If you’re at a place in your path where you feel like your dreams have stalled, here are five things to consider:
1. Are your expectations realistic? When I first started out as a writer, my dreams were BIG (and of course they were going to happen FAST). Imagine my surprise when rejection letters started coming in from publishers… and months began to pass. There was no book deal that first year (or the second, or the third…) and in fact, it was several years until my first book was published. But I’ve come to know, and I’ve also learned from many other women who have seen their dreams come true, that’s usually how it happens — over time, more gradually than not, and after much perseverance and determination. So if you’re feeling impatient and things aren’t going how you want them to, consider adjusting your expectations a bit. And, more importantly, enjoy the journey. One day, you’ll reach your destination, and all the little challenges along the way will be the very things that will make your success so sweet.
2. Is fear holding you back? Many times, fear is keeping us from moving to the next step. We know where we want to go–we can feel it in our bones–but when we picture actually doing it, we clam up and hold back and stay in that place of wishing instead of stepping out. Long before I started actively speaking to women, I had a burning desire to do it, but I wasn’t moving forward. I had done public speaking in my corporate role before I quit my job to be a stay at home mom, and I’ve always enjoyed sharing with audiences (growing up, I was a dancer and was on stage a lot). As I pursued my dream of writing, I also felt more and more called towards speaking. I would go to conferences and watch other women on stage passionately sharing their messages and I’d wish more than anything I could do that too. But the idea also scared me. Did I have something compelling to say? Could I encourage others? Teach them? Then I got to a point where the passion I was feeling outweighed my fears. I began to pray for open doors, make myself available for speaking opportunities, and connect with others in the field. And I promise you, the first time I got asked to speak and I walked out on stage, my knees were shaking. But I’m glad that didn’t stop me. Sometimes the next step in our dream is scary, but that’s how we grow. And that’s when we learn to lean on God (and remember it’s not about us anyway). So if you’re holding off on dong that next thing in your journey because of fear, press on and move forward, even if your knees are shaking.
3. Are you getting in your own way? I recently met a gal whose dream is to become an author. After talking with her for a while, I learned she’s already spent years writing and, in fact, has completed several books, all of them filed away. She hasn’t sent any of her work to publishers for consideration and she hasn’t told many people about her passion. She admitted she didn’t want the rejection. I thought of my own start and could totally relate. It was years before I actually considered myself a “writer” and several times, I kept rejection letters to myself. Rejection is tough, but you know what’s tougher? The possibility of looking back after years gone by and never knowing what could have been. Even though I never liked getting those rejection letters, each one represented a try. Each one was a door knocked on that just didn’t happen to open. But at least I didn’t have to wonder what could’ve been. And after time, doors did open and I was able to see God’s hand in the timing and opportunities. If your dreams have stalled, consider for a minute if you might be giving yourself reasons to stay put. Then get out of your own way and see what doors God opens.
4. Do you need to shift gears? Sometimes, when we start out pursuing our dreams, we think they’re going to unfold in a perfectly linear line, but that’s rarely the way it happens. Usually, midstream, we need to shift gears or maybe even change direction. When I first set out to write, all I wanted to write was children’s books. That was that, and I thought I’d be happy if that’s all I did for the rest of my life. But several years into my journey, after hearing a message from a guest pastor at our church, I was confronted with the idea that maybe, just maybe, God could be asking me to shift my path, to be willing to use my passion for writing in a new way. One thing led to another, I started a blog for moms, new doors opened–and eventually I wrote Finding Mommy Bliss. It wasn’t the path I had planned on, but it was a beautiful journey. And it was a journey that wouldn’t have happened if I had been unwilling to change direction. (At that time, the direction shift was hard; I felt like I would be giving up on years of everything I’d worked towards.) But good things happen when we follow God. And the path He has for us is rarely simple and straightforward.
5. Maybe your dreams haven’t stalled at all. Consider that the timing of how everything is happening (or not happening) could be exactly as it should. I look back on my path of becoming a published author and can share that pretty much everything about my journey took longer than I expected. But I can honestly say that the timing was perfect; if I’d gotten that much wished-for book deal right when I started writing, I might have been juggling speaking engagements and book signings instead of tucking little ones in for afternoon naps and going on field trips. There’s a lot I might’ve missed. Now that my kids are in high school, I have more time in my schedule, and there’s much less juggling than there would’ve been years ago.
Pursuing your dreams takes time, patience, perseverance, and hard work. But don’t lose yourself in the hustle of thinking it’s all up to you.
Rest in the pauses. Embrace the setbacks. Keep sight of what truly matters. (<====Click to Tweet)
And draw close to God.
He’s got this, and He’s got you.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13
Shared By: Genny Heikka
We are so excited to show you our winter sale items! Designed by the talented Lisa Larson, we are offering you two different style shirts (long sleeve flowy and a slouchy sweatshirt) in three different colors. This design was created out of our love for not only anchors but the Bible promise of Hebrews 6:19, “Hope anchors the soul.”
But hurry! You only have until November 24th to order!! Get yours today!