As I focus more of my coaching and consulting work on helping women achieve their BIG dreams and visions, I've realized that the essential ingredients to this work are helping people understand with absolute, unabashed clarity what their dream is, distill it down to the "right" essence, then birth it through steps that align with their passions, values, needs and wants. To launch our big dreams, we need a continual dose of clarity, confidence, courage and creation.
The dreams I've helped women bring into being in the past 10 years come in all flavors, shapes and sizes, including:
- Moving from a crushing HR corporate role to building a thriving new landscape design business.
- Stepping up with more leadership power, authority and self-confidence to run a global division of her company.
- Separating from an addictive, abusive relationship to a supporting, loving environment and a meaningful job.
- Making three times more money doing the coaching work she absolutely adores (monetizing and leveraging her important messages and content).
- Relocating to another country with her family to experience the great adventure of it.
- Reclaiming her passion for dancing and movement, and exploring starting a yoga studio.
- Honoring her longings to become a professional writer, and beginning blogging and writing.
- Emerging from a crippling divorce and no recent work experience to running a thriving private practice.
- Leaving a Fortune 100 senior level role to contribute to a small startup making a huge difference.
- Radically improving her family's life by picking up and moving across the country to pursue a healthier, more down-to-earth lifestyle.
So, how do we birth big dreams successfully?
The reality is that most of us aren't ready for our dreams to come true today -- we need to expand, power up and grow braver in order to hold and emanate the vast amount of energy required to live our dreams. To do what we long to, most of us need:
- Stronger boundaries
- More direct communication
- An ability to be comfortable in our tough decisions
- Good decision-making skill
- Recovery from our addiction to people-pleasing
- Increased self-confidence to live, speak, and behave authentically
- And a deeper understanding of who we wish to serve (and who we need to walk away from)
I've learned a great deal about dreaming big and bringing these visions successfully into the world, through my own reinvention journey (and some huge missteps) and from helping hundreds of others.
From these experiences, I've found there are four essential steps to birthing big dreams successfully:
1. Understand who you really are, uniquely
You can't dream BIG and live out these dreams if you don't understand your own value, importance, and talents. Most women I work with grossly underestimate what they have to offer the world. And most folks think their dream is so far away and utterly outlandish, when in actually it's only a number of critical steps away.
You need to step back for a bit and disengage from the negative chatter and crushing bustle of your life and gain an empowered perspective of who you really are, and to make fuller use of the talents and strengths you possess. Whatever you think you have to offer, I'm relatively sure that it's one thousand times bigger and more important to the world than you think it is.
2. Close your "power gaps" (and we all have some) to overcome the obstacles in the way of your success
When I say "power gaps," I'm referring to the areas in your life where you feel "less then," unworthy, vulnerable, insecure, shameful, or inferior. We all have these gaps. Some feel insecure about how they parent. Others lack confidence in their communication ability or their leadership strength. For others still, there's a feeling they're just not smart or clever enough to do what they long to, and they fear they'll fail at anything they try. For yet others, their shyness keeps them hiding their light under a bushel.
These are all power gaps -- areas that are calling out for an intervention and infusion of strength and courage. To close your power gaps, first identify the ONE area today that makes you feel most insecure and weak, and do something about it to build your strength.
3. Identify the "essence" of what you want, then find the right "form" that will perfectly match your needs, values, and goals.
So many women today are desperately unhappy in their current situations, and fantasize intensively about one new direction thinking it will be the panacea, but haven't explored this direction enough to know if it's really right for them. We've all fallen victim to the "grass is always greener on the other side" myth, but until we step over the fence to "try it on" we just can't know. Before you leap, research, research, research what this new direction means and entails, and what it will give you (and the sacrifices it will demand of you) to pursue it. The key is to find the right "form" of the dream so that when you achieve it, it fits just right.
4. Build a support structure to help you expand your readiness to live this dream
Finally, big dreams don't thrive in a vacuum, without being supported, fanned, and bolstered. And you can't fertilize your dreams sufficiently all by yourself. You need loving ambassadors, mentors, sponsors, and supporters -- and those who are 10 steps ahead of your on the journey -- who believe in you, and who see the future vision of you before it's hatched and can offer powerful wisdom and guidance. These supporters know how to keep you true to your dream even when you're so afraid that all you want to do is run.
To launch your big dream into the world as a healthy baby ready to thrive, you need a "village" to support you, and it.
So what is your BIG dream -- you know, the one you feel thrilled about but ashamed or foolish to admit out loud?
That's the dream I hope you go for in some key way today. Despite what the negative nellies advise, those who know how to dream big and bring those dreams into existence are those who positively change the world.
Follow Kathy Caprino on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kathycaprino