What is your dream?

You have a dream. We all do. It might be grandiose, like running for office to change public policy affecting people of color. It might be closer to home, like creating stronger relationships in your family life.

Whatever your dream is, what’s stopping you from going after it?

Each and every day, you have the chance to listen to the calling and make a choice to act or not to act on your dreams. More often than not, you probably hear all the reasons it should be someone else who creates the change you want to see in the world. Someone else gets to have their dreams come true, not you.

You may recognize that voice in your head. It is great at stopping you in your tracks with every roadblock under the sun it can come up throw at you. You know the reasons so well:

I can’t get into public policy because I don’t have a degree in political science. I studied engineering. 

I can’t create the relationships I want in my family because they just don’t listen. It’s them that has to change. 

“I can’t be a leader in my organization because I don’t have an ounce of leadership experience. Who is going to hire a leader with no experience?

And the biggest reason of all:

“I’m scared to death of making the leap. I’m comfortable with my job. I’m comfortable with my family life. Yes, they drive me crazy, but I know what to expect. I know to expect pain, frustration, anger, disappointment, and heartache.

What if today you answered the questions: “Why not you?” and “Why not now?” But with a new slant to them. Instead of all the reasons it shouldn’t be you and it shouldn’t be now, what might you find out?

You might find out that your passion for diversity and inclusion is contagious. People gravitate to you to talk about it because you have ideas they never even considered. You might remind yourself of all the advocacy work you already do as a volunteer locally. You already know the first step you want to take to get further involved.

You might find out that there are opportunities in each and every interaction you have with your family to shift the dynamics. You may see that when you practice pausing and listening before reacting to family members, you are more able to have tough conversations without someone shutting the door and walking out of the room.

You might find out that people already think of you as a leader. Leaders without titles have a tremendous amount of value and experience. You have helped several people in your organization shine at work because of the support and guidance you provided them. What an amazing leader you already are.

Do you feel the shift in energy? Can you see nothing has to stop you from starting to go after your dreams today?

Ah… There it is. You felt it, didn’t you? Fear. Fear just reared its head, didn’t it?

It does that right when we are thinking about making the leap. It’s brilliant like that. Fear doesn’t have to be the thing that warns us not to do something, but rather the thing that tells us that it is exactly the thing we need to do.

Fear is a great litmus test to show us what we desire the most. Fear can be the signal to take the leap instead of retreat.

You have a choice to make:

  1. Do you allow yourself to go back to your comfort zone? Allow your dreams to stay just that: dreams? And continue to wish you had the courage to go after them? Or,
  2. Do you step into the uncomfortable? Do you allow the scary thing to be the thing that propels you forward into the unknown, but exciting, world of going after what you want?

Make today the first day of many that you choose to answer:

Why not you? with, I’m perfect for this dream. I’m going after it!

Why not now? with, Let’s do it! Already midway through the first step! Fear, we’ve got this.

Originally published on Ellevate.

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