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5 Reasons Why It Is Alright If Your Dream Changes

5 Reasons Why It Is Alright If Your Dream Changes

I find myself in a different country, a different city and a different culture. This was always the dream: To come to the United States, pursue my life-long dream and change the world for the better – I literally flew across the ocean, that’s how big that dream was. Maybe you also made some huge decisions and sacrifices for your dream, and if you still find your heart being blown out of your rib cage with excitement and passion, then I am really happy for you. My advice to you is to go for it, don’t hold back and be happy and grateful for all the steps in your journey – don’t make up excuses not to do it, the article 5 Terrible Excuses For Why People Let Their Dreams Go might help you with those excuses created by fear.

However, if you have found yourself being pulled into another direction or even a few directions – this article is for you. In it I will show you why it is alright if your dream changes and why you shouldn’t fret all the time spent and the sacrifices made on your previous dream – it was, and is a part of you that you shouldn’t disregard as nothing.

Different stages of losing an old dream and finding a new one:

Let’s be honest, it’s not an easy venture to accept the loss of the thing you prized most in this life – it can be something that shakes you to the core. A dream is something you nurture, love and believe in with your whole heart, and to find it slowly or perhaps suddenly evaporating can be quite scary. As with any loss you find yourself going through the different stages of it: Anger, bargaining, denial, depression and yes, eventually acceptance. It might take you a while to move through these stages or it might be something that happens in a blink of an eye – but whether you like it or not, this is what you will have to go through in order for you to move on to your next dream.

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And then? Then you allow it in. Let it take over control – don’t try and keep it at bay because of fear. Fear brings you nowhere and only puts you in a state of paralysis where you can be of no use to yourself or to others, and there is too much potential and promise in you to allow that to happen. There is something great in all of us that is begging to be set free from its cage of inhibitions and it’s our responsibility to make sure we break that cage and allow it to fly free.

3 Ways to set your greatness free from its imprisonment:

1. Move Past the Fear of Change:

Change is inevitable and the only constant thing in life. We have to accept it, otherwise we will never be able to move on to new horizons.

2. Move Past The Fear of Rejection:

Who are you living for? In the end, despite everyone’s opinion – this is your life, you have to live it your way. It’s important to remember that everyone else are so caught up living their own lives too – that they really pay no mind to you and what you might think. This sounds harsh, but unfortunately we live in a generation that is a little too self-involved to really care. With regards to your family and friends: If they truly love you, they will accept it no matter what.

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3. Move Past The Fear of the Unknown:

Yes, that big, scary and very foggy place known as the “unknown.” Do we really have to fear it that much? If you think about it, all of life is really unknown territory until we step out and try it – how bad has those little steps of faith really turned out? Granted, it might not always turn out as you have expected it to turn out. However, more often than not, it turns out to be the best adventure you went on – where you learn more about yourself and what you want than you would have learned by being stuck in the same position and dreaming the same dream that no longer serves you.

Now that you see that there really is no reason to fear the greatness of a new dream inside you, let us move on to why it is alright if your dream changes and what you eventually get out of that decision of acceptance.

5 Reasons why it is alright if your dream changes:

1. Freedom:

You are no longer bound by a dream that doesn’t serve you and only steals your peace of mind.

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2. Wisdom:

You have now gained more knowledge about yourself and what is really important to you. Accept the fact that your old dream taught you a lot of lessons on sacrifice, patience, hope, faith and many more life lessons – carry it with you in your new dream and grow a little more.

3. Strength:

You are strong enough to let go of the past and embrace the future, as well as the unknown. This is something that will help you in all aspects facing change in your life, for you will know that you are not only wise enough to deal with it, but also strong enough to go on.

4. Self-knowledge:

We as human beings are constantly changing – yes, we remain the same at our core, but our ever-changing views and perception of life influences us. Consciously and subconsciously we are evolving into beings that bring us closer to our core beliefs and what we really want to do in this life. If we are constantly changing, is it not a given that our dreams will also change with us? This is sure to happen until we eventually reach a point where we know exactly who we are and what we stand for.

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5. New Horizons:

Be ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime, seeing things in a way you never imagined you could, meeting people you never thought you would and exploring life in a way that you always knew you should. Make room for excitement, passion, roads less traveled and hidden treasures. For this is what being bold does – it opens up a whole new world for you.

Conclusion:

In conclusion I leave you with the words of the very wise author, who with these words inspired me to dig deeper within myself and allow me to let go of the dream that had become nothing more than my safety net, allowing me to open my arms wide for the unknown – despite my constant battle with the fear that it brings along:

Never too old to Dream a new dream

    Featured photo credit: Théo Gosselin via flickr.com

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    Bianca Gouws

    Freelance Writer, Director and Actress

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    Published on September 18, 2018

    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

    Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

    Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

    Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

    After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

    Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

    1. Show your appreciation

    In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

    The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

    Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

    2. Communicate effectively

    Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

    Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

    3. Be open to dialogue

    Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

    New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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    In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

    For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

    4. Provide constructive criticism

    Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

    So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

    Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

    Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

    Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

    5. Conduct one-on-ones

    Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

    While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

    Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

    More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

    6. Build training programs

    In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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    From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

    While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

    7. Offer growth opportunities

    Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

    Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

    Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

    8. Reward them

    Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

    If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

    Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

    9. Encourage team outings

    Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

    From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

    10. Involve them

    Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

    Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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    11. Set meaningful goals

    In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

    Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

    12. Empower them

    You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

    Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

    Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

    13. Deal with conflict

    A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

    How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

    As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

    14. Implement a flexible work culture

    Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

    Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

    It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

    15. Host engaging activities

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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    From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

    16. Maintain a positive work space

    Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

    Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

    These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

    17. Avoid discrimination

    Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

    In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

    The bottom line

    Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

    It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

    This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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