Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 8, 2020

7 Steps to Help You Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now

7 Steps to Help You Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now

Has someone ever asked you what you would do if money weren’t a factor? It’s one of those questions that people often brush aside because, quite frankly, money is a factor. The doubters will mock you as naïve or foolish, but deep down you know it’s possible to start living your dream life.

It seems as though most people are just trying to get by. They work because they need to make an income to support their life. People not only settle in the workplace, but also in their relationships with their friends and family. You may even know people who settle by compromising their integrity and core values.

That is why it is not naïve or foolish to start living your dream life; it is essential.

Living your dreams is more than being rich. It’s the belief that you are living a life aligned with your purpose. If you are ready to free yourself of the fears that cause you to live your life according to the expectations of others, then follow these seven steps found in the book Champion of Change, the 7 Instrumental Laws of Change.

1. Construct a Plan of Action

If you want to learn how to start living your dreams, take the time to visualize what that life will look like.

This is more than the normal vision board. This form of visualization requires you to use all your senses.

To gain an edge, Olympians will visualize themselves competing in their actual event. Emily Cook, of the United States freestyle ski team, is quoted as saying she engaged all her senses in her visualization. She moves her body as if she is skiing down the slopes, she feels the air as it blows through her hair, and she hears the roar of the crowd as she crosses the finish line[1].

The best way Olympians can be ready for the moment is by continually competing in their mind. Studies support this belief as they show you can literally gain muscle by visualizing yourself working out[2]. This applies to non-athletes as well as visualization is a powerful source of motivation.

2. Focus Your Attention

If you want to start living your dreams right now, you are going to need to adjust the way you see the world and every area of your life. Your beliefs create your consciousness, your consciousness creates your reality, and your reality is maintained by the way your mind filters information.

Advertising

Every day, you receive millions of sensory inputs and your mind filters out most of them to keep you from going crazy. The ones you receive are the ones that your mind believes matter to you based on past experiences.

One of the most popular examples is when you purchase a new car. As soon as you purchase that car, suddenly you notice that car everywhere. Now, you probably know that everyone did not purchase the car the same day as you, so what happened?

Well, when you purchased your new car, you told your mind ,”this car matters to me.” As a result, your mind is now showing you the car that has always been there.

The same way your mind can adjust your filters based on the action of purchasing a new car, you can take actions to create your dream life. As you take action, your mind will show you new opportunities that were always there (just outside of your previous filters).

Learn more about how to focus here: How to Improve Focus: 7 Ways to Train Your Brain

3. Put Systems and Processes in Place

Once you have the proper mindset to start living your dream life, you are ready to shift your focus to reach your goals.

The mistake most people make is they are excited when they begin, but they are working solely off discipline and willpower. Your willpower and discipline are exhaustible resources that will fade over time. That is why most people quit their New Year’s Resolution 30-days after starting. That is also why people who are on a diet will make nutritious decisions throughout the day and fail miserably late at night.

This is why it is so important that you put systems and processes in place that limit the need for you to use discipline and willpower. In the case of our dieter, it would be better for them to trash all the candy they no longer want to eat.

This is also true when it comes to you and your dream life. If you want to ensure that you follow through on your vision, you have to be willing to limit the ability for you to revert back to your previous life.

Advertising

If you want to stop relying on your willpower and start making things happen, these tips will help: How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop

4. Accountability Is a Must

When you are accountable to someone or a group, you will find yourself more motivated to continue. Deep down, we all want to be accepted by others. Even though this can work against you sometimes, this particular occasion is not one of them.

When you proclaim your goal to specific people, it improves the likelihood of you following through. However, some research suggests that making it public and announcing it to everyone may hurt your chances of following through[3].

You may be surprised to know, but you experience accountability on a regular basis.

  • If the CEO asks you to provide a report, you are going to do your best in order to impress the CEO.
  • If you’re invited to a class reunion, you will feel more motivated to get in shape.
  • If you know you are going to have company over at your house, you are going to clean more carefully.

Accountability works because you want to keep your word and make a good impression of yourself in front of others.

5. Find a Catalyst for Change

There are things you can and cannot control in life. Do not allow the fear of failure or fear of uncertainty keep you from living your dream life. Everything is not going to go smoothly on your journey. You are going to face challenges and setbacks[4].

7 Ways to Reduce the Fear of Failure and Live Your Dream Life

    The good news is failure is a part of success and personal development. They are two halves of the same coin. What tends to happen is that people spend so much time trying to avoid failure that they never realize they are undermining their ability to find success.

    By understanding that failure is a part of success, you understand your goal is not to avoid failure, but to build on it.

    Advertising

    Your dream life does not necessarily need a positive event to start. Often, it is the negative events (or perceived negative) and a sense of desperation that drives people to reach further than they ever have before.

    Your catalyst for change may be exactly what you wanted, or it may be the worst thing that could have happened. Either way, your focus is on what to do next. You want to build on that event by stacking positive events on top of it.

    Choose to respond to each situation by taking another step towards your dream life.

    6. Understand That Character Matters

    In a study between two schools on opposite ends of the economic spectrum, positive psychology experts created a list of character strengths they believed essential to success.

    Their list included grit, self-control, zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity.

    Some of the character traits were common with how most people view success, such as grit, curiosity, or self-control. However, gratitude, zest, optimism, and social intelligence (compassion) were on the list, but their relation to success is often overlooked[5].

    It’s important to remember that change comes from the inside-out. Your core values are the prism through which you accomplish your goals.

    7. Muster up the Courage

    Once you have completed the first six steps, you have everything you need to feel inspired, step away from your comfort zone, and start living your dreams.

    Do not allow yourself to procrastinate on your transformation. The fear of change may disguise itself as a thoughtful plan to wait for more information or better timing.

    Advertising

    Keep in mind that you are not looking for the perfect situation; you are only looking to start. One you get started, you are going to be better equipped to make any changes.

    I often compare starting your journey like walking through a fog. If you stand on the outside of the fog trying to see to the other side, you are going to find it very difficult. However, if you are willing to take the first few steps, you are going to realize that you can see a few more steps into the fog.

    If you are willing to continue walking, before you know it, you can see clearly because the fog is behind you.

    You have an idea of what your dream life looks like, and you have an idea of the effort it is going to take to make it happen. However, you do not really know how realistic your expectations are until you experience it.

    Final Thoughts

    There is a lot of work that goes into living your dreams, but you will find it well worth your time. Life is short, so don’t worry about the things you can’t control.

    Most people regret the things they did not do more than anything they have ever done. Therefore, don’t settle for a life that is less than your dream life. Pursue it with effort and resolve.

    More About Living Your Dreams

    Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Undre Griggs

    Coaching To Help Professionals And Organizations Change Their Beliefs So They Can Get Results.

    Why Is Life So Hard? 4 Things You Can Do About It dream life 7 Steps to Help You Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now How to Turn Your Fear of Missing Out into a Joy of Missing Out How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do feeling restless 7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless And Unmotivated

    Trending in Mental Strength

    1 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears and Stay Strong 2 5 Simple Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude 3 The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day) 4 The 5 Most Important Things in Life You’ll Regret Not Pursuing 5 Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes? (And How to Fix It)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on November 12, 2020

    How to Fight Your Irrational Fears and Stay Strong

    How to Fight Your Irrational Fears and Stay Strong

    I could hear my baby crying but was frozen in the doorway, unable to move. The crying got worse and I knew that unless I comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet my feet wouldn’t move. I didn’t look at the crib but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat….okay it was a UK spider so very unlikely to kill me at all, and yet still my body was frozen as the tears fell down my face. “What a useless mother you are,” I berated myself as I faced these irrational fears.

    My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years, and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

    At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me, but now that the fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders, but I’m not going to leave the room because of one, and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

    If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

    Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact us, and how they can destroy our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and, most importantly, how you can fight your fears, too.

    How Irrational Fears Impact Your Life

    The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at the particular object or situation causing them as it causes a great deal of distress. It makes us feel inadequate, weak, and silly because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

    Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours, making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to do any of the following:

    Avoid Certain Situations

    If you know you may have to face your fear, you can find yourself dodging parties, new jobs, or new experiences where you aren’t sure you will be able to protect yourself.

    Hinder Sleep

    We may have trouble falling asleep, thinking the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping, which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!

    Experience High Levels of Stress and Anxiety

    Stress can be the cause of unhealthy decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better…the list of excuses that we hold on to is long so that we can avoid the cause of our stress. These high levels of anxiety can even lead to panic attacks or a long-term anxiety disorder.

    If we experience long-term stress and anxiety from our fears, it can cause health issues that may extend far beyond the times we are actually feeling fear[1].

    Advertising

    Irrational fears can cause long-term stress effects

       

      Negative Thinking and Mental Distress

      Having irrational fears can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.

      Seeming Aloof

      We risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives, too.

      Feeling Debilitated

      Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world, but to the sufferer they are debilitating. They can ultimately impact their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

      Why Bother Fighting the Fear?

      Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in a way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

      I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport. I had another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now, at the height of their profession, they had no choice. There was another who could never ask for help, and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

      All these fears and many more can be fixed, but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

      If you’re going to change the way you do something that has impacted your life, thoughts, and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

      The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

      Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards. Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up, and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body; doesn’t feel good, does it?

      Advertising

      When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. New opportunities can come your way, and instead of fearing them, you can be open to new hobbies, more travel, or expanded job opportunities. You can plan on being happier, healthier, and more confident.

      How to Stop Irrational Fears

      In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious, but they all have far-reaching consequences.

      Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

      1. “Why I’m Awesome”

      Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity, and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions, and feelings. It is not easy to write; however, it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish something.

      2. Draw out Your Emotions

      Earlier, we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down, you can follow the positive spiral up again.

      I draw these individually for clients, and with each action, thought, or feeling, we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different.

      3. Acknowledge That You Need to Change

      It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Remember that when you want to do, think, or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step, and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what).

      Then, it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it, but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

      There will be times when you fail. Instead of berating yourself, just start again and take a look at the list you made in step 1. 

      4. Choose Your Words Carefully

      Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully[2].

      Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved X, and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for.”

      Advertising

      Talk yourself up to overcome fears

        You can practice cultivating positive self-talk with this article.

        5. Believe That You Have the Control

        The only person that can control what we think and feel is us.

        If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

        6. Put up Physical Reminders

        Physical reminders or visuals can be great for reorienting the mind toward overcoming irrational fears.

        For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

        The client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome” document.

        They had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job, and they could do it.

        What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

        7. Change Your Environment

        Music, natural environment, and even smells can impact the way we think and feel. Know the music that makes you feel alive, calm, and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energized. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

        Giving yourself physical reminders toward action can help power up your emotional state, too.

        Advertising

        8. Don’t Go It Alone

        The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book), so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design, and as such it can be tough to admit that you have irrational fears that you need help with.

        However, sharing your intense fear with a trusted friend, colleague, loved one, or mental health professional can mean that when you are feeling the fear, you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

        It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your specific phobia. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

        9. Pay Attention to Your Body

        One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, repeated the behavior, and formed a habit that was accepted.

        Challenging a fear can be done using our body when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

        When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose[3] was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe, and even the speed at which we speak can impact us, as well as those around us.

        If you have a fear of public speaking, or a fear of people thinking you are stupid, or a fear of what people are thinking, you can look at how you speak, stand, and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

        The research around placebos reinforces the idea that if it feels like it’s working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

        Final Thoughts

        A little fear can be good. However, when irrational fears become debilitating, it’s time to take a long look at what you can do to undermine their power over your life.

        Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience, and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear ensures that I prepare well, do my best to understand my audience, and push myself to deliver a great speech. Those thoughts are all sensible.

        As you aim to reduce your irrational fears, cultivate a healthy sense of fear to help you achieve success.

        More About Fighting Fears

        Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next