Make no mistake about it, going towards a dream, will wreck your comfort zone. They have to. If they don’t, they aren’t dreams.
Many of us want the dream and the comfortable life we’ve established. But there’s something about that comfortable life that has us stuck. A part of us, the real part wants to break out and dance in the sun.
How do we escape, twirling, basking in the warm rays of God-given warmth? Rather than toiling endless at a job or in a life of mere existence?
In January of this year, I accepted a challenge to share what my dream is and then what I would do towards that dream in four months. This was hard because I have a big dream which, if I stated it to the group I was with, it would mean I would be accountable. It would mess the comfortable status quo I had with myself. It would wreck my comfort zone.
It took awhile before I admitted the dream. Once I did, I wanted to accomplish it right away and have it be perfectly executed.
It’s now August and here’s what I’ve learned: living my dream is hard. It messes with my comfort zone and the way I have arranged my life. Most days, I just want to give up.
My dream has always been writing. In January, I decided the specific dream I would work on was an online magazine featuring stories about real people who have been overtaken by a real God. Read about that vision or dream here.
In May I finally published the first of what I thought would be a monthly magazine. I immediately did not like the look and feel of the new website. However, I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I got good response, many more page views than I expected.
I should have been rejoicing. Instead I was trying to figure out how to fix the site and since I couldn’t get my brain around it, I just did nothing. Oh, I wrote down next step actions but then I’d get stuck on one of the steps.
I tried to get help with the site but those willing to help had to have me tell them what I wanted which was really to learn how I could do it myself so I could see what I really wanted. But I didn’t know what I wanted. See the circular, endless pattern I was in?
Several weeks ago, a friend made a simple observation and asked a simple question. He said, “So, let me get this straight you were posting regularly on your old site last year and now you have your new site and you’ve stopped. What is it you really want to do and where are you stuck?”
We didn’t talk long but it was long enough for me to realize that if I am a writer, I need to be writing and posting and sharing and working on my website instead of sitting and pondering and doing nothing. I need to be a character in my life story.
That awful monster of resistance called perfection reared its ugly head and won for a few months. It took Scott’s words to jar me out of my comfort zone. I took some peppermint essential oil for alertness and spent the whole weekend tweaking my site, figuring out un-figurable things and guess what? I posted again.
Jim Woods, a guest blogger on Jeff Goins Writer’s site, gives this advice: “Write until you can’t write anymore. Paint until your arm hurts. Sing until your voice goes hoarse. Now is the time to go for broke. Don’t fall for the myth of perfectionism; start moving and see happens. Do not give into your fears of failure or make excuses for why you haven’t shown up. Just begin — and keep going until you get good.” Read his post here.
I’m determined to keep going even if the dream pushes the boundaries of the gilded cage I’ve built around my life and totally wrecks the comfortable routines I have carefully arranged. I like to be comfortable. I’m sitting in my favorite recliner writing this.
What’s not so comfortable is the sense of urgency I felt at 4 am to finish this story and get it out to you like I promised myself I would do. A part of me would rather be under the covers in my soft bed. But the real me buried under years and years of baggage is yearning to break free and write these words. Today, this morning, the real me won.
I’ll share my thoughts and struggles and I’ll share the stories of others. My site’s not perfect. I still have issues to figure out with my subscription lists and how they are pulling from the website. (If you have difficulty please let me know).
I definitely don’t think I can ever dream too big but, sometimes I dream too perfect. I see the vision of what the dream can be and maybe one day will be. But as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” (Who actually said that anyway?)
It is really true though. Nothing great is ever completed overnight. It is step by step and all of a sudden you have walked a mile. (Which for me would be quite a big deal.)
I have set some doable goals for myself and my site and I’m working towards them. I’ve learned I can’t do everything at once and, gasp, it will never be perfect!
At times in the last few months I’ve felt I was going backwards. I wondered if I should even think about dreaming new dreams at age 58.
Dreaming is a really easy fun thing for me to do. Probably for you, too. It’s living my dream that is hard. But if I don’t, there’s no reason to dream. As a matter of fact there would be no reason to look forward to 59, which for me happens in the next few days.
One thing I know for sure, it is by the grace of God that I am writing and keep going towards the dream.
The Apostle James says we are all just “wisps of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.”
I don’t know about you but I want to grab every ounce of that sun I can get before disappearing. I’m determined, with God’s help to have the most amazing year I’ve ever had, writing and living my dream. I’m starting by writing posts, one day at a time. My goal is at least two a week.
I hope you’ll join me. If you haven’t already, fill out the join here form at the left. Share this post with others via the pop-up share buttons at the bottom. Don’t be afraid to totally wreck your comfortable paradigm.
Finally, tell me about your dream so I can pray with you and encourage you one stel at time.
Leave a comment below. I love to hear from you.