Come on, admit it. You have some secret dreams and things you’ve always wanted to do that are lurking in the back of your mind. Life came along and many of those dreams got filed away, but sometimes you still take them out and wistfully look at them, like old jewelry in a drawer. But life is too short to permanently postpone doing things you’ve always wanted to do.
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” ~ from The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware
Of course I’m not talking about throwing your family under the bus and going off to live on a tropical island that you dreamed of at the age of seven. But I believe that many of our dreams are given to us because they are part of our destiny. We are drawn to things that are part of who we are and what we are meant to do. We don’t want to get to the end of our lives and realize that we should have, would have, could have.
Of course circumstances happen that we didn’t plan on, and we end up delaying or denying our dreams. Love demands sacrifice at times–we all know that.
Why Women Give Up on Things They Always Wanted to Do
But before you immediately start listing the reasons why you can’t possibly do anything about your dreams, let’s step back and look at a few reasons why women give up on things they always wanted to do (not including truly necessary circumstances):
They don’t think they deserve anything good.
They figure “Why hope, it never happens.”
They get overwhelmed by everything that would have to be done.
They have so neglected themselves, they have forgotten their dreams.
They are waiting for someone else to make their dreams come true.
Ahem. Can I say “been there, done that?”
Finally Doing Some Things That I Always Wanted to Do
Without getting into counseling and analysis and preaching, let’s just say that in recent years I’ve finally done some things that I always wanted to do:
Went to Disneyland
Went on a cruise
Became a T-Tapp Trainer
Started a blog
Wrote a book (actually, several)
How did these things happen? Most of them, one step at a time:
Went to Disneyland (our daughter lived in the San Diego area, so we were able to go when we visited her)
Went on a cruise (saved up, actually made the reservation and went for an anniversary)
Became a T-Tapp Trainer (started with a CPR cert, then a personal trainer cert, and eventually a Mentoring program)
Started a blog (started with one post on Blogspot)
Wrote a book (actually, several) (started with my story of losing 100 pounds)
My current “Always Wanted To” is to learn to take decent photos. It may sound silly, but remember that I spent many years holding the baby while other people took pictures. When I was growing up, we just didn’t do photos. For years I’ve said things like “I am NOT a photographer” or “I am terrible at taking pictures!” Yet deep down I always wanted to. So I’ve decided to take it out of dreamland and make it a goal.
Tips for Doing Things You’ve Always Wanted to Do
Here are some steps that have served me well in the past to make a dream come true:
Decide I’m going to do this. A decision is actually where it all begins. It’s where you quit making excuses and stop saying you don’t deserve it.
Get started. Really. I could have spent months researching cameras and fretting over whether I should get a point-and-shoot or DSLR. Instead, I did a reasonable amount of research, asked around and decided to start small and non-overwhelming. I bought a camera and ignored the little voice asking “But what if…?” But I’ll admit it took me a few days to actually open it. 🙂
Start small. Besides buying a less-expensive camera, I’m playing with it to get familiar with the functions. Too many times we postpone a dream because we’re waiting for a huge life shift when we can finally spend hours and thousands of dollars. Doing some is better than hoping to do a lot someday.
Change my language. And I don’t mean that I started speaking Spanish. I am no longer saying things to myself like “You’re giving the camera to the wrong person!” I am not saying out loud “I’ll NEVER learn to take pictures.” Instead, I’m thinking about how great it’s going to be when I can take good photos. I’m telling myself “I’m learning to use this camera well.” I’m saying “I’m learning about lighting and composition.” Words matter.
Keep the vision before me. I’m working on a vision board right now. It won’t be fancy or big, just a piece of card stock with stickers and pictures printed and cut out. It will have photos that represent dreams and goals. You can bet that I’ve already found a photo of the exact model of my camera. Whenever I glance at the picture hanging above my desk, it will remind me and inspire me to keep learning and building my skill.
This all sounds simple and it actually is. When we talk ourselves into making things complicated and impossible-looking, we never get started. It’s actually a way of blocking and protecting ourselves. Fear keeps us from starting. That ought to make us mad enough to do something about it.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do? What are some things you’ve finally done?