In the past couple of years, I’ve had quite a few adventures. Many of these events in my life would not have happened had I listened to that voice in my head that says, “You can’t do that! Who do you think you are?” I hate that guy.
Here are some of the things I’ve been able to do by simply ASKING: writing a humor column for a college newspaper, speaking at a major writers’ conference in Dallas–twice. Writing book reviews for a magazine (where I get paid to read fabulous books, and get the books for free), and getting my novel published. A couple of times I’ve been on a talk show to promote my book.
If you’re wondering: I’m not great-looking, super smart or even well-spoken. I’m just bold and kind of tenacious and maybe a tad obsessive. But I also battle laziness and a dislike for rejection. But let me tell you: every time someone says “yes,” it feels like a million bucks.
Don’t get me wrong. Many times people say “No, you can’t do (fill in the blank).” Plenty of times I get ignored. When I decided to get serious about publishing my novel, War Eagle Women, I approached over 100 agents and publishers. 99 said “No.” But you know what? I only need the one to say “Yes!”
Here are 5 ways to encourage you to dream big.
1. List your craziest dreams. What have you always wanted to do?
2. Think about you as a kid. What were your dreams then? Did you love playing nurse and putting band aids on your stuffed animals? Did you tell your dolls stories every night before bed? Did you wish you had a treehouse?
3. Translate your kid wishes to adult. It’s not too late to go to nursing school. Why don’t you call around and inquire about some of the best programs right here in Tyler? Love to tell stories? Write one, or two, or a novel. Build a treehouse for your son or daughter–and you–to hang out in.
4. Up the ante. What is your crazy dream that you’ve never told anyone? Always wanted to be a stand-up comedian? So do it! Find an open-mike night at a local restaurant or club. Use your computer or phone to record yourself telling jokes to practice. Want to be a writer? Join a writers group and find accountability and friendship.
5. Don’t put it off. Set a date for the first step towards your goal and keep it. On Friday, I will apply to the nursing program. By next Tuesday, I will have finished this short story or poem and begin writing a new one. Find that writer’s group. This weekend, go to the hardware store and buy the materials for a treehouse. Take the first step!
I dare you to make your dreams come true!