I’ve been a believer in dreaming big in business and in life for a long time. I believe that we truly don’t do enough of it. I talk about it a lot and I push all of you, darling designers, to do it more. But what happens when we use big dreams as excuses not to do the work?
It happens. A lot. And we need to be aware of it so that we stop doing it.
I was listening to the Hidden Brain Podcast last week and there was a great episode on this topic. How positive thinking can sometimes work against us if we don’t acknowledge that the the big dreams need to be pared with effort if we’re really gonna make stuff happen for ourselves.
The guest on the podcast talked about how we tend to hear that strong belief will become our reality, but studies have actually shown that not to always be true. She said, “They seduce us to feel already accomplished and take our energy away.” Meaning, when we have all those positive beliefs about the our goals, we can get too comfortable and not put in the effort neccessary to actually get there.
Essentially, we get lost in the fantasy.
At first, I didn’t like this episode of Hidden Brain. I think because I’m such a positive thinking junkie. I believe that positive mindset and having big dreams are both essential to success.
But the more I listened, the more I realized that she wasn’t presenting hopelessness. She was actually making me realize that there is a second step to positive thinking. The key: effort.
We can’t trick ourselves into believing we’re already there. We need to complement these dreams with real consideration about what is in us that is standing in our way. Once we do that, that’s how we energize our dreams.
What is it that’s keeping you from accomplishing your goals?
Here’s what I learned during the podcast, it’s called WOOP (Wish, Obstacle, Outcome, Plan)…
- What is it you want this month? Dream big about it.
- What is the best outcome when you reach that goal? You imagine the best thing. This is dreaming big.
- Now, consider what, in yourself, is standing in your way of getting this goal. Identify the obstacles. But not just any old obstacles. It’s the obstacles that you are in control of, that matter.
- Break down the reasons that are projected outward, internalize it, and get out of your own way.
- Then make a plan. If that obstacle occurs, then I will…to overcome the obstacle.
I believe that we all should dream big. But it’s clear that we can’t stop there. We have to put in the work. Use your dreams in a positive way. When you regularly create deliberate plans for getting past obstacles, the process becomes a habit. You no longer have to think about it, it just happens. And, I believe, that’s when we start to see our big dreams become big realities.
Lots of love and encouragement,