5 Steps to Making Your Dreams A Reality
As I continue to grow from adolescence into adulthood, I’m learning that I’m never quite where I thought I would be by that point in my life. My dreams are taking many different forms than the original blue prints, and that’s okay, its actually exciting! I’m learning to embrace the beauty of becoming. I don’t believe we ever truly “arrive.” We are constantly changing, ever adapting, always growing, forever learning. We only get one shot at this life, so you might as well have fun and enjoy the journey of discovering who God has called you to become.
God is taking me on this journey that I never expected for myself. There are many highs and lows about pursuing a dream that is unconventional and currently intangible. I am on a walk of faith into the unknown. Most days I’m cautious to share my dreams with just anyone for fear that they will not accept or support my vision. Some days I feel that I am beyond capable of making this dream a reality, other times, the weight of the dream and my thoughts paralyze me. Perhaps you can relate. I know that I will inevitably stumble or even fail, probably multiple times, but I also know in my heart that I have already made up my mind to persevere. I have complete faith that I will be exactly where I need to be when God wants me there. Truly successful individuals are not successful because they have never experienced doubt or difficulty, they are successful because they continued despite the naysayers and setbacks. Whatever your dream looks like, I’ve learned that there are five steps we must embrace in order to bring our dreams to full-term and make them a reality.
1. Every accomplished dream has an individual, unique story.
There is no other person on the planet that was created with your characteristics, your talents, or given your exact life experiences. No other human in history has lived your story. Against all genetic odds, God decided the world needed one of you, too. Acknowledge the sacredness of being formed so amazingly unique. You were created on purpose for a purpose. Your own desires, dreams, and passions – they all align with this calling. Embrace them. This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Every expert was once a beginner in his or her field. There will be mountains to climb and there will be valleys when it seems dark and impossible, but the view from the top looking back on the journey will be oh so glorious! Trust the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.
2. Embrace the learning curve - even when it hurts.
This journey will continue to shape you, and may nearly break you. As you move on, you will continue to learn lessons that will prepare you for the future ahead. I have struggled immensely with letting go of control, expectations, and relationships. But as I do, by some miracle, I am able to more clearly hear the God given direction in my heart. Truly beautiful individuals don’t just happen, they are formed from some of life’s most difficult experiences. I am currently in the process of discovery and fulfilling my God given destiny. You will want to quit, you may even take a few detours, but don't give up. This dream requires endurance, mindset, and trust that His plan will always prevail.
3. Discover who's in your corner - and embrace them!
We are all stronger as a community. I believe one of the greatest setbacks against women is that so many of us continue to compete with one another instead of realizing we are all in this race together! I craved sisterhood so badly in my teen years. One of my high school teachers said, “The teenage girl is the meanest animal on the planet.” Needless to say, I survived, and congratulations to my fellow women who did as well! I think many of us can be thankful to never return to that era.
The truth is: we all need a support system. You will always face some amount of backlash no matter where you are in life. I am much more concerned with the rare individuals who embrace their authentic selves, believe in the beauty of their dreams, and face fear head on during the path to purpose all while cheering on their fellow sisters. Comparison holds us back and limits our abilities, collaboration moves us forward and creates endless opportunities.
4. Always stay gracious and be thankful.
Hold on to these precious dreamers and believers, and nourish these relationships. If you are thankful to have them in your life, TELL THEM! This year, I lost one of my dearest friends and mentors. Don Baker was a renowned communications expert and one of the greatest individuals I have met in the pageant industry. He suffered from a stroke two weeks after one of our cherished conversations. I am now so thankful that I ended every conversation by expressing how grateful I was to have his mentorship. Soon after his stroke, Don passed into Heaven. Time is limited, and guaranteed to no one – respect that and take advantage of the given time you have now.
5. Search out your mentors.
So often girls will ask me, "How did you get connected with them?" Well, honestly I just reached out to them! No generation before us has ever had the advantage of technological advances as we do today. Take advantage of those multiple social media accounts! Do not be afraid to hit the send button and contact the person who is rocking it at whatever it is you admire. Tell them, and I promise more likely than not, they will be willing to give you advice. You may even land the coolest mentor in the game! Guidance and encouragement will make the journey to the dream so much more valuable and worth while.
Girlfriend, I am telling you: YOU CAN DO THIS! Whatever the dream, we need you to give it your best shot. We must leave this world better than when we arrived. Our generation needs to be remembered for something better, we are capable of better. Make no mistake, you were given your own unique blessings to be a blessing to others. You have a God given purpose to live out, do not take that gift lightly. Be brave enough to trust His timing and bold enough to believe in your dreams.