Are your dreams and desires your own?
In a world that loves to tell us what to do, how to behave and dictate what success looks like, it can be tricky to untangle our own dreams and desires from the expectations of those around us.
Whether it’s becoming a successful entrepreneur, travelling the world, or fully owning your power and magick, we all have something that we want to explore and move towards.
But have you ever stopped to wonder if the dreams you’re pursuing are truly your own, or if they’re influenced by the expectations of others?
If so, you’re not alone. Most of my clients, at one time or another, have doubted themselves and their dreams.
And many have realised that they’re not even pursuing what they wanted, they woke up one day and asked ‘How did I get here?’
They had become successful in the ‘wrong’ thing.
The energy doesn’t lie
You can only be enthusiastic for your own dreams and desires.
The word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek enthousiasmos, meaning “inspiration or possession by a god.” You can not be inspired by ‘a god’ with someone else’s version of a dream or a desire.
If you find yourself feeling that you can’t be bothered, or putting off pursuing a dream, you’re likely trying to force yourself to follow what you think you should be doing, rather than doing what your heart truly desires.
Reconnecting your your own dreams and desires in 3 steps
Here’s three ways to help you start to untangle from ‘should’s’ and expectations and gain clarity on whether your dreams are truly your own or if they’re based on the expectations of others.
1. Reflect on your motivations…and try not to have an existential crisis.
A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2010 found that people who pursue their own authentic dreams and desires are more likely to experience positive emotions, life satisfaction, and meaning in life.
On the other hand, people who pursue things based on the expectations of others tend to experience more negative emotions and a lower sense of well-being (Sheldon & Kasser, 2010).
So, take a deep breath, and spend some time exploring your motivations behind your dreams and desires.
Are you pursuing them because you want to, or because you think it will please other people?
Listen to this podcast episode to dive deeper into what happened when I followed someone else’s ideas of what I should do, and how I found my way back.
2. Consider your values…but don’t (overly) rely on the fortune cookies.
In 2008, a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that when people pursue activities that are aligned with their values, interests and desires they’re much more likely to experience a deeper sense of well-being and overall satisfaction on their life.
Having external guidance such as reading the tarot, knowing your astrology and personality profiles, or even asking a fortune cookie, can all give you valuable insight into who you are and what your gifts are, but remember this is just guidance, you get to decide what truly matters to you.
3. Pay attention to your emotions…even if it means ugly crying.
Studies have shown that people who pursue their own dreams and desires experience more positive emotions than those who pursue things based on external pressures or expectations.
Positive emotions aren’t inherently good or bad, but they are authentic to you. And when you can be authentic – even if it means ugly crying – you reinforce to yourself that your experience and needs matter.
We can give a lot of power to our emotions and and many have been demonised as bad or to be avoided, but emotions are just signposts telling you if you’re on track and aligned with what really matters to you or not.
If something you do generates a feeling you enjoy, the chances are you’re on track and aligned with your purpose.
But if it feels uncomfortable, ask yourself what is it about your situation or activity that doesn’t align with your values or what you want in life.
Paying attention to your emotions gives you great information in knowing if your dreams and desires are truly your own.
Following your own dreams and desires, that align with your values and interests, is crucial for well-being, satisfaction, and success.
Give yourself permission to unapologetically follow your dreams, and remember to have a little fun along the way. After all, whilst this is important work, life is too short to take everything too seriously.
And if you want some support connecting with your own dreams and desires and untangling from the judgements and ‘should’s’ of others, come and join us for: REJUVENATE YOUR ENERGY: It’s time to say ‘yes’ to your own dreams and desires. Learn more here