* [Edited version] originally published on NextAvenue.org, a PBS site
Have your hopes and dreams been suspended during the pandemic? Even if you stayed physically healthy, it’s commonly recognized Covid took an emotional toll on all of us. Part of the price of the pandemic is its theft of so many dreams.
Perhaps like me, you were forced to back-burner your long-range dreams and aspirations, while you focused solely on staying alive. And perhaps you postponed smaller, short-term dreams and plans. I had just joined a gym when Covid struck, and it closed the next week. Maybe your new weekly social group was just getting rolling and then was cancelled. Big and little, long-term and short, we all put plans on hold.
The Shock of Covid Affected Us All
It’s difficult to keep our passions alive when we’re unsure about basic issues such as health, depressed moods, loneliness, loss of jobs, income, and housing uncertainty. I’m still spinning from shock over the effect of the pandemic on my mood, career, and weight. Yes, I too added the Covid 15 to my waistline and yes, I too was depressed.
How could I not be?
I like to be around people, and I am a motivational speaker with no live audiences. Without those basics, I’m not a happy camper.
However, I had my past to lean on, and I have experience holding onto my dreams for a long time before they became reality. By sharing my story, I hope to instill the confidence that you too can resurrect your grandest dreams.
Look to Your Experience for Guidance
I first stepped foot into a tiny sailboat when I was 13 years old, and shortly thereafter I loudly declared I was going to sail my own boat around the world. That was easy to say as a kid but making the dream a reality actually took 33 years.
What took so long?
Life happened. I built a career and a business, bought a home with my partner, and had built a nice comfort zone. Before I could set sail, I had to shift my mindset – I had to learn how to let go of my comfort zone….
Can You Let Go of Your Comfort Zone? Let Your Passion Drive You
My passion for sailing around the world had to be deep-rooted to make me even consider giving up such a comfortable life. And indeed, it was that powerful. I had been dreaming of sailing around the world for 33 years, so when I saw the chance to make my dream come true, I took it.
My partner and I sold the company, I bought a boat, and embarked on a path of total commitment driven by my passion. Recalling the steps I took to make my dreams come true reminds me I can do it again, and so can you. Are you ready to let go of some of your comfort zone?
Are you Ready to Recover Your Dreams? Take These Steps:
- First of all, you have to know what it is you want in order to achieve it. I had to turn my dream into a specific vision of what I wanted including the size and type of boat, who would be my crew, and a timeline.
- Then, breaking your big dream into smaller actionable steps is crucial to preventing the overwhelm that goes with transforming your grand vision into reality. When I added up the achievement of these smaller goals, the sum was my dream coming true.
- Next is to identify the areas in which you need help and getting that help. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, as generally people like to help each other.
- Leaving your comfort zone behind is scary, as is the unknown path ahead. The subject of my first TEDx talk was learning to manage fear and using it to your advantage. Once you are comfortable with your fears, the world is your oyster.
- Remember, it’s your long-term vision that drives you through short-term obstacles. There were plenty of hurdles in my way but keeping my eyes on the long-term vision kept me going.
- Believe you are going to succeed in achieving your dreams. It doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. Whether it’s sailing around the world, opening a corner coffee shop, or volunteering for your favorite charity, believing in your dreams is important.
- Lastly, be your own support team by committing to your plan, and don’t let setbacks be more than temporary bumps in the road. When you commit to an idea, your brain believes you and gets in line with the plan. I learned to persevere through tough times, knowing tenacity is a trait best learned from practice.
We have all been delayed by nearly two years, but it’s time to put that behind us. I’m optimistic by nature, and I think it’s well-founded here. Your dreams and hopes delayed by Covid may have been temporarily pushed aside, but it’s time to find them again. The setback is over, so reach deep into your heart, grab your dreams, dust them off, and begin living again.
Did You Like this Article?
Please share with your friends: