Do you remember graduating school and feeling that excitement in your belly as you looked ahead at your life, and all of the incredible possibilities ahead of you? For me, it was like a mixture of Christmas morning and getting up early to go on a family holiday as a kid.
When was the last time you felt like that about your future?
Maybe it’s been so long that you can’t remember that feeling. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve felt anything truly positive about your future at all. If that’s the case, remember, it can only get better. And it will.
To be honest, there was a time when I had forgotten about that feeling too.
I keep my head down, just focusing on the here and now, getting through each workday, looking forward to the weekend or my next holiday. I’m so immersed in my day to day life, I can’t imagine anything else.
It’s only been two years since I graduated uni, with all the possibilities that seemed to bring. But any excitement about my future has long worn off. I hate working. A lot of the time it’s the actual work, but sometimes it’s just the arbitrariness of it all. Having to stay somewhere for a certain length of time, because that’s what the rulebook says even when it’s completely unnecessary. I’ve never had a problem following rules, but I have to see the point to them. And in a big company, sometimes that's really hard to do.
I know I need to make a change in my life, but it’s so hard to decide what to do next. I don’t feel like I’m particularly excited about any of the options in front of me. I feel more like I need to escape from where I am rather than being pulled towards somewhere I want to go. I apply for jobs that seem to be a little bit easier, and a little bit more suited to me. But it’s no surprise when I don’t get them. I didn’t really want them anyway.
It was only when I started reconnecting with myself and my dreams, after burying them deep down for so long, that things started changing for me. I remember doing one of the exercises that I’ve included in this article, and feeling inspired about my future for the first time in a long time. I began allowing myself to dream again.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Often deep down we know what we would really love to do with our lives. But just like our ability to dream big about our futures, we bury this knowledge away as we cope with the monotony of day-to-day life in a job we don’t enjoy.
Reconnecting with your dreams is about reconnecting with who you really are, and what you really want to do. It’s about rediscovering the true you that’s untainted by the influences of those around you, and the behaviours that you’ve developed to get through each day. It’s about remembering what you loved to do as a kid, what job you dreamed of doing when you grew up and why.
It’s time to uncover your dreams again, and with them a clearer idea of what you want to do with your life.
As you start along this path you might make some mistakes, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s the only way to learn. But I’m here to help you out as much as I can. So here are some of the mistakes that I made, and how you can take steps to avoid making them too:
Mistake One: Dreaming too small because you’re worried about whether your dreams are actually possible.
Or otherwise known as listening to your head instead of your heart! Now don’t get me wrong, of course, there’s a time for being practical and looking at the realities of a situation. But this needs to be removed from when you dream! Do the dreaming at a different time (and preferably space) to any critical, practical thinking. Even better have a space for dreaming, a space for criticising those dreams, and a space for being practical and bringing the two together.
Mistake Two: Trying to dream while feeling fearful or sad.
I’ve included some exercises to help you reconnect with your dreams in this article. They will not be fun to do if you’re feeling sad or anxious! Try and perk yourself up a little bit before doing them (though I know that when you're feeling down this is much easier said than done). Maybe watch a funny video or listen to your favourite songs (I’ve got a whole singalong playlist on Spotify!) Meditate for ten minutes or call a friend who always leaves you in a great mood. If none of these work, simply leave the exercises until you’re having a better day.
Mistake Three: Putting pressure on yourself to turn your dreams into goals straight away.
Yikes, this is definitely me! I’ve had to learn to let new dreams percolate for a little while before acting on them. It’s just like making a good cup of tea! You don’t want to get all enthusiastic and drink it as soon as you’ve put the tea bag in, or you’ll just end up drinking hot water and will probably burn your mouth! Instead, you’ve got to let the tea bag infuse the water with its flavour. It’s just the same with your dreams. Left alone for a while, a new dream will infuse YOU with all its possibilities!
Remember, just because you’ve thought of an idea for your next move, doesn’t mean you actually have to do it. This is something I have to constantly remind myself. Otherwise I find myself subconsciously ignoring certain ideas I've had because I’m feeling too scared to do them! Have you ever done that?
Anyway, now you know why reconnecting with your dreams is so important and the mistakes to avoid, here are three of my favourite exercises for dreaming big:
You can download the Dream Big Workbook in the Escape Kit for loads more here:
What would you do with $150 million?
Imagine you’ve won $150 million on the lottery. Once you’ve sorted out all the practical aspects
of your win, what are the first 5 things you do? You are free from the restrictions of time and money. You could literally go anywhere and do anything! What’s on your wishlist?
Pin It Up
Create a new board on your Pinterest account and name it, '5 years’ time,' 'My vision board' or 'Things I’d love to do.' Set yourself a time limit (or you could get seriously carried away) and pin images that you find inspiring and would one day want in your life.
Right. Close your eyes. I want you to imagine it is five years from now. Go on, write the date down. You’ve just got to the end of another amazing day, and you are writing in your diary a little snapshot of your life which is just how you've always dreamt it would be. I want you to stretch the realms of possibility here. I don’t care what you think is realistic. Write down a description of the incredible day you've just had including, where are you living? Who with? How do you spend your day? How do you make money? Dream big!
There you have it! I hope you are feeling more inspired about your future, and feel more in touch with what you really want in your life.
For more ways to reconnect with your dreams, don’t forget to download your free Escape Kit. In it you’ll find the Dream Big Workbook. You’ll be able to go crazy with tons of exercises for getting back in touch with your dreams 😊
Read the rest of the Discover Your Purpose Series:
- How to Escape a Job you Hate and Find Purpose
- How I Discovered My Biggest Passions: My 5 Step Formula
- The Complete Guide to Reconnecting With Your Dreams
- 13 Inspiring Women Reveal Their Best Tips For Finding Career Direction In Your Twenties