I have always been a dreamer. From a very young age, one could tell this was pretty much an innate trait of mine. With this quality came my supporters who’d say “you are SO creative” or “you have such an expansive imagination”, as well as the naysayers who’d say “be practical and get your head out of the clouds” or “maybe you shouldn’t expect so much or you are going to be disappointed an awful lot in your life”. Have I had my share of disappointments? Sure. Sometimes startlingly so, because I genuinely believe that the dreams that burn in our hearts aren’t just random and I hold a level of certainty in my dreams that dumbfounds a lot of people. I naturally expect things to go my way, so when they don’t, it can knock me on my butt. I freely admit that. But I get up, dust myself off and say “OK – what was the purpose of me getting knocked on my butt? Clearly I am supposed to learn about this”. I no longer allow myself to dive headfirst back in my comfort zone and say “I’m never doing that again”. I stay committed to my big dreams, and that gives me the courage to keep on going, even in the face of adversity.
But I will tell you, it has been a journey to get here. I popped out of the womb this way, but little by little, this part of me got put on the shelf. By the time I graduated from High School, I was pretty much a lost soul (as my parents and friends can certainly attest to!). I forgot who I was at my core and it was a long journey to find myself again and to own all of who I am, even when others don’t like it (Yikes!). I am incredibly grateful for my first coach at age 26 who helped me see that I was living a life that was inauthentic for me. I was living my life to please others and because I was so appreciated in the work that I did and knew I was making a big impact, I thought that maybe I was being selfish for wanting more. When I look back now, it’s hard to imagine that I ever felt that way. It is truly surreal now that I would ever put my dreams on the shelf to make others happy. I liken it to the airplane analogy, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on the people next to you, and I know that with certainty now. (and by the way, the company I left did just fine without me. In fact, I think I thought I was a lot more important to them than I turned out to be. Yet another reason to live your life for you, ladies and gents!).
Building this business has been a huge dream of mine. I would sit out under the stars at night and imagine this whole life that I’m pretty much living now decades later. But, like many, I didn’t act on my dream because my life seemed pretty good and it seemed like a big risks to change and step into new territory. Alas, as I often say, Good is the enemy of Great. The year before I left my job, though, it started to become painful. Certainly circumstances at work heightened that, but I was doing a lot of personal work and the pieces of me that had fallen asleep started to wake up and I started to get some serious pins and needles! Soon it became clear that staying in my job was not an option. My desire to have my business and help others as a coach became so strong, that my resistance to leaving disappeared. It was a huge courageous leap into the unknown, but I did it with a huge smile on my face while exclaiming “weeeeeeeeeee”. And I never regretted my choice for a moment.
Courageous Leaps have become one of my Tara-isms. I always say courage is not the absence of fear, it’s having the fear and doing it anyway because what is on the other side of the fear is more important. To really have the business and the life we truly want, it requires courage to step out of our comfort zone and risk falling on our butts. It isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is for the ones who have a dream burning inside them that whispers to them all the time. I quote George Eliot on my website because I truly believe “it is Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been”. Don’t ever give up on your dreams and, even if you are in a job right now, do what you can in the evenings and weekends to move that dream forward.
My good friend, Camille Bloom, is a great example of this. I met her soon after I left my job to start my business and she is now one of my best friends. At the time, she was a school teacher with a big dream to be a singer and songwriter professionally. She started by playing at coffee houses while she taught during the day. Like my journey, she has had her shares of ups and downs along the way but she is living the dream. 10 years later, she is touring internationally, is sponsored by Gibson Guitar, and just released her 8th Album called “Big Dreams” . She recently blessed Eric and I and 25 of our friends with a house concert at our home. When I heard her title track “Big Dreams”, tears rolled down my face. Not only was it a brilliant and beautiful song, but it reminded me of the journey I just told you about. It felt like she wrote that song about me (don’t great songs feel that way?). In the past month, I have listened to it about 50 times and it was what inspired me to tell you this story today. Here are the Lyrics:
When looking back, what do I see?
A little girl with scabby knees and big dreams
She’s not afraid, she’s not uptight
With open eyes, she set’s her sights on big dreams
And then in time she learns
You have to wait your turn
Hold back or you’ll get burned
Happiness must be earned
A teenage girl, so full of doubt
That little girl is all squeezed out of her big dreams
She’s running round, her chin tucked down
Afraid to stand out in the crowd with her big dreams
And then in time she learns
With risk there’s no return
Fit in or they’re concerned
Suppress the things you yearn
Fast forward now, a working girl
She’s sharply dressed, her earrings pearl but no big dreams (big dreams)
It’s 8-5, commute to work
Her boss is nice, but her friends are jerks with no big dreams (big dreams)
And then the choice is hers to make
She can fold em now or raise the stakes
This time she wants to get it right
She calls their bluff, and lets it ride
Her hair comes down, her smile wide
The girl comes out from the place she hides with her big dreams
No longer lives so full of doubt
She knows no one could stop her now, with her big dreams
Big Dreams . . .
Big Dreams . . .
Wait until you actually hear the song. It will make you cry, too. You can buy her album on her website – www.camillebloom.com . The album was JUST released so it won’t be on iTunes until the new year. If you like the indie singer-songwriter genre, you will love Camille’s work.
I hope that this blog post inspires you to step into your BIG DREAMS, and feel proud of the times that you took courageous leaps – in your life and your business. I would love to hear about your big dreams and the times you stepped into them, took courageous leaps, or put them on the shelf. All your stories and comments are welcome here!