How to Achieve Your Dreams and Goals in Life: Visions of What's Possible
In my last blog I mentioned “ghosts” of the past showing up in our lives and discussed how to overcome limiting beliefs. And one of those ghosts I mentioned is the tendency most of us have to only see what’s wrong with us. Growing up, we’re so carefully taught to look for faults and weaknesses to correct and heal that we often don’t acknowledge and appreciate our strengths!
On top of this, we’re raised with a limited mindset and not taught to daydream. In fact, we’re taught the exact opposite. How many of you were told to “Get your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds” when you were young? Talk about shutting the door on any visions of what’s possible! Can you see how this could be what is holding you back from achieving your goals?
Between these two dynamics—looking for faults and not being accustomed to daydreaming—when some inspirational speaker comes along and tells us “You can do anything! Anything is possible!” we become our own worst enemies and start looking for all the reasons why everything is impossible and why they are wrong instead.
How to achieve your dreams and goals in life
Shifting your mindset for success means that you must learn to say “Yes!” to life. The difference between most people and the great successes in the world is that people who have created BIG things in the world said “Yes!” “Yes” to their ideas and dreams. “Yes” to their potential. When everybody else was shying away from taking a risk, they allowed themselves to dream large enough and passionately enough to motivate themselves to go all the way.
Their success may not have been a cakewalk, but the desire to achieve their dream was stronger than their fears and doubts. In other words, the draw to adventure (which is what a “Yes!” is), was stronger than the need to play safe and small in a limited mindset.
The thing to realize, is that many times, our excuses, limitations, and blockages are not just ours, they’re inherited patterns from our family—emotional DNA patterns passed down through the generations. Grandpa lost the family fortune speculating, and nobody has dared to risk a dime since. Mom didn’t get to fulfill her dream, so how dare I? Playing out unconscious family patterns, it’s so easy to miss the adventure of life!
Attain the best mindset for success and dream BIG
One of the first things to do to start building your capacity to say “Yes!” is to identify any limiting thoughts, language and beliefs holding you back. Is “Caution!” a kind of family motto? Is “playing small” a dynamic you can see in other family members? Is always “Blending in and not standing out” encouraged? Be aware of these patterns and realize this might well be what is holding you back from achieving your goals
Breaking limiting beliefs is about realizing that a pattern is just a pattern. It’s not YOU. But you are the one who makes meaning of it.
How to set goals and accomplish them
So, how to get beyond the pattern? Well, the trick is to find a dream or goal inside you—a dream that is large enough to excite you, but not so large that you give up before you begin—and let that dream pull you out of old patterns and into a future that’s uniquely yours.
- Identify a goal that is enough of a stretch that it really excites you. Write it down on a piece of paper and place it at the far end of the room facing inward. Now write down “Where I am now” on a piece of paper and place that at the other end of the room just opposite.
- Find the place between the two pieces of paper that feels right for you and stand there.
- Does it feel more comfortable keeping your distance from your dream/goal?
- Notice your thoughts about your dream/goal.
- Notice your feelings about your goal.
- Notice which way you are pulled – closer to the dream or closer to the safety of the pattern of “I can’t” and “Where I am now.”
All the thoughts, feelings, and actions that come up will either stop you from reaching your goal or start you moving in that direction. With each thought and feeling, notice which way it moves you. The thoughts and feelings that keep you close to “Where I am now” may be tied to inherited behaviors. In Systemic Work & Constellations, we call these the patterns that need to stop.
The thoughts and feelings that pull you toward your goal will have you moving beyond those patterns, excited to write your own chapter in life. We call this the new pattern that is trying to start through you. The more you feed the thoughts and feelings pulling you towards your dream/goal, the closer you will get.
- As you’re walking between one and the other, it helps to identify resources and steps to take that will help you to accomplish your dream/goal.
- As ideas pop into your head, like “Create a website!” or “Check out classes I can take to learn ____,” write each idea on a separate sheet of paper and place those on the floor and use them as steppingstones to your dream/goal.
As you begin to take these action steps, it is super important to celebrate when you have accomplished a steppingstone goal. That gives you a big dopamine hit to the pleasure centers of your brain that helps wire the “winner effect” into place. And it allows your body to have that delicious sense of accomplishment and happiness.
Visions of the future are only possibilities until you agree to them and say Yes!” Then, taking action, they can become your new reality.
If you are reading this blog, you know that more is possible for you, then please join me at one of my events. To find out more, click here.