In order to get to our dreams, we need to first tackle whatever is holding us back – whatever is keeping us stuck in the same old routines.
Step 1: Protect your inner dreamer
We all have an aspect of ourselves that I’m going to call our “inner dreamer.” Think of your inner dreamer as a child – a child in need of protection and nurturing. As you go through the process outlined below, here are a few guiding principles:
- Don’t judge your initial attempts to go after your dream. Sometimes it takes 10 failed attempts before you make progress.
- Don’t measure yourself against someone else. Go gently and slowly. You may need to spend time healing old wounds and we don’t want to be creating new ones.
- Mistakes are necessary. Stumbles are normal. We’re looking for steady progress, not perfection. Of course, our egos want us to be immediately living the life of our dreams – but that’s typically not how life works. So give yourself permission to be a beginner for as long as it takes.
- Caution: This exercise requires you to go ‘deep within’, where real change can happen. This may bring up difficult emotions. If at any time you are feeling a sense of instability and losing trust in your ability to cope, it may be helpful to consult with a professional counsellor.
Step 2: Find out where you are stuck
If we haven’t achieved our dreams yet, then we need to find out what is holding us back. Where are we blocked? Most of the time when we’re blocked in an area, it’s because we feel safer that way. We may not be happy, but at least we know what we are – safely unhappy and afraid of the unknown.
We typically keep ourselves stuck because of what we believe about ourselves – our core negative beliefs. But guess what? Negative beliefs are just beliefs. They’re not facts. You’re not untalented just because you falsely believe you are. We’re going to work on changing whatever core negative beliefs you are carrying around with you, but first, we need to figure out what they are.
We all have our inner voices, and these inner voices leave us clues as to where we are blocked. We have the critical voice that’s always telling us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. This voice of our ego is there to ensure our survival and it doesn’t want us to take any risks or go outside of our comfort zone. This voice is not our friend, but it’s often the loudest voice in our heads.
Then there’s the soft, quiet voice that comes from your heart – from your inner spirit. This is your inner dreamer. This voice knows that you’re a beautiful, talented loving soul who is full of dreams and full of potential. This quiet voice wants you to live a fulfilling life. This quiet voice is the one that will help you do great things in this lifetime. We’re going to create space for this quiet voice to get louder and stronger.
Let’s get started. For best results, use a notebook and pen for this exercise.
- Write the words “My dream is…” and then finish the sentence. Don’t think about it too much … just write down whatever pops into your mind.
- Read the sentence you just wrote several times – out loud. As you do this, listen for the voice of your inner critic, and write down whatever you hear inside your head. This is the voice that usually says things like, “Who are you to deserve that dream? You’re not good enough. You’ll never amount to much. Might as well give up now…”
- Pick one of the negative statements about yourself that you just wrote. Think about where this core negative belief about yourself may have come from. Do the words sound familiar? Did anyone ever say that to you when you were a child? If so, who? Write it down. Wherever it came from, that statement is a false belief that you’ve been carrying around with you, probably for many years. It’s time to change that.
Step 3: Get yourself unstuck – change your core beliefs
Now it’s time to start listening intently to your quiet and loving inner voice – the one that knows you are here to do amazing things with your life. We’re going to turn the negatives into positives.
- Choose one of your negative statements and reword it so that it says the opposite about you. For instance, let’s say my dream is to become a singer. It’s not, by the way. I’m just using it as an example. When I say that out loud and listen to my inner critic, I may hear things like: You? A singer? You can’t even sing in tune. No one would ever want to hear you sing. You have no talent. You have a terrible voice. Don’t waste your time with stupid daydreams. You’re better off keeping your mouth shut and letting the talented ones sing.
If these are the words my inner critic is spewing out to me, then, in essence, these are my core negative beliefs that are coming up from my subconscious. I’m going to choose one of the statements and change it into a positive affirmation. Here’s my new affirmation: I am a talented singer with a beautiful voice. That’s an example of how to take your negative statement and turn it into a positive affirmation.
- Continue to do the same process with each negative statement that you wrote down. One by one, turn them all into positive statements. These will become your new positive affirmations. Aim for 5-10 statements to begin with. Because our core negative beliefs tend to have deep roots, it may take time to successfully replace them with positive affirmations. I’ll share with you how I was able to do this, and I encourage you to spend time every day for the next while to go through this process.
- Every day, write down your positive affirmations – 10 times each. Carry them with you. Say them to yourself many times throughout the day. Think about them. Meditate on them. You may notice that, as you do this, even more negative thoughts come to you. When that happens, write them down and go through the same process of tracing the belief back to where it may have come from and then turning it into a positive affirmation.
You’ll notice that this is not a neat and tidy exercise to do, and you may find that it brings up some upsetting emotions. Don’t push these emotions away when they come up. Simply acknowledge and accept your feelings as they are without judgment. Once you have allowed yourself to fully feel the emotions, you can do some quiet meditating or reflecting to visualize yourself letting these old feelings go.
Talk to your inner dreamer as you’re working through this process of getting yourself unstuck. Offer words of comfort, support and kindness to yourself every day. Offering kindness to ourselves is an excellent way to support and strengthen our inner dreamer.
We’ve looked at a very practical process that you can use to free yourself from feeling stuck where you are. As you turn more and more core negative beliefs into core positive beliefs, you’ll likely start to notice that you’re feeling lighter and more optimistic about pursuing your dreams. When the time is right and you’ve let go of enough of the past to create space for new creations, you’ll know it, and when that happens, your dreams will come alive and you’ll hardly be able to contain your excitement about pursuing them.
Freedom comes in many forms. At some point, you may be looking for more time and monetary freedom in your life. When that time comes, know that there is a way for ordinary people like us to achieve that. The path is best explained by our mentor.
– MaryLet's Keep In Touch...