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Finding the Freedom to Dream

I find that some people cannot dream about “what’s possible” because they have layer after layer excuses to peal away before they can truly dream about “what’s possible.”

With these layers their dreams are too small.

Without these layers they find fulfillment. 

As a result, usually their dreams are not only unfulfilled… they are unidentified.

The image above are the layers I think you have to set aside in order to get to the final layer of giving yourself permission to dream.

Here’s the layers explained:

  • Energy – I don’t have the time to pursue something else or new. I’ve got responsibilities and life is getting in the way. You’ll need to set aside this “reality” to conceive of something new. The reality is that a new dream will unleash new energy all to itself.
  • Economics – I can’t think about something new because the new thing might cost money I don’t have. Or, I can’t even breathe because of the financial situation I’m in, there’s no room to dream about doing something new if I can’t pay my bills today. The truth is that a new dream will reshape your economic reality.
  • Education – I don’t have the education I need to do what I’m dreaming of. Who has time or money to go back to school? Yup, if your dream requires new education it’s the cheapest and most accessible it’ll ever be today.
  • Experience – This thing I’m dreaming about– I don’t even know where to start. Other people are already doing it and they are so much further ahead than me. Reality? Experience is overrated. And if you start today you’ll be more experienced than if you are just worrying about if you have enough experience.
  • Embarrassment – If things don’t turn out right I’ll be right back where I started. Plus, since I don’t really know what I’m doing I’ll make a lot of mistakes. Reality? You look better failing at something you really want to purse than you do just sitting there doing nothing. Trying and failing is way less embarrassing than never trying at all.
  • Expectations – I only want to do something new if I can be great at it or make a lot of money or get recognition. Worse, if I don’t become successful at this new thing right away the people around me won’t support me. Reality? Pursuing this new dream will recreate what your expectations are. Chances are high it’ll be vastly different than you think anyway, so just let go of expectations.

Freedom to Dream

When you set aside all of that internal dialog– most of which may or may not even be true– than you’re capable of dreaming about a new reality, new possibilities, new directions, or even just fresh perspectives on what you’re already doing.

Vision? Goals? Mission statements? All of those things are fine but until you know what you’re dreaming about… unconstrained by negative voices… you’ll be held back.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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