Early in our lives, we have dreams. We have goals and visions for the future that we can see so clearly, it's as if we're watching a movie right in front of us: I will meet my soulmate. We’re going to buy a 3-story house with a white picket fence and a dog named Charlie. Before that though, I’m going to travel- I’ll start with some countries in Europe, do a two-week trip in Thailand, see a Burna Boy concert in Nigeria, and end things off in the Caribbean- maybe Jamaica or the Bahamas. (Maybe Both? Yeah, let’s do both.)
But then life happens and before you know it, those dreams seem more like memories from your past than anything else. One day, as you're on your way to work, you get hit with the feeling that something is missing. The life you're living now is about 10 degrees less exciting than you expected it to be. You thought your life would be filled with dogs, kids, hunky husbands and Sunday brunches with your closest friends, not student loans, inflated groceries and work deadlines that seep into your personal life.
If this hits a little too close to home, don’t worry. You are not alone. One of the more surprising findings I’ve come across in my work as a therapist and life coach is how few people allow themselves to dream, primarily because life happened.
When I would ask clients where they see themselves in 5, 2, or even 1 year, I was often met with blank stares and shrugged shoulders. I remember being surprised at how challenging it was for so many people to answer the question, “what do you truly want for your life/career/relationship?”
But I get it. With so many of us just trying to get through the present week, spending time thinking about the future can feel counter-productive. But hear me out, although it may feel counterproductive, I promise you that it’s not.
Taking the time to dream is important because having a vision for your future based on your authentic desires, needs, and values, is a fundamental key to attaining greater happiness, direction, and purpose in your life. It is also an essential step to taking charge of your next chapter so that you can move from surviving to thriving mode.
Something I hear all the time is, “I’m tired of life just happening to me- but I’m also exhausted and feel like I have no time (or energy). When thinking about making a change, I get overwhelmed.” Again, I hear you. Shoot, I was you not too long ago. So know that what I say next isn’t just a theoretical principle, but something I offer from personal experience.
It’s too risky to wait around for the "right time" to get intentional and take charge of the future. Because if you do this, you may end up waiting around for years. In reality, there will always be something else that needs your attention or money or some other reason to put off doing the things that matter most.
Take control of your next chapter, today. Dream, and don't you dare settle here. Release your inhibitions and dedicate the time to thinking about what it is that you truly desire for your life. And remember, the dreaming stage is about getting creative, sifting through possibilities, and having fun.
Once you've identified what it is you want out of life, start to plan how you're going to get there. This can be as simple as writing down ideas on a piece of paper or as complex as creating an elaborate five-year plan (and beyond). Take your time with this step — it's important!
If you're not sure where to start, working with a life coach can help you clarify your vision and develop an actionable plan to achieve it. That my, friend, is where I come in. As a coach, I provide my clients with support, encouragement and feedback in order to help them achieve their goals.
If you’re interested in learning more, I invite you to book a free consultation by clicking here.
See you around.