how to chase your dreams

            I am a firm believer in following your dreams. But let's face it: actually going after what you dream about is absolutely terrifying. After all, you're opening yourself up to the possibility of failing, and you probably fear the heartache of that. So you shake off those dreams, you gather them in a box and stick it in the back of your closet. Those realities are for day dreaming and wishful thinking, because you don't want to carry fear and you don't want to carry doubt. You want something comfortable, you want what's familiar. And you'll never be anything else.

            Here's the cold hard truth, and even if you never heard it, you probably knew it somewhere deep down: dreams don't just happen, life doesn't just work out wonderfully and successfully on it's own, you gotta work for it. You've got to define for yourself what is wonderful and what is success to you and chase after it, because time isn't patient.

            I have this fear. Of failure, of disappointing others, of living a life less than the one I was capable of living. I find myself getting stuck in this cycle, and it tends to feed my anxiety. The part of myself that says I'm not good enough or not worthy enough or sometimes doesn't even care enough to even give myself even that kind of credibility.

         I tell myself over and over to replace that fear with trust and that doubt with faith. And I have my good days. I have days where I want to seize the world around me, days where my curiosity and ambition is bursting and I'm motivated to keep pushing and inspired to keep growing. And then there are my other days. Sometimes there just the days where I'm a homebody and I want to clean my apartment and cook a meal and call it a day, and then there's the ones where I want to wrap myself in a blanket and not deal with a thing, because dealing with anything would mean confronting my fears, too.

            For this very reason, I've adopted the lotus flower as a symbol for my growth. The lotus flower is a symbol for beauty, it grows out of mud and darkness and blossoms into the world.

"Like a lotus flower we too have the ability to rise from the mud, 
bloom out of the darkness, and radiate into the world."

            From my own experience, I've found that in order to pursue dreams, I have to actively surround myself with inspiration. Here are what I have found to be good motivating tools...

  1. Always carry a notebook with you. And write everything down: your aspirations, your fears, your dreams, your grocery list.
  2. Create a vision board. Grab a poster board and a glue stick and collage anything that inspires you. Alternatively, you can grab your journal and start collaging in its pages. You can go even title a board on Pinterest "Vision Board" and start pinning anything that relates to your goals and dreams.
  3. Actively seek motivating tools to push you in the direction of your dreams. Listen to a podcast, read a book pertaining to your journey - or any really that can inspire you. Look to people in your life that are setting goals and chasing them. Anything that will keep your mind and heart focused.
  4. Focus on the journey, not just your destination. I think with anything in life, we focus so much on our destination and how we'll find happiness there, that we forget to take care of our happiness in the moment. Just appreciate yourself and take advantage of everything the world offers you in the here and now.
  5. Stay positive, while practicing patience and persistenceYou're going to have bad days, those days are inevitable, but it's what you do after that defines you and your journey. You're always going to fail on the way to your success, but failing is the best thing that's going to happen to you. Why? Because you'll value your success that much more when you earn it and because it's getting past those bumps in the road - whatever they might be - that make you stronger. 

            It's clear that I am a work in progress, I always will be. But that's the thing, as long as I'm working, I'm growing. And as long as I'm growing, I am no longer settling for a life less than the one I was capable of living...

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

- s.l. 
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