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The Secret To Making Your Dreams A Reality

Today I'm sharing two things you have to do if you want to make your dreams a reality (they worked in my life and can work in yours too)!
I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

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What do you dream of doing in your life?

Maybe you want to open your own shop, or have your own line of jewelry. Maybe you want to be a doctor, or an investment banker, or start a non-profit. Maybe you want to write a book, or be a successful blogger, or steal the show on Etsy with your hand-lettered masterpieces.

I love our dreams because I believe we can make them happen. I believe we’re capable of so much more than we think. I believe it because I’ve seen it. I get to hold my book in my hands and remember back to when writing a book seemed totally impossible. We can do really big things, I know we can.

But there are two things we have to do if we want to get there — if we want our dreams to do anything but sit in our heads, safe and warm.

We have to do these two simple, and almost impossible things. We have to start, and we have to keep going.

1. We have to start

Starting is always the hardest part. It’s the moment when your feet are dangling out the door of the airplane, when your toes are just slightly hanging over the edge of the cliff. It’s the moment when you’re on the verge of going for something you’ve always wanted, and there’s not a moment in the process when the fear is as strong.

The fear kicks down the door at this point, little armies in your head telling you to quit, turn back, land the plane, give up. It’s the voice in your head that tells you this is stupid, or that you’ll never make it, or brings all the people to mind who are doing the same thing but better.

Sometimes the fear comes in the form of excuses—I was going to start, but then I had to do the laundry/re-organize the pantry/deep clean the garage/paint my fingernails. 

Fear does anything it can to keep us from starting, but starting is the key to making our dreams happen.

The myth about starting is that we have to be perfect before we do.

But it’s just not true.

Start anywhere, start small. Sell one necklace and then another. Start a small blog, write one post, write one chapter, or even one word.

But our dreams can’t begin unless we do. It’s time to get started.

2. Keep going

This is where I got tripped up most in the process of writing my book. I started, I loved the starting, but at some point my enthusiasm puttered out. I’d run out of good ideas, gumption, and energy. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I became discouraged.

So I quit.

I put the book away deciding I’d start over when I became a better writer, when I learned more about the book-writing process, or when I was older and a bit wiser.

But like the best ideas, it didn’t give up on me. It kept popping up, reminding me of the work I was meant to do. It kept me up at night, nagging me, begging me to continue.

So I decided to give it one more shot. This time I pushed my way through the hard spots. I worked and tried again, and gave more to those chapters than I knew was in me.

The decision to keep going helped me push past the fears and doubts that had convinced me to quit, and helped me create something I really loved.

So many of us quit before it’s time. We quit when we hit a wall thinking, “That’s it. I’m done. I’ve done all I can do.”

We chalk it up as a failure, as a “try again another time, or better yet, don’t.”

But we all hit that place. Anything worth doing is going to be hard, and discouragement is a right of passage if we’re going to go for our dreams.

But that’s the moment when it’s most important to push through.

Because when you figure out your way around that wall—whether it’s climbing over, or digging under, or blasting right the heck through it—that’s how dreams become reality.

Those are the two keys to success I’m learning to put into practice these days. Start, and keep going. I can’t imagine what the world would look like if we all mustered up the courage to start, and the courage to keep going in the pursuit of our dreams.

P.S. Here's a podcast episode all about pursuing your dreams (and overcoming discouragement): Girls Night #13: Overcoming Discouragement in The Pursuit of Your Dreams.

Also, here's a custom print from the SMW shop that you can hang on your mirror to remind you that it's okay to be a beginner and start right where you are.

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Today I'm sharing two things you have to do if you want to make your dreams a reality (they worked in my life and can work in yours too)!

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  1. Eri says:

    I love this post! I wrote a book a few years ago when I was a very inexperienced writer. Frankly, it was awful and didn’t get anywhere.

    But I’ve started writing a second book, and the hardest thing is the actual slog of pushing through day after day and having that self-discipline to write. Like you said, it won’t stop nagging at me. I think that’s when you know the difference between a dream and a fleeting impulse. I really agree with your comment that we’re capable of so much more than we think.

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart, this is such a great post and something I can completely relate to right now. In the moment I see myself in that “keep going” space, tired but not quite sure what to do next… I guess this was the butt kicking I needed 🙂

  3. Just like everything else in life, you have to keep moving forward; go with the ups and downs; surround yourself with supportive and loving people; never give up; take it one day at a time; and enjoy the process, because in the end being able to do make your dreams come true is pretty remarkable! 🙂

  4. Denise ross says:

    Great post Stephanie. My painting, or rather lack thereof has been nagging at me and I can truthfully say it’s messing with me. Even though I’ve been doing little bits of it every once in a while it’s not enough. It’s time to sink my teeth into it and live my complete life not just a part of it. Thanks for you always encouraging, motivating and uplifting posts. I always feel better after reading one and look forward to the email notification. Thanks so much. Xo

  5. Danielle says:

    This is such a fantastic post. It seems so simple but in the end is so incredibly true and a wonderful reminder. Sometimes fear can really get the best of us, but we can’t let it overwhelm us and crush our dreams. God lead me to this post exactly when I needed to hear it most. Thank you so much

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