What Kind of Dreamer Are You?

grit impact theory take action tom bilyeu vulnerability Mar 10, 2020

Not too long ago, I attended an event where I had the opportunity to hear one of my favorites, Tom Bilyeu. Have you heard of him? Well, I have been listening to his show Impact Theory, as well as his Health Theory show, on YouTube for quite some time. I highly recommend checking them out.

Anyway, I am a huge fan of Tom because of the topics he digs into and the quality of his interviews. I also have a deep level of respect for him because of his authenticity, passion, hard work, and dedication to continuous improvement. And let’s face it, his love for and devotion to his wife are wonderful qualities. So seeing and hearing him in person was an incredible opportunity and, truth be told, I was drawn to the event because he would be speaking.

Tom talked about ideas such as the importance of having grit when you’re working towards creating something big (think Angela Duckworth's book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance). He also talked about the idea of not being great, but becoming great. In other words, doing the work and enjoying the journey. I love that concept so much!

However, it was a simple, two-word message that Tom delivered that rocked me to my core. Two simple words that changed me and the trajectory of my life forever...

The words I will never forget: Empty Dreamer.

Bam! My world was completely upended in that instant. I am pretty sure that the ceiling split open and a spotlight shown down on me as I turned to my new friend to my left and, with wide eyes, said, “Holy shit! That's been me!"

In that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been dreaming about too many of my ideas over and over again without the significant movement or progress that those ideas deserved for far too long. The sands of time had slipped away faster than I had realized. But those two words snapped me out of it.

I am a Pisces, and it is true what they say about Pisces…I am a dreamer by nature. There’s simply no disputing it. However, I'm also very driven and motivated to have creative control over my work and to make big things happen. I get stuff done, and I've made many of my goals and dreams a reality. In fact, I've made big dreams come true, including leaving the corporate world to start my entrepreneurial journey 12 years ago, spending more and more time in my second home Costa Rica, and getting certified by Brendon Burchard as a High Performance Coach. These have all been significant goals of mine and I did the work to make them happen. I am not dismissing or minimizing any of those accomplishments.

But there is so much more waiting to be unleashed. I have so many more goals and dreams that I have only (maybe) dabbled in so far – for far too long – which is why those two words hit me so hard. So, whether it comes from my Piscean nature or my driven nature, I still have many more goals and dreams in mind that I intend to make happen, a few of which are pretty big.

Can you relate? What have you been dreaming of doing for more than a year? How about five years? Or since you were a child? What dream is hovering just beneath the surface of your consciousness? What is that one dream you would love to make come true?

For me, I have to ask myself:

  • What is keeping me from making this a reality?
  • What would it be like to work towards making this happen?

It doesn’t take me long to realize what has truly kept me from pushing forward with any real effort…fear. (Shocker!) The fear comes from the fact that a couple of these goals involve a whole new level of vulnerability for me. It means putting myself out there in a much, much bigger way than before, which will open me up to critics. It means opening myself up to the potential of feeling shame, embarrassment, imposter’s syndrome and fear of failure.

That’s right. I am the coach whose job it is to push people out of their comfort zone so that they can make their dreams a reality. And I have realized that I haven’t yet stepped far enough outside of my own comfort zone to make my big dreams a reality. How’s that for vulnerability?

I am human, so I will always be continuing to grow as a human. My ultimate goal in my life is helping others create and live a life of their own design. It is the very essence of who I am and what I believe to be my purpose in this life time. Part of helping others is sharing my journey, my struggles, and what has worked for me and what hasn't. That requires vulnerability.

Luckily, though, I am a coach, and I understand the self-work and exploration that goes into it. I am also lucky to have an amazing coach to help push me on this. She keeps me accountable and asks me the tough/right questions that I need to answer so I will make real progress toward achievement rather than just continuing to hold the dream. Sure, I could do it without her, but it will take me so much longer that way, and if my goal is to help people, I think I should move a little faster. Don’t you?

It is time for me to fill the empty and take the steps that I need to reach these next goals. There is no doubt that I will find myself feeling uncomfortable at times, but real growth never comes from inside of one’s comfort zone.

A few questions to consider:

  • How do I identify and define the change I want to make?
  • How can I make change necessary?
  • How can I step out of the comfort zone of my habits and beliefs to make it happen?
  • How do I look my fears in the eye and still take action?
  • What supports do I need to put in place to help me achieve this goal?

I believe that one of the best places to start is by exploring the following questions. Grab a notebook or a journal and write down your answers. Better yet, go buy a new journal, one that speaks to you, and make it the journal that you will take all the way through the process of making your goals and dreams your reality, beginning with answers to these questions:

  • Make a list of the goals that you have achieved. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Brain dump everything that comes to mind throughout your life. Ask your mom, your SO, and your BFF! They're likely to remember a few things that you may have forgotten.
  • Celebrate all of your accomplishments! Take yourself out to a nice dinner. Seriously! I want you to feel the feels about everything that you have achieved so far. Remember the struggle you felt, the growth on the journey, and the satisfaction of reaching the goal. You’ve done it before, you will do it again.
  • What goal or goals do you have that scare you? Dig deep. What goals are lurking beneath the surface just waiting to be recognized and articulated? Get into the details of each goal and be specific about what it is that feels scary. For example, maybe the overall goal doesn’t scare you, but one particular aspect of it does.
  • What are you or have you been spending time on? What have you been pursuing?
  • Have those things been just as important to you as your biggest goals and dreams? Or are they serving as a distraction? What is distracting you?
  • What is the ultimate dream that you would like to achieve? Get into the juicy details. What does it look like? Feel like? Smell like? The more details the better. Paint the picture of your future.
  • Who can help you? Who can support you without bias or judgment or hidden agenda or limiting beliefs? Who will push you outside of your comfort zone?

The bottom line is that you are living YOUR life and YOU are the one who has the choice to make your life whatever it is that you want it to be. Yes, you will have to coexist with others and the dream may not ultimately look exactly like what you thought it would. But you are the one in charge of stepping up to take action toward making your dreams come true. You can get help from others, but only you can do the heavy lifting in your life. There are always even small steps that you can be taking. Are you taking those steps?

What will it feel like if you are still in the same spot a year from now? How about five years from now? Don’t be another empty dreamer. My guess is that we already have enough of those.

Make this decade the decade you make it happen. If you have the dream in you, there is truth to follow. Aren’t you always shocked at how fast time goes? Well, it’s time for you to take steps to begin to make it happen.

The only question left is: What will be your first step?


P.S. More to come on what my scary goals and projects are as I gain more clarity around how I would like each to play out in relation to the other.

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