As I move forward in my rebranding process and begin to articulate more clearly what I do in my coaching and consulting, I’ve realized that a majority of my work is focused on helping women understand with complete clarity what their BIG dream is, distill it down to the right essence, then birth it successfully and efficiently in a way that aligns with their passions, values, needs and wants.
The dreams I’ve helped women bring into being in the past 10 years come in all flavors, shapes and sizes, including:
- Moving from a crushing HR corporate role to building a thriving new landscape design business
- Stepping up with more leadership power, authority and self-confidence to run a global division of her company
- Separating from an addictive, abusive relationship to a supporting, loving environment and a meaningful job
- Making three times more money doing the coaching work she absolutely adores (monetizing and leveraging her important messages and content)
- Relocating to another country with her family to experience a great, new adventure
- Reclaiming her passion for dancing and movement, and exploring starting a yoga studio
- Honoring her longings to become a professional writer, and beginning blogging and writing
- Emerging from a crippling divorce and no recent work experience to running a thriving private practice
- Leaving a Fortune 100 senior level role to participate in a small startup making a huge difference
- Radically improving her family’s life by picking up and moving across the country to pursue a healthier, more down-to-earth lifestyle
So, how do we birth big dreams successfully?
The reality is that most of us aren’t ready for our dreams to come true today – we need to expand, power up and grow stronger in order to hold and emanate the vast amount of energy required to live our dreams. To live the lives we dream of, most of us need stronger boundaries, more direct communication, increased self-confidence through aligned action, a deeper understanding of who we want to serve (and who we need to walk away from), and a staunch commitment to building supportive relationships that will nurture and accelerate our growth.
I’ve learned a great deal about dreaming big and bringing these visions successfully into the three dimensional world through my own dreaming/reinvention journey (and some huge missteps) and from helping hundreds of others. From these experiences, I’ve found there are 5 key steps to birthing big dreams successfully:
1. Understand who you really are, uniquely
You can’t dream BIG and live out your dreams if you don’t understand your own value, importance, and talents. Most women I work with grossly underestimate what they have to offer the world. And most folks think their dream is thousands of light years away and utterly outlandish, when in actuality it’s only a number of critical steps away.
You need to step back a bit and unplug from the negative chatter and crushing bustle of your life to gain an empowered perspective of who you really are, and to make fuller use of the talents and strengths you possess. Whatever you think you have to offer, I’m relatively sure that it’s one thousand times bigger and more important to the world than you think it is. (Take my FREE Career Path Self-Assessment to get your juices flowing about what you have to offer the world, and how to move forward with that new knowledge.)
2. Close your “power gaps” (and we all have some) to overcome the obstacles in the way of your success
When I say “power gaps,” I’m referring to the areas in your life where you feel “less then,” unworthy, vulnerable, insecure, shameful, or inferior. We all have these gaps. Some feel insecure about how they parent. Others lack confidence in their communication ability or their leadership strength. For others still, there’s a feeling they’re just not smart or clever enough to do what they long to, and they fear they’ll fail at anything they try. For yet others, their shyness keeps them hiding their light under a bushel.
These are all power gaps – areas that are calling out for an intervention and infusion of strength and courage. To close your power gaps, first identify the ONE area today that makes you feel most insecure and weak, and do something about it to build your strength. (Check out my Amazing Career Project video training course to help you with this strengthening process).
3. Identify the “essence” of what you want, then find the right “form” that will perfectly match your needs, values, and goals.
So many women today are desperately unhappy in their current situations, and fantasize intensively about one new direction thinking it will be the panacea, but haven’t explored this direction enough to know if it’s really right for them. We’ve all fallen victim to the “grass is always greener on the other side” myth, but until we step over the fence to “try on” the new direction, we just can’t know. Before you leap, research, research, research what this new direction means and entails, and what it will give you (and the sacrifices it will demand of you) to pursue it. Avoid the dreaded “Pendulum Effect” – running to the opposite ends of the earth from what you have today because you’ve waited too long to address the pain of your current situation. The key is to find the right “form” of the dream so that when you achieve it, it fits just right.
4. Connect your dots
As the inspiring Steve Jobs explores in his compelling Stanford commencement speech years ago, if you follow what excites and enlivens you, and continue to do this throughout your life and career, the dots will eventually connect. You’ll find yourself in a situation where you’re using everything exciting and important you’ve ever learned, and you’ll apply it in ways that matter to you, in service to others and the world. But this is true only if you continually ask yourself, “What do I long to be doing?” and listen to the answers. If you honor in some meaningful way your longings of how you wish to be of service in the world, the dots will indeed connect. The happiest, most successful people today have found a way to honor all key dimensions of themselves — their personality, values, needs, standards of integrity, vision, and talents – and nothing is wasted.
5. Build a support structure to help you expand enough to be ready to live this dream
Finally, big dreams don’t thrive in a vacuum, without being supported, fanned, and bolstered. And you can’t fertilize your dreams sufficiently all by yourself. You need loving ambassadors, mentors, sponsors, and supporters who believe in you, and who see the future vision of you before it’s hatched. These supporters know how to keep you true to your dream even when you’re so afraid that all you want to do is run.
To launch your big dream into the world as a healthy baby ready to thrive, you need a “village” to support you, and it.
So what is your BIG dream? What do you long for, but feel ashamed or foolish to say out loud?
That’s the dream I hope you go for in some key way today. Despite what the negative naysayers advise, those who know how to dream big and bring those dreams into existence are those who make their marks on the world and change it for the better.