The secret to pursuing your dreams and doing anything you want to do lies in a combination of passion, perseverance, belief in oneself, and the ability to overcome obstacles. While it may seem daunting at times, there are several common barriers that often prevent people from pursuing your dreams. Let’s explore what they are and how you may overcome these obstacles and go around or jump over what might appear as barriers.
Fear is a significant roadblock: fear of failure, fear of judgment from others, or fear of stepping out of one's comfort zone. These types of fears can hold individuals back from taking the first step towards a dream. The fear of the unknown and uncertainty can be paralyzing, making it easier to stick with what is familiar instead of chasing your passions.
The solution to this is to remember that fear is healthy. When you’re on the tenth story on the balcony looking over the railing, it’s helpful when fear tells you to be careful, that maybe you should step away from the edge. Fear is your body’s way of telling you to pause and think things through.
In taking some action to follow your dream, it’s OK if fear stops you for a moment. It should, however, not stop you from moving ahead. If it’s best to change course, take a different direction. It never means quit your dream, assuming you are passionate about what you are doing, have confidence, and believe in yourself, obstacles we will discuss next.
Self-belief and Confidence
Self-doubt and lack of confidence are barriers that deserve to be destroyed. You may doubt your abilities, talent, or self-worth to achieve what you desire. Don’t. Without self-belief, it can be challenging to overcome other setbacks or criticism.
The simple solution is to think, “What not me?” Who are you to think you are not worthy or talented? Consider who told you so, and how they know. They don’t. The only person stopping you from having faith in you is yourself.
To have faith in your ability to achieve greatness, start by taking baby steps. Choose a small action to take to start moving toward you dream, one you are certain to achieve. For example, if the dream is to graduate from high school or college, start by making the step to finish one course, and break that step down further to registering for the first course, going to class the first day, completing the first assignment, passing your first exam. Get the idea?
A big obstacle in following a dream is that society places significant emphasis on stability, practicality, and conformity. Pursuing a dream outside of traditional career paths or societal norms is met with skepticism and discouragement.
You might not know it, but those dishing out the skepticism and criticism are those who are afraid to follow their dream. They are afraid to follow their dreams, so they think they are being helpful by telling you why. It’s their “why”, and it doesn't concern you. That’s their problem. Don’t let it be yours. When someone says something negative or non-supportive, make a mental note as follows:
It’s not about me - it’s about them and because they are not following their dreams. I will help them by showing them how it’s done! I shall do this by taking steps to make my dream come true. Until I’ve gotten started moving forward, I’m not going to share any more with them. When they see me doing what I want to do, they will be inspired, and not only become supportive of me - they may be moved to take action to start following their dream. Together, the world will be a happier place and full of happy people.
Time and resources
Some have responsibilities such as jobs, families, and financial obligations that may make pursuing a dream seem impractical or impossible. The fear of not being able to sustain oneself financially or sacrificing other important aspects of life deters some from taking the leap.
There are a few things to consider. First, you’ll never have enough money. Second, where there’s a will there’s a way, and it’s not blocked by lack of money, rather lack of creative thinking. Find a way that doesn’t cost as much. Consider your priorities. How important is the dream?
As I watched the movie about the life of Johnny Cash, I was surprised at how he had the gumption to pursue a singing career when he had just gotten married and had a family to support. Consider if he and his partner had not allowed him to commit to following his dream. What might he done with his life if he listened and stopped playing guitar. How many people would never have heard his music, or been inspired by his story?
Ask for help, not financially, rather with resources that require time and such.
Lack of knowledge or skills
You may have a dream but THINK you lack the skill or expertise to pursue it. This is an imaginary obstacle that should never be considered. It’s an illusion and a common myth that talent is required. Talent comes after hard work. That's how Justin Timberlake tells his story. There might be financial constraints preventing you from acquiring education or training, or simply a lack of access to resources or mentorship. However, it is important to remember that skills can be learned, and knowledge is acquired through dedication and effort.
Following your dream is a personal journey with no timeline or formula for success. It requires determination, resilience, and a willingness to learn and adapt along the way to achieve it. Here are a few important things to remember, as you start living your dream:
- Silence any doubts and fears that hold you back, and instead focus on your passion and the possibilities that lie ahead.
- Take small steps, set achievable goals, and break down the path into actionable tasks to make the process more manageable and enjoyable.
- Embrace a growth mindset, where failures are seen as learning opportunities rather than roadblocks.
- Surround yourself with positive influences. Seek out mentors or role models who have achieved similar dreams.
- Learn from your experiences and use what you learn to guide you to make better decisions that support you in living your dream .
Ultimately, the secret to pursuing your dreams and doing anything you want to do is to believe in yourself, let go of the fear of failure, and take consistent action towards your goals. Dream big, set your own path, and remember that the most successful you in the world started with a dream and turned it into reality.