Four years ago I chased one of my wildest and craziest dreams- I packed up my entire life in the back of my Jeep Wrangler and moved across the country from Atlanta, Georgia to Northern California. Moving across the country in and of itself isn’t all that wild and crazy, but leaving all of your family and friends and your career behind to chase after a life filled with uncertainty totally is! I had no idea what I was getting myself into, all I knew was that I was being pulled to California by something far greater than myself. From the first moment I ever stepped foot in California in 2013, I knew, on an instinctual level, that I was supposed to live there. I think that feeling was what helped me work through all of the fear and discouraging experiences I encountered. From unsupportive family members, to interview after interview falling through, to wondering if I was making the biggest mistake of my life. For every setback or feeling of doubt that I worked through, I held steadfast to an inner-knowing that my dream was meant to pass, but on a timeline that wasn’t my own.
1. Remember It Takes Time
For many of us, once we decide something is a dream of ours, we usually want it right away especially if there isn’t a clear cut path toward achieving that dream. It took two years for my dream to come true. If it had been up to me, I would have moved to California the week after I first visited, but, in retrospect, I can see that the two years it took for my dream to come to pass were necessary. I needed those two years to mature into the person I needed to be so that I could sustain my dream and also move on to the next chapter in my life without regrets. During those two years, I experienced accelerated personal growth and development which have helped me during my toughest moments of living in California. As wonderful as my life here is, I still have immense gratitude for my former life and that I took the time to focus on strengthening my inner-resolve so that when the moment came, I was ready.
2. Learn How to Channel Feelings of Urgency and Impatience in Productive ways
There’s a sense of urgency that exists when it comes to dreams and I can’t recommend enough allowing that urgency to move you in the direction you’re hoping to go. We’re living in a time where we have instantaneous access to most things. This can be a double-edged sword in the sense that it weakens our resolve when it comes to patience.
Pro-tip: Cultivating patience will undoubtedly be one of the most integral parts of beginning the process of chasing your dreams.
I think, in essence, what I’m most hoping to convey here is that your dream likely won’t happen overnight. In fact, it will likely be a process that spans an unknown length of time. Even if you ’ re only taking baby steps every day, eventually all of those steps add up. Try not to fall victim to “analysis paralysis”. Feelings of urgency and impatience can manifest themselves in ways that cause us to stall out and not do anything because we feel like what we’re doing might not be working or isn’t enough. This isn’t true and it’s imperative that you remember this. The best way to make those feelings go away is to do something productive with them. Everything you do counts. Stays encouraged, but try not to be anxious over it.
3. Don’t Let Other People’s’ Fears Dissuade You
Usually we self-sabotage or let our fears get the best of us or worry too much about what others will think of the choices we make. There was a point in time where I stopped telling people about my desire and plan to move to California because of how disheartening their reactions would be. Then, one day, I realized I can’t count on anyone to speak life into my dream except for me. I’ve got to be vocal, intentional and focused on what I want and what I feel is best for me because I’ve only got one life to live and an unknown amount of time to live it. I decided I want to live it as close to the beach as possible in a state that feeds and fills my souls in ways I still have yet to fully articulate even after three years of living here. When people share their fear of what you’re doing with you, it usually isn’t out of malice. However, you’ve got to remember not to take their feelings of fear on, they’re nothing more than a projection. Often times, people are more afraid of how decisions you make will impact them or the relationship they have with you. Other people’s fear is not about you or for you, it’s about them and it’s perfectly ok to navigate around their feelings and pursue what feels right for you.
4. Reaching the Destination is Really Just the Beginning of Your Journey
There is an immense freedom that comes with committing yourself to following your dreams. Recognizing that you can take responsibility and accountability for the direction you want to take your life is incredibly empowering. I dare you to dare greatly and start today. Whether your wild and crazy dream comes to pass in three months or five years, there ’ s no better time to start going after it than the present. No one else can do it for you and it’s extremely rare for your dream life to knock at your door. Going after something that seems or feels impossible is the best way to show yourself not only how strong you are, but how capable you are at achieving anything you set your heart on. The journey isn’t perfect or without trials and moments of despair. But, the dream, THE DREAM coming true is where the journey really begins. I’ve learned more about myself in the past three years than I ever thought possible.
The world is full of people who severely underestimate themselves and stay stuck in lives that don’t resonate. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ONE OF THEM. Stop underestimating yourself, stop undervaluing yourself and, finally, stop wasting time because we’re all on borrowed time anyway. I dare you to look back over your life and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come.
I dare you to challenge yourself to be uncomfortable and commit fully to going after the dream that never stops quietly whispering to you no matter how hard you try to tune it out. Lastly, and I do mean lastly, I dare you to accept how much you deserve to live the life of your dreams.
So, what dream will you dare to pursue this year?
Brittni Pope is a professional narrator, marketer and creator of dynamic content across multiple online platforms living and loving in Southern California. She enjoys creating content that helps empower and encourage women to take charge of their lives both personally and professionally. You can find her at www.BrittniPope.com or @BrittniPope on Instagram.