Fear of the Future

I sat down tonight to work on my road map to accomplish my dreams. I sat down to listen to Rachel Hollis explain how she does it and during the meditation, a realization hit me in the face. I am afraid of the future. I am afraid to fully let myself dream and see myself in that dream. I’ve been holding myself back because I can’t see myself in the future that I’m trying to create for myself.

I’m still stuck in the future that we left behind. I’m stuck and I haven’t allowed myself to grieve and move on the way I need to. I have let my fear of a different future hold me back.

The future I am stuck in has us raising children. I don’t know why I’m stuck there, we have made the decision and I’m truly happy with the decision to not have children. Maybe there’s a part of me that still wants to feel the baby growing within me. Maybe there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to let go just yet.

I am happy without children. I have found oh so many blessings in not having children. I couldn’t consciously imagine having children anymore, it just isn’t part of my life. But when I daydream as I’m falling asleep, I can’t envision a different future.

I have spent so much of my life daydreaming different scenarios of having children. I have spent so many sleepless nights conjuring up these amazing futures in imagination of children and happiness.

But I haven’t pivoted those dreams. I haven’t pivoted those thoughts right as I fall asleep. I haven’t fully allowed myself to move on.

As I was listening to Rachel, I realized that I have been fearful of the unknown. I don’t know people in my inner circle who have lived child-free lives. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know where I want to be in five years let alone ten years. I haven’t allowed myself to fully dream the new dreams.

I have work to do. I am going to get back to this video and start working on dreaming up my new future. I am going to push through the fear of the unknown to create a new future, even if I don’t have any examples of what I’m going to dream up.

Where do you see yourself in five years? What about ten years?

Excuses

Excuses, we all have them. Chances are, you, like me, try to justify an excuse. Chances are, you don’t know that what you are saying is truly just an excuse because you believe in it so deeply.

In You Are A Badass Everyday Jen Sincero states “We get extremely defensive about our excuses, because excuses free us from taking responsibility for our lives.” I can easily think back to many times that I was adamant about what I was saying or doing and realize that I was just rattling off excuses. Excuses are part of every person’s life regardless of how successful or centered they are. Excuses are something that we will always have to overcome.

If you look back to my previous post, Making Fun of Me, you will probably be able to identify some pretty obvious excuses in it. I sure do.

It is easier to look back and identify excuses than to identify them when you are living them. In fact, I only occasionally can identify excuses right when I’m making them. I can sit here writing all of this and realize that almost every reason I have after work and after dinner to not work on my dreams are probably just excuses. One of my biggest excuses is that Eddie just wants to watch TV. So?! Why can’t I do something else? Because I just want to relax on the couch and not in my office and I can’t write or read or do a coaching with the TV on.

I keep letting this excuses hold me back over and over and over. It is one of my most frequent excuses I use. How do I overcome it? By being intentional and finding other places to sit and relax. Yes, my couch is comfortable as hell, but so is my bean bag in my nerd nook. And soon the chairs on the porch will be usable because it will be warm enough for me to sit outside. Remember all of those years laying in bed reading when I were growing up that you treasured? Why don’t I do the same thing now? I have a wonderfully comfortable bed that would be great for reading. Why? Because I want to cuddle with the dogs and they aren’t allowed in the bed. That my friend is just one more excuse.

Are you getting the picture? Do you see how little things that don’t seem like excuses actually are?

What excuses are getting in your way of your dreams?

I Don't Know How to Dream

This is not an uncommon thought. I was one of the people who didn’t know how to dream for many years. At least, that is what I thought. I was wrong.

I may not have thought that I knew how to dream, but I knew I was able to push forward. In all that I accomplished up until realizing and truly beginning to dream, I simply pushed forward for something better. I knew I wanted more, even if I wasn’t sure what I truly wanted. I knew I couldn’t stay stuck, that wasn’t the life I wanted to live.

Do you want more? Are you refusing to stay stuck by pushing forward through anything?

Girl you are dreaming! Seriously. You are. You might not have direction towards those dreams, but you are dreaming. Just like I was. You are already one step closer to opening your mind up to big dreams.

That one step for me was to sit down and write out who I saw myself being in ten years. I learned how to do this best from the Start Today Journal practice. I had heard multiple books or podcasts explaining this process before, but Rachel Hollis explains it so well and lights a fire within me that helps me to open my mind. Every time I do it, I dream bigger and more clearly.

Rachel goes into depth in one of her podcasts and in her Start Today Journal, I’m going to summarize what I learned here.

Rachel asks a few key questions that get you started on envisioning yourself ten years from now. Why ten? She does this ten, ten, one process. Ten years, ten dreams, one goal. I’ll let you listen to her podcast to learn more, but here are the key questions I absolutely love.

  1. Who do you want to be in ten years?
  2. A decade in the future, what is the very best version of yourself doing?
  3. What’s a bigger version of the best version of you living every day in the best state that you know how to be?

There are many other questions that she poses, but those are the three that prompted me the most. The next step is to write it all out. Write out everything that comes to your mind, even if it doesn’t seem realistic. As you are writing, do not judge anything that is flowing, just write it down. Do not hold anything back.

This is how you open up and prompt yourself to dream. Now that you have it all written out, you can see what dreams you truly have. Your dreams are there, you just have to stop burying them. You have to open your mind and emotions to letting these dreams come out of hiding.

It’s okay if you don’t get much written down the first time. I didn’t. I had hardly anything. But I do this dreaming every three months. Every time I do it, my page gets fuller, my mind opens more, and I feel more and more connected to what flows.

Now you have a starting point of how to set goals to become the person you dream to be. Yes, you can be a goal-oriented person. This is another practice you have to open your mind to. You already did the hard part of opening your mind to your dreams. Now you get to turn those dreams into reality.

Dreams

There is so much programming out there telling us to “follow your dreams” or “let your imagination run wild” or even “you can be anything your heart desires.” The problem with this programming is that it isn’t universal. Depending on where you grow up and where you come from, you might not have dreams, an imagination, or even know anything more than the small environment that you are part of. Dreams are not universal.

I was one of the kids who didn’t actually hear any of this programming as a child. My programming was more along the lines of “graduate high school before getting pregnant”, “anybody better off than us are assholes”, or “so-and-so should be taking care of us because they are better off.” There was no hope, no dream in the future that was being programmed into me. There was nothing bigger than living off of family who made a life for themselves. Doing more, being more was never a thought.

My imagination as a child was very limited. I didn’t know anything outside of the small town and poor life I was growing up in. I didn’t have good examples in my everyday life of following dreams or even dreaming big. Goals were not something that ever crossed my mind.

Today I am living a vastly different life than the one I grew up in. Why? Because I took the glimpses of life outside of the poor situation I was in from what little TV and movies I watched and books I read and knew there was more out there. I didn’t know how much more. I didn’t ever consider that I would be where I am today. I just knew I wanted more.

My first real dream I followed was going to college. It was never a consideration for my parents to even encourage college, but I knew I wanted to go. I figured going to college would give me an edge on living a better life. Once I was in college, I started seeing more and more of life outside of living a poor life, counting on everyone else. I knew before college that I wanted to live my own life and support myself, but my eyes were being opened and my mind was learning.

I never dreamed of getting my MBA or becoming a project manager, or being a traveling professional. I never dreamed of making the salary I do today or buying a home. I never dreamed of sharing my life with random people or becoming an overlander who has gear to travel to places most vehicles can’t make it. I never dreamed of working from home from a mission-driven company. I never dreamed of most of what exists in my life today.

I did dream of being a writer as a kid, but thought that would never happen because I wasn’t rich enough. I attributed everything to money. Yes, money does provide a lot, but so do goals and dreams.

Today my dreams are bigger than I would have ever expected growing up. I wouldn’t have even imagined my dreams were a thing. That’s the difference of the environment that we are in.

I frequently question why people don’t get off their ass and do something about their situation. I did, why don’t they? I’m learning that it isn’t that easy for some people. The programming that we receive during our formative years can and will determine everything about our life. Some people don’t have the mental acuity to look outside of the hear and now. I frequently lose my patience when people limit themselves, then I have to remind myself that I have limited myself in various ways throughout my life.

Not only does it take hearing or learning about what else is out there, it takes desire to do more. For those of use who come from places where dreaming isn’t or wasn’t a thing, it isn’t just about the dreaming. It is about what we have access to. Some people don’t even have the limited TV or movies that I had. Some people don’t even have books. These people may have a burning desire for something more, they just don’t know what that is because they are in a place where their imagination and ability to dream is limited.

Unfortunately in our world today, there is still so much limitation on the ability to dream and imagine a different life. We have a long way to go.

I am sharing my story because I hope that if you are reading it and you are someone who is in a position that doesn’t have access to anything that will stoke your imagination and dreams, it will give you a little bit of hope for something more.

Growing up I didn’t dream of a better life without the input of TV, movies, and books. I thought the only way to get a better life was to be born into it. Today, I work on my thoughts, dreams, and overall knowledge every single day. My inputs have changed my life tenfold. I am where I am today from one little dream, living a better life than what I grew up in. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I chased it.

What did you dream of when you were a kid? Did you have big, audacious dreams? What life did you dream of?

What Are You Committed To?

Are you committed to your goals or to your excuses? Do you even know?

I used to think that I was committed to my goals, but I kept making excuses. I had some goals that yes, I was absolutely committed to. I wanted to have a better life than my parents. I wanted to explore the world. I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted happiness and freedom. I pursued all of those goals every single day.

But I kept making excuses. I was committed to the excuses I kept making as to why I would never be good enough, or why I couldn’t do something for me even if my partner didn’t like it or didn’t want to do it with me, or why I kept feeling like I had to prove myself to absolutely everybody in my life.

I was somewhat growing as a person and meeting goals, but my excuses were holding me back from my full potential. One of the excuses I was wholeheartedly committed to was my need to make sure everyone else was supported, approved, and/or wasn’t offended by absolutely anything I did. This excuse ran my life. It was at the center of everything I did. I was committed to this excuse more than I was committed to anything else in my life.

This excuse continually held me back and prevented me from reaching and even dreaming big audacious goals. I was never going to fully meet the goals I listed above if I didn’t uncommit myself from the excuse of needing to look out for everybody else first. I had to commit to my goals, do some difficult internal work, and let go of my excuses.

I have mostly stopped living my life for others. I no longer care if so-and-so likes my posts. I no longer care if my posting or my sharing offends people. I don’t say anything horrible about people, well most people, and I don’t name any names in most of my posts. I started creating and sharing my growth journey on YouTube and don’t care if my family or friends think it’s weird or that I am sharing too much. I don’t share about them unless I am giving them credit for helping me. I take time for me, even when all of the family is together.

Limiting my excuse of needing to do for others before doing for myself has been liberating. I have been able to focus on allowing myself to dream big audacious goals and have started going after them. I have changed my commitment from my excuses to my goals. I schedule time for me to have simple me time and to do activities towards accomplishing my goals without worry of people being offended that I’m not out with them.

Change. Change is how we can be more committed to our goals than our excuses. Nothing can happen without some kind of change.

Which are you committed to, your goals or your excuses? Have you ever thought about it?

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Fear of Not Being Like Them

If you can’t get over your fear of not doing it as well as they do, you’ll never have the opportunity to be a trail blazer for someone else. – Rachel Hollis, Girl, Stop Apologizing

I have a lot of fears in life. I was pretty much only taught how to be fearful. I have let most of my life been run by my fear. In fact, this isn’t the first iteration of me sharing my growth or my struggles with people. I killed each of those blogs because of fear.

Not this time. My dreams have rooted themselves within me and I am pushing back on fear. One of my fears is that, as I grow and as I work towards being a life coach, I will not be as good as the coaches that I follow. I will not be as good as those I look to for mentorship. These fears can easily hold me back. And I’d bet to say they have so far.

But if I live in this fear of not being as good of a coach as them, I won’t ever help the women who need my experience and insight. The reason that each of these coaches that I follow is successful, is that they have different stories and different focuses. Some do primarily one-on-one coaching, some never do. They are all different even though they carry the same title of coach.

If I stay in the fear of not doing coaching as well as them, I will never become a coach. I will never grow this blog into something more. I will stay living in the past and in the pain that I so desperately want to work through.

If I dig in and I do me, if I find my voice, I can inspire and help countless women. Women who relate to me. Women to want to hear what I have to say. Women who are going through similar experiences to what I’ve gone through. Women who like me for me. If I dig in and realize that being different is a good thing, I can accomplish my dreams.

I have to get out of my own way. I have to stop living in fear and living in the past. It is time to set all of my fears and anxiety aside and start pushing myself. It sure as hell isn’t going to be easy. And I sure as hell will offend some people. Probably even some of my family and close friends. But my dreams are my dreams and I need to pursue them.

Are you living in fear or are you pursuing your dreams?

 

Mind Wandering

If I am doing something with my hands and there isn’t a book I’m listening to or a TV show that I’m watching, I’m most likely lost in my mind, off somewhere in another time. Even if music is on.

I have a wandering mind.

Most of the time, I’m trying to prepare myself for some future conflict that I bet I’ll have to deal with. I’m imagining how I can stand up for myself in certain situations. I come up with the best ways to defend myself, sometimes with making the other person look bad.

I have done this for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I use this ability to fall asleep. I have different things I let my mind wander to based on what I’m doing, what I want, or even my mood.

I have always called it daydreaming, but when I think of dreaming, I think of good things. My mind doesn’t always bring up situations that are good. As a kid, I used to dream of running away and starting a better life. I would even dream that I ran away, hitchhiked to the interstate, and found my way to a place where I could start making money while I started a better life. As I got older, it would be about guys and them telling me they loved me and us starting a life together.

For most of my adult life, I would dream of all things revolving around children and having my own. I had everything planned out in these dreams. My mind would wander to the best and the worst things that could happen. Once I started on my personal growth journey, most of what my daydreams would produce was me envisioning a better life. But I always come back to wandering to the place of defending myself in situations with specific people. Always.

Mel Robbins said, “Mind-wandering is actually the cause, not the consequence, of unhappiness.”

When I saw this phrase, I immediately snapped to all the mind-wandering I do. Oh, how she is so very right.

If I look at the majority of the mind-wandering I do today, most of it isn’t about happy things. Defending myself is not a happy situation. It means there is conflict. Whether the conflict is entirely internal or true conflict with a person, I am envisioning the unhappy situations around it.

My mind is focusing on the negative.

When we focus on the negative, we see more and more of the negative in our lives. We stop seeing the good. I am causing myself unhappiness every time I let my mind wander to these situations. I need to and am going to, flip that switch. No more focusing on these potential situations of conflict. I am going to start focusing on my dreams and making those come true. Including all of the hard work that will go into making those dreams happen.

Will it be easy to flip the switch? No. Will I occasionally fall back into old habits? Probably. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

We all need more happiness in our lives. It starts from within. We choose what we focus on.