When the first congratulations came in from a few of my LinkedIn connections, I had to look to see what they were congratulating me for. I didn’t realize it was four years ago this week that I had taken the first (and scariest) step in pursuing a life dream. I resigned my high-paying corporate job to stay home with my children, write and publish my books, and to coach others to live the lives of their dreams.
In four years time, I’ve written six books and published seven. My first book, Truth Runs Deep, was written while I was still working full-time and managing a house full of kids. In four years, in addition to my strong Amazon presence, I’ve built a successful coaching and mentoring business. And, perhaps even more importantly, my health and well-being has improved significantly. No longer do I suffer from daily joint pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve lost 18 pounds, the need for daily pain medication, and am happier than I can remember being in a very long time. All because I found the courage to pursue my life dream.
In my coaching practice, clients frequently tell me about their life dreams. They express so much emotion around what they would do with their lives if only….
Here’s the rub: when you’re not willing to fully commit to your dreams, there will always be an if. This is the litmus test of courage. This is where you determine how badly you truly desire the end goal. And when you really want something? There is no if.
I’m reminded of a quote by Anais Nin that I taped to my work computer when I was going through a hostile divorce and custody trial. At that time in my life I needed more courage than 15 people together could muster, and I drew strength from these words. This quote became my daily mantra. After moving past that challenge, I kept the quote as a constant reminder of the power in digging deep for the courage that resides within. When I resigned 15 years later, I gently pulled the quote from my computer display and brought it home. It’s now taped to my book shelf next to my desk.
People’s resistance to courageously stepping into the life of their dreams is rooted in fear. I know what that feels like because I had to work through my own fears before I took a leap of faith. I had wanted to resign my job for five years, but I kept thinking of all the money I was making and the excellent benefits I had for myself and my family. My biggest fear was that, without my income, we would never be able to make it. We had bought our home with a dual income, we had four more children to put through college. But there came a time when I wanted to live my dream more than I wanted the security of a steady pay check. That’s when I became focused on the when and the how. That’s when I put my plan into action.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. All I needed to do was believe in me.
I’m still receiving notes of congratulations from friends and former colleagues. And every time I read one, I smile from the inside out.
What is your life dream? Are you living it now or making excuses?