4 Reasons to Dream Big (Even When You Think You Shouldn’t)
In my private client work, I help facilitate clients removing obstacles to living their biggest dreams. My motto is that I help clients dream big and embrace the financial freedom we all deserve.
After 5 years owning my own financial planning business, I realized a common theme among many clients and prospects is that we all can name big dreams we have for ourselves, but very few of us are actually living them. We often find ourselves burned out and wondering what’s next. We easily move on to the next thing rather than doing the inner work necessary to achieve our outer dreams. My book, The Resiliency Effect offers a way to develop excitement and energy around your purpose.
But why should we dream big at all? Doesn’t it sometimes feel safer to remain in the status quo? Absolutely, but what feels safe and secure isn’t always the best for us.
Here are four reasons why you should give yourself permission to dream big:
It Increases Our Autonomy and Sense of Direction
When we dream big for ourselves and make moves to live more in sync with our purpose and goals, then it’s a sure fire way to exert more control over the direction for our lives and our own autonomy. This sense of agency — putting ourselves in the driver’s seat — allows us to feel like we’re in control of our thoughts, our actions, and choices and let’s us to feel more contentment in life.
Claiming that personal power can be much more fulfilling than sticking with the grind of our day-to-day and the never ending to-do lists and meetings. When we take the time to dream big, we’re intentionally taking more control over our future. This intentionality has a lot of power to bring us the energy we will need to succeed with making a big change.
Take a moment today and think about one way you could get more control back over your time, your schedule, or your purpose. Is there something new or different you’d like to do in your life or career? Don’t hold back your dreams.
It Increases Life Satisfaction
An interesting study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2011 found that it was having agency and a sense of control over one’s life that lead to more and lasting happiness. This sense of control over our lives outranked more money as a predictor of whether someone was fulfilled and happy or not.
More money, of course, can lead to us having more choice and autonomy in our lives. But that’s where the similarities end. It’s long been proven that there’s a limit to the happiness money can buy. Once a person’s basic needs are met, making more money leads to merely marginal gains in happiness. Sometimes more money can even lead to a decrease in happiness and contentment (like the old saying more money, more problems.)
How can we get more autonomy in life? By ensuring we’re living according to our deepest desires and goals. More life satisfaction comes along as we start to live our biggest dreams.
If you’re having trouble dreaming big, start small. What’s one thing that would increase your life satisfaction? How would you make that happen?
It Increases Quality of Life
Most of the time when we work on achieving a big dream or making a big change in our lives we get the chance to push the reset button. We can let go of things that were the norm in our old life, career, job, or purpose and replace it with something new. This could be new boundaries on our time, our money, our family, or our calendar. This could mean adding things in regarding time spent with friends, family, creative projects, or our community.
When we take the time to evaluate and reset our lives we can increase our quality of life where things were lacking before. We can find more of that balance we were looking for between our work and personal life. We can feel more accomplished. We can feel like we’re making a difference. Or, we can simply feel more content as we live more in line with our purpose.
Think about the last time you changed jobs or made a big adjustment in life? How did it change your quality of life? What steps did you take to reset when you made this adjustment? Is there something in your life you need to reset now?
It Encourages Us to Learn and Grow
Dreaming big and then making a change in our lives is scary. On one hand, we’re taking back more of our freedom, but on the hand there’s likely a lot of unknowns. We can’t always know whether we will succeed or whether we will eventually change our minds.
Learning to be ok with this uncertainty is not a bad thing. Dreaming big despite that fear is one way in which we can learn and grow.
Another way in which we can find growth is through the simple act of researching, reflecting, planning, and learning about the “how” of our big dream. If you made it this far, you likely already know your “why.” Figuring out the how is what is going to be the most challenging and provide the most opportunity for growth.
A final way we can find growth is through the simple act of asking for help with our big dream. For some of us this comes easier than for others. But when we’re able to use resources outside ourselves it will accelerate learning and growing.
What do you need to learn to achieve your big dream? Is there a way you can break this up into easier to accomplish steps? Who can you get help from?
Hopefully these 4 reasons give you a bit more encouragement to let yourself dream big. Yes, there will likely be fear that comes too, but dreaming and accomplishing these dreams offers lots of opportunity for growth.
To read more about these topics, check out my book, The Resiliency Effect. It’s all about how to own your adversity to act on your biggest dreams.