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Many of us are stopped by our unmet expectations. It has become too painful to have our dreams not work out the way we had hoped, or not at all. Frequently the decision is to abandon the dream, and for some, to stop having them completely. For others, the futility of being marked a “daydreamer” can be enough to abandon any future plans. The words “why bother?” become our dysfunctional safety net. We seem to think it protects us from the perceived threat of failing. In truth, to never take that first leap is the biggest failure many of us make. Just know you are not alone in feeling scared as you move toward your dream. It can indeed be a big leap of faith as you plummet into unknown territory. This is true for anyone, including myself. But the potential benefits far outweigh the initial costs of our fear holding us back. It holds a much greater outcome, and that is to soar.

Can you imagine being disappointed by the failure of your dreams, yet using that experience as the inspiration to invest in an even greater commitment toward your dream? Do you know it is possible to use failure as a teacher; as a way to practice and learn, while continuing to have your expectations and your dreams? This is an investment worth taking.

The musician Miles Davis said, “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” Failure or disappointment is a chance for you to check in and make important decisions. Do you desire your dream and in spite of apparent setbacks, still fully expect it to happen? Check in and see if this is perhaps a childhood dream or someone else’s dream for you. Will it honor you more to release it? Is the failure of this dream somehow protecting something or is the potential failure of this dream the lesson itself? Is this a dream that your ego is craving, or one your soul and spirit desires? Do you know the difference?

Finding the answers to these questions is worth exploring, though searching for them may not be easy. Such is the journey of a true dreamer: seek, ask, listen and seek some more until you are satisfied with the outcome. Don’t settle for less than what you know you are worth. And you, as Whitman wrote “…contain multitudes.”

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