If there’s one word that holds women back from the life of their dreams, it’s the word ‘realistic’. I cringe when I hear it because I know the person saying it has almost certainly bought into limitations, without ever really examining if they’re true. Limitations usually placed on them by other people who also have never really examined if they’re true.
When I work with a client, one of the first things we do is to get all her deepest dreams out on the table. Her absolute dream life. Being ‘realistic’ is banned from the session, we want everything out in the open. Coaching is a place for miracles to occur, not for creating a half-life, inside the boundaries of falsely imposed limitations.
Some things are unrealistic, yes. However much I want to, I’m never going to meet Henry VIII(my only Bad Boy crush) in this life time. But most of our desires aren’t unrealistic, they’re just unexamined. For almost everything you want to do, there is someone in the world doing it right now. Want to find your soul mate at 80 years of age? There are women older than that falling in love and getting married every day. Want to have a career where you love what you do, make plenty of money and have lots of free time? There are people all over the world (and the number is growing) who are doing this as you read. Want to travel the world with your spouse and children, without disrupting your kids education? There are families everywhere, doing this right at this very moment.
You can worry about being ‘realistic’ later on. For now, dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed before. The moment you catch yourself uttering the ‘R’ word, stop and examine if it’s even true. A quick Google search will usually throw that notion out the window.
If someone is out in the world, doing something you want, then that means it’s possible for you too. Yes, your situation might be different to theirs. You might have obstacles that they don’t have. But guess what? They have obstacles too. Ones that you don’t have. But the difference is, they still made it work.
I remember when I first came back from traveling alone (apparently, it’s completely unrealistic for a girl to want to travel alone). Most of the people who had told me before I left that it was unrealistic for me, now told me how ‘lucky’ I was, and how they wished they could do it too. When I told them if I could do it, then there was no reason they couldn’t either, they told me all these reasons why it was possible for me to do it, and unrealistic for them. One co-worker told me that I was a lot braver than she was. Well that had nothing to do with it. All the things she feared could happen to her, could have happened to me too. I was just as fragile and breakable as she was. I had all the same fears. There were times on my adventures when I was absolutely, hands-hidden-inside-my-shirt-sleeves-so-no-one-can-see-how-much-they’re-shaking, terrified. The difference is, I did it anyway.
Being unrealistic is where the magic happens. Challenge any automatic assumptions you might have about what’s realistic, or why something is possible for other people, but not for you. When you feel afraid of challenging the assumption, that’s a sign that you’re on the right track. Challenge it, move past it and you’ll look back and wonder why you ever thought that way.