Give yourself permission to succeed beyond your experience to date, and beyond your wildest dreams says Sandy Geroux      

Are you achieving your dreams, really making them come true? Living our dreams is one of the greatest gifts we can offer, as we create and share our success and abundance, and set an example for others to follow… because a dream is a terrible thing to waste.

Case in point: Flash back to 1994.I was working as an executive secretary for a man who believed in Management by Intimidation. And his wife (who didn’t work for the company) believed in it more passionately than he did.  Every day, I was in this woman’s direct line of fire, simply because I worked for her husband.

During this time, one woman changed my life with one sentence: “You know, you’d be a good REALTOR!” I chuckledwhen she said it because I had never sold a thing in my life!  I thanked her for the compliment and quickly forgot about that crazy idea. But, when she repeated it three months later, I was ready to hear it.

She was a real estate broker/owner and knew successful REALTORS. And she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.  Besides, I believed I had nowhere to go from there but up.So I leaped… and promptly fell flat on my face!  But I thought, “I’m 38 years old and have never failed at a job yet; I’m not about to start now!”

As I looked around, I began seeing people just like me who were achieving the kind of success I desired. So I got more education, hired a coach and started to dream. More importantly, I started to believe I could do it. And within two years, I earned my first 6-figure income ever!

That changed everything I had ever believed about my potential as an income earner, as a career person, and even as a woman (I know… don’t slap me)!

But the most important part of this story is not about the money, but about what I learned from the process. From this unprecedented success, I learned that it was possible.  I also learned that I had been the problem all along, simply because I never believed it. But once you do something that big and unexpected, proving it is possible for you, not just for others, there is no going back.

The fact is that dreaming big is not about money or careers or relationships. It is about breaking through barriers we previously believed impossible. It is about overcoming fear and eliminating the excuses holding us back. It is about having confidence in ourselves to accomplish something big, evenwithout previous role models. But most of all, it is about giving ourselves permission to succeed beyond our experience to date… and even beyond our wildest dreams.

And if we are not able to give ourselves permission to do so at any given point, we must find someone else who will do it for us, encouraging, nudging and even shoving us along until we are able to do it for ourselves.

That is what my friend did for me. My confidence was damaged, my energy drained, and my dreams buried. She gave me back my ability to dream BIG; most of all, she gave me permission to do so.

You see, whether or not we make plans to do something big, our life goes on. Time never stops; it never slows down to wait for us to plan or take action; and it never turns back so we can capture something we may have missed along the way.

At one point, life opens up before us like a crevasse. Our current life is where we are now. The life of our dreams is on the other side of the crevasse. Inside the crevasse lies an alternate life waiting for us .If we fail to make plans to reach the life of our dreams, and act on them before reaching the edge, we just fall into whatever life happens to be there when we arrive.

Most of us don’t plan or act quickly enough, and we land in the crevasse. Many land near the top, which I call the “land of comfortable enough”. This can be a very dangerous place to live because things are good enough, so there’s no big push to do anything differently. In fact, we are afraid to try, because we don’t want to makeour life worse!

But if we change nothing, we could stay there forever, never reaching the life of our dreams. Or we could continue a downward slide (not realizing it is happening), letting the life of our dreams slip further and further out of view.

That is what had happened to me. I got comfortable enough and allowed my career and my life to take whatever twists and turns it would. Before I knew it, I was at the bottom of the crevasse without realizing how or when I had gotten there!

At the beginning, it was easy to live in the crevasse. My bills were being paid, my children were not going hungry, and we had a roof over our heads. But as time went on, I began to notice several things:

  • What started out easy became more of a strain as time went on;
  • Without giving myself a break or seeking support, itbecame harder to continue;
  • Unless Ichanged something, I was going to lose it and everything would come tumbling down.

That’s the way the “land of comfortable enough” works. It doesn’t matter where you land.  If you’re in the crevasse, you’re not in the life of your dreams!

Are you in the crevasse and trying to climb out? If so, find ways to overcome the obstacles you encounter. In an instant, your life can change if you make a conscious decision to seize opportunities to reach your dreams!

Here are some tips that helped me climb out of the crevasse:

  1. Listen to ideas and suggestions from those who love you and have confidence in your abilities. They may recognize talents in you that you don’t recognize in yourself. My husband’s faith in me alone has enabled me to try something new countless times!
  2. Do not just let life happen to you! Think about the path you are on, and whether you are heading in the direction of your dreams. If not, think of the skills, opportunities and actions you must capture and hone in order to get there.
  3. Get creative about seizing new opportunities. Even if you do not currently have enough money or time, keep your eyes open! You will be amazed at how many alternate opportunities present themselves. You will also be amazed at the fact that they are not out of your reach. Internships, barters, mutual mentoring, community opportunities, grants… any number of activities can help you reach your goals without straining your budget (although some may strain your time). But if they move you in the direction of your dreams, it will be time well spent.
  4. Do not worry if you are unsure of precisely what your dream is. In my younger years, I never would have believed I would become a motivational speaker and trainer. I didn’t even know that was a profession! I just kept taking opportunities that interested me and allowed me to use new talents. Eventually, I found what I absolutely love to do. And every time I am tempted to dwell on the fact that it took me a long time to get here, I remember that if I’d had no time for life experiences on which to draw, I would have nothing share with others.
  5. Have more faith in yourself and your abilities (and capabilities!) than you ever dreamed possible. Only by truly believing that you can be more, have more and do more will you ever be able to display the confidence and strength needed to accomplish those big dreams.

Most people who never reach their dreams eventually realize that they have been the ones holding themselves back. We often blame it on others, but when we accept the fact that we are in control of our lives, and consciously decide to stop holding ourselves back, we can accomplish amazing things.

So, just remember, as I did: “It’s your dream… and who are YOU to stop you?!”

International speaker, trainer and author Sandy Geroux, M.S., is a former administrative professional who helps organizations achieve breakthrough performance through her interactive, engaging and educational keynotes and training programs. If your teams ... (Read More)

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