Do You Remember When You Used To Dream Big?
I vividly remember when I used to talk with my friends and dream big as a little kid. Didn’t we all do it? We’d talk about the vision we had for our future and all the wonderful and exciting things we wanted to do in our lives.
As kids, we didn’t know what we were doing. Vision boards were not part of our vocabulary. We had no idea how to set goals in a way to increase the probability that we’d achieve them. More importantly, no one had ever told us that we couldn’t do something. The possibilities seemed limitless. Those were exciting times that gave us a ton of hope for the future.
What happens to our ability to dream big as we mature into adulthood? Why is it that so many of us go from the boundless enthusiasm of dreaming big as children to the cynical disappointment of “being realistic” and “accepting our limitations” as we become adults?
In all my experience in life, from business, to coaching and playing sports, to teaching and learning a wide variety of subjects, I have found that the ability to dream big is controlled by one person. Can you guess who it is? It’s me; just as your ability to dream big in your life is controlled by just one person – that’s you!
When I have found it hard to think big in my goal setting, it has always been because of limitations, usually mental in nature, that I have imposed on myself. Now, those self-imposed limitations may have resulted from thoughts and doubts I allowed myself to have based on what other people had said or done. But at the end of the day, the limitations were self-imposed!
I bet that if you take an honest look at times when you failed to dream big in your business or in your personal life, you can trace the reason(s) back to limitations you imposed on yourself. How crazy is that? You’re the one who has the ability to either give yourself permission to dream big or limit yourself from doing so. As far as I’m concerned, that’s great news!
Here’s how I now approach the natural tendency to get into a rut and impose limitations on myself unnecessarily:
1.) I regularly check in with myself to get a better handle on my state of mind. I don’t simply go with the flow without frequently monitoring where I’m at mentally.
2.) I give myself carte blanche (free reign) to think and dream big, regardless of whatever challenges I may be facing at any one time or experiences I’ve had in the past.
3.) I set goals and I monitor my progress toward those goals.
4.) I take “failures” as isolated and independent events and I try to learn everything I can from them, then I move on.
5.) I encourage others in my life, whether they be clients, family members, partners, friends, or some mixture thereof, to dream big. It is extremely rewarding to help others see and achieve their potential!
6.) I reinforce with others and with myself that, as my brother once told me, “it’s better to aim high and hit medium, than it is to aim low and hit low”. Don’t sell yourself short before ever getting out of the gate.
7.) I pursue excellence in everything that I do, even in my slacking off sometimes (please don’t tell my kids)…
8.) I work with a coach and/or mentor in all areas that matter the most to me. I have found the perspective of those who’ve “been there and done that” to be invaluable in accelerating my progress and maintaining my sanity as I pursue my goals.
9.) I fight off shiny object syndrome every day, many times a day. I have found that I love to try new things, but I’ve also found that maintaining focus is absolutely key to achieving big dreams!
10.) I maintain my individuality, but I embrace the opportunity to work in teams much more than I ever have in the past. I have always been very self-reliant and determined, but I have found that I can have a much greater impact in all my endeavors if I am willing and able to work well with teams. I also find that greater interaction with others stimulates my mind and pushes me to dream big and think more creatively.
I hope these ideas help you as you fight for your dreams and perhaps rekindle that kid-like spirit of dreaming without self-imposed limitations.
I look forward to your thoughts! Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.
Don’t miss an issue of Company Founder! Subscribe today. It’s free. It’s private. It’s practical information for entrepreneurs and leaders interested in taking it to the next level.
Go to the right-hand navigation bar near the top of the page, enter your email and click subscribe. We respect your privacy and will not sell your email address. Note: once you subscribe, if the confirmation email doesn’t arrive, check your spam filter. It usually makes it through, but sometimes those pesky spam filters don’t know what’s good..