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How To Live Your Dream And Overcome Fear

How To Live Your Dream And Overcome Fear

It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela

Whenever you’ve considered how to live your dream, it’s likely that you had a lot of fearful thoughts. Whether your dream is to write a book or you want to climb Mt. Everest, take steps to overcome your fears and begin living your dream today.

1. Tell Other People About Your Dream

The more people you tell about your dream, the more likely you are to make that dream a reality. Tell your friends, family, and coworkers what you hope to accomplish. The people who support your dream can help you along the way, and those who question your abilities can fuel your determination.

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2. Take Steps to Prepare

Don’t quit your job today or head for the hills without a plan. Spend time preparing what you’ll need and how you’ll get there. Without a clear and proper plan, you’ll struggle to get there. Write down your plan and remain flexible, as the best plans often need to be revised.

3. Establish a Timeline

The difference between a dream and a goal is at timeline. Establish a realistic timeline to reach your dream, and you can start working toward it today. Most dreams require many steps along the way, so determine when you want to reach each step until you are finally living your dream.

Once you’ve established a timeline, you don’t have to say that you want to live your dream “someday.” Instead, you can say, “Two years from now, this is what I plan to be doing.”

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4. Set Short-Term Goals

Identify short-term goals you’ll need to reach to make your dream a reality. Create action steps to help you begin reaching your short-term goals. Every time you accomplish one goal, set another goal.

5. Take One Step Toward Your Dream Daily

Work on your dream every day. Whether you spend time researching your dream or planning your next time, spend a little bit of time each day working on it. Setting aside time to work on living your dream each day will help make it a reality.

6. Measure Your Progress

Review your plan and measure your progress periodically. It’s likely that you’ll need to make some adjustments along the way. Keeping track of your progress can help you see how far you’ve come, and it can keep you motivated to keep working hard.

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7. Prepare for Obstacles

Expect to encounter obstacles along the way. Plan for the obstacles that you can predict, and be ready to do some problem-solving when unforeseen obstacles arise. Don’t give up when you encounter problems; resolve to overcome them instead. Living your dream will require effort, but it will make it all that much more worthwhile when you get there.

8. Visualize Success

Spend time visualizing yourself living your dream. Think about what your life will be like, how you’ll be spending your time, and how you’ll feel. Visualizing it often can help you see that you can make your dream a reality.

9. Keep the Benefits in Mind

When the going gets rough and you’re tempted to quit, it’s important to keep the benefits of living your dream in mind. Keep a list of all the reasons why you want to live your dream and refer to that list often. Reminding yourself of the benefits can decrease your fears and remind you how to live your dream.

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10. Quiet Your Inner Critic

There will be plenty of days where you will have doubtful thoughts. Your inner critic will try to convince you that you won’t make it, it’s not worth it, or that you’ll fail miserably. Stop the excuses about why you can’t live your dreams and remind yourself of the reasons why you can do whatever you want.

More by this author

Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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