Advertising

Thinking It Is Too Late to Chase Your Dream? Then You Are the Killer

Thinking It Is Too Late to Chase Your Dream? Then You Are the Killer
Advertising

We all have dreams, thoughts on things we want to do or have in life. Most of us reflect on them often, imagining and wishing they could become reality. More often than not, people sit in their cubicle or on their couch in their pajamas daydreaming and then formulating reasons to keep those dreams just that: dreams.

Here are some of the thoughts that have run through my head as I contemplated pursuing my dream:

  • People will think I’m crazy
  • My life will be screwed if it doesn’t work out
  • I’ll have to sacrifice too much to make it happen
  • I’m too young
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too busy
  • I don’t have enough money,
  • I’m not smart enough, knowledgeable enough, tough enough…
  • I’m not ready yet.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. I worked to relegate my dream to “someday”.

A lot of us put off our dreams, the things we want to achieve most until that fateful “someday…”

We tell ourselves the time isn’t right to change how I’m living and chase my dream. Five years go by; the voice in your head continues to rattle off the reasons not to start chasing dreams. Those reasons then grow into the belief that “it’s too late to pursue your dream” and then that dream dies. Left to be filed under “what if” buried in regret.

Here’s the thing: it’s never too late to start chasing dreams. You are never too much or too little of anything. Don’t put off starting to work toward your dream; don’t do that to yourself.

Don’t be a killer.

Here are 8 examples of regular people like you and me. These people didn’t let that voice in their heads steal their dream, they made their dreams reality.

Advertising

1. Pete and Dalene Heck

Pete and Dalene Heck chase dreams

    The Hecks are a Canadian couple who didn’t let personal tragedy get the better of their dreams. In fact, the tragedy they encountered in their lives gave birth to the extraordinary life they live and love today. In their words “they went from scraping the bottom of life’s deepest hole to blowing the roof clear off.”

    Once corporate ladder climbers living the quintessential Canadian dream; nice house, nice car, lots of nice stuff, promising careers. Pete and Dalene experienced a number of personal tragedies that caused them to re-evaluate life and realize their lives were short and they had to make the most of them.

    A lot of people could have used those personal challenges as reasons not to follow a dream. Not Pete and Dalene, they reduced their 2100 square foot home into combined luggage space of 200 liters and left Canada to travel the world.

    The Hecks have been joyously traveling the globe with little in the way of plans or possessions since 2009. They were awarded Travelers of the Year 2014 by National Geographic because of their blog that shares their inspiring, relateable story.

    2. Laura Dekker

    laura dekker chasing dream
      Photo via Wikimedia commons

      In 2009 a Dutch girl, Laura Dekker then 13, announced she planned to sail around the world on her own. Laura was born on a boat off the coast of New Zealand, living at sea until she was two. She and her family had a deep connection with boats and sailing.

      The Dutch government objected to Laura’s bid to single handedly circumnavigate the globe and blocked her from going. The whole world weighed in to debate how far parents should go to support kids seemingly impossible dreams.

      Faced with the prospect of storms at sea and dangerous pirates, Laura remained confident beyond her years saying “I’m not really afraid, everything is really prepared on my boat”. She fought the government and world opinion and ultimately prevailed beginning her 2 year 27000 mile journey at 14 years of age.

      Advertising

      Despite her youth, Laura Dekker fought undaunted to achieve her dream and was successful. No possible threat at sea could shake her. She set sail on her dream adventure leaving behind things most girls of her age would find impossible to leave.

      3. Pat Flynn

      Pat flynn chase dreams

        Pat used to have a 9 to 5 job he really enjoyed. As life goes, bad things happened that were outside his control and he was laid off from his great job—an unexpected set back that ended up being the best thing that ever happened to him.

        Pat discovered his 9 to 5 was holding him back, went on to make more money, and create more freedom to be with the people he loved the most: his family. Driven by his dream to do his own thing, Pat builds businesses online and shares his tips and strategies for making money online on his blog: Smart Passive Income.

        An accidental entrepreneur, Pat Flynn didn’t let a bad turn of events keep him down. He could have found another job in his field, but instead he used losing his job as a means to realize his dream, living life on his terms.

        4. Colonel Harland Saunders

        Colonel Saunders chase dreams
          Photo via Flickr

          At 40 years of age, Colonel Harland Saunders started serving chicken and other meals in his roadside service station in 1930 a midst the Great Depression. He worked to perfect his chicken for 10 years finally creating his famous secret recipe and expanding to more locations.

          People loved his chicken but construction of the interstate robbed the Colonels restaurants of much needed road traffic and he was forced to fold up his businesses. Seeing the value in partnership, the Colonel set out to find a candidate to franchise his chicken. He drove around, camping in his car, being turned away time after time until successfully finding a partner.

          Colonel Sanders encountered many huge challenges trying to bring his dream to fruition. He never gave up; despite being rejected thousands of times he persevered and ultimately was successful.

          Advertising

          5. Sean Ogle

          Sean-Boat (640x424)

            After graduating with a degree in finance in 2007, Sean Ogle was left with the feeling that school didn’t teach him tangible life skills to be successful after graduation. This lack of knowledge led him on a career path he quickly found wasn’t for him.

            In 2009 Sean started his website Location 180 as a means to hold himself accountable to do all the things he talked about doing in his life. Publishing his bucket list inspired the dream lifestyle he’s living today. The tagline for his website is “Build a Business, Live Anywhere, Achieve Freedom.” Sean’s life today is an example of just that.

            He didn’t let society’s opinion of success deter him from building his dream. He could have convinced himself to stick it out in the job he hated as many of us do, but instead, when he learned he was on the wrong track, he didn’t doubt himself; he began changing his life’s direction helping others achieve freedom to.

            6. Joanne Rowling

            J.K. Rowling chasing dream
              Photo via Wikimedia commons

              Jo (J.K.) Rowling once viewed herself as a failure. Her marriage had ended, and she was unemployed raising an infant daughter, but she recounts her failure as a sort of release allowing her to focus on her passion: writing.

              After completing the first Harry Potter manuscript while on government aid, she submitted her manually typed copies to 12 publishers, and it was rejected by all. Bloomsbury, a small publishing house in London, eventually gave it the green light and finally the world would get its first introduction to beloved Harry.

              Joanne Rowling never gave up on her dream despite rejection and poverty. She is the author of the best selling book series in history and rich beyond her wildest dreams because of that.

              7. Chris McCandless

              chris mccandless chasing dream
                Photo via Flickr

                Driven to chase his dream, Chris McCandless hiked across Alaska despite the naysayers that thought his minimalist lifestyle was crazy. He believed perceived security and materialism prevented people from pursuing their dreams and discovering their true selves.

                Advertising

                Chris went on to live his dream, paying the ultimate price to do so, with his life. Incredibly, he explored remote corners of Alaska for 2 years with little more than a backpack and a few odds and ends. Ultimately giving up everything, he lived the life he thought he was destined to live.

                8. Neil Pasricha

                Neil Pasricha chasing dream
                  Photo via Wikimedia Commons

                  In 2008, the 1000 Awesome Things blog was launched. The creator, Neil Pasricha was inspired to share his purposeful positive views with the world because of the doom and gloom that dominated the paper and the evening news. No stranger to life struggles, divorced and grieving a friend’s suicide, Neil was bent on looking for the positive things in life.

                  He went on to win the Webby Award for 1000 Awesome Things and was subsequently commissioned to write a book filled with his awesome views. The Book of Awesome, published in 2010 became a bestseller in its first week on store shelves.

                  All of these amazing people achieved their dreams because they believed in themselves. Others definitely tried to influence them and dissuade them from pursuing their aspirations but they were successful because they kept the dream alive, they continued chasing dreams.

                  What are you capable of? Don’t doubt living the life you dream of is within your control. Start working toward your dream today, don’t be a killer.

                  Featured photo credit: WalkingGeek via flickr.com

                  More by this author

                  25 Amazing Places in Eastern Europe You Have To Visit What You’re Missing When You Let Fear Dictate Your Travel Plans How to Travel Longer Cheaper 11 Amazing Countries Anyone Can Travel To On A College Budget Where On Earth Can You Drink Tap Water?

                  Trending in Communication

                  1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                  How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                  How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
                  Advertising

                  You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                  Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                  Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                  Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                  1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                  According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                  “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                  Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                  Warming up

                  If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                  If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                  Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

                  Advertising

                  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                  Stay hydrated

                  Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                  To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                  Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                  Meditate

                  Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                  Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                  Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                  Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                  2. Focus on your goal

                  One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                  Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                  Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

                  Advertising

                  Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                  If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                  3. Convert negativity to positivity

                  There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                  ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                  It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                  Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                  Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                  Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                  4. Understand your content

                  Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

                  Advertising

                  However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                  “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                  Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                  Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                  One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                  5. Practice makes perfect

                  Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                  In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                  Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                  6. Be authentic

                  There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                  Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

                  Advertising

                  Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                  To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                  With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                  Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                  7. Post speech evaluation

                  Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                  Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                  We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                  You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                  Improve your next speech

                  As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                  Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

                  Advertising

                  • How did I do?
                  • Are there any areas for improvement?
                  • Did I sound or look stressed?
                  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                  • Was I saying “um” too often?
                  • How was the flow of the speech?

                  Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                  If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                  Reference

                  Read Next