What’s your dream?
Maybe it’s that one wish that seems so hilariously unattainable that you don’t mind saying it out loud.
Maybe it’s a closely guarded secret, something always at the back of your mind.
What’s your dream?
I guarantee when I asked that question that something popped into your head.
I would also bet my last dollar that when it popped into your head, it was followed by a plethora of reasons keeping it “just a dream.”
So many of us live in a world of “can’t”.
“I can’t do that because…”
Dreams scare us. Especially big dreams.
We want them so badly to happen that we become scared of failing.
And when we’re scared, we start telling ourselves stories to make us feel better. The can’ts start popping up and pretty soon, they’ve sold us on their story. We’re living in a world of can’ts.
For as long as I could remember, my dream was to drop everything and travel.
I jealously poured over the Instagram feeds and blogs of world travelers and people living out of vans, seeing amazing places and doing amazing things. I wanted so much to do what they were doing, but I was also scared to do it.
The can’ts were overwhelming.
I couldn’t drop everything and travel because I was a broke college student, because I was a broke young adult. I couldn’t because I had a degree to finish and then I had student loans to pay off. I had to start a career, my family needed me, my boyfriend needed me, my car wasn’t up to driving aimlessly around the US, I had a 12-month lease on my apartment…
Can’t, can’t, can’t.
Then one day, I came across a picture of Lake Louise in Alberta. There was something so compelling about those blue waters and snowcapped peaks, a row of colorful canoes against green trees…
For just an instant, I let myself think that maybe I could do it.
As soon as that “can” wiggled its way into the can’ts, my mindset started to shift.
If I saved up for a few months, I’d have enough money to live on the road and pay the minimum on my student loans.
I wasn’t happy in the job I was in and neither was my boyfriend.
I found myself driving the most reliable car I had had in years, a Subaru just barely big enough for two people and a dog to sleep in the back of.
My lease was set to expire soon, my family didn’t really care if I was gone for a few months.
Once I let my mindset start to shift, everything just seemed to fall into place. That’s the funny thing about the world; where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Last July, my boyfriend, dog and I quit our jobs, packed our entire apartment into a 10×10 storage unit and took off in our Subaru for the summer. We dropped everything and traveled.
It was a dream come true and it never would have happened if I hadn’t seen that picture of Lake Louise and let myself believe that maybe I could.
We’re really good at standing in our own way, especially when we’re scared. We’re getting in the way of our own happiness; of achieving our own dreams. That’s a bad habit I hope you’ll try to break!
Think back to that dream, that dream that might seem so totally unattainable and give yourself a moment of can.
You can build your dream home.
You can become a yoga teacher.
You can go back to school.
Not every dream works out (I never actually made it to Lake Louise), but you have a much better shot at achieving what you want if you give it a chance. If you let your mindset shift from can’t to can.