In my Life Coaching Business I often see clients who after a few minutes of talking tell me what career they would love. They really are not confused about what they want to do instead they are afraid to go after their dream or they don't know how or perhaps a combination of the two. It is wonderful to know what your passion-filled career would be but extremely frustrating to know that and never do a thing about it! Carol is a prime example of this dilemma. She is amazingly artistic and loves decorating houses. Her own house sold in two days during a depressed market and had several offers. Why? Because Carol had made her home a showplace. Any outsider can see that Carol has the talent, passion and gift for Interior Decorating. Unfortunately, she has not followed that dream and has jumped from one unsatisfying job to another. Part of the reason Carol is stuck is the absence of a clear goal and plan to achieve it.
The first step to turn a dream into a reality is to be very clear about what you want. Take time to write out your ideal job. Put as many details into your description as possible. You need to give that powerful part of your brain, your subconscious, detailed and brilliant pictures to work with. When you describe your goal use all your senses to make a clear picture of what you want. For example writing down, "I want a rewarding career." does not give the subconscious much to go on. What is a rewarding career? What would that look like? What would you be doing? What would others be saying about you? Once your goal is clear it is much easier to move forward with purpose and motivation.
The next step is to acknowledge WHY you want to reach this goal. A goal without a strong purpose will not keep you interested. Write down all the reasons you can think of. What is in it for you? How will you impact others? If you cannot come up with a strong "why" then it is often a sign that this goal is not yours at all but something that you think you "should" do or someone else thinks you "should" do. A powerful "why" helps you stay motivated even when you encounter obstacles as you embark on your career change.
After you are clear about what you want and why you want it then you can start creating a Dream Line. The Dream Line should be for the next six months to one year. If you make a plan for much longer then that it is easy to procrastinate. Write down where you want to be at the end of the year. What do you want to accomplish that would feel really great? Do you want to have your own business running and profitable? Do you want to move to a new city and be working at your dream job as _____________. Do you want a promotion into the position you have always dreamed of? When you know the end result then you can begin filling in the blanks. What do you need to have done this month? What will you accomplish next month. Of coarse this is a "living" plan and you will change as you go but by writing down what you think you should accomplish each month you will keep momentum.
Jonathon Winters the comedian once said, "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." After making a plan the key to unlock your dreams is action. Consistent, daily action. Jack Canfield, author of "The Success Principles" talks about taking 5 daily actions steps towards your goal. Don't worry if you are not sure how to take some of the steps do it anyway. Yes, you will make some mistakes but that is how you move forward. We all learned how to walk by trying and falling and trying again. I'm not sure why we get the idea that when we learn as adults we need to do it without mistakes! It just doesn't work that way.
Because we will be making mistakes, learning new things and feeling fear it is important that we gather a support team. Who do you need on your team? These should be "can do" people who will encourage you as you change your career. They need to be people who will let you cry on their shoulders and then give you a gentle ( or not so gentle!) shove towards your goal. Remember that sometimes we need to tell people how we would like to be supported. Don't assume they will know. Tell them!
As you move forward towards your goal keep focused on the desired end result. Imagine what it will be like when you are working in your new career. What will you feel like? What will you be doing? Who will you be working with? Keep your vision bright. Not only will it keep you motivated but you will naturally attract the people, resources and circumstances that will help you begin your passion-filled career.
Celebrate as you work towards your goal. Many of us celebrate after we start our new business or land our dream job and that is great but it is not enough. We need to celebrate each small step. Research has shown that people who feel successful tend to have more successes. The way to feel successful each day is to acknowledge your completion of each small step. These little treats along the way will keep you moving forward and make the journey fun. Let's get started. It is time to take action and turn your dream into a reality!