Fear certainly serves a purpose. It stops us doing dangerous, life-threatening things. It probably stops us making jerks of ourselves in many situations. But fear can be a jerk too.
It is the biggest killer of dreams. From the fear of failing financially to the fear of looking foolish and social rejection; it stops many of us from making the progress we are otherwise capable of.
A coaching client of mine really brought this home for me. He had a very unique and rather ambitious business plan. All he needed to get the wheels in motion was some funding. Now, without going into too much detail and losing you here, this idea had wheels. We had talked around the possibilities off all the worst case scenarios; from the bank laughing at him, to the business plan not being detailed enough, or just plain inaccurate.
If you have ever been in a situation like this, then you know yourself that any “but what if” has a rational work-around to counter it. But it wasn’t the rational stuff that was blocking my client. The block was the fear of losing the dream.
When you take a step towards your goal, that special thing you have been painting pictures of in your mind and idolising for a period of time, the fear sets in. Why? Well, you know that feeling when you wake up from a vivid dream? The harder you try to remember it, the further away it feels, and then eventually, it is gone. Gutting, right?
It was the same deal for my client. With every little step closer he took; drafting a business plan, making an appointment with the bank, he stepped closer to that make or break moment of awakening. The moment when your eyes open, reality kicks in, and the dream evaporates into the ether. If things went his way, then he would replace the dream with a new reality, and have everything he had worked for. But if things didn’t go his way, he would have nothing, not even the dream. Because once you try to manifest your dream, it becomes vulnerable. It is subject to so much more that the conditions inside your own mind. It is part of the real world – for better or for worse.
There is probably no going back to the old dream once the reality fails you. And that is terrifying.
So how can we deal with it?
Well, I think this is a personal choice. Decide what is more important to you. The definite dream, something you can always retreat to in your head, or the possible reality, the gamble that might pay off. You need to decide not just IF you are brave enough, but if you are WILLING enough to gamble with your dream.
I think there is also a lot to be said for having a plan b. The terrifying part about a gamble is the “all or nothing-ness” of the outcome. So if we can’t retreat back to an old dream once reality has ended it, how would it be to have an alternative dream? Remembering that the fear is about the loss of the dream – soften that blow for yourself my creating alternative options.
I also think this situation calls for a lot of resilience. Cultivating resilience takes work, but it’s a great foundation to build for yourself. We all have dreams. We all experience failure and disappointment from time to time. But those of us coming from a place of resilience will find the strength to absorb the shock of a failed dream and be brave enough to dream again.
An Elective Orphan x