It’s on your list because it is your calling and your life’s work. You wouldn’t show up to do it if it weren’t important. And if you are judged perhaps you will help someone else to be brave by being first brave yourself. And who cares what someone else says, you do this work for you and you love it, if you’re proud of it, it does not matter what anyone else says about it.”
It’s incredibly empowering to give yourself guidance and a pep talk like this. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to be perfect. We just need to hear that truth inside of us ringing clear and loud like a bell. That inner wisdom is giving us permission to show up and try. And oftentimes that is all the push I need to take the next step forward.
I hope these two little tips serve you and help you push past your inner critic to own and chase down those sacred dreams you hold in your heart. You have them for a reason, don’t let fear stop you from shining as brightly as possible. You are here to change the world and I can’t wait to watch you do it!