One thing you have to do if you want to reach your dreams

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If you want to reach your dreams don’t ever ring the bell…

Last Sunday I got back from a wedding on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Monday morning when I sat down at my desk I felt depleted and had no motivation or desire to get back to work.

I really wanted to feel this incredible drive after taking a few days off. But I didn’t. While the trip was really great for so many reasons it was also emotionally taxing. On the trip, I was going to a wedding and spent the majority of my vacation around people I had never met. While they were all absolutely lovely people, it was tiring to be on a trip around a bunch of people I didn’t know.

On the way back from my trip I felt this pit of guilt in my stomach. I felt like I should have enjoyed the trip more and that I should be well-rested and uber-motivated when returning. And when I sat down at my desk on Monday I felt a wash of fear come over me, I felt so much guilt for taking time off and was afraid that that time off had caused me to fall behind.

Monday morning, luckily, I had therapy scheduled before starting work. Something my therapist pointed out to me was that I was trying to use fear to get motivated. She encouraged me to look for some inspiration to get back my drive.

I went to youtube and searched “5 minute inspirational speech.” I came across US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven’s motivational speech. (I recommend giving it a listen if you haven’t.)

It was just the medicine I needed. 

In his speech, he begins by saying to make your bed each day because even if you have a rough day you have still accomplished something and that will give you encouragement for the next day. He talks about how you will fail on the way to your dreams, but hope will keep you going. And finally, he talks about how in SEAL training they have a bell in the center of the training compound. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell. Ring the bell and no freezing cold swims, no more waking up at 5 am, no more training drills.

The final thing he says… “if you want to change the world, don’t ever ring that bell.”

This final line got me. Working towards a big goal is so hard. It is vulnerable, it takes hard work, and it is scary. When something goes wrong in working toward my goals, to be quite honest, all I want to do is quit. I want to shut down my business and go get some very traditional, very accepted, and very predictable job.

And let’s be real if I did that no one would stop me. All I have to do is, metaphorically, “ring that bell.” Ring that bell and there is no more hard work, no more putting myself out there, no more vulnerability. 

But that is not what I want. I want to change lives and I want to change my life. 

Hope is always the thing that has brought me back in these hard moments.

Hope is what reminds me of dreams.

Hope gives me my motivation and drive.

What are you using to motivate yourself towards your dreams? Is it hope? Or are you using fear to try to get where you want to go?

If you are stuck in fear I would love to hear from you. Fear is a big part of burnout and, if I can, I would love to help you. Take a moment and apply for a discovery call we’ll talk about how fear has affected your motivation and drive.