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The 10 Questions to Ask Yourself If You Haven’t Reached a Dream

... are a series of ... I needed to ask ... find answers to over the course of my life before finally deciding to go for it. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if any of these looked fa

Following are a series of questions I needed to ask myself
and find answers to over the course of my life before
finally deciding to go for it. It wouldn’t surprise me one
bit if any of these looked familiar to you. You’ll notice
that many of the questions and my proposed solutions are

1. What am I really afraid of?

Addressing this issue right here is worth of an article
all by itself! You may have heard somewhere that FEAR
really stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. However,
some fears are needed and rational. You wouldn’t stick
your hand in a burning fire place or run into oncoming
traffic, for example!

But some examples of common fears that don’t really serve
you are: the fears of success (I’ll lose my friends), of
failure, of the unknown, of never having the courage to go
for it, of losing your social life, and so on.

Instead of letting these fears paralyze you, write them
down, and then consider confronting them and making new
opportunities for yourself. Visualize the fear as the
shell of a nut that needs to be cracked. Use your mental
nutcracker to break the shell.

Pushing through your comfort zone can be frightening
sometimes, but if you just push through it and do it, you
may surprise yourself. An amazing amount of growth can
take place each time you do. Courage is a wonderful thing.
It comes from within, but can be brought out faster if
you’re surrounded by people who can encourage you to move

2. How is money or finances holding me back?

Financing and money are two of the biggest factors that
people claim hold them back from reaching a big dream or
goal. This is a fallacy. Resources, especially in the
area of people and social capital, do not always come with
a financial cost.

Tap your creativity. A good start would be to write down
your dreams, big and bold, then tell the people you trust
about your dreams. At least one person will be able to
hook you up with someone who knows someone else who can
help you.

If financing is really an issue, work gradually. Have a
garage sale or auction some of your items on Ebay. At the
same time, pay attention to your expenses, and do some
trimming on your personal budget.

If starting a business is your passion, please check out
your local Small Business Development Center. Visit and find a center near you. They can
advise you and also give you sources for small business
loans. Also remember that the internet and the library are
wonderful resources. The library is free, and the internet
is inexpensive. You can’t go wrong with those two.

3. How are my conversations about "a lack of time" stopping
me in my tracks?

I understand probably more than most how life can
sometimes get in the way and really upset a schedule, but
if you think you never have any time, a couple of things
could also be at play: You could be procrastinating and
letting the distractions interfere, or you may have a very
optimistic time frame for your list of goals or “to-do”
lists. Big dreams don’t happen in a day, but build daily.

If you feel you’ve taken on too much, see if you can
delegate some of that responsibility to someone else.
Taking baby steps daily will help make the sense of
overwhelm subside—that, and a good cup of Tension Tamer
Tea! If you’d like to change the relationship you have
with time, you might be interested in my free six-day e-
course. You can sign up here: < >.

4. But shouldn’t I only be in this particular role?

You aren’t tied to one identity. You encompass many
personas as you go through life. It’s actually possible to
be wife (or husband or partner, etc.), mom or dad, friend,
business owner, employee, all at once, if that is what you
desire and you learn the balancing act. The point is that
there is only one “you”. Even identical twins have nuances
that are unique from each other. So choose your role, and
go for it!

5. How do I go about pursuing my dream? Where can I find
a good support system?

Do a Google or Yahoo search on your passion and see if you
can find an email group or bulletin board with people
willing to commiserate and brainstorm. You’ll be able to
find a support system by doing searches on your desired

The Encyclopedia of Associations is a goldmine if you’re
looking for an association related to your passion. With
luck, there will be a local chapter you can contact. You
can find that at your local library. To find out more
about the Encyclopedia of Associations, visit:
You can also find it at your local public library.

Also, I’m an advocate of reading. A lot. Network, find
mentors, have a plan, have someone hold you accountable,
avoid distractions, and revisit these ten questions. :) I
believe it was Jim Rohn who said, “When your ‘why’ [you
want to do or have something] is clear, then the ‘how’
becomes clear.”

6. How is my negative self talk creating emotional blind
spots in my ability to "really go for it?"

Because of my many varied interests, I had this self-
perception of being the “Jill of all Trades but Mistress
of None,” so the records that played in my mind were, “No
way can I be positioned as an expert.” In talking with
others and writing about all that I knew, I realized how
much that self-talk was holding me back.

Common statements I’ve heard from some of my former
students were: “I’m not good enough.” “I’m too old,” “I’m
too young,” “No one will hire me because I’m too fat,”
etc. Addressing this involves a different dialogue with
yourself and surrounding yourself with positive people who
can appreciate your unique gifts. When that negative inner-
voice tries to sneak in, try reframing your statements
with a more positive spin. For example, “I can’t do
this!” could be reframed as, “I just need to practice
more. Then I’ll be able to do this.”

7. How does my inability to focus create a "choke point" in
my process?

Analysis paralysis can be so debilitating! Take it from
someone who suffered from it for years! It seemed to be
compounded by the fact that I had so many interests that
were seemingly unrelated to each other, and especially
unrelated to the degrees I chose to get in the name of
being practical. Journaling, brainstorming on paper first
and then with people I trusted did wonders.

8. How does my upbringing send me messages that "this will
never work?"

If people you respect told you it was best to be 100%
practical and conventional but your dreams lean toward the
opposite, then you are probably wondering if you should
bother. Or maybe you were less fortunate, and had people
who were perpetually negative. It’s hard to thrive in that
kind of environment unless you have an amazing amount of
inner strength from the get-go. Again, if your center of
influence is filled with positive, supportive people
rather than negative people, it can make all the

9. How is my belief system getting in the way?

This ties a lot into the upbringing issue, the negative
self-talk, and to some extent, the fear issue above. I
heard a speaker recently say, “A belief gets its strength
from the evidence (your life experiences) that supports
it.” What starts as an idea can become a conviction.

As an artistically, musically, mathematically inclined
eccentric, I got called weird a lot in high school. So one
of the beliefs that really stayed with me for years
was, “Eccentric people will never fit in.” I now embrace
my uniqueness regardless of what the majority believes.
What are some of the beliefs that you hold that may be
getting in your way?

10. How do I recover when life keeps throwing me curve

Rest! Be kind to—no, SPOIL yourself. If you need to vent,
I say go for it, but choose whom you vent to carefully.
Not everyone appreciates a good rant. My journal, I’ve
found, is the safest place to do it. Treat these curve
balls as learning experiences, then get right back on that
horse and try again.

I heard something that really inspired me from speaker Jim
Stovall. He said (paraphrased), “We live up to the
expectations of ourselves or what we allow others to
expect of us… That big dream wouldn’t have been put
inside you if you didn’t have the capacity to do it.
Change your life by changing your mind.”

Power-Ed SolutionsArticle Search, Inc. Copyright © 2004 All Rights

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Carol Dickson-Carr a life strategist and social scientist
who has researched the human condition for over 13 years.
She is also founder of Power-Ed Solutions, Inc., a
Leadership Development Company &

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