The Four D’s That Will Destroy Your Dreams and Keep You Stuck
Most of us know what a paradigm is; but very few of us know the power our paradigms have over the life we’re living and who we’re being.
As a reminder, a paradigm is a mental program that has almost exclusive control over our thoughts and habitual behaviors. And almost all behavior is habitual. Our paradigms control us; they are so insidious that we don’t even know they are at work.
Our paradigms think their job is to keep us safe; and to ensure that, they want us to stay right where we are. Anytime we want to make a change, our paradigms will put up a royal battle to keep things status quo; even if our status quo isn’t making us happy.
This is a reason people gain and lose the same 10-15 pounds over and over again. We start to change our habits and then the gravitational pull of the familiar—our old patterns—pull us back. This is why, at the beginning of a New Year, people set intentions to do things differently and to create different results. We tell ourselves, “This will be the year I will….” Fill in the blank. But we fail to achieve our goals.
There are four common ways our paradigms will show up and keep us from creating the lives we desire—even when we work hard and seem to be doing everything right.
Let’s see if you’ve been caught in any of the following traps:
Dream Destroyer #1: DISTRACTION
Many people look at their daily schedules—the same schedules that have been creating the same results for years—and get sidetracked by activities that have nothing to do with creating the life they want.
Time is our most precious asset. We need to use it to move us towards our dream and spend it wisely.
Robert Heinlein wrote, “In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until we ultimately become enslaved by it.”
When you are about to take a bold action, start to notice if you allow yourself to get distracted with checking your email, making a phone call, or organizing your desk. There are many ways we can be distracted.
Dream Destroyer #2: DISSUASION
Dissuasion is allowing the conditions and circumstances of our lives—checkbooks, calendars, the news, the economy, the latest crisis, our job, our family, etc.—tell us what we can create; instead of asking, “What would I love?”
Dissuasion may show up as logic or practicality. Dissuasion can also be the voices in our head that say, “What will people think?” or “You can’t do that.” When we believe the voices are true, we start to think we can’t have our dream; or worse, that we never really wanted it.
Bronnie Ware, a hospice worker, cared for many people when they were on their death beds. Bronnie wrote that one of the most common regrets was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
There is never a convenient time to follow our passion—NOW is the time. It’s up to US to decide that “now” is the time and to make our dream a priority.
Dream Destroyer #3: DELAY
Putting something off until later can become a habit. Perfectionism also falls into this category. We often think, “I’ll do it when I can do it better.”
K. Chesterton believed that “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
I’d like to add “at first.” Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at first.
We are not going to get better at something while sitting on the couch thinking about it.
People who realize their dreams do so by doing what they can with what they have now. There is no guarantee that any of us will have another 10 years or even one more year. Each day is a gift that needs to be lived to its fullest.
Dream Destroyer #4: DEFCON 1
This is when fear stops us from daring to dream big. Fear is what keeps us from taking that uncomfortable action that we know is the next step toward achieving our goal; we allow our fear to paralyze us.
Bob Proctor said, “Successful people are willing to do what makes them uncomfortable in the interest of growth.”
Sometimes we need to take that next step and do it afraid.
Start to notice when your paradigms are at work trying to stop you from moving forward. When you notice, tell yourself, “This is my time and my turn and I’m doing this,” and then take the action step.
Mark Twain wrote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Now is the time to start moving towards your dream life.
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