Have you ever had a big dream, one that perhaps seemed too big to achieve? Studies show that less than 8% of the population is living their dream. So why are some people fulfilling their dreams while others are sitting on the sidelines? Fear of taking risks and failing is the number one thing that holds dreamers back from living a fulfilled life. How often have you heard people say, what stopped me from living my dream is my age, lack of resources, and external circumstances? But what really stopped them are fear and a limiting belief that they weren’t even aware that they had.

People look at their past to decide who they can be and what they can achieve. It’s their choice to play the victim; they get to decide on what to focus on and how to hear things. The reality is, we have all been through some form of pain in life, but it’s the difficulties and the pain that mold and shape us into who we need to become to fulfill our destiny when we allow it to. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow, recognizing that the pain was serving us instead of working against us.

So what causes some people to get back up, dust themselves off, and move forward while others stay knocked down? Mindset, and the willingness to have the courage and strength to step up to the plate, to call and take their shot, and the decision to not let their circumstances, low self-esteem, and past mistakes to rob them of their opportunity. They dare to dream and take a leap of faith!

To prove this theory I interviewed five women that put it all on the line to follow their dreams so they could live with passion and purpose; here’s what they had to say.

Sheri Salata, former Co-President of OWN, a speaker, author and producer said,

I wanted significance that was my dream. I was drawn to producing from a young age but that’s now how I started my adult career choices. I was in business and marketing thinking that’s what would bring fulfillment; it was all external seeking of significance.

I had the limiting belief that you go to work, punch the clock, and make a good living to support yourself.

It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I uncovered what I really wanted was purpose. Starting in production for the Oprah show supplied the stepping-stones to moving forward to my ultimate dream which was to own a company; one that supplied alignment, flow, and happiness. I left OWN reaching the top in my career and knowing without a shift in perspective; I would end up with so many corners of my life unlived. Success to me became, are you happy?

What I have learned along the way is, the sooner you can get to your limiting beliefs of what’s keeping you stuck and what you believe is not possible & why you believe it, as soon as you can untangle that, the quicker you can begin to manifest that life of your dreams. It’s also important to note that dreaming is part of the journey rather than a destination. The simpler you make it, the more powerful the dream becomes.

Success at following your dream is about recalibration when the craziness of life is happening and the right mindset shift to determine how you can make the best of the circumstances. It’s about mood management. You have to keep reigns on yourself; what are you thinking, saying, and are you paying attention to how you are feeling? Am I happy? Allow yourself time and space to download the magic.

Sheri proved it’s never too late to follow your dreams, it starts with believing that you are capable and setting your mind that you are in it for the long haul; after all, her destiny was calling. She was willing to take a leap of faith. Commit to herself and was willing to put in the work, moving in a forward direction all while staying in flow and keeping open for the opportunities. Key qualities that dreamer Kristi Herold, CEO of Sport and Social Club and JAM events has. When asked about her dream here’s what she had to say.

I always had a passion for sports and wanting to run my own business, which supplied balance with family. But it wasn’t always perfect; I spent many times beating myself up about the balance and being the best business owner and mother. I eventually stopped that pattern, realizing that it was no longer serving my highest good and ultimately it was my passion for sports and connecting people through play that kept me moving forward.

When trials came I had to pivot, get creative, and keep moving forward. There are times when external circumstances got me down but I had to press in and find the strength to get back up and be persistent in moving forward. It took courage, confidence, and a strong mindset to rebound. I stayed true to my dream, which is always evolving; but I love to sell play.

I want to encourage everyone to enjoy the journey; following your dreams isn’t always easy, there are a lot of downs. But there is great learning that comes from those downs, I’ve learned to embrace those moments knowing that they won’t last forever, and I’m going to come out stronger at the end of them.

Great advice because the reality is, life has a way of pushing our dreams down and they can become buried under discouragement, but Kristi Didn’t let circumstances talk her out of her dreams. She found the strength to get back up and move forward just as our next dreamer Brooke Lively author, speaker, and Founder of Cathedral Capital did. Here’s what she had to say about pressing into your dreams even when you have limited resources.

My dream was to have a company that allowed me to live the life I wanted to live with lots of travel and balance with family but that of course came with a price; I haven’t always gotten it right. I did however build a seven-figure company in seven years.

I had to recognize my weaknesses, I wasn’t strong at sales and marketing and I needed to team up with someone who specialized in that area. The person I teamed up with was a marketing machine and I private labeled what he did for his company; we did that for three years and although it was great from a revenue stand point and having someone do the marketing for me, I had to let him go so that I could go all in and own my company fully as he owned 94% of it. Over the course of 26 months I encouraged 1 full-time employee to leave, 1 full-time employee to go part-time, I refinanced my house and took every penny out. I ran up every credit card, I maxed out two lines of credit, and my low point came when I applied for my last credit card and received it with a $900 limit but waited for it daily with great anticipation. I waited on the day it arrived until 11 o’clock at night with shame and embarrassment, I went to the other side of town and did a cash advance for every penny I could get off from the card, then deposited it the next morning just so I could make payroll.

What kept me moving forward was I owned my dream and I believed in my vision. The most important part of succeeding is to eradicate the fear and shame that we feel around the numbers in our business. It’s about pushing forward even if you feel like a failure.

 It’s ok to work a full-time job and work your business as a side hustle, there is no shame in that. You should always follow your dream at your own pace. Take the time to create the dream you want versus the one others want you to have; it’s your dream make it work for you and it’s ok for the dream to change along the way.

It’s easy to lose your balance and I wish I would have had more money in the bank when I started. I had to learn my value over time; I had to own my worth, skills, and police my mindset on a daily basis.

That’s right Brooke mindset and owning your value is key to pursuing your dreams and not giving up. Brooke imagined the world she wanted to create and was willing to believe in her dream. She realized that it was up to her to prove the voice in her head wrong. When the resources were scarce she could have given up on her dream, she could have allowed herself to stay knocked down but she fought for what she believed in and established a strong mindset much like our next dreamer Donteacia Seymore inventor, Founder and CEO of Creation Nation did. Donteacia also shared similar powerful words of wisdom.

I always wanted to be the great equalizer but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I started out in politics, became an inventor, and pivoted to helping others innovate and create products. Following my dream hasn’t always been easy and I wish I would have known the cost and had more resources before I went all in.

But when a visionary idea keeps showing up in your dream or as signs it’s time to rise up and activate it. That’s what happened to me, innovation kept showing up everywhere I went; the idea wouldn’t let me sleep. I didn’t know the hows of making my dream come true, I just knew I had to show up, make financial sacrifices, and keep aware to the opportunities that showed up. In doing so, it has afforded me the life of my dreams; traveling the world with my daughter, living abroad for two years, and giving her amazing experiences.

When challenges presented themselves, it was the belief in myself and my dream that kept me going; a lot of times people can’t understand the dream you have for yourself so you have to lean into it fully and completely until you realize it. Now if you can’t do a full lean, it’s ok to give yourself permission to scooch into your dream.

Donteacia is a great inspiration in teaching us to gain the courage to live the life true to ourselves versus the one others expect of us. She pivoted, and despite finances she took inspired action, which is the perfect antidote for fear. An antidote dreamer and cancer survivor Rachel Brenke knows oh too well. Rachel, attorney, business consultant and author, was given a cancer diagnosis at the age of twenty, which caused her to realize the importance of time and following your dreams. She gives valuable advice on how to not put stock in others opinions and the importance of removing negative chatter.   

I have always loved the idea of owning my own business and working with other entrepreneurs, especially moms. I remember getting the cancer diagnosis, looking at my son and thinking,” I’m going to do this, I am going to go all in and follow my dream.” Although challenges came along the way, I kept my WHY at the forefront of my mind and it supplied me with the strength to keep moving forward, taking intentional steps over a period of time; it’s a journey. A dream is like a boulder, it takes a while to move it forward but it’s all about the taps along the way that create the movement. Be willing to put the work in, be consistent, and show up in a way that works for your life and in due season your dream will flourish. 

Rachel is a prime example as to how you can choose to not be a victim, you can choose to be a victor in the darkest of times and go after your dreams; you can choose to make your pain your platform just as she has done. The reality is you too can bring your dream to life; the question is, what is stopping you?

Today, You have an opportunity, it’s been knocking at your door, showing up in your dreams, pictures on signs and much more, and so what are you going to do with it? It’s easy to settle for mediocrity even though we have all of this potential inside.

So I want to encourage you, don’t let circumstances talk you out of your dreams. If want your dream bad enough, are willing to strengthen your mindset, take inspired action and move in a forward direction; if you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, you too can live a life full of passion and purpose. The question is, are you willing to fulfill what’s in your mind with the end result being not always on your time table but fate’s time table as well?

Tony Robbins said, the purpose of pain is to move us into action; it’s not to make us suffer.

So guess what dreamers? It’s time to believe and thrive!