We often take our dreams less seriously than we take a box of Cheerios in the grocery store. We timidly say, “I want to write a book,” Or “I hope to take a vacation in the Grand Canyon.” Whereas, we stride confidently up to that box of Cheerios, grasp it firmly and decisively place it in our cart. We choose that box of Cheerios and it becomes ours.
Is there something that you really want to accomplish? You’re eyeing a promotion. You’re looking to take the next step in a serious relationship. Whatever it is, you can’t imagine a fulfilling life without this happening.
But there’s a catch. You’ve got to pass some kind of test before it happens. Maybe it’s an actual test, like taking the Bar Exam or a job interview. Or it involves forming a habit, like being patient with your kids or eating healthy. The problem is, you’re secretly afraid you won’t be able to pull it off even though it’s really important. (Maybe because it’s really important!)
Here are a couple of ways to deal with that fear:
First, get really clear about what success looks like. There’s been lots of research on the power of visualization. For example, visualization engages the same brain patterns as actual performance. This means you can actually improve your performance through visualization alone. Rather than visualize failure and replay that over and over, visualize your accomplishment. Remember, you get more of what you pay attention to.
The other thing to do is actually choose your accomplishment. Walk right up to that dream as if it were the box of Cheerios. Grasp it firmly and say decisively, “I choose you!” Going from “want” to “choose” applies the full weight of your intention toward success.
What dream will you choose in 2016?