Dream distractions…what’s holding you back?

fear failure

In the last two articles we have been talking about how we need to have a plan for our life and how we need to visualize that in as much detail as you can. Many of the things we need to do require us to take action and begin to make things happen! We may need different kinds of resources some financial or human. If you haven’t read previous articles you may benefit from doing so.

The sad thing is many times you have dreams and goals for your life and may have even written them down or thought about them but never even taken one step towards making them to happen. Why is that? Why do you constantly think of something but never go about doing anything about it. Your dream will normally haunt you but still day after day or even year after year you never begin to make it happen.

I have come to realize from myself and talking to other people that they are some critical things that prevent us from achieving many things in life.Let’s look at them and crash them.

  • Fear. The what if question. What If I fail? What if I open a shop and no customers come? What if I take that job and the business closes? What if I am not good enough. Many times, the main thought preventing most of us from attaining our dreams is the fear of failure. Believe me if you don’t get over it, you will be paralyzed for years and never do anything and sadly live with regret. What if you do this big thing and what if you’re successful? What an achievement it would be. I always remember some of the successful businessmen of our time constantly say people only see their success, but they don’t know how many failed ideas and businesses they had before. We need to learn to embrace our fears as the chances of successes are many times even greater. One thing I learnt, even when I feel so afraid, if I don’t trust myself, I at least trust God and his plan for me. That’s always at the back of my mind when the person is the mirror is telling me I can’t do it.
  • The comfort zone. Its so easy to not want to be bothered, to not want to do the work. We want the success, but we don’t want the hustle. We are used to things coming easy. If you seek the easy way out then you may live thinking life dealt you a bad card, but the truth is you just don’t want to do the work. So, my challenge for you is get out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself, set goals and do the work. Save some money, network, start that project. If you won’t do to it for you then do it for your family or those close to you who would benefit from your action.
  • Naysayers. Sometimes we have friends and family who tell us we can’t make it. They don’t believe in our dreams. They discourage us and tell us stories of so many people who had similar dreams and failed. These are what I call Naysayers or pessimists. They discourage us and bring us to a point when we begin to fear and stop believing in ourselves. Yes, they may have had experiences and not been successful but all we need are their lessons not their discouragement. Don’t let them freeze your dreams. Politely thank them for the information and respond with a polite, “let me try”. Believe me they will look back when you are successful and be the same people who are proud to be associated with you. Let the Naysayers be. Instead also find people who believe in you, encourage you and challenge you to do great things. These are the people who will build you and make you think the impossible is possible and surely it will be. Look for mentors, role models or people who might have already done the things you want to do.
  • Procrastination and maybe its closely linked to analysis paralysis. The tendency to say I will start tomorrow. I will start working on this project tomorrow. I will start the diet tomorrow. I will buy land one day. Why not today? Many of us tend to put off things, thinking tomorrow would be a better time to start. Days go by, years go by and we are still planning to start tomorrow. My friend stop putting things off. Tomorrow may be no better than today. Stop over analyzing things and getting paralyzed to decide. Time is not on your side this time. Those who planted trees ten years ago are reaping. The best time to plant trees was ten years ago. The next best time is now. So, let us take a few steps today.
  •  I don’t have enough money. Yes, money is important, but I have come to realize if you believe in your dream money can be mobilized. Money comes to those who are convicted. It doesn’t come to those sitting at home waiting for it. Just start and you will get knowledge on how to get the money or people willing to contribute to your ideas.
  • Pride. Pride comes before a fall. Yes, sometimes we are so proud to do things that we regard as being below our level. It’s unfortunate that sometimes because of our up bringing or our association we are too proud to take the steps towards achieving our dreams. You don’t have a job but find it degrading to ask someone to read your CV or to give you a job opportunity. You have a car and no money, but you think its beneath you to drive an Uber. So you suffer in silence. Adjust your life and be ready to do even what we think are demeaning jobs just to keep afloat (note I am talking about clean and legit work). Just do it! In the end we will emerge successful.
  • Keeping up with the Jones. Don’t spend all your energy and resources trying to catch up with the competition at the cost of losing focus on your dreams. Just stay focused on your goals. If the competition motivates you to work hard, that’s fine, but if they instead make you spend time and money pretending to be who you are not, then forget them. Your time is coming. Don’t get me wrong, we need to enjoy life but at the same time we need to also think long term beyond today.
  • No sense of prioritization. Sometimes we can be completely distracted by trying to do so many things at once and instead we seem to be moving in circles. Yes, even if you are a very focused person if you don’t prioritize your life you may end up achieving a little of everything instead of your big goals. So, focus and do one thing well at a time. So those are my top eight dream distractors. However, the most common thing in these distractions is YOU. It is you who fears, you procrastinate, you listen to negative people, you are too laid back, you’re busy keeping up appearances, you’re not saving money but even worse you have no sense of prioritization.

We seem to be our greatest enemy but luckily we have the power to change your destiny. We need to believe in ourselves and confidently pursue our dreams without fear.

“Where will your strength come from?” Your strength will come from your belief in yourself and the one who made you. You were not a mistake. You have all the gifts and talents you need to accomplish your goal and your higher purpose in life. So, lets believe in ourselves. Give a blind ear to the self-doubt. When you look in the mirror see your greatness and possibility. Do not be distracted. You are great! You are an achiever! Who are you not to be?

Do share with me other dream distractors you think are important and together let’s crash them!

Moving from dream to reality.

How do I move from my current reality to my dream?

Last week we looked at how to do a dream board. That’s such a fun exercise. In case you missed the conversation please read the January 2019 blog on this page.  So, dreaming opens up your mind to possibilities, however all those beautiful ideas remain dreams if we don’t start building a plan of how we can achieve them.

I like to do what is known as a personal development strategy. Just like organizations build a vision, mission and workplan or 5-year strategy, we too must begin to value ourselves like that. Do you realize that you can work for a company and each month you diligently deliver the results or outputs your bosses give you? Yet in our own life many of us are living without a plan or any serious long-term vision and are not tracking our progress.

Okay I know the Melancholic and Choleric personality types who are diligent planners probably do have a plan but lets work with the majority. Firstly, before you draw the plan you need to state where you want to be in each sphere of your life and contrast that against where you are. It’s a reality check and it’s okay to do that and be real with yourself. I am at point A and I want to get to B. Once you do that for each key area of focus you will be able to develop strategies to move from point A to point B in your life. For example, if you want to build a family house (that’s my target and point B) but you don’t own land yet (my reality point A). It’s a simplistic example. So how do we move from no land to building a house? These are the strategies or steps you need to take; buy land, save for materials, start building, complete my house. Simple. But no in reality you need to plan for where you want to buy land, how much does it cost and when can you buy it, what resources do you have etc. So, building a house may not be a one-day venture but can run from 1 year to 10 years depending on how your critically plan the steps. Are you looking at upscale area like Kololo or  an out of town location like Matugga, how much do you earn, what are your income sources, and can you buy in a group to reduce costs? Those are some of the critical questions when developing a step by step plan for achieving your goals. I picked constructing a house because that the focus of many people today, but we could look at our various dreams which we have. Is it to lose weight, get married, pray more, start a business, go back to school?

Whatever the goal, the key questions as we said earlier are 1) where am I/what’s my reality now? 2) where do I want to be? 3) what do I need to do to get there with a given time frame? Breakdown what you need to do into a tiny step by step process. Most of your strategies will focus on being disciplined, save more, try and make more money, spend more time on it. Remember not all the dreams need financial resources some just need time, discipline, right networks and consistency.

So, go ahead try and strategize on how to you can move from your reality to your dream. The dream board you discussed in the previous blog will help you visualize your dreams. The key areas of my life that I like to plan for are family, faith, finance and investments, school, health etc. So on one side write your dream/goal (right side) and on the left write your reality. For monitoring and evaluation professionals you will see later the dream becomes your goal or target and your reality is the baseline but in between you need to plan how you get to the dream.  

Let me know how your brainstorming goes and if the three critical questions I asked earlier are useful. If you have any questions or need some guidance please do contact me. I will be happy to talk through your journey planner.

I know some people think what’s the fuss and why all the brainstorming and planning…how come you haven’t questioned your organisation’s business plan but wonder why you need a personal plan. Do you think your organization would survive without a marketing plan, annual targets or a strategy? So if its good enough for an organization to have a plan then surely so must you..but then I ask, can you go for a journey without a map? How do you reach your destination especially if you have one chance to get there? The strategic planning is just a map to guide us on how to navigate through the waters of life as they say ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’.

Next week we will look at the resources we need, yes including money, to achieve our dreams. Have a great week and please do some strategic thinking by answering the three questions I paused earlier…what is your reality, what is your goal and how do we move from point A to point B you can chose your duration either 1-10 years or even longer?