I’ve always been a dreamer. As an introverted only child, I had a rich inner world and the liberty of spending much of my childhood there.
As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I feel so deeply that often, it’s like I’m experiencing all the dreams that are continually running through my head. And as a child, I was free from focusing on the how of the dream—which, for us adults, can shatter our dreams almost immediately.
Marie Forleo says that if you have a dream, you also have everything you need to achieve that dream. Now, your dream may morph and change into something different and even better as you pursue it, but I believe this concept as well.
However, worrying and overthinking can cloud our vision when we start trying to figure out how to make our dream a reality. So, how can you gain the clarity you need to see the first step?
My Journey INTO Love
Throughout my childhood and into my college years, I dreamed about finding love. Specifically, the happily ever after, perfect love I’d read about in novels and watched in movies my entire life.
Because of my HSP wiring, I have a hard time separating fiction from reality. I experience every single emotion right along with the characters I connect with in books and movies, so it feels very real to me.
No one ever told me that in the real world, love looks very different. So, when I found myself divorced at 29 years old, it took me a solid four years to regain my bearings. And it took much, much longer for me to begin to trust myself enough to dream again.
I got married again one month ago, and the journey my now husband and I have been on since we started dating six years ago is one that I never could have predicted or planned. It required more trust, perseverance, and patience than I thought I had in me, and everything we’ve been through together—which has included the toughest season of our lives so far—has built the exact foundation we needed to begin our new life together.
Since the moment we got married, I’ve felt the love from my husband that I’ve been dreaming of my entire life. It’s deeper than I ever could have imagined, full of so much grace, and brings me greater joy than I’ve felt before.
I assumed my husband had changed to become more loving…overnight. But he says he’s exactly the same, and I’m starting to wonder if I’ve changed. If I’m the one who, on our wedding day, was finally able to let go of the fear I’ve had that I’d never feel loved the way I wanted to so badly, and finally let myself feel it.
This seems much more likely, especially since my husband is one of those completely genuine, authentic people who just are who they are at their core.
And if this is true, it means that my fear has kept me from experiencing the love that was there the whole time, because I couldn’t see into the future and know exactly how our relationship would play out.
The Sacrifice to Stay Safe
It’s far too easy to shelve or deny a dream when we can’t see how it could come true. And while this may feel safer, it keeps us small, scared, and unfulfilled.
I believe that my relationship unfolded exactly the way it was supposed to, to teach me what I needed to learn. But I sacrificed a lot to keep myself safe, trading years of fully feeling the love that was already there—the love that I so desperately wanted—to protect myself from another disappointment.
Detaching From the Outcome
I’m hoping you can learn from my experience, and begin leaning into your scariest, riskiest dreams without knowing how you could possibly achieve them.
One of the most effective strategies (and also one of the most challenging) is detaching from the outcome, because this immediately removes our expectations. If I would have practiced this principle throughout my relationship, I could have stayed open to what it was supposed to look like, and all of the different ways I could feel loved by Jason.
Expectations can be so limiting, making us miss opportunities that are right in front of us. It’s also difficult to be fully present when we’re caught up in our expectations, because they propel us into the future where we truly have no control.
Activating the Law of Attraction
Entrusting your dream to the Universe to unfold exactly the way it’s supposed to is another powerful way to gain clarity while activating the law of attraction.
In her game-changing book Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo writes, “When you make a clear, committed decision about something you want, it’s like picking up the phone and placing a to-go order with the universe.”
Marie goes on to explain how this works, from a neurological perspective: “Your reticular activating system (RAS) is the part of your brain that acts as an attention filter. It filters out what’s unimportant from your conscious awareness and only allows through what’s important.
“When you define your dream, your RAS will begin scanning your environment for any and all opportunities, people, and info related to what you’ve declared as a significant goal.”
Take Action, but Keep It Small
The two steps above will free you from so much fear, overwhelm, and feeling weighed down by how you can possibly make your dream a reality. The next step is to begin taking action—but only the next right action.
Think of one small step you can take today to begin moving toward your dream. This can be as small as writing down your goal or telling your partner or friend to increase accountability. Whatever is achievable for you.
As soon as you’ve completed that step, determine the next best step for tomorrow or this week, and begin paying closer attention to potential opportunities that come your way. Consistent action will kick your RAS into high gear, helping you gain momentum and illuminate the way forward.
Dare to Dream
Dreams are often what make us feel most alive, and the pursuit alone can change the trajectory of our lives—as well as the lives of others. Don’t let your dreams sit on a shelf because you can’t figure out how they could ever come true.
The greatest dreams don’t come with a clear path forward, and require a great deal of trust and letting go. Dare to reactivate your dreams today, and take the first right step forward.