There will never be a perfect time to dream. When you dare to create big ideas that entail risk, reality is quick to kick in and remind you of all the reasons why you should stick with the status-quo. My intent here is not to offer you quick answers to difficult questions, but to help you ask yourself the right questions to discover and develop your entrepreneurial dreams. Following are a few techniques to consider when developing a mindset that inspires dreams:
Giving your mind space to dream
Whether you’re searching for how to find your dream career or how to realize a big dream at all, you’ll need to give your imagination room to think. Rather than simply looking to leaders and successful peers to answer every question, be willing to invest in yourself, your desires and your own thoughts. Dreams are easy to kill as they emerge in your mind—they’re too big, too risky and often too at odds with your current reality.
The key to developing an entrepreneurial mindset, however, lies in being able to pursue the spark of a dream before it dies. Rather than accepting “no,” allow yourself the mental space to find a way that says “yes.” Merely having the confidence to #moveforwardanyway through doubt and difficulty as it appears in your mind is the first step to realizing a new and better situation for yourself.
The mental space you need to allow your dreams to develop is intentionally created. You need to actively pursue truth. Positive, truth-telling thoughts can emerge and win out through practices like journaling, meditation, mindfulness and any other method that gives you the space to process your creative energy.
Once your dream starts to take shape, you can take actions that will bring you closer to your goals every day, often one small step at a time.
How hope helps you to find your dreams
Hope is, oddly enough, one of the most powerful forms of disruption when it comes to changing your circumstances for the better. The unspoken rules of your life that define how much you can make for a living, how every task in a business should be done—these don’t change with conventional thinking. When you look deeper into the reason those rules exist in the first place, you often find your own truths that can redefine your current situation and make it better.
There are many relatable examples that demonstrate this entrepreneurial, hopeful way of thinking. Whether it’s using a water bottle to turn a cell phone light into a lantern or Tesla sending cars into space, the resourcefulness that creates progress from unexpected places is driven by the hope for something better. Here are a couple of simple steps you can take to put hope into practice.
Reframe your limiting beliefs by adopting a slogan, mantra, or motto.
For example, one of the successful dreamers in our Dream Accelerator, battling the limiting beliefs that he wasn't skilled enough to realize his dream, reframed that thought, and turned it into a motto that has not only inspired him, but everyone in the Dream Accelerator. His motto? "Here, hold my beer." Now every time he hears that limiting belief whisper in his head, he speaks his motto and chooses to #moveforwardanyway.
Begin and end each and every day with the practice of gratitude.
Write out or share with a loved one three things you are thankful for each morning and each evening. Write it in your planner, text them to a friend, speak it into a recorder, share it out loud, post a picture on social media. Whatever works for you.
When you wallow in doubt and limiting beliefs, it’s much harder to maintain the hopeful energy needed to disrupt your own situation. Instead of allowing that to happen, make a conscious effort to reflect on the positive things in your life and choose hope!
Discover your dreams through other people
It’s nearly impossible to think of a dream that doesn’t involve more than one person. As you develop a positive mindset and invest in your future, it’s important not to get too carried away by your own success. A successful dreamer is a person who isn’t threatened by people who are smarter, faster or more successful—on the contrary, a successful dreamer is the kind of person who surrounds themselves with people who know how to do many different things better than they do. Rather than trying to rise above the people who support their dreams, a successful dreamer raises up those around them to lead entire efforts, communities, companies and congregations to a better place. Think collaboration, not competition.
Give yourself time to relax with friends and people who bring out the best in you. Even when your interests aren’t the same, being around people who are passionate about life and what they do for a living can inspire you to reach greater heights in your own life. Look for people who listen to your ideas (rather than always offering advice), who motivate you (instead of piling on more doubts), who celebrate with you (rather than being critical of your success), and who challenge you and push you to sharpen your dream (rather than not really consider it at all).
Similarly, it helps to have a coach willing to listen to your ideas and help you refine your dream into something you can make into a reality. The support, self-confidence, and peace of mind that comes from someone who can bring out your full potential is irreplaceable. Schedule some time to dream today and take another big step toward discovering your dream.