The Issue: Marc is a 30 year old truck driver. He is depressed because he doesn’t like his job. Marc has always wanted to be a musician. Marc plays the saxophone and he feels that he’s pretty good, but he’s afraid he is not good enough and too old to pursue his dream. His wife is always telling him that he had a shot at musical stardom when he was in his twenties. Marc started a band, but one-by-one, the members starting dropping out until only Marc was left. Now he has a 2 year old daughter and his wife thinks that he needs to take his head out of the clouds and settle into his good-paying, 9 to 5 job with benefits.
The SOULution: The answer is simple: Marc needs to pursue his dream and do what he loves. It is very easy to get caught up in what other people think you should be doing with your life. You begin living their dream and not yours and you end up saying, “I wish I would have…” Wayne Dyer, author of Excuses Begone, says “Don’t die with your music still in you.” If you have a dream, it is never too late to make that dream become a reality. You see it every day – people living their dream at any age. But it takes belief in yourself. You have to be clear about what you want and committed to yourself to see it through. So many times, people give up right before their dream comes alive.
What if you have a person or people in your life telling you things like: “Only certain kind-of people become successful in that area, not people like us”, or “You are too ______ (old, young, big, small, etc…) to do this. You just need to get a regular job just like everyone else”, or “I don’t think that’s gonna work”, or “You’re never gonna make it”.
These are people I affectionately call Dream-killers. Dream-killers are usually the people that are closest to you, like family and friends, (in this case, Marc’s wife). They believe what they are saying is helpful and they are trying to protect you from failure, but unfortunately their comments do more harm than good. Statements like these can shut down your motivation, ruin your self-esteem and unfortunately, you may even begin to believe them.
When people are saying things like this to you, do not give them your power. Thank them for their input, and let them know you are passionate about your dream, you believe in yourself, whether they believe in you or not, and you are determined to see it through.
So, how do you begin making your dream a reality? Begin by visualizing what your life will look like, say in one year when you are living your dream. Write your vision down (in the present tense) by answering the following questions: What would a typical day be like for you? Where are you living? How much money are you making? How are you feeling now that you are living your dream? Once you have your vision for yourself written out, place it somewhere that you can see it every day. Read it every day. Don’t worry about how it will happen. Once you are committed, and you take that first step, the next step will be revealed.
For example, Marc’s vision is that he has a five-member band that is just as committed to sharing their talent with others as he is. He has quit his truck-driving job and is booked with gigs every Friday and Saturday night and at least two nights during the week. This gives him time to spend with his little girl during the day while his wife is at work. He has a lucrative income and he and the band are working on their first CD. He is happy doing what he loves and because of that, his marriage is thriving and he is able to take care of his home and family.
Now, decide what you can do at this moment to get you one step closer to your vision. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, like quitting your job and jumping right into things. Choose one thing you can do every day. Also give yourself a short term goal and time limit to complete this goal. For Marc, he decided to take his saxophone out of the closet and begin practicing for one hour every night. He also gave himself thirty days to find some committed band members.
You are what you believe. Choose today to believe you have unlimited potential. Your dreams are waiting for you to make the first step.
Susan Thomas, Master Certified Coach
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