It’s no secret that pursuing a dream can be a significant challenge.
It takes fierce courage and often requires extreme sacrifice; discouragement and competition are often pre-requisites for success. Sometimes, it means making the choice to follow a path not supported nor accepted by family and friends, and can even mean repeatedly putting yourself in situations that are less than conducive to good emotional, physical, and mental health. The ramifications of such renunciation, as you can imagine, may lead to significant effects on a person’s wellbeing.
In The Courage to Create, by the late and beloved existential psychologist Rollo May, consciousness is described as “the awareness that emerges out of the dialectical tension between possibilities and limitations.” May goes on to hypothesize that, “limits are not only unavoidable in human life, they are also valuable…the creative act arises out of the struggle of human beings with and against that which limits them.” In other words, it is the struggle and the limits we face that can be used to help us achieve our goals in life; you can even say they’re necessary.
It is of utmost importance to take clear and concise steps towards your dream, while keeping your happiness, health, and welfare in mind. Because a dream-chaser has the unique ability to make healthy and responsible choices against adversity, I am giving you seven ways to chase your dream responsibly.
SET A SCHEDULE
An ambiguous lifestyle will not help you achieve your dream. Help yourself by staying on track and surrounding yourself with people that promote healthy lifestyle choices. Focus on exercising, as well as eating and sleeping well. Know what is needed for you to make your dream come true – dreams do not magically come to fruition – you must work hard to set yourself up for success.
A support system is vital, especially if you’re away from home or disconnected from family. Cultivate support – whether it’s in the form of like-minded colleagues or fellow dreamers, or by reconnecting with old friends and establishing new friendships. A strong social network will help keep you from feeling isolated and depressed.
Look for ways to get inspired – you may not find the strength you need to stay on your path without it. In your darkest moments, inspiration may be the light that helps you push forward. So, acknowledge and accept a mentor. Experienced dreamers, the ones that have previously succeeded, may help you pave the way. Their wisdom is compelling; the marvel of what they have created may encourage you to keep fighting for your dreams when they seem beyond your grasp.
Find healthy ways to self-soothe. Engaging in self- medicating, or other activities that do not promote health and positive self-esteem will only stall your progress. Know your weaknesses, and commit to being proactive and honest with yourself. There’s no need to make the existing struggle more complicated – accept opportunities that help you self-actualize and promote personal enlightenment.
There is nothing more detrimental than negative self-talk and irrational core beliefs. Achievers are often their own worst critics, and while constructive introspection is essential, mentally beating yourself up will never lead to success. Find ways to challenge disruptive and/or negative thoughts and feelings. You may have to dig deep to find their roots, but this path must be taken if you want to make your dream come true.
Find ways to love yourself and other people. By giving back and helping your community, or by assisting people in getting what they want, you will be motivated to excel in your own life. Combat competition. Selfishness and entitlement will never make you a team player. You must be willing to pay your dues and demonstrate respect for yourself and others, in order to have support when chasing your dreams. Ultimately you will get what you deserve.
DO NOT GIVE UP
The moment you throw your hands down could be the moment you would have attained your dream had you kept going. Use the advice and healthy limitations outlined to chase your dream responsibly. Open your heart to the possibilities, and take good care of yourself.
Know what you want, and work hard to make your dream your reality – there is infinite beauty in doing so!
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Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
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