The beginning of a new year often seems to be the best time to not only reflect on the year that has just passed, but also to voice any hopes and dreams for the blank canvas of a year that is ahead.
Having had quite an eventful year last year, I’ve learned a thing or two about fearless dreaming. I have taken risks in business – some that have paid off and others that, in reflection, haven’t so much. Nonetheless, through every risk, I have come away learning something new.
I don’t mean to suggest for a minute that in real life I don’t have any fears about half the things I desire to achieve; in fact, I sadly think I’m a part-time chicken. But I am learning that even a chicken can have the guts to cross the road to get what it wants.
I am sure that there are many secrets to fearless dreaming, but here are mine:
Firstly, if your dream doesn’t “scare” you, there is a chance that you aren’t dreaming big enough. If you can see a way of easily achieving what you want, there is probably plenty of space for you to stretch yourself to do more. Why aim for the ceiling when you have the potential to reach the stars? So often, we do not aim higher because we are scared of failing, but I think it should be considered a bigger failure to aim lower than what we are capable of and succeed at that.
Secondly, courage is not the absence of fear but forging on despite it. Good things in your life are not always the easiest things to attain. To witness the awe-inspiring view and thrill of being on the mountaintop may mean that you have to climb a mountain or two.
Over last summer, I had the opportunity to expand my business and market by going abroad. It was a huge risk because I couldn’t 100% guarantee a return on my investment. And even though I like to think I’m prayerful about these things, I didn’t hear a booming voice from God saying “go forth, my child!” Similarly, I didn’t get a “what are you doing, my child?” either. I most certainly felt a whole load of trepidation, but I was curious to see what lived passed my ‘what ifs?’. Moreover, I found great comfort in three verses:
I prayed about what I wanted to do. Moreover, I made a financial plan and budget to see what the risks would be. I also made a plan of how the whole operation might go down. And from there I brought my whole plan to the Lord and asked that He would really help and provide wisdom and guidance.
This verse refers to the old school way of doing business, which was often by sea trade. It points to the notion that sometimes it may take some time to see a return on your investment (many days, many weeks and possibly years) but there is wisdom in sowing anyway. It certainly goes against the grain of the instant gratification that we are often told to chase after!
What ifs? can be so crippling that you end up doing nothing. A lot of things seem impossible at the start, but that doesn’t determine their outcome. Sometimes you have to put on your big girl panties, be brave and remember that God goes ahead of you.
In the end, it turned out that going abroad was a good move and it opened up new opportunities, which I have been grateful for! It wasn’t an easy road, but it was most definitely the right one.
One final tool that I’ve found helpful in my quest for fearless dreaming is my Passion Planner, which has allowed me to dream big without limits as well as helping me to focus on making my dreams tangible. Dreams and wishes are all well and good, but dreams backed up with plans and deadlines are even better.
So whatever your dreams are for the year ahead, be fearless, take them all to God, start working towards them – and be great.
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