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I was at a friend’s barbeque this past weekend when I decided to put a recent goal of mine to the test.
I’m working on meeting as many new people as I can on a regular basis. That means getting out of my comfort zone and introducing myself to friends of friends, business contacts, grocery store clerks, strangers on the bus, and potentially anyone who crosses my path.
The barbeque was a perfect venue for a social experiment of this nature, so I dove in head first. I met close to 10 people in just under an hour.
The differences in personalities, interests, and overall outlooks on life were astounding. It’s simply amazing to hear what people have to say.
I only skimmed the surface with most of them, getting no further than small talk. But there were a few individuals that I had the opportunity to speak with for a little longer which allowed the conversation to achieve some depth.
Something very interesting came to my attention during the longer conversations. I noticed it with every single person I spoke with, and even saw it in myself.
There is an obvious hesitation when it comes to people expressing what it is they truly want to be or do with their lives.
I saw the signs, and it opened up my eyes.
There are 3 signs that indicate the conversation may have just touched a sensitive subject regarding future plans or goals.
1) Eye contact becomes rare. When we start sharing personal information with new acquaintances, we almost always look down or off into the distance, only looking back at the other person when we finish a sentence or make a point.
2) Fidgeting becomes more prevalent. We play with our hair or clothes or anything in our hands at the time. Talking about something that exposes our true nature causes anxiousness, which leads to fidgeting as a means of self-distraction.
3) Tone quickly wavers from very timid to extremely confident. In a matter of seconds, our hesitant and nervous expressions can become assertive and somewhat defensive statements by changing the tone of our voice. It’s like we actually started listening to what we were saying and felt the need to strengthen our voice to convince ourselves and others that there is nothing wrong with our dream.
I notice these tiny quirks in others rather quickly because I know when I’m doing them myself.
But why do we do this?
We protect our dreams like they are our babies; innocent creatures new to the world and not quite ready to survive on their own.
And we should.
Dreams are our livelihood.
They give us the power to shape our world in unimaginable ways.
We could attribute this unyielding desire to protect our dreams to years of subconscious programming that we never knew was occurring. A lifetime spent absorbing the beliefs of those around us: parents, friends, family, teachers, and coaches.
But holding onto that belief doesn’t empower us to change the situation.
Take the First Step
Private victories precede public victories.
- Stephen Covey
If you are hesitant to share your goals with others, you’re not alone.
But sooner or later you’re going to have to let people in on your dream if you want it to come true. Don’t worry, there’s no need to be anxious in thinking that your first move has to be announcing it to the world.
The first step is much simpler: announce it to yourself.
Do it over and over and over… then one more time for good measure.
Write it down.
Say it out loud in the privacy of your room.
Repeat the thought in your head throughout the day.
Announce to your mind that you are so excited to go skydiving, or climb a mountain, or run a mile tomorrow in the park, or write a letter to your friend; no dream is too big or too small. Share with yourself all of the excitement, fears, joy, concerns, and fun details that you can conjure up. Get to know your dream inside-out to the point that it becomes woven into your character; you become one in the same.
Achieve this private victory before you consider moving on – it will save you a lot of time and energy.
When you feel comfortable and confident with your dream, you know the next step…
You don’t need a plan right away, or even a clue as to how things will progress.
Don’t limit your dreams because they seem unreasonable or unattainable. Just understand that big dreams, more often than not, take time to unfold and fall into place. The key is consistent action: one step and one victory at a time.
Announce it to yourself.
Before you know it you’ll be cashing in on that dream IPO.
Enjoy The Journey
Want to give your eyes a rest? No problem.
Introducing HoboDrifter.com’s latest addition: Audio Posts.
In the coming weeks I’ll be introducing multiple collections of downloadable mp3′s of past and present posts that will tickle your eardrums (for a small price). But for now, this one’s on the house…
Click on the play button below to listen to this post narrated by Steve O’Neill
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*photo credit: Baer Tierkel (creative commons)