Try these practical steps to help you start dreaming again!
It was over. His professional world had just come to an end. Dave (name changed) didn’t know quite what to think or what to do. He sat there in front of me, a shell, staring off into space. After 25 years of working, trying, pushing, grinding, it was over. He’d had some good success in the past, but over the last two years his business began shrinking and no matter how much he tried, he could not get it back on the growth path.
He came to me as a friend, needing someone to talk to. Dave was very smart, so I felt there was little advice I could give him. He did all the things to recover that I would have. But right now I think he just wanted me to listen. So I did. I knew there would eventually be a question for me. And I was right.
What do I do now?
He asked, “What do I do now?” This was the biggest question of all. I know his question was about what else could be done to recover his business. He was still thinking about survival, and who can blame him? But as I sat there looking at him, feeling his mood, his utter disappointment, blaming himself for all his troubles, empathizing, I would have done anything to cheer him up. The trouble was I really believed his business was over, based on the market, and all he said about what he’d done to recover.
So, I pointed him another direction. “Dave,” I said, “everything in life has an ending. It’s natural. It’s part of life. In fact, when something ends, something new can now emerge — like a seed that has to fall to the ground and die before new growth can come from it. I hereby GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO DREAM AGAIN!” I knew Dave was an entrepreneur, creative, and his business ideas were good. But he hadn’t allowed himself the opportunity to move on from his old situation; to dream again.
He broke out in the biggest smile I’d seen from him all day. He said, “Wow. I hadn’t even thought about that. I can dream again.” His mood changed to one of positive serenity, almost immediately. I wish all my advice had such a good immediate effect.
How do I start dreaming again?
If you’ve experienced a fatal setback recently, take these steps and give yourself permission to dream again!
- Find a favorite place, one that makes you content or happy.
- Get your journal. If you don’t have one, I absolutely recommend it. Something wonderful happens when you begin to put your thoughts, ideas, dreams down on paper.
- Set the environmental conditions conducive to uninterrupted thinking; comfortable chair, table, good lighting, headphones and your favorite music. I recommend music with no vocals. Studies show that vocals can distract your mind; instrumental music only.
- Light, healthy snacks. Favorite beverage; water, wine, etc.
- Then start thinking about happy times in your life, think about loved ones in your life, think about favorite places you love to visit. All of this will free your mind and I’m willing to bet your creative juices will start flowing.
- If you still have trouble, grab a good magazine or book, or listen to a good podcast from someone you respect. Take a walk. Watch a good movie that will inspire you.
I know that if you follow the steps above and have a little faith in this process and yourself, great things will emerge.
Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment below.