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Following my dreams: an insider look at lessons learned

following my dreams

With my first-ever online course The Big Shift safely — and successfully — tucked into bed, I can now reveal the sheer havoc that went on behind the scenes as I truly started following my dreams.

Okay, maybe havoc is a little dramatic, but it was a pretty insane. To be fair, I set myself up for insanity because I sold the course before I had fully finished writing the content, which brings us to the first lesson.

The obstacles I worked to overcome are likely common ones, and I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the exact hurdles I faced and how I handled them.

 

1. Start before you’re ready.

I sold the course before it was finished mainly because I knew that if I waited until perfecting it, I’d be waiting forever, endlessly tweaking, which would lead to crushing self-doubt and possibly no action at all — delaying me from following my dreams.

I’m a former journalist and thrive on deadlines, so I had no doubt about my ability to deliver on my promises, it was just a matter of how hard I would need to work.

And it turns out, I had to work really freaking hard. I had planned to get the content into pretty good shape by the end of December, but early that month, my father-in-law died, and I dropped everything to support my family.

That was a big delay and I contemplated postponing the enrollment window, but my father-in-law was a super hard worker and I knew he would want me to keep following my dreams.

So after a couple weeks of hardcore family time, I fervently poured myself back into the project.

It was pure insanity, but ultimately, I’m glad that I pushed myself so hard because I feel getting over that first hurdle is the hardest part. Now, I’m much more confident of my dreams becoming reality.

Note that this is not a good approach if you’re not 100% confident of your ability to produce a high-quality experience under extreme pressure. But even if you just start creating a something or putting yourself into the world before you feel you have all the answers, it’s all good. Learning by doing is the best way to go.

 

2. It’s okay to feel annoying. Love yourself and keep going.

Our life purpose is directly tied to who we are, which is energy. We are pure energy, and during this process, it felt like I was crammed up against a stranger in an elevator — up-close and personal to my energetic field. And I learned that I don’t fully love myself.

That may sound sad, but discovering this gap is the first step to closing it. I simply recognized the annoyance, and chose to love myself anyway.

During the course, members received daily emails from me, and I worried that I would annoy them. But this was projection because I was annoyed with myself. Thankfully, members said they loved the emails. And I realized that even if someone was irritated, all they had to do was not open the messages.

Ultimately, my soul responsibility and divine right is to express my truth in a big, unabashed way and not worry about any fall out. People need the message I have to give, just like they need the message you have to give, and it’s not my job to judge myself or the message. My job is to deliver it and keep following my dreams, not worry about people-pleasing.

Massive self-love is a gigantic piece of this puzzle, and if you don’t have it now, you’ll cultivate it along the way.

 

3. You only get what you ask for.

This has been a life-long lesson for me. I remember being little and feeling afraid to even ask my mom to ride my bike. My mom is not a scary person at all, but I would still feel the need to timidly write my request on a piece of paper and shyly shove it her way.

I’ve come to realize that I can have anything I want in life, it’s just a matter of asking for it and following my dreams.

This message came through during the promotional part of my enrollment period, when I asked people to buy the program pretty much every day. It felt like crazy overkill, but looking at this from a wider perspective, I realized that I respect the right of other teachers who I admire to promote their offerings and recognized that I also have a divine right to make a living from my gifts and following my dreams.

I feel safe in giving away value for free, like this blog, but then tend to feel guilty when it comes to asking for something, like money, in return. But ultimately, this course that I created was a gift, an exchange of value for others because multiple participants said it helped change their lives. That’s a high value and I’m learning that I deserve to receive that high value in return — and so do you.

 

4. Believe in your deservingness. 

I often find myself jealous of people I see living the life I would love to lead — traveling, enjoying yoga and spiritual experiences in beautiful, tropical lands — and there’s still a part of me that says, “Oh, that’s for other people, not for you.”

And that’s where jealousy comes from. It comes from this idea that someone else is enjoying this thing that we want, and the door to that opportunity closed after they walked through it.

But this isn’t true. We can have anything we want. We just have to believe that we deserve it, ask for it, and do the work to align ourselves with that reality. It takes time, for sure, and we must keep believing that even though something doesn’t exist for us right now, it can in the future. (This is a type of growth mindset, which is something I’ll talk more about later.)

In this way, jealousy isn’t necessarily bad. It teaches us what we want. Our job is then to go after it and change the beliefs we have telling us that this awesome life we want isn’t for us.

I’ve learned that following my dreams is sacred — a huge leap of faith and learning how to be the best possible version of me along the way. Chasing my dreams shapes me into the person I need to be to live my destiny. We often think the opposite: we first need to become this self-actualized person and then make a move. No! Make a move now!

Erasing limiting beliefs is often as easy as recognizing that they exist. After establishing a desired belief or goal, you can then watch your thoughts and learn from the gap between what you desire and what you currently have. Allow this space to teach you which thoughts and habits need to be released to create space for new possibility.

Then, you must find the strength within to release all that’s holding you back and believe in a better future. It’s possible. I believe. Do you?

What life lessons have you learned from following your dreams? Share your story in the comments below.

 

Image by Cyclinglaw via Flickr

 

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Suzanne

Suzanne Heyn is a spiritual advisor and blogger guiding ambitious free spirits to heal their hearts and realize their full potential. She offers transformational online courses and spiritual mentorship to help high achievers create happiness, meaning and fulfillment on all levels.

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David W. Stoner - March 8, 2016 Reply

Hello, Suzanne,

First off, congratulations on the online course; I’m sure it was not only insightful, but rich and fruitful as well. Unfortunately, I hadn’t come across your website yet, so I wasn’t aware of the course. Now, however, I have signed up for notifications of new posts, so I won’t miss out on future courses. I must tell you that I find your honesty refreshing. I have read a lot of posts on self-awareness and self-love, but none of them reach your heights of awareness and reflection.

I first came across your writing sometime ago when I read your blog in mindbodygreen about your sister’s suicide, which at the time brought me a lot of relief and comfort. I lost both my son and wife to suicide, my wife’s suicide coming one year after my son’s suicide in 2011, but that is not the reason for my reply here today. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this most recent blog. It is easy to get caught up in the belief in our own unworthiness, so your statement that you had the “divine right to make a living from your gifts and following your dreams” resonated with me. No one should ever feel as if he/she is unworthy or what he/she has to say is worthless. Everyone has something to contribute, something meaningful to say, because each one of us has a unique perspective, acquired simply through having lived, and I appreciate everyone who has the courage and self-respect to express his/her view. In this way, each of us is not only a student, but a teacher, too. In the same way that we should never let go of our curiosity, we should never let go of our willingness to share what we’ve learned along the way.

Thank you,

David W. Stoner

    Suzanne - March 8, 2016 Reply

    David,

    Thank you so much for the touching comment! I’m so sorry to hear you lost both your wife and son. Those are horrible losses to live through. I hope you are feeling okay. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Of all the things I’ve been through in my life, my sister’s suicide is probably the thing I talk about the least  — maybe you can relate? It’s really nice to connect with someone who can empathize. Thank you for the kind words about the posts. They touched me deeply. I feel so grateful to connect with you and am happy you found inspiration here. Keep me posted as you follow your dreams!

    Many blessings,
    Suzanne

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