What to Do When Living Your Dream Becomes Scary

I made the decision on October 15, 2015, my new year, that I would pursue my dreams fully beginning then. And since that time, I’ve done nothing but move in the direction of my calling of empowering and equipping people live to their full capacity, and my desire to be a digital and social entrepreneur.

I believe it’s part of my life’s plan to do something about access to quality education and food security in Africa. My heart is filled with compassion when I see people who could be doing so much more just waste themselves and their talents.

So I’ve been living my dream since then. I’ve been coaching emerging leaders and conducting corporate trainings when possible, while working out the plans for my social corporation. This has meant that I say no to other income generating opportunities that are not aligned with my dream. And that, my friend has had me barely getting by.

It is a scary and ugly feeling.

There’s a sad reality of life today. Most people are not living their dreams. They are scared.  Now, there are two kinds of fear people face when it comes to living their dreams:

  • The fear of the risks associated with pursuing that dream, or
  • The fear actually being what they’re fully capable of becoming
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Far too often, though, I see people being super afraid because of the risk that are associated with pursuing their dreams:

  • They’re afraid that they could fail completely – A legitimate fear. I’ve been there before.
  • They’re afraid that they could lose the respect of their family & friends. – I know this feeling as well.
  • They’re afraid that they could go broke. – I’m experiencing this right now.

These are real and serious concerns. I mean there are over a hundred different ways a person could be entangled by the risks. But here’s the fun part:

That person could also succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

And this is what drives me to keep going even during the times when I felt my life was threatened. I’ve always lived by a simple code:

Rather try and fail than die not know what would have happened had you tried.

Did you get that? I’d rather try and fail than to be on my deathbed asking myself, “I wonder what would it have been like if I had followed my dreams?”

If you’re going to be a high performance leader, living the life you know you want to live, then you need to be prepared when things begin to get scary.

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The way I’ve always dealt with it is by following these simple steps:

  1. Expect it – I realize that as I live my dreams, not everything is going to go perfectly. There will be stumbling blocks on the road. It may be in the form of a late payment from a client, limited or no sales for a long period of time or family strains. By remembering that something goes the other way, when things do, you’re saved the element of surprise. So while you may be broke, you know that it’s part of the process, and you can go through it graciously.
  2.  Have some faith – As a man of faith, I take strength in knowing that, “I can do all things….” I also know that when I trust in the Lord with all my heart, he sets my path straight. So when things get scary, I pray and believe that God is going to guide me through the situation. This is especially powerful since I know without any doubt that I’m living the life that God has called me to live.
  3.  Slow down – When things get scary, it’s easy to start panicking and trying to figure everything out quickly. You start to feel like there’s something you should be doing that you’re not doing, and this leads you to start doing things without any thinking and planning. That is the wrong way to go about it. The next time you begin to feel fear, stop!  Pray, meditate, or just do something else for sometime.
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Living your dreams, no matter what it is can be very rewarding; but comes with major levels of risk and fears. When you are prepared by learning to thrive in the midst of challenges, those fears and risks aren’t as daunting.

So, Expect it;  Have some faith and Slow down.

What’s the scariest encounter you’ve had while pursuing your dreams?

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