Article written by: Debbie Stokes
I saw a post recently that spoke to my heart and hit me in my gut.
After reading it, the words compelled me to look at myself, and it made me see what I was doing wrong. ALL Wrong! Dead Wrong!
What I realized is that I was living my life trying to please and nurture other people’s ideas of what I should do.
Who I should be?
How I should think?
The reason why I should? And on and on and on….
So, I came to the conclusion I would never be who I was destined to be… if I continued to listen to other people’s opinions. See, how could they offer me an opinion about my life, if they were all messed up themselves or if they had no plan, purpose or direction for their lives. Especially, if they hadn’t done anything themselves or led by example.
I mean, why should I listen to them… Right?
My vision, my goals, my passion, and my purpose are just that… MINE. and MINE ALONE!
So, I made up my mind, from this point on, to live life on my own terms; and to face my fears and reservations head on.
With my head held high.
My eyes on the prize.
My heart in the race.
And my passion on full blast.
With that instilled in my brain as I write this article, I want to share 5 steps plus 5 tips you can use, along with me, to stay on course to pursue your dreams.
1) Remove people from your life that breed negativity, whether in words, actions or vibes
It is a must that in order to move forward with your goals and dreams, you have to have a clear heart and mind. You have to be able to allow positive vibes to flow within your very being, in your spirit.
See, you hold the key to the road you decide to take in life and the choices you make. The last thing you need is a person speaking negative influences in your ear. It’s a shame how negative people will be the first ones to tell you what not to do, what you can’t do, or that something won’t work.
By all means… RUN. Don’t walk.
RUN FAST in the other direction.
⇒ Remember, a person’s words can be venomous and painful, and once released into the atmosphere, they can’t be taken back. So, be careful who you choose to listen to.
Don’t be fooled by the person voicing his or her opinions to you, even if they’re a mother, father, spouse, cousin, friend or whomever; the bottom line is if their opinions are not for you or in alignment with your dreams, then they are against you… and it’s time to love them from a distance. Of course, with close family, your spouse and some friends, you can’t desert them, but you can choose how you let them in your space and head. Choose wisely!
Tip #1 – Keep your dreams and visions to yourself.
Understand though, love can be a painful thing since sometimes the people closest to you are the very ones you have to set yourself apart from because they lack the most belief in you or they want to manipulate you. So, as I said, if it is your intention to be all you can be, you have to remove yourself from those who don’t believe in your dreams.
2) Know Your Why
If you have no clue why you are doing it, then your passion for it is useless. There can be no when, how, and where; if first, you don’t know why. It’s so important to figure out your why because your why is what helps to define your purpose. Your why does 3 things:
- It Drives you.
- It keeps you Focused.
- It Clarifies your Intentions and Endgame.
⇒ Without your “why,” anything can distract you, anything can misdirect you, and anything can block you from reaching your goals. So, KNOW YOUR WHY!
Tip #2 – Be sure what you are trying to do is your dream and nobody else’s dream for you.
3) Develop written concrete goals
If you think about how you use your GPS to take you to a new place, you have to look at the road to your dreams the same way. The GPS gives you directions for every road, every turn, and warns you of an accident ahead, of a speed camera, and of slow traffic until you reach your destination. Sometimes, it will give you another option to redirect your route in order to avoid the hazards ahead.
Just like a GPS, it’s important to map out your plans to steer you to your goals and dreams. By mapping out your goals towards your dreams, it helps you to clear the path and to handle the what-ifs scenarios. You must write them down either in a journal, on a vision board, in a notebook, or on your computer. The important thing is that you write them down and check them off as you reach each one. Just know that some things will change or be deterred due to unforeseen circumstances, but, the point is to keep going. Don’t quit!
⇒ It’s a must that you create affirmations, repeat them each day faithfully, and pray often.
Tip #3 – Find a trusted person to hold you accountable. Also, hold yourself accountable. Reward yourself for your accomplishments, and deny yourself something you really like for the goals you failed to achieve.
4) Do something every day, no matter what, which moves you closer to your dreams, and remember to set a time limit
There is often a belief that we don’t have enough time in the day to do everything we need to do. I know you’ve heard something like that or you may have even said it yourself. Well, the truth is, there is more than enough time in the day. In fact, it’s not the time that’s the issue, it’s how we prioritize or choose to spend our time. You see, when we don’t have set goals or map out our day, we tend to live life off the cuff, so to speak. In doing so, we have so many things to do and normally will run out of time. But what we really lack is discerning what’s really important. The truth be told, most of the things we are doing is usually for everybody else. The sad part is that in all of the chores, I will call them, we sadly forget about ourselves causing us to be put last. Then, when we look up, at the end of the day, we have gotten everybody else’s stuff done, but not the things for ourselves. So, I ask you:
- Just how important are you to yourself?
- How important are your dreams?
- Are your dreams merely just words or do you really want to reach them?
⇒ Never forget, the worse thing we can do is to dishonor ourselves.
As women, we are often plagued by guilt. In so many instances, we are conditioned to believe that it’s wrong for us to put ourselves first. It’s wrong to be the head and not the tail. It’s wrong to desire better for ourselves until everyone else is taken care of. Well, I beg to differ! Growing up, I was that woman who put everybody first, but deep inside was broken because I could never do what I wanted. My “stuff” always fell to the wayside. I didn’t realize until I went to college that “If it was to be, it was up to me,” one of my favorite quotes. Oh, but I didn’t tell you, when I went to college, I was in my late 40’s. That’s how long it took me to make up my mind. Lol. So, I made the decision to turn down all the noise in my life, put on my blinders, put in my ear plugs, turn off my phone, and learn the magic word “NO.” It was only then that I was able to go for what I wanted. My reward was that I finished college with honors. It restored confidence in me enough to let me know I could achieve whatever I set my mind to do. Keeping that in mind, I came to realize that we as women do what we want to do on a daily basis, and the things we put off are just not important enough to us. So, I ask you, what is important to you? What are you denying yourself for the sake of others or things? When will it be about you?
⇒ As long as you continue to let things and people distract you, you will just be wishing and hoping things will happen. But realize… NOTHING JUST HAPPENS. Results come from plans being put into action. So, by all means, make your plans and set a time limit to reach your dreams or they will never happen. GET READY! SET! GO!
Tip #4 – Develop a great work ethic to stay true to your passion. Do it even if you don’t feel like it. NO WORK, NO REWARD!
5) Be relentless, unwavering, and unapologetic until you reach your dreams
This is so important. If you are not serious, you will not have the commitment and drive needed to see your dreams come to life. You have to be persistent enough to not let anybody or anything deter your path to your dreams. When obstacles get in the way, you have to find the inner strength to let your passion get you through, around or over it. Realize there are going to be family, friends, a job, a significant other or other things that will sometimes be a hurdle or an obstacle. But you have to learn to jump. That’s what hurdles are for… to jump over. Understand that your family is your comfort zone, and in most cases, filled with love; but, in order to reach your goals, you have to love yourself enough to go for it anyway despite the family naysayers.
When we think about unwavering, it is without question that you have to be immovable in your desire and plan to reach your dreams. Yes, you will feel strange; and maybe even guilty at times, but ask anybody that has ever reached their dreams and they will tell you, they had to neglect people close to them, at times, in order to not be distracted. In addition, they will tell you they stayed up longer, woke up earlier, pushed harder, and sacrificed more than anybody else. Not to mention, there were times when they had to say “NO” to loved ones, like when they missed family events, but they did it because that’s what it took to accomplish their dreams. I’m pretty sure there were lonely days, and feelings of guilt and shame, and negative comments thrown their way, like:
- How could you neglect your family like that?
- Nothing is more important than family.
But yet, they pressed on. It was a necessity because they could see the bigger picture… the reason why they were doing it. FOR FAMILY! FOR the LEGACY! Somebody had to pay the price and made no excuses about it. Somebody had to give it their everything for the family or the family would still be in the same place, hanging on a hope and a prayer. Somebody had to push the envelope. Somebody had to go for it and leap. When you are going for your dreams, you have to have the mentality that no matter what people think, say or how they feel, you have to do what’s necessary; and do it unapologetically. In the end, family will love and understand why you did what you did. In the end, they will love you for it.
⇒ Go full speed ahead with no excuses. Your dreams depend on it.
Tip #5 – Erase the fear. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your dreams to “push” until it happens.
I hope after you have read my article, it will inspire and motivate you to pursue your dreams with your whole heart, along with me. I plan to stop watching people through the window. As a matter of fact, I’ve made up my mind to take the leap… Why don’t you Join me!
For starters, let’s change our “stinkin thinkin” from:
- I can’t
- I don’t know what to do
- I don’t know how
- What if it doesn’t work?
- I’m scared
- When the time is right
- I can do it. Why not me?
- I will do what I love
- I must learn how
- If it doesn’t work, I will keep going until it does
- I will face my fears
- Why not now?
What I realize is that if we follow our passions in life… that which stimulates us, and if we eliminate our excuses, reservations, and fears, we should have no problem in pursuing our dreams. But by all means, be sure prayer is constantly in the middle of it. Now let’s dive in. We can do this!
** Do me a favor, leave a comment below to let me know what you think, and please share. I’m looking foward to reading your responses.
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