Yes, you can do it! Top five tips for achieving a dream

I've always been one of those people who tried new things. I don't really like getting out of my comfort zone, just like the next gal, geeze, I am human, but I do like to try new things.

When I was in fourth grade, my friend, Heather, urged me to try out for the community theatre production of Annie as an orphan extra. My mom let my try out only because she thought I wouldn't make it--thanks mom! She knew the commitment and time required for a production of this scale. But she let me try out and guess what! I made it! I did! *Brag time* Out of the 225 girls who auditioned, only 12 made it into the cast *Close brag time* My siblings said it was because I already looked like an orphan. Har, har! But honestly, I think I made it because my friend knew the director and she needed a ride to the rehearsals from our small town.

One of the best compliments anyone has given to me was when my brother said he thought it was awesome that I tried out for plays. Then he confessed, he never would have had the guts to do something like that. I was stunned. I never even considered not trying out. It's like the possibility of making a fool of myself didn't even occur to me.

I've thought a lot about that as the years pass. Why wasn't I afraid to try out for a play? I think one of the things that keeps me going is that I'm not afraid of failing. (I am afraid of success, however. Success changes the status quo. We all fear something, I guess, hahah!)

So I put together my top five tips to give you the encouragement you need to take the leap.

1. Be not afraid. Fear is your worst enemy. Sometimes what I do is imagine the worst thing that can happen. When I was afraid to go SCUBA diving, I mentally walked myself through what the worst case scenario would be. Which in this case was death. And I was like, if I died right now, what could happen? My kids would miss me and I would miss them growing up. But my husband could remarry, and they'd grow up okay. Then I ask myself the likelihood of that happening. Pretty minuscule. After I mentally faced that worst fear, I was ready to go down.

2. Start small. Baby steps. No one says in order to be great, you have to do great things. By small means are many great things accomplished. How do you write a novel? One word at a time. How do you start a business? One client at a time.

3. Set goals. I have a blank book my sister gave me 12 years ago. For over a decade, I have written weekly "To-Do" lists. This keeps me focused and on track. And yes, sometimes I go back in and write things down that weren't originally on the list and check them off. But set goals that you can define, reach, and stretch you.

4. Vision boards. I am not much of a visual person, probably due to the fact that I didn't wear my glasses for the first half of my life and missed so many details. However, having something like a vision board, or a vision statement can help keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. If you have a dream, write it down, see it every day, work toward it.

5. Surround yourself with supportive people. Everyone needs a support team, people who are positive, who believe in you and encourage you. If you don't have those people living with you, find some community on line. I love my writer community on Twitter and my writing group friends. I also have the most supportive husband (both physically and spiritually) and friends.

What are your dreams? How did you achieve them? Or what are you doing to achieve your dreams?


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