Big dreams are both uplifting and intoxicating. Reaching out for your dreams might scare you witless. It can be terrifying, anxiety-provoking and sleep depriving. Here are seven tools to help you conquer the fear of dreaming big…
Entrepreneurs who have made it big often talk about the importance of being able to dream and allow yourself to go after your dreams. What we often do not talk about is the fear of dreaming big, which so many of us are affected by when we are considering whether to chase our dreams. We are afraid to fail, taking a wrong step, and generally afraid of moving out of our comfort zones.
I have experienced paralyzing fear when taking the steps to making my big dreams come. In November 2011 when I quit my job to become an entrepreneur, I spent more than a month lying sleepless at night in the darkness with a beating heart. My fear had stuck its ugly head out and made me doubt my dream of being an entrepreneur.
¨What are you doing?’¨
¨You can’t do this!¨
¨You will fail!¨
¨Is this actually right for you?¨
My fear whispered to me in the dark while I lay there starring at the ceiling. But luckily it’s not necessarily true what our fears and doubts tell us! When I got sick of listening to these fears I started talking to other entrepreneurs and business women in my network about how they managed their own fears. These are some of the “tools” and advices that I got:
1. Allow yourself to be young and daredevilish!
Just make the decision to let your dream come true and do it! You can always blame your youth and inexperience if you fail. And as my entrepreneurship professor at business school told us: “Just be young and bold – to succeed one has to experience failure.”
2. Failure = learning
Fear of failure is often more powerful than the will to dream and fulfill your dreams. But don’t fear failure. As long as you are aware of what you fail at, failure equals learning!
We all have doubts and we can all (some of us more easily than others) slide down into the darkness of the embracing, absorbing downward spiral of doubt and insecurity. We doubt that we can make our dreams come true, whether we deserve to achieve that dream etc. (if you are like me you can probably continue that list). We cannot prevent the doubts from arising in our minds, but what is important is what we choose to do with them. It is not wrong to doubt your dreams but you will not get very far if you let your doubts dominate your actions and prevent you from actually chasing after your dreams.
For a year now, I have had the following quote on my wall above my desk:
“Do not let fear stop you from going after the gold.”
4. Accept your fear
Accept that fear sticks its head out when you consider making your dreams come true. Take it by the hand.
5. Respect your fear
Fear is a part of the process and it keeps you alert!
6. Jump into the uncomfortable zone with both legs
To remind myself that my fears might just be products of the fact that I’m moving out of my comfort zone, I put a piece of paper with the following statement under my desk: “Your dreams might be outside this zone”(from Work is not a job)
7. You will figure it out
If you fear not knowing how to make your dreams come true your mantra could be: ”I will figure it out!” Because somehow you will!
So, what are your big dreams – and just as importantly, what are the accompanying fears? And how can you remain aware of them, while decoding them, so they do not stop you from dreaming big?
Even though it might be scary to dream big it is so much more fun than dreaming small or not dreaming at all.
¨Achieve the unachievable¨