Can we be real for a moment? Whoever the people are who perpetuate the notion that once you take the big brave step to follow your dreams everything will fall into place are big fat liars! Getting where you want to go, especially with something totally new and scary to you, is inevitably going to come with a whole host of doubts. I know, I've been there!
If you don't have doubts, you're doing it wrong
Have you ever heard the saying "your dreams should be so big they scare you"? It is so freaking true! Big dreams that come from the heart and would propel you forward into unknown territory. No one's big dream in life is to get a mediocre job and live in a home they can barely afford with a significant other they simply tolerate while sitting on the couch all weekend. Your dream life is about following that one burning passion inside of you so you wake up every day excited to work. Your dream life is about falling in love with your best friend and adventure partner that you couldn't even dream of they are so amazing. Your dream life is about living in abundance and feeling free to give of yourself all day because your home is a private oasis. Your dream life is about running that race, lifting that weight, or playing that sport in a way you've never achieved before.
So yeah, those big dreams are scary. And from that fear is going to come doubt... sometimes lots of it. But if fear doesn't creep up every once in a while, are you really pushing your boundaries and going for the greatest you can possibly get? Probably not. I'm learning to push past the doubts and to see them as a sign that I'm reaching so high the part of my brain that's been trained to be cautious and pessimistic is freaking out (and that's a good thing).
Let doubt inspire new action
Here's what happened to me: I made the big scary plunge into personal training once my desk job came to an end. I spent a lot of time on my own and in consultation with trusted friends and colleagues reviewing my online business model, made sure the gym would not see it as a conflict of interest, and took out a Facebook Ad because I was going to be a trainer in a gym AND online!
Then the doubt took over. Bills looked insurmountable, people didn't flock to me like I somehow imagined they would from one ad, building clients at the gym was not going at the rapid fire pace I wanted, and I started to really question whether or not I made the right decision. In fact, the thought that started to pop into my head was "I'm an idiot to have thought this would work". Wow.
Considering this is the first time in my life I have no trouble uttering the words "I love my job!" it is a bit silly for me to think I made a wrong decision. What was wrong was letting those words of doubt make me stop my Facebook ad, stop posting on social media, and stop writing blog entries. Hello! How can I create an amazing community of people who are learning to love their bodies through fitness, health, and some mental strength and reprogramming if I'm radio silent?
Finally, I decided to make a change. Reading good things, refocusing my thoughts, approaching everyone I interacted with at the gym with love, talking to friends and family, meditating (this one has been more helpful than I seriously ever would have imagined), and jumping back into the online world with a conviction that I can and will get where I want to go. If you're feeling immense doubt I encourage you to take a moment, make a plan, and get back in control. YOU CAN DO THIS! The voice that says you can't is just scared and doesn't know any better.
Let the Doubt Out
OK, now that you're dreaming so big it scares you and pushing forward with a plan, it's time to let the doubt out. It's OK to share your feelings. And it's OK to let them go. There is something very liberating about acknowledging your own thoughts and feelings. The most helpful exercise I did when trying to pull myself back to being the motivated and excited dream chaser I had been was to write down the stories I tell myself that hold me back. It went something like this:
YOU CAN DO THIS! Don't let fear or doubt hold you back.
P.S. I really enjoyed "Mastering Your Mean Girl" by Melissa Ambrosini when working on getting past some of those limiting thoughts I was suffering from. Check it out!
lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and feeling confident.