Chasing Your Dreams: My 'To Stop' List

Do you have a really, really big goal? Something that you’d love to achieve one day but the voice in your head isn’t quite sure that you have what it takes. The kind of thing you think about year after year but never really take any steps towards accomplishing because it just feels so big and so daunting?

If you know me, you probably already know what mine is. If you don’t, allow me to introduce myself with one of my deepest desires and grandest dreams. I want to write a book. And while I’m laying it all out here for you and the Universe, I may as well go all out and declare that it would also be pretty, pretty nice if said book happened to land on the top of a fancy little list you might’ve heard of before: The New York Times Best Sellers. May as well dream big, am I right?

I was sitting across from Mike last night at dinner chatting about writing and how one day I will get this book out of me but it just doesn’t feel right at the moment. I believe in putting one foot in front of the other and staying motivated but I also believe that timing is everything and our lives are playing out exactly as they’re supposed to. I know my message will become clear when it’s time to write it. Or at least I hope it will. That’s when the fear hit me.

“Mike, what if I’m 80 and still sitting across from you at the dinner table saying, maybe this is the year I’ll finally write my book?”

He told me he has no doubt I’m going to write the book when the timing is right. Good Man. On the inside he’s probably thinking something more along the lines of please, please, please let her write the book so I don’t have to hear her talk about it for the next 50 years.

Here’s the thing. I say I’m not writing the book but that’s not entirely true. I write, a lot. I have pages upon pages upon pages in my journal, unpublished posts on this blog, countless documents on my computer and notes on my phone with inspiration. So maybe my book is unfolding right in front of me and I just don’t know it yet. Wouldn’t that be nice?

What I do know for sure is there are several things that I have to continuously remind myself to stop doing whenever I’m chasing a dream that’s important to me. These things have held me back in so many moments of my life. So much so that I’ve compiled a ‘stop’ list, kind of a like a to do list but a to stop list, when it comes to my dreams. I thought I’d share them here as they can apply to really any goal - from the more tangible writing a book to the more intangible wanting to live a happy, purposeful life.

Stop holding back because you fear what others might think.

Stop wasting your energy on things that don’t matter.

Stop waiting until you’re [ fill in the blank ] enough.

Stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment. Remember that it will never come.

Stop throwing your gifts away because you’re too afraid of failure.

Stop asking yourself ‘Who am I to [ fill in the blank ]?’

Stop letting the critical voice in your head talk you out of pursuing your dreams.