Raise your hand if you are a waiting-for-the-next-shoe-to-drop kind of person. I see you. You want to prepare for the worst so that you are ready to face it. You assume catastrophe and then feel relief when it doesn’t happen. I get you because I am you and so are many of my clients.
The thing about being what my Grandma Gardner used to call a worrywart is that it masquerades as efficiency and preparedness. Ironically, focusing on hypothetical problems makes them feel very real. We don’t save ourselves from the pain because we give ourselves the experience of being neck-deep in it today. Waiting-for-the-next-shoe to drop drains our bandwidth and delays what is in front of us because we prioritize the illusion of future problems. We struggle to see possibilities for expansion and growth because we are wearing our heavy AF protective armor that makes standing up to meet the world a feat of strength.
Enter dreaming. And, I’m not talking about loosey-goosey, pie-in-the-sky, magical thinking. I’m talking about feeling safe enough to dream what you want for your life so that you can create it. I’m talking strategy.
In her book Stop Self-Sabotage, Dr. Judy Ho theorizes that self-sabotage is the product of prioritizing the problem over the goal. In other words, when we create a strategy to dream, we create a burning desire that becomes our priority. Worrywarts have developed powerful mindsets. Imagine what becomes possible when we shift the mindset to level up life for ourselves and our communities. We’re unstoppable.
Trailblazing tips for dreaming
- Flip the script and focus on the dream a bit more than the problems. That’s all. Start slowly otherwise it will feel like an exercise in delusion. Remember that these dreams are just as real as the problems.
- Expect some discomfort. Dip your toe into the dream and you might feel joy, optimism, curiosity, or even fear. Letting go of the fear focus can feel dangerous to worrywarts because we learned to feel safe dwelling in negative narratives. Dreaming requires us to step out of the defensive crouch and into unfamiliar territory.
- Cultivate your burning desire and begin to prioritize the conditions you need to create internally and externally to make it a reality. Surround yourself with people on that same journey. Join a mastermind of like-minded trailblazers, form your own badass board of directors, and get individualized support.
Trailblazers are in the business of leveling up on the regular which means that they are tough-as-nails doers and wildly imaginative dreamers. They change themselves and then go about the business of changing the world for the rest of us.