Ready to start fighting for your dreams, but not sure how?
Want to achieve your dreams, even though everyone is against it?
Isn’t it easier just to listen to what other people think you should be doing?
Do whatever everyone else is doing. Avoid failing and getting criticized. Just playing it safe.
But be honest with yourself. Are you going to live a more fulfilled and happier life if you listen to others expectations and opinions? Heck, NO! I would for sure live an unhappy and miserable life.
That’s when I knew, no matter how it would end I had to try out to go after my dreams even if everyone was against it. But boy, did I know what I was getting myself into.
I can tell you that no one in my family, even my friends were supportive at the beginning and still a few of them aren’t.
Let me just give you behind of scene when I told my family on New Year’s Eve that I wouldn’t go study abroad but that I decided to follow my dreams and take a gap year to travel and get certified as a professional life coach.
“Have you lost your mind! We had so many high hopes for you and your life”, which translated in millennial language: “We had a lot of high expectations on you.” “You are the future of our family. Millions of lives depend on you going to university!”
Okay, I just made the last bit up, but the first bit was true. Just wanted to make it sound a little bit dramatic. Hope it worked.
I am not going to lie to you those 2 years of going after my dreams weren’t always fun and positive. Sometimes I even questioned myself if I should stop following my dreams.
There will be times of doubt and where your obstacles seem impossible to overcome. However, if you really believe in your dreams and yourself there is nothing that can stand in your way of making your dreams come true.
Just relax, I am going to share with you some actionable tips and strategies I learned, during my journey of following my dreams. We are in this together.
By the way, guess what happened on the 29 August 2018. Exactly! I got certified as a professional life coach at IPEC. Looks like dreams do come true. So If I can do this, so can you!
How to Fight for Your Dreams When Everyone is Against It
#1. Get Clear On Your Vision First
I cannot stress enough about the importance of laying out the foundation first. Moreover, a study has proven that visualizing success works.
In order to pursue your dreams and achieving your goals, you need to get clear on your Vision first.
Not only is your vision for you but it also will help you decide in which direction to move. It’s going to help you find out who you want to be and what you want to experience in life.
Plus, knowing your vision is going to give you the confidence you need to overcome obstacles and those disempowering thoughts of giving up. I don’t know about you, but I used to question myself a lot if I should follow my dreams or be realistic.
If it wasn’t for my vision I probably would have listened to those toxic thoughts and opinions of others and I would never pursue one of my dreams of becoming a certified professional coach.
Finally, your vision is going to give you the strength you need to keep going even when you are about to give up. Let’s do a vision exercise together. Shall we?
Before we do the exercise, I want you to take a pen and paper out and go to a quiet place where you don’t get distracted during the process. Are we ready?
Fighting for Your Dreams with Visualization Exercises
First of all, I want you to take 3 deep breaths. Inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth. This is going to help you to relax and center yourself.
Now, envision yourself 5 years from now. You are waking up and feeling different. When you look in the mirror and you start to smile at yourself. You realize that those past years you’ve been living your dreams. Each day has been exciting, purposeful and fulfilling to you. Everything you ever dreamed of has become a reality.
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While you are envisioning yourself experiencing your dream life I want you to embrace this moment to dream big. Everything is possible. You are limitless and you have the power in you to overcome any obstacle to creating the life of your dreams.
Take your pen and paper now and start writing some bullet points about your 5 Year Vision. Here are some questions to help you out:
Describe your appearance. How are you dressed? Professional? Casual?
- What are your beliefs and attitude towards life?
- What do you do for your mental or physical health?
- How do you handle life’s challenges?
- What profession are you in?
- Where do you live? In what city, state and country are you living in?
- What type of home do you live in?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What is your social life like?
- What kind of relationships, friendships do you have?
#2. Take Daily Actions Towards Your Dreams
Having a clear vision in relation to your dreams is powerful, which I already explained in the previous step, but without taking daily actions your vision will have no meaning at all.
Your vision neither your dreams are going to provide you with the results, but your actions will. Actions speak louder than spoken words.
I can talk from experience when I was envisioning myself and creating my vision statement I felt empowered, excited and ready to go. However, nobody told me what to do next.
Every article I read about visioning said the same thing: “Just create a vision board or a vision and everything will happen with time.” Like, I would wake up some day and everything I envisioned would magically come true.
Well, 1 year after creating my vision nothing happened. I can tell you exactly why nothing happened, because I was so busy visioning my dream life that I didn’t do the most important step, taking action.
It sounds logical that in order to live your dreams you have to take actions towards it, but to my defense, at that time, I was still a 19 years old naive kid. I wished those articles had told me to take action.
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That’s why I promised myself if one day I talk or write about visioning, I am going to mention to take actions. Here I am, writing this blog post and telling you to take daily actions towards your dreams. Don’t be like me, be better.
Dreams don’t come true. Actions do.
Fighting for Your Dreams with a Take Action Exercise
Now, let’s come up with some action steps on how to achieve your goals in relation to your vision. Focus on you, on your needs and wants. Here are some sample questions to ask yourself:
- How does my day look like when I take actions towards my dreams?
- What is one thing I can do right now that would help me be one step closer to my dream lives?
- Name 3 things that you need to be doing to go make your dreams come through.
- What is one obstacle I can take care of today to be one step closer to my vision?
- What would I recommend a friend to do if they had the same vision as me and they needed guidance?
I just want to congratulate you for coming up with at least one action step. You are amazing, congrats!
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#3. Practice Positive Self-Talk
Having negative self-talk isn’t going to benefit you or your journey. I know from experience that we can be our own worst nightmare. On top of having those toxic thoughts, you are probably surrounded by a bunch of disempowering people.
Constantly dealing with negativity and overcoming your obstacles in order to be able to follow your dreams most feel exhausting! That’s why it’s crucial to make sure that you have at least a healthy dialogue with yourself while you are fighting for your dreams.
Relax, I got your back. Soon, we’ll talk about how to deal with your disempowering environment later, but first, let’s focus on you.
I don’t know about you but I was an asshole to myself. Back then, I was so hard with myself. I constantly told myself how stupid and miserable I was. You are probably thinking. Why did you treat yourself like this?
The Cause of Negative Self-Talk
Well, I was raised like this. My parents thought that by telling me that I don’t matter and that I am miserable it would motivate me to prove them wrong and make me stronger. When I was a kid it worked. I always tried to prove them wrong and show them how much I matter, but after my 18 birthday, I realized that this kind of behavior was actually damaging me more than being helpful at all.
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Moreover, I realized no matter how much I tried to prove them wrong and that I mattered, it was never enough. I only broke free of it, because of pursuing to make them happy I fell in depression and experienced my first burnout.
This was my wake up call that things needed to change. It took me 2 years to get out of the depression and just recently I stopped being my worst nightmare. I can finally say that I am treating myself with respect, kindness, and compassion.
Plus, your biggest obstacle is always going to be the one you see every single morning when you look at the mirror, you! Now guess, who’s responsibility it’s to make their dreams come true.
Positive Self-Talk Exercise:
One of my top actionable steps how to practice positive self-talk is actually using daily affirmations. Affirmations are sentences that you state like it’s actually occurring. I am (your affirmation here). Affirmations give you the confidence you need to take action.
In the beginning, you’ll start to believe you are what you say, but without proof, in the long run, you won’t have any evidence to convince yourself that it’s actually true.
That’s why I always tell my clients to take actions in connection to the statements they are telling themselves. You are not your thought either your feelings. You are what you do. Without action, it’s just going to be a thought or words you say out loud.
You are going to laugh but every single time when I take a cold shower I use positive affirmations to stay longer in it and at the same time to empower myself. Every day, I constantly repeat to myself.
“I am good enough. I choose to be good enough and I always will be good enough.”
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Honestly, I cannot tell you how transformative those words were and still are to my life.
Actually, it was an inspirational speech on youtube The Biggest Disease Affecting Humanity: “I’m Not Enough” by Marisa Peer that inspired me to do this. (Relax, it‘s not a Ted Talk.)
That video changed my life. Go watch it and let me know what you think about it. Another affirmation that I say on a day-to-day basis is that “I treat myself with respect, kindness, and compassion.”
It helps as a reminder to be nicer to myself and reprogram my brain since I’ve been hearing from a young age that I am not enough. Finally, let’s get to the exercise.
Fighting for Your Dreams with Positive Self Talk Exercise
I want you to come up with your powerful statements for your life that will empower and give you the confidence to create the life of your dreams. Again take a pen and paper and start writing some of your own statements.
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Here are some questions to help you out:
- What are some affirmations that you wish to become reality?
- As of today, I am (your affirmation here)
- What are some actions you can take towards your affirmations?
- How will it look like when you take an action in connection to your statement?
By the way, feel free to use the affirmations I used above. Plus, I would be happy to hear about your statements you came up with in the comment section below.
#4. Stop Talking About Your Dreams
Yes, you’re reading it correctly. Stop talking about your dreams with people that are going to project their fears on you. You already have a lot of obstacles to face, you don‘t need more discouraging talk in your life.
I don’t know about you but I always wanted to let my family and friends know what my dreams are and what I currently was up too. Secretly I was seeking approval for being able to go after my dream.
Guess what, I never got the reaction or the approval I was hoping for. Actually what I learned during my process of becoming a certified coach is that “What they say is about them and what you hear is about you.” (A great daily affirmation to use!)
Your peers when they hear you talking about your dreams or what you are trying to aim for, they most of the times don‘t listen objectively but they create a story around it.
They probably will be reminded of their past failures and pain, which they went through while following their dreams. That’s why they will try to tell you how bad your idea is and persuade you not to do it.
They are making it about them. From their perspective, they are trying to protect you and you are going to feel like they are discouraging you. At that point, you will go to defense mode and try to protect yourself and your dreams. Sometimes it even escalates to an argument.
Protect Your Dreams
Does that sound like you? If you are just like me, do yourself a favor and stop doing this. I am not telling you to stop sharing your life with your family and friends, I am just telling you to avoid especially those people who will react in a negative way.
You want to share your dreams and hopes with those people, who don‘t make it about them. How do you know when they don‘t make it about them?
Well, those people normally put the focus on you and ask you a bunch of questions. Those questions are not there to make you feel bad or try to change your mind, but they are asking with a sense of curiosity.
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That’s how you can differentiate someone who is making a story about them and someone who is just curious, non-judgemental. However, that doesn‘t mean you should leave all your friends behind who make it about them.
They are still great friends, but there are certain topics you just want to avoid talking about with certain people. If you are really honest with yourself, sometimes you do it yourself and create your own stories.
Does that mean you are not a good, supportive friend? Of course not! Keep that in mind.
Fighting for Your Dreams by Avoiding Unsupportive People
- Avoid talking about your dreams with negative, not supportive people
Avoid talking with certain people about certain topics
Moreover, keep reminding yourself during a conversation about your dreams “What they say is about them, what you hear is about you.”
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We all have a family member that constantly discourages you and is not supportive at all. Most of the times they critic you and make you feel bad. Avoid being alone with those people.
If you can’t avoid them, make sure to ask them a bunch of questions and to put the focus on them. Those people normally love to talk about themselves, that’s how you stay safe. You are probably already doing it and if not, what are you waiting for?
#5. Create A Supportive Environment
We have to face reality, usually, the closest to us don’t support us through our journey.
Sometimes they even discourage us. That was exactly what my peers did to me. Which was not helpful at all!
If you are exactly in that position, you probably realized that you are spending most of your time and energy fighting against it, rather than pursuing your dreams. Plus, I hope you know having a New Year’s Resolution is not going to help you change your environment.
What do you do if that‘s you? Since you cannot force anyone to be supportive and believe in you, you actually just have one option left. Create your own empowering environment for yourself.
If you desperately need supportive people in your life to motivate you, it’s up to you and your responsibility to find those empowering, uplifting and positive people.
Plus, being surrounded by like-minded people is going to give you and them the opportunity to inspire and challenge each other to grow.
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Fighting for Your Dreams by Creating a Supportive Environment
You are probably thinking about it now. Where do I find these amazing people, Ivan?
I am glad that you asked this question.
There is something called the Internet, Google and Social Media. I don‘t know if you heard about them, but those tools are amazing. Don‘t be offensive, I am just kidding.
Especially, on social media, you can easily find communities and like-minded people.
My favorite way to communicate with like-minded, friendly people is on Instagram. Plus, there are great apps for meeting new friends, and I am not talking about Tinder. My favorite one is “Meetup” if you are looking for one. Now let’s talk about the exercise.
- Your assignment (I sound like a teacher) is to find at least one community that you would like to join and have at least one interaction with one person in the community.
The platform, which you choose to use finding your ideal community is up to you choose. If you are nervous right now is completely understandable. Believe me, it‘s going to be worth it.
Having people around you, who you are able to share your dreams with without being judged is AWESOME! I am looking forward to hearing how it went.
#6. Expect The Worst
This is one of my favorite steps since it shows you that the obstacle is the path to success. When you are pursuing your dreams and taking daily actions towards it, you will face blocks that are going to challenge you from moving forward.
However, when you expect the worst to happen, you set yourself up for success. It’s an opportunity for growth. How?
Well, when you know something bad is about to happen, you can plan in advance how you want to respond and deal with it. Moreover, what I like to do is to image the worst case scenario that could happen today.
This gives me the ability to stay confident and calm when I hit a block. Why? I always tell myself: “Well, at least the worst thing didn’t happen”, and I start to smile and I feel a sense of relieve.
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There is nothing that can keep you from succeeding if you always play ahead in the game. Finally, when you expect the worst from happening you will learn to accept the obstacles you will face during your journey.
By accepting the blocks, you will spend less time being angry and playing the victim. You will start to focus easier on solutions, rather than on the problems in front of you.
Fight for Your Dreams by Expecting the Worst
I would recommend you to do this exercise in the morning so you are already prepared for the day. Here are some questions you could ask yourself to help you not only to expect the worst but also to prepare you to come up with solutions for it.
- How would you like to respond when (worst case scenario here) happens?
- How would you like to feel and think when you are facing a challenge? Moreover, how can you make it happen?
- What is one obstacle that could stand in your way to be one step closer to your dreams and what can you do about it?
- How would you ideally like to react when a block shows up?
No matter in which part of your journey you are, how many obstacles you are facing, even when you are about to give up or you are questioning yourself if you should follow your dreams or be realistic.
You can do this. I believe in you. Always will.
The Printable Slay Your Goals Guide
You can achieve your dreams if you take action! Get your slay your goals guide with the ten steps you need to pursue your dreams, including how to set your intention, choose your #1 goal and setting mini-goals.
Now let’s talk about you!
What are you struggling the most about when it comes to pursuing your dreams?
When in doubt remember all you’ve learned about reaching your dreams:
- first, get clear on your vision
- take daily action towards your dreams
- keep practicing positive self-talk
- stop telling people about your dreams
- build a supportive environment
- expert the worst (but also the best)
What is your top strategy when it comes to fighting for your dreams?
Feel free to ask me any question about this topic, I am happy to help.
Are you ready to start fighting for your dreams?
More About Guest Contributor
Ivan Leal Martins is a millennial transition coach and writer. He writes actionable articles on ivanlealmartins.com to overwhelmed Millennials helping them breaking free from societal expectations and living life on their own terms.