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How to Follow Your Dreams: Even When They’re Scary

How to Follow your Dreams

When it comes to conversations about dreams, the word scary brings an entirely different context to the table. Instead of fearing something like a scary movie, we’re in fear of growth, success, and change. We say our dreams feel scary for two reasons: one, the journey to achieving that dream brings natural highs and lows. And two, achieving that dream will likely change your life. The reason our dreams feel scary isn’t because of the material or physical success they bring. We fear up-leveling because of what it requires from us in the future. The more we achieve, the more we must show up with greater determination and drive. With each success, we up-level. And with each up-level, we put ourselves in a position for tremendous growth. So how do we follow a dream that feels scary? We do so in the pursuit of growth rather than material success.

How To Follow Your Dreams

So often, when we think of achieving a long time goal or dream, we immediately associate it with the material success or even recognition it will bring. We think about how a promotion or raise will change our financial stability. We correlate accolades with how they’ll boost our resume. Everyone does this. There is nothing wrong with thinking about how an achievement will change our material world or how we appear to others. That mindset behind Success is exciting and is often a motivator for our achievement. So, if we’re so well motivated to achieve, why do we still fear? When we think of achieving a dream, our mind doesn’t often go to the ways it might challenge us in the future. However, most of us have a subconscious connection with success around our future; how will our success presently change the expectation of how we show up in the future?

Your Success will change the expectation of others

A little while back, around the middle of 2022, I was in a coaching session when my client asked, “why do dreams feel scary sometimes?” At that moment, I gave her a more analytical answer. I thought it over and said something to the variation: “I think we fear success and how it will change our lives.” We talked it over, and my response made sense for both of us at that moment. But as 2022 recently came to a close, and I was practicing my reflection for the year, I came up with another answer. 2022 was the most remarkable year of my life. I achieved many big goals that have been sitting on my vision board for years. And as I practiced my own “year in review,” I realized why I felt stuck in setting my goals for 2023.

Each time I achieved a dream last year, I kept noticing an increasing pressure to show up to my life slightly different than before. It wasn’t a conscious thought sitting at the front of mind with each achievement. Instead, it was more of a subconscious knowing that would appear in several different ways. It would show up in forms of self-judgment, anxiety, or self-worth. I would judge myself if I decided to relax instead of work. Or I would feel anxious about not getting enough on my to-do list done or not signing a particular client. With each achievement, I was getting increasingly harder on myself. And I kept wondering how someone’s perception of me was evolving with each success. Was I doing enough to satisfy their judgment over my success?

Pursuing Growth over Success

There are many scenarios in our lives where if we just slightly redirected our focus, our lives would be far less anxious. What if, when it comes to achieving our dreams, we focus on growth instead of focusing on success? Not only does this solve fearing the reality of achieving our dreams, but it also puts us in a position to be far more aware of the growth we’re achieving, therefore, the expectation that comes afterward. When you receive a promotion, the expectations of your job change. You’re not going to receive a promotion title and raise without a willingness and ability to show up even stronger. But if you tackle your dreams with the mindset of achieving growth, you’re aware of the growth you’re making in pursuit of success. Success will come naturally as you work on growing. The same, however, cannot be side for the opposite.

We can achieve success without growing. But, when we achieve our dreams without reflection, compassion, and humility, we’re left without an addition to our resume and no internal growth. When we pursue growth over success, achievement means something far more significant. Our success will, first and foremost, feel like a growth achievement. We’ll be able to recognize where the journey to this success challenged us to improve in what we do and how we show up. Having this awareness lets us set aside the opinions of others, and even material change becomes an afterthought.

How I will follow my dreams in 2023

When I realized how achieving a goal negatively shifted my mindset, I took the proper steps to start moving my mindset back. With each goal I intend to accomplish this year, I will first think about how the journey to success will make me feel. Many of those feelings center around pride, security, excitement, and joy. I think about how proud I will be and how amazing it will feel to achieve such monumental goals. And once I’ve reveled in the feeling, I’ll think about how that success may change my material world. When we follow our dreams in pursuit of growth, we remove the fear, and success becomes an afterthought to how we evolve.

As we continue our journey in 2023, hopefully keeping our goals and resolutions at the forefront of our minds, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on the emotional success these goals will bring you. Reflect only on how this success will make you feel, and focus on growing towards that emotion each day. When we focus on internal growth, our external world will shift naturally. Let the change in your world, environment, financial status, job title, or status come after. If you’re interested in Lifestyle Coaching for the 2023 New Year, please book your spot now! Slots are filling up! You can also purchase the La.Rue Intentional Living Course if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly to help you achieve your goals!

Xo,  lauren

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