Thinking about your future is easy. We all think, all the time. We spend time thinking about starting a business, thinking about writing that book, thinking about speaking to a group, or thinking about having that meeting. Thinking isn’t so hard. But taking action on what feels like a risk is hard and fearful. Taking action on your dreams is what’s fearful and it’s fearful because you’re entering unknown territory and with unknown results. One of my favorite quotations is by Grace Hansen who once said:
“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.”
There are typically 3 reasons you never act on your dreams:
- Fear of failure. Let’s talk about the first part fear. Fear is the natural reaction to taking a risk. While risk is real and external, fear exists only in our imagination. Fear is the exercise you give your mind, thinking about what will happen if things don’t work out. Failure, on the other hand, (the second part) is “an event not a person.” All of us fail. The individuals we view as successful fail often, and, worth noting, learn more from that failure than everyone else. The secret of failing isn’t to avoid it – it’s to recognize that failing is not fatal! They are necessary stepping-stones on your path to success.
- Lack of knowledge. Creative, nontraditional, or innovative skills are not just things you come across. You have to learn how to invest, how to deal in real estate, how to evaluate business opportunities, or perhaps how to manage employees. But these are all things that can be learned and should never prevent you from exploring new options to do work that matters and that’s profitable, meaningful, and purposeful.
- Perceived lack of money. Money is not really what’s holding you back. You think you don’t have enough money to take the first steps toward your dreams, but the problem usually comes back to fear of failure or lack of knowledge. I know people wanting to find start-up money for new ventures. And, yes, capital is difficult to find—especially for businesses that use service, information, or technology. Does that mean it’s impossible to launch an idea without start-up capital? Absolutely not!
Question: What’s holding you back from taking that first step of acting on your dreams?