19 Years Ago I Did Something Brave.
I packed up my Berlin apartment, sold my furniture, bought three suitcases, three airline tickets – and, on New Year’s Eve, I boarded a plane to Hawaii with my two little children. I was following my dream.
It was a big step. After our initial weeks in Maui, I set up my business in Texas, later California, to do what I love most, working with people and transforming their lives.
Over the years many people have asked me how I mustered the courage to pack up and leave my old life behind. They go on telling me that they want find and live their dream as well. Very few, however, listen when I tell them how I did it.
If you are interested in pursuing your dream, I am listing the steps I took below. Maybe they entice you to start your own journey.
Find Your Dream
To follow your dream you have to first have a dream – and the most effective way to find it is by recognizing what brings you alive. While this is a process that can take days, weeks, or even months, I encourage you to be patient. Take all the time you need; don’t force your inspiration. The better you know what you want, the easier it is to get it. I recommend to hire a life coach or work with a close friend who can help you to gain clarity on your unique gifts, talents, and life’s calling. To support you, I am listing a few blog posts below. Also, feel free to take the ‘What Lights You Up?’ life questionnaire. It is an invaluable source when looking for answers.
Find Someone Who Believes in You.
Once you find your dream, you need someone who believes in it – and in you – more than you do. Most of us don’t see ourselves for who we really are. We can’t see our brilliance and we don’t trust our talents. If you want to go beyond what you think is possible, you need to find someone who sees the bigger picture.
For me, that person was my coach and mentor. He saw something in me that I could not see at the time. I trusted his vision and followed his wisdom. I knew that if left to my own devices, I would recreate my life all over again. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different outcomes, I needed new input and my mentor was someone who inspired me to create a life beyond my wildest imagination.
Have a Support Team.
To follow through with your dream and to stay on track with your goals, you need a support team, which can be made up of friends, colleagues, or family members who have your back. These are the people who make sure that you do what you set out to do and who keep you accountable during times when you want to back out. Because those moments will come. Doubts will arise, fears will kick in, and you will wonder what the heck you thought you were doing. That’s when you need your team to tell you that you can do it. Because you can.
Find the People Who are Doing What You Want to Do.
Whatever your dream is, someone is already doing it. Find the experts in the field you are interested in and learn from them. When I started out as a coach, I looked for the best coaches and followed them. If you want to become a writer, read books and study writers. If you want to become an actor, find out all there is about acting, watch movies, and find actors you can learn from. This will serve as a test to find out if your dream is genuine. If you don’t care about learning your skill, if researching and studying your industry does not inspire you, chances are you are chasing the wrong dream.
Serve the People You Want to Learn From.
Once you find people you can learn from, serve them. As a young person, I was interested in learning about health, nutrition, and entrepreneurship. So, I went to my local health food store in Berlin and asked if they needed help. They did, and I ended up working there every minute I could spare beside my real job. At first, I was not paid for my work, but eventually the store was able to hire me. Not only did I learn how to eat healthy, I also received first-class training in running a successful business.
Later, when I trained to become a coach, I helped and assisted my mentors with setting up events; I organized and sat in on private sessions; I co-hosted workshops and seminars. While these gigs were rarely paid, they gave me invaluable insights into the craft of coaching and helped me to forge my skills.
Tip: During this time of learning and mastering your craft, watch out for the “what’s in it for me” trap. The minute you care about yourself more than the process, you’ll stop learning.
Don’t Have a Back-Up Plan.
You may have heard the story of a great warrior who burnt all of his ships upon arriving at his enemies’ shores, leaving him and his troops with no escape. His men knew that they had only two choices, to win or to perish. They won.
The same is true for you. With a safety net, you might be tempted to give up at some point and go back to what feels safe. In my case, I had the resources to build my business in a foreign country and survive for five or six months. I knew that after that time I had to make enough money to support myself and my kids. So, I did.
Finally, the last and most important step is to get moving. No matter where you are right now, whether you know your dream or not, whether you have all the resources, a support team, or a mentor, you have to take action. Make a phone call, talk to a friend, hire a coach, and get the ball rolling.
That is the first step in living your dream.
As always, thank you for reading,
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Photo Source: Chris Sardegna via Unsplash
Karin … this is so perfect. As I read your list I was thinking to myself “Check, I’ve done that, done that, etc.” I was feeling quite proud of my progress until I came to #6 DON’T have a back-up plan. Bingo … that’s the piece I need to let go of: my back-up plan. Thank you for this gift of clarity …. Zan