Does this sound familiar?
You’ve thought about your goals and dreams endlessly. You’ve envisioned your ideal life. Sometimes that dream life feels so close you can touch it, yet you’re never quite there. You take one step forward, then two steps back. You’re stuck in a kind of purgatory, trying to make peace with the idea that maybe this is all there is, yet constantly finding yourself wanting so much more. It’s like you’re trying to swim against the current – it wears you out and breaks you down.
This is why goal setting alone isn’t enough.
Visioning, goal setting, making lists, and strategic planning are all necessary and vital aspects to creating the life you want. However, no matter how much planning or visioning you do, without addressing some key barriers, you will continue to find yourself stuck in the same place.
So what’s holding you back? For many, the barriers are the same.
Fear of change.
Fear of failure.
Fear of success.
Fear of what other people think of you.
Fear of being vulnerable.
Fear of loss.
The list goes on. All of your fears are barriers, keeping you from living the life you want. The life you were meant to live.
The good news is, those barriers can be broken, and you already have the courage within you to go after what you want.
The key: baby steps.
Before Eric and I moved out of DC and started traveling, I was petrified. I feared what life would be like once I left the comfort zone I had built up in DC. I was scared that we would lose everything. I feared our businesses and relationship would fail. And I seriously worried what other people would think when I broke the news that we were moving out of the U.S. to pursue our wild and crazy dreams.
We started talking about our ideas and plans a year and a half before we told a single soul. At that time it seemed like the craziest idea we had ever had. I had doubts, but I wanted it so badly that I couldn’t imagine life any other way.
So we slowly started planning. We created a budget, started saving, and talked to people we knew who were already living overseas.
Then we told our moms. That’s when it started to feel real.
We made more plans and broke the news to friends.
I told my boss and we started figuring out the transition. (Telling her was the hardest part!)
Then I freaked out and convinced Eric we needed to stay in DC longer, so we added on four more months to our planned departure date.
I slowly began to clean out my closet, worked on my business in my spare time, and crossed off all the things on my list that I wanted to do in DC before we moved.
See, it wasn’t just an easy straight-forward path from idea to actually moving overseas. There were many freak-outs and moments where I questioned if I had lost my sanity.
But what kept me going was that vision I had in my head. That vision of my traveling with my forever partner and working while exploring and experiencing the world fully.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but with each one of the steps that I took, I was chiseling away those barriers. Those fears that had held me back for so long were no longer stopping me. Then all the sudden, before I knew it, we had packed up our apartment and turned in our keys.
There were moments where I was unsure I would have the courage to leave DC. Then there I was, in the car driving away, waving goodbye to the monuments.
There was a time I didn’t think we would be able to buy that one way ticket to Istanbul. Then there we were, on that plane, and on our way.
Two years ago, I never imagined I would have my own business.
Sitting here, writing this now, I can look back and see all the hundreds of baby steps it has taken me to get to this point.
Yes, there are still barriers ahead of me. Just because I have gotten to this point, doesn’t mean it’s easy from here on out. At times, those same old fears come back and manifest themselves in new ways. But what I’ve learned is that courage works just like training for a race.
Last year I decided to run a ten mile race. When I started training, I could barely run one mile without feeling like my lungs would explode. Three months later, I ran ten miles and felt like I could run even even further.
In the same way we build up our lung capacity and our muscle strength, we cultivate courage. Every time you take a baby step towards your fear, you flex your courage muscle. Before you know it, your courage muscle is stronger than that fear, and it will carry you further than you ever imagined.
Breaking down your barriers (whatever they are) is not easy. It’s scary work. Just remember what’s on the other side – the life you are reaching for.
So take that first step and see where it leads you.
If you’re ready to bust through those barriers and live the life you want, I’d love to have you join Zero to Adventurista, a 5-week virtual adventure for women who are ready to stop sitting on the sidelines. Whether you want to travel the world, make that move to your dream city, switch careers, or start a business, Zero to Adventurista will get you unstuck and offer you the support, encouragement, and motivation you need to turn those dreams into a reality. Last day to sign up is April 28th!