Should you follow your dreams or be realistic and get a job – any job – to pay the bills?
This question kept gnawing at me in the days before I moved to London. Everything was already planned. I had booked the ticket, arranged to stay at a friend’s friend’s boyfriend’s place while he was away, and packed my most treasured belongings into a tiny pink suitcase.
My heart was saying, “Go! This is your dream. You’ve always wanted to make a living writing and London is the perfect place to make it happen.”
But my mind was pulling the brakes: “Stop!You don’t know anyone in London. You can’t make money writing. What if you fail? Stop dreaming and get a proper job.”
My friends agreed with my Inner Mean Girl: “We all have dreams, Giorgia, but we’re not children, anymore. At some point, you have to grow up and do the sensible thing.”
What if they were right? What if my dreams were just an unrealistic child’s fantasy?
But then, why my soul was calling out, telling me I was doing the right thing in chasing my dream?
When your head and your heart don’t agree, who do you listen to?
Should You Follow Your Dreams?
Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m ALL for following your dreams – in a realistic way.
I firmly believe you wouldn’t have a dream if you didn’t have what it takes to make it happen. But that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind, quit your day job and hope that everything will work out fine.
Truth bomb: making your dreams come true and fulfilling your life purpose isn’t easy. Here’s what it takes:
- Courage: You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone, learn new skills, put yourself out there, connect with as many people as possible, and do things you’ve never done before. Does that scare you or excite you?
- Perseverance: You won’t get it right on the first go. You’ll try, fail, and pivot so many times, you’ll start to feel like it’s all pointless. Most dreams never come true because the dreamers quit too soon. Are you willing to persevere even when it seems hopeless?
- Time: Overnight success is a myth. Whether you dream to start a business, become a doctor, or run the marketing department at your company, you’ll slave away for years to hone your skills, build a loyal clientele and climb up the corporate ladder. Are you willing to invest the time?
- Passion: Because you wouldn’t put up with all of the above if you didn’t love it with every fiber of your being. Passion gives you a why and keeps you going when you feel like giving up.
If after reading all this, you decide to be realistic and stay in your current job, that’s fine. It just means your dream wasn’t YOUR dream.
Sometimes, you dream of a certain career because you want the money, fame and status it brings. But those perks come at a price. If you’re not willing to pay it, let the dream go.
Willing to do anything it takes to make your dreams come true? Congratulations! Here are the steps you need to take to follow your dreams in a realistic and safe way:
1. Keep Your Day Job
I know you dread Mondays and feel like you can’t quit your job fast enough. But, hang in there a little longer.
Making your dreams come true is hard enough without the added stress and worry of how you’re gonna pay your rent and put food on the table.
Your job is your safety net. It gives you the freedom to learn new skills, start your side hustle, and experiment with different passions until you’re ready to go full-time.
When your dream job can cover all your expenses and you have some savings in the bank for emergencies – that’s when it’s time to quit.
2. Plan It Out
You don’t need to have all the details figured out, but you need to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish.
Let’s say you want to start a coaching business and your main goal is to sign up 3 clients in your first month. What steps do you need to take to reach it?
The fastest way is to tell your friends you’re looking for clients, update your social media profiles to let your contacts know you’re in business, and go to networking events where you can connect to your ideal customers.
Now you know which tasks you need to focus on, schedule them in your calendar. That way, you won’t have any excuse to procrastinate or pull out.
Don’t like using a physical calendar? Click on the image below to download the Weekly Planner. It features a digital calendar + productivity tips to help you make the most of your time.
3. Find Your Tribe
Truth bomb: it takes a village to make your dreams come true and fulfil your purpose.
You need mentors to teach you the exact steps to take to fast-track your growth. Coaches to keep you accountable. Friends to support you when you feel like giving up. Colleagues and assistants to collaborate with on your projects. Customers to give you referrals. A life partner to have your back…
Don’t try to figure everything out on your own. There’s no shame in asking for help. Most people will be happy to lend a hand and support you on your journey.
You don’t have to choose between following your dreams or being realistic. You can follow your dreams in a realistic way.
You’ve got this.
Over to you, now. How can you follow your dreams in a realistic way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.