Do you have big dreams that involve life-size projects and endless goals? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and consumed by the relentless hows?

  • How will I ever reach my end goal?
  • How will I figure this all out?
  • How will I possibly manage all of these moving pieces?

Like many of you, I relate to the above all too well. I have many big plans. Some have come to life and others are still in process. What I have learned so far is that the road to reaching big dreams is meant to be a journey. None of us are meant to have the “hows” figured out when trekking through new territory. We can be near the finish line and still have no idea of the twists, turns and magic that will pop up around the next bend.

The most intriguing and challenging part of all dream creation is allowing adequate space for the project to take on a life of its own. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to let go of the “hows” and incessant need to micromanage all aspects of the process.

When we let go, we shift from feeling like we are pushing a beast uphill to feeling like we have the freedom to have an uncharted experience. It is within this freedom where we learn and grow.

When I feel like I am in way over my head, or I start doubting myself and my dream, I turn to these practices to help me ease up a little. These practices help me remember why being on the dream path is about something much bigger than the end result I am working toward. If these practices resonate with where you are, give them a try and see how they land.

Practice #1: Have Faith

Have faith in the process of reaching your dreams — it is a process for a reason. Every bump in the road and new goal is there to entice dreamers to keep learning and growing in ways they haven’t yet experienced in life.

Try to remember that when we put one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, it sends out confusing signals. Instead, keep moving forward. It doesn’t have to be at a light-speed pace. It can be fun to keep going just to see what is around the next corner.

With completion comes clarity. Often when we reach our destination, the skies part and we clearly see what it all was for. Trust you will get to where you are going when the time is right. Try to remember to breathe, be open and prepare to be amazed. It’s not meant to be so serious. We can have fun when we have faith in the process.

Practice #2: One Step at a Time

One step at a time is always an approach that feels manageable. We generally don’t reach our big goals in three giant leaps. It usually looks like thousands of small steps that zig and zag.

It doesn’t have to be pretty and it isn’t a race. When we race to the finish line, we forget the whole point of the process  — the journey! I have learned it works to show up every day and be open and willing to do at least one small thing toward my big dream. Some days the steps will be more plentiful, with noticeable results. Other days, the steps will be barely visible and may feel like they didn’t amount to much. Don’t fret; remember that showing up is the most important part.

Another valuable lesson I learned (the hard way) is to get into the habit of shutting it all off at the end of the day. When we keep pushing through into the wee hours of the night, we don’t actually get further ahead. Grant yourself permission to pick up where you left off the next day, or even the day after.

Getting enough sleep helps your big dreams move forward at the pace they are meant to  — and the best part is you get to still feel human in the process. Your life is so much more than an end project, so don’t become your project. Remember to take breaks for fresh air and embrace the way your journey unfolds, one step at a time.

Practice #3: Ask for Help

For many of us, reaching out for help can be the most uncomfortable part of the journey. Rest assured, it always takes a village to reach our big dreams. Asking for help is something we can become more comfortable doing with practice.

It may take doing the steps the hard, grueling way enough times to finally realize other people know how to do many of the steps better than we ever will. So delegate, collaborate and know that working together with others is what will make the journey more colorful.

Having other people involved in the journey will help your dream come to life in ways you never would have imagined doing on your own. Not only that, when you get stuck or doubt yourself, your team will be there to remind you why you ever started in the first place.

Traveling the path towards a big dream is not meant to be easy, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. Take it all in and know at the end of the day you are so much more than your wildest dreams.


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Originally published at on November 25, 2016.

Originally published at


  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large and a coach at BetterUp. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse;; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: