I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you’re enjoying the holiday season!
I’m writing to you as James and I are about to head to Vail, Colorado for a little getaway with friends. As you may recall, I fell in love with it when we went there for the first time last year — so much so that we ended up staying an additional two weeks! It’s one of my favorite winter spots, full of gorgeous scenery that really feeds my Christmas spirit!
It was always a dream of mine to be an entrepreneur, to be able to work from anywhere, and to travel to gorgeous places like this. But back when I first moved to London and was still in the midst of my quarter-life crisis, many people probably would’ve taken one look at my closet-sized apartment, the funds in my bank account (or lack thereof), and my overall situation and told me to get my head out of the clouds – that I should quit dreaming and just be realistic.
Realistic. Ugh. I’m so not a fan of that word. And here’s why: I think realistic holds you back. Realistic focuses on restrictions – it’s a concept that implies you should just be happy with what you have, that your dreams aren’t possible, and that aiming high is just going to lead to disappointment.
Well, I have to say I entirely disagree with that approach. Telling yourself to “be realistic” doesn’t empower you. It doesn’t inspire you to aim high, or to explore possibilities, or to dream big dreams. And who truly wants to live life like that, lovely?
Personally, I’ve never believed in “realistic” goals, and I’m grateful for that because dreaming BIG is what has brought me to where I am today – running a 7-figure biz working with incredible women around the world, while having the lifestyle and the freedom as an entrepreneur that I’d always wanted.
If you’re a big dreamer like me, you’ve probably had people express their doubts about you and your “lofty” goals. You’ve probably been told you need to be more realistic, or be happy with where you’re at in life. Maybe well-meaning family members love you and don’t want you to be disappointed. Or maybe that person isn’t dreaming big enough themselves (maybe because they’re afraid to), or perhaps they’re even a bit jealous.
My advice to you is to listen to your heart, not those who’re telling you to just be realistic. Resist the urge to be to lower your expectations or just “be happy” with where you’re at. No one ever became great by simply settling for their comfort zone.
I love this quote by author, therapist, and speaker Sean Stephenson where he says, “Don’t believe any prediction that doesn’t empower you.”
Short and sweet, but oh-so-true. He’s one who’s often been told he needs to just be realistic – after all, he was born with a genetic disorder which caused him to only grow to three feet in height and to have such fragile bones that he’s wheelchair-bound. So as you might imagine, well-meaning people had a lot to tell him about being realistic in light of his “limitations”.
But he refused to listen. He chose to protect his hope, as he would say, by continuing to dream big, to hope for great things, and to aim higher than most people without a disability would ever dare aim. In fact, he says he’s actually gotten very comfy with the word “delusional” over time, and he embraces the fact that his approach to life doesn’t seem “realistic” to lots of people. After all, that approach has served him very well.
Another story that I love is about a man named Roger Bannister. Not so long ago in human history it was believed to be impossible for a human to run a mile in under four minutes. In fact, there was this concept of “the four-minute barrier” that many believed just wasn’t possible to break through.
But then, in 1954, Roger Bannister proved everyone wrong by running a record-setting 3:59 mile. And the funny thing is, his record was broken only 46 days later, and many others began to run sub-four-minute miles shortly thereafter. Someone had proven it was possible, and so others then believed it was and followed suit. It wasn’t a sudden change in human physical capability that made this happen – it was a change in mindset.
You see, greater things are possible in life than many people realize. When you let yourself dream unrealistically big dreams in spite of what other people may tell you, you not only will knock your own socks off, but you’ll be showing everyone around you where having big goals in life can truly take you.
When you set your mind on something big and go after it with all you’ve got, you’re going to make things happen that surprise even yourself. So remove “realistic” from your vocabulary, and give your dreams all you’ve got. You don’t have to settle for “realistic”. Your dreams are there in your heart for a reason. Keep hoping. Keep dreaming. Focus on making the “impossible” possible, lovely.