June 27, 2012

Permission to Dream

Would you like to know what keeps us from following our dreams? It is perfectionism! We give up before we ever start because we don’t think we have time or all the ducks are not in a row first. That perfectionism keeps us stuck in the mire of a life that is unfulfilled.

The hopeless feeling that we have can and will be eliminated if we would just dream a little; then take those dreams and do something each day to realize them. We are so good at day dreaming. We have all been accused of this. Let’s use our day dreaming creativity to put a little joy back into our lives.

We get so caught up in our day to day activities that we forget where our passion lies. Many times we have allowed that passion to slip out of our mind’s eye and we don’t even know what it is any more. How do we rekindle that passion without allowing our perfectionism to take over and defeat us once again?

The first thing we need to think about is how that perfectionism manifests itself. This is in our all or nothing thinking. This is why our dreams have been pushed to the back burner. When we don't have any hope we give up before we ever get started. This is what happens in our homes and in our lives. Let’s face it; we want what we want and we want it now. When now doesn't feel doable we give up. Eventually we quit thinking about it because of the pain we feel. We don't have to do this to ourselves another day.

We really can have our cake and eat it too if we will just allow ourselves the joy of dreaming. So how do we accomplish this? I am going to put it out there in some simple babysteps.

Figure out what that dream is: Was it to write a novel, own a cabin in the woods, get a college degree, you have to sit down and allow yourself the luxury of thinking about this without throwing in the towel when it seems too hard. After all anything worth doing is worth doing wrong. I am quoting a high school math teacher of my husband’s. For we perfectionists this is hard to stomach but if we will just go with it for now and not think it to death; we will begin to see how profound that statement is.

What is a dream anyway but a desire that is unfulfilled! We can give ourselves permission to dream and why not dream big in the process. You never know where those dreams may take you unless you put up your sails and allow them to propel you into your future in the here and now. Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong. Say it again!

Once you rekindle that dream I want you to put it in front and center in your daily life so that it can pop up at random moments during the day. This means you need a visual image that represents your dream.  I have my dream as a screen saver on my computer and on my cell phone. You can put it on your refrigerator, you can blog about it, you can talk to others about your dream. Dream big!

Each day give yourself a few moments to think about this dream. Imagine yourself living the dream and don’t allow your perfectionism to stop you from enjoying the process. The journey is half the joy. When we stuff our feelings we set ourselves up for addictions. This is our perfectionism beating us up because we don't think we can. Please don't allow perfectionism to hurt you another day.

We have spent our lives being everything to everyone. Now is the time to take a few moments for yourself. This is not being selfish but a loving gesture that fills up your cup so that you have more to give. Let’s put some joy back into our lives by dreaming big!

 For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

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