We all have that “dream” in the back of our minds…whether it is a dream job, moving to a certain city, or taking that dream vacation. Why do some people wait their whole lives, never fulfilling their dream(s), while others seem to just “make it happen” somehow? These are some of the obstacles I overcame to start a new fashion blog that I felt comfortable sharing with a larger audience.
Reason #1: Fear
I am definitely not a psychologist, but this one is pretty easy to see. Most humans are so fearful! We live inside the “what if’s” in every worst-case scenario, which stifles the dream before it ever has a chance. Here are a few common fears that feel so real in the moment but are complete nonsense:
* What will my “____” think of me if I take this job, quit this job, or start a new business? The better question is what will “you” think of “you” if you decide to never go for it and live an authentic life?
*What if I FAIL at this, that, or another…? The better question to ask is, “how do I know if I will succeed if I never give it a chance?”The best case scenario is just as likely to happen as the worst case. True Life. Plus, coming from someone who is no stranger to failure, it is usually the best thing to happen to you! Yes, sometimes I feel like failure is just around the corner, but the funny thing is, so is success.
*Fear of the Great Unknown. I am just going to stay in this job or industry because I am in my comfort zone here and know everyone and how the system works. I was in business for so many years and fashion was was so”left field” for me, even though I loved it! Making a decision to walk away from an industry you have been a part of for many years OR moving to a new city that you don’t have many friends can be scary enough to make you stay.
However, I am sure your current city or industry sector is not going anywhere anytime soon…it will still be around should you decide to return. Some people have more “risk-taking” personalities, while others don’t push it. I am somewhere in the middle, depending on the situation.
*Fear of Starting Over or Starting at the Bottom. However, it is quite possible that you could be happier “starting at the bottom” from somewhere else.
Take Away: Most of our Fears are Illusions Only. They only exist in our heads because we allow them in.
Reason #2: Love that Comfort Zone
I am soooo guilty of this on so many levels. I like my routine and knowing where everything’s place is. This is so silly, but just true –my horoscope sign is “Cancer,” and by nature, we are sensitive, home-loving, nurturers. I love being at home, cooking dinner with my husband, and snuggling with my Ginger Spice. This is so wonderful, but you can never accomplish your dreams if you are boxed into your “comfort zone.”
*Comfort Zone #1- Your Home. Like I said, I love being at home. It doesn’t hurt to get out and explore! Find a new trail to walk on or go to a new restaurant.There is so much out there beyond the home where you can meet and connect with new friends and potential new job opportunities.
If I only marketed my blog from home, I’d have problems. Plus, if you have the dream of finding a spouse or partner, getting out of your house and connecting with people that have similar interests is a good place to start. Netflix, you are not doing me any favors in this department!
*Comfort Zone #2..the Job and/or Office. When I was working in Atlanta, I know that so many people (including myself) liked the comfort zone of particular jobs and neighborhoods. My office was in a trendy section of town…Midtown Atlanta. It was really hard for me to think about taking a job located a little further outside my comfort zone.
I think we all get a little comfortable with the same position and neighborhood, therefore losing out on potential opportunities in favor of staying around the familiar. For instance, I was really hooked on this one restaurant close to our office called, “The Vortex.” I just could not picture a life without it. This is a bad excuse for not moving to the next level!
*Comfort Zone #3…Financial. Maybe you have a “cushy” job with tons of perks and you don’t want to risk losing the comfort of a secure paycheck. I don’t blame you –it can be crazy in the job market! Or, on the other hand, you are enjoying living a certain lifestyle and don’t want to make changes required, including saving more. Either way, finances can rule your life and keep you completed grounded on “square one.”
Again, I think there is the illusion that money is happiness and as long as a steady paycheck is coming in, you are fulfilled. Starting a new business can mean a year or two of no profits or breakeven. Yes, it takes discipline to hold down a steady job, but it takes even more discipline to budget and save to make your dream happen.
Take Away: Comfort Zones are Great…Until they Become Giant Excuses.
Reason #3: The “People Pleaser”
People pleasing is really just an extreme form of niceness, without the boundaries. I can live to make everyone else’s existence happy and comfortable at the expense of my own well-being. I am not saying to never do anyone any favors or not show up as a good friend or family member in times of need. But, when you are putting your dreams “on hold” or they are getting dusty in the “attic of lost dreams,” because you are more focused on pleasing others, that is, as my old Human Resources Professor would put it, “no damn good.”
*Pleasing Mechanism #1- Sure I can do that!!!!! I usually rush to say “yes,” when in fact, I should say “let me think about it.” When you overbook your life, you don’t have time to accomplish your goals. If your dream is to take a trip to Italy and you are intent on saving up money and time to go, saying “yes” to every single social outing or weekend away is only going to delay the trip.
*I don’t want to hurt my coworker’s or boss’ feelings. So, I stay in this job to keep life easy for those around me. Staying too long in a job that is a bad fit for you is actually harming your company in the long-run. You are robbing the company of hiring a truly passionate employee all because of the fear of “rocking the boat.” Sure, they may be upset for a short time, but people move on. In time, they may even respect you more for walking away.
Take Away: People around you are more resilient than you think. They will get over it. End of Story.
I hope you enjoyed this short post on “Dream Chasing.”