My daughter wants to be a fabulously wealthy, world renowned OB-GYN with an amazing husband, two or three kids and plenty of animals. She loves dreaming this dream. She is ten years old. My other daughter, age eight, wants to be an abstract artist or a comedienne, or maybe both. She has similar love and parenting dreams to my eldest.
As adults, when do we stop wanting exactly what we want and dreaming big and talking about it freely? Probably some time after the first onslaught of rude awakenings, insults or disappointments. I’m hoping that day never comes for my kids, but I know it came for me, as it happens for most adults. I know it comes for all the people we coach at Handel or they wouldn’t be coming back to us to re-ignite and plan their dreams.
Fact is, in our culture, as you “grow up,” you are almost supposed to let your dreams die. You are supposed to get “realistic.” Luckily, here at the Handel Group, we are ushering in a new culture, one in which dreaming for your life not only feels good, but uplifts humanity by improving the consciousness in which we all swim. The world needs dreamers! So, in the spirit of wild, life-altering dreaming, I am going to share the tips we’ve learned from years of coaching countless people to dream again.
1) Write It Down
The act of writing down your dreams is the first step to making them happen. Writing is a powerful way to think, plan and cause change in your life. If you write your dreams in the way we suggest, reading them will evoke a visceral response. Getting yourself into the “feeling state” of your desires is key to your ability to manifest them. Writing helps you consciously craft. You have to face it all when you write it down and you will easily see what fits and doesn’t, what feels great to read and what doesn’t. If you take your time, the writing itself will be a heart-exercise and a spiritual journey that your soul has been dying to take. Writing it out will get you a lot more present, a lot more emotional and a lot more “on the hook.” Goodie!
2) Take Out the Negatives
Most clients begin dreaming from a point of what they don’t want. This is probably because it’s easier for us as humans to understand change from the perspective of what already exists. We can’t help being tethered mentally to the past and the present circumstances, but help it, we must. Writing dreams is a purely creative endeavor, so you must suspend disbelief for a little while so you can design a future based on your ideals, not on “what you expect” or “what you don’t want.”
“I no longer hate looking in the mirror.” vs. “When I walk by the mirror, I think ‘WOW’ and feel full of pride.”
“I finally pay down my debt.” vs. “I enjoy paying my bills on time and I have extra money leftover!”
“I stop picking jerks.” vs. “I am in love with my soulmate.”
3) Take Out the Hidden Jabs and Sarcasm
Your real, true, heartfelt dream has no room for jabs at others or yourself. Most people unintentionally weave in these little buggers which end up zapping the power right out of their dreams. Read through your dream, and if you feel your good vibrations dip at a certain line, you may have snuck in sarcasm or a jab.
“My mom and I can finally be in the same room.” vs. “My mom and I treasure our time together.”
“I make zillions of dollars.” vs. “I am compensated abundantly for my work and my feelings of value start with me.”
4) Make It Real
Most of us will go from one extreme to the other; when we aren’t jabbing, we’re going to “pie in the sky.” Your dream has to be believable, real and uniquely you. Remove any clichés, because they distance you from the feeling of your dream by being “fluff.” You want to force yourself to think about and write what you actually mean, like:
“I feel like a million bucks” vs. “I am awake and alive.”
“I look like a supermodel” vs. “My body is trim and lean.”
“He is the absolute love of my life” vs. “I am so grateful for him.”
Then check for extremes and replace them with something truer, like these:
“I’m always present with my kids” vs. “I am present with my kids.”
“I have the perfect schedule” vs. “I adore making and sticking to my schedule.”
“I never scream” vs. “peaceful interactions are the norm in my life.”
5) Write It in the “NOW”
Write your dream only in the present tense language modeled above. As you can probably already tell, this exercise is about getting you to focus on being the person who could fulfill this dream. Writing it in the present tense will have you feel it right now, making it easier to relate to and draw into your life.
Sidenote: writing your dreams in the present tense will also force you to face your disbelief and negative voices. It’s important to face and transform these too, because if left unattended, they will undermine you from the inside out (very dangerous). Here is some advice on where to begin tackling your negativity for best results, get a coach.
Need help dreaming? At our Design Your Life Weekend, we work closely with clients to revisit their dreams and debunk the bad theories that are standing in the way. By dividing our attention into 18 areas of life, we get our clients to develop a big dream and a brilliant plan for each one. For now, you can practice with just one area. Don’t be afraid to dream big! A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.