We’re often told to go for our dreams. Life coaches and thinkers deliver phrases such as “reach for the heavens, because if you miss, at least you’ll fall in the stars.”
However, these sayings are often platitudes which fail to acknowledge the reality of achieving our dreams. Indeed, change is a fickle thing. When we want to empower ourselves, change is a necessity.
But change often brings turmoil, a necessary by-product of positive progress. Read on to discover why achieving your dreams isn’t always what it seems and what you can do to keep on swimming.
The perils of positive change
When we make positive changes in our life, we often offer ourselves up to the unknown. There are lots of things that at first seem perfect and trouble-free but in reality, come with their own challenges.
Take moving house for example. It’s one of the most stressful events in our lives, and with good reason.
Our new neighbourhood might not be as nice as we first thought, or our neighbours might be noisy or rude. What seemed like a dream house at first is actually just the same, or even worse, as our last home.
The same applies for a new job.
Changing job is rarely easy, even if it’s our dream role. We have to find our place in a new team, a team that already has its own friendships and cliques. That’s not to mention the apprehension of a new boss, the great unknown of new processes and rules.
For a more extreme example, let’s look at winning the lottery. Virtually all of us dream of winning big and retiring to enjoy our new-found wealth.
But in reality, even winning the lottery has its challenges. Many jackpot winners report unhappiness and heartbreak. Some even say they wish they’d never won in the first place.
Positive change isn’t always plain-sailing. Each event comes with its own unique set of challenges to face.
Why bother at all?
Change can be a scary thing and facing the unknown is a scary experience — but it’s a necessary one.
We invest a lot in achieving our dreams. When we land that perfect job or start our own business, we expect it to fix everything that’s wrong in our lives. But it’s not always the case and that can be upsetting.
However, we shouldn’t let such challenges prevent us from pursuing our dreams. If we want to achieve our goals in life, these things are a necessity that we need to deal with head-on.
How to stay upbeat during periods of change
Facing such struggles can be taxing, putting us off chasing our dreams and keeping us in a rut. But with willpower and determination, we can keep our head above water and live the life we want.
Here are a few tactics to help you (or your friends) stay upbeat during periods of tumult.
Be realistic about your dreams
Firstly, you need to be realistic. Just like your nighttime dreams, in the cold light of day, your dreams might not seem as perfect as you first imagined.
The realities of achieving your dreams might put you off pursuing them entirely. But instead of dropping them altogether, stay realistic. Don’t expect the world — just bear in mind that you will face challenges, and prepare yourself accordingly.
Take it one step at a time…
Reaching your goals is just one part of a long journey. Rather than seeing your goals as the end point of the journey, see them as a stepping stone towards that destination.
Don’t beat yourself up if your friend has found their dream role and you’re still grinding away in a job you hate. Take it one step at a time and focus on the task in front of you. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor are your dreams.
…but keep one eye on the horizon
During periods of change, keep looking ahead. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the present, by the huge and sudden changes you’re going through.
But change is temporary. While you should focus on what’s in front of you, you should still keep one eye on the horizon. Remind yourself every day that facing adversity is a necessary step towards achieving your dream.
Look back on your past to appreciate it
While you should focus on your destination, also take the time to look back on where you’ve been. It’s easy to forget that, while you might have a long way to go, you’ve also come a long way already.
Yes, you’re going through a period of tumult and stress. But it’s still better than where you’ve been, and you’ve made huge progress to get this far already. Every step you take now is a step in the right direction, so be good to yourself and acknowledge your progress thus far.
In the end, achieving your dreams is not always what it seems. Even buying our dream house is not without its perils. But that shouldn’t stop us from pursuing them. Instead, be realistic and stay upbeat. The path to happiness is paved with challenges, but the end result is always worth pursuing.