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by Christina Lyon

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I'm Christina Lyon, a coffee sipping, piano playing, beach loving, word-obsessed freelance writer and musician. I'm on fire for helping freelance writers get paid and small biz owners succeed online. When I'm not reading or writing, I play music and explore the beaches and wild trails along the California coast.

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How To Achieve Your Dream, Get Over Your Fears And SUCCEED!

Christina Lyon

A no-bullshit guide to stop holding yourself back and take actionable steps to achieve goals in life.

We all have dreams. You know, those goals that keep us awake at night and sometimes seem so far out of reach. But here’s the kicker: as much as you want to learn how to achieve your dream, you are your own biggest obstacle. 

Sure, we are also our own worst enemy in the land of chiché’s, but I’m talking about legitimate roadblocks completely fabricated from the infinite warzone that exists in our minds. The catnip? Fear. The solution? A little more complex.

Ready to learn how to achieve your dream?

This is not a fool-proof solution, nor will your wildest dreams come true overnight. However, I’m sharing actionable steps to make positive changes that push you closer to achieving your dreams. Oh, and hopefully help you fall in love with yourself in the process (because you’re awesome!).

There will be knee scrapes, ego hits, embarrassment, and a little heartbreak along the way, but those are battle wounds on the unpaved journey of dream-chasing! *Worth it!*

Let’s do this. Here’s how to achieve your dream, get over your fears, and get out there on the path to success!

How To Achieve Your Dreams Step 1: What Are They?

The first step toward achieving your dreams is to get real with what they are. Often, the whirlwind of life clouds our vision, overshadows our dreams, and makes us think, “I will never achieve my dreams.”

If you have dreams, if you have the drive, if you have persistence: you will soar.

But first thing’s first. What are your dreams? I’m not talking about fleeting thoughts. No, I’m talking to the core, deep, ridiculous, wild dreams. You know, the ones your parents or friends or teachers or whoever discouraged you from chasing?

Obviously, your dreams are subjective, but we all have them. To be successful, you need actionable steps to achieve goals in life. 

What does that mean, “actionable?” It means I’m not just going to throw vague encouragement at you without a guidebook. No. I’m armoring you with straight-up actions. Because actions are what move mountains, ya feel?

Dreams are hard to achieve, but if you break them down into small actions, anything is possible!

Action Plan:

  1. Imagine there’s no ceiling and the sky’s the limit. What do you want?
  2. Write it down and don’t hold back. Imagine no one will ever read it but you, and be completely honest with yourself.
  3. Make this your mantra. Print it, post it on social media, put it on your bathroom mirror, make sure you visualize it every day.

As an example, here’s my mantra:

“I dream of being a professional musician, bestselling author, and buying a beach house.”

Big news! I’ve accomplished one of these dreams this year! Big reveal coming in a blog post soon, but in the meantime, guess which one you think it is in the comments below!

Now, what’s your mantra? It might not be as simple as grabbing it from the air, and that’s ok! You may need to think about this and really gain clarity. The important thing is to keep asking yourself what it is that you want most.

If you’re stuck. Think about what brings you the most joy.

In 2017, I was having a bit of a crisis trying to find my footing in a new career path. I wanted to be a writer, a singer, an actress, and a blogger. Whew! That’s a lot, and ultimately I spread myself thin. Critically, I persistently put pressure on trying to figure out which direction to go.

Bottom line: Spreading yourself too thin won’t get you very far. You can either give 100% to one goal, or 20% in five goals… which one do you think has the greatest chance of success?

It may be that you need time to soul-search, and that’s a great idea. Either way, make the effort to hone in, then you can take the necessary steps to achieve goals in life.

Christina Lyon on the rooftop of trinidad, Cuba, wearing a pink top.

What’s In the way of achieving your dreams?

Now that you’ve sharpened your focus on your goals, you can only learn how to achieve your dream by addressing what’s standing in the way. 

Let’s be real here. Life happens. It’s a bitch, but that’s the fact. Articulate? No. True? Damn right.

When we’re young, the world is ours. Somewhere along the zig-zagged suckerpunch of adulthood we lose sight of the fact that the world is still full of opportunities. 

But bills, jobs, families, school, and unforeseen circumstances derail us. Here’s the thing though, all of these obligations are not the biggest obstacle we face. Sure, I can’t speak for everyone here. What I can say is that these often wear the mask of an impossible roadblock, when in fact they aren’t–they’re circumstances. That’s it. Giving them enough weight to prohibit us from achieving dreams and goals is a cop-out.

I’m not minimizing these commitments, rather suggesting that they are not the biggest obstacle you face. Then, what is?

I’m glad you asked.

It’s you.

Now, don’t puff your chest up and cuss out the screen– let’s talk about it. Why are you your biggest obstacle? Well, you’re simply too consumed in your own BS to get over yourself and get out there.

Say what? Look, I’m not singling you out. This was me, too which is exactly why I’m writing this article.

I can’t tell you how many times I told myself I wasn’t good enough, I was afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, embarrassed I wouldn’t be good enough and ultimately, wasn’t deserving of success.

Bullshit? Totally. What’s bullshit’s best friend? Fear.

A hand drifts out overlooking the view of the Grand Canyon

How To Achieve Your Dreams: What’s your biggest fear?

“I will never achieve my dreams.” 

Hands up if you’ve said that before. 🙋‍♀️

Alright, let’s put on the gloves, jump in the ring and swing this out. If you’re ready to learn how to achieve your dream, you need to be forthright about your fears.

What’s your biggest fear? What are you wrestling with? Knowing your fears and owning up to them will give you the courage to break them down into actionable steps. Because, truthfully, no one leapfrogs their way to success. Instead, they do the work every day to get them one step closer.

Action Plan:

  1. What scares the hell out of you? Seriously, think about it. Then you can start to shift the internal dialogue.
  2. Make a list of your fears. Be detailed. Act like you’re talking to a shrink or your best friend, or hell to yourself. Get it out. For each one, leave a blank line or space after it.
  3. For each fear, follow it up with why it’s a bullshit fear. Debunk the myths that are holding you back.

 

Here’s an example:

  • I’m afraid everyone will hate my book

Not possible. You’re a good writer and far less talented writers are published with a loyal readership.

  • I’m afraid of getting rejected

Rejection is part of success. Every rejection letter gets you closer to the only YES that matters. It’s going to come, but if you don’t get rejected, you’re not submitting, which means there’s ZERO opportunity for success.

  • I’m afraid of failing and never achieving success

You cannot fail if you put yourself out there. You can only fail if you don’t get over yourself and keep your work hidden from the world. Success will come with persistence and hard work. Other people are doing it, there’s no reason why you can’t.

What can you do every day to get closer to your dreams?

We are only as capable of our daily habits. Meaning what you do every day has a profound influence on how close you get to your goals. Honestly, we go about our days without even realizing how we spend our time. If you don’t know to achieve your dream, it’s a good idea to look at what’s distracting you from chasing them.

Hello, social media, television, and more bullshit.

Truth is, if you want to achieve your dreams and goals, you need to spend every day working toward them.

*Storytime*

About eight years ago I was working as a cocktail waitress at a bar. At that time my biggest dream was to be an actress. During small talk with the customer, he asked me:

“What do you do every day to make that happen?”

And I said:

“Uhhhh…. Well… I don’t really, I mean I try to… Ummm.”

At the time, I didn’t understand the gravity of his question. Now, after taking daily steps to get closer to my dreams and live a life I love, it’s crystallized.

If you want something, you must work every single day to get it. Period. There’s no substitute for hard work. You gotta sweat, you gotta cry, you gotta bleed for your dreams. Sound intense? I bet. Chasing your dreams is intense. It’s a back-against-the-wall-give-em-hell-and-don’t-take-no-for-an-answer-get-out-of-my-way-I’m-going-places intense.

Too much? Good.

Freewriting is a great exercise to beat writer's block.

Action plan:

  1. Do a habit audit. Journal your daily habits and activities.
  2. Make observations: How much time are these habits taking? Are they supporting or taking you away from your dreams?
  3. Draw a line down the middle of a page. On the left put your habits that foster your dreams. On the right add the habits that distract or threaten your dreams.
  4. Take the list on the right and eliminate those habits, stat.

 

Example: I won’t show you my entire list, but I’ll give you a brief overview.

When I was an active travel blogger, I got super caught up in the false belief that I could only be a successful travel blogger if I had a massive Instagram following. Huh? So, I did an audit. I was spending 3-5 hours on Instagram EVERY DAY. Holy smokes! Then I realized that my dream was never to be Insta-famous. So what did I do? Cut that sh*t out.

I literally stopped posting for about a year. How did I repurpose that time? I…

 

It’s not a matter of not having time, it’s a matter of spending the little time you have on your dreams.

Let that sink in. 

Sure, I missed some facets of Instagram and posted about five times over the span of a year. Lost thousands of followers in the process. And honestly, it was SO WORTH IT.

Clarity gave me the focus to see that Instagram was a time suck for me. Ultimately, it didn’t align with my greatest vision of my life: to be a successful musician and writer.

Blogger Christina Lyon walks in front of the Panama City skyline across the bay wearing a black backpack and blue hat.

How To Achieve Your Dreams: Ditch Toxic Habits

To get closer to achieving your dreams, you need to be prepared. It’s likely you’ll need to make sacrifices to prioritize your life’s vision. You’ll have to invest in your craft, which means cutting back on superfluous expenses. 

You might even have to cut social ties with people who don’t fit into your greater vision. I’ve had to do both. And a lot more.

What good is a dream without having to sacrifice to achieve it? Point being, take a hard look at what you can control in your life to make space for your goals.

Action:

  1. Write out what you’ll need to succeed: is it money? Resources? Investors? Elbow grease?
  2. Assess your expenses and make a dedicated savings for your goals. Can that $3 coffee every morning be better spent on buying an online course, hiring a business coach, or purchasing supplies?
  3. Audit your tech intake. Are you spending hours watching TV every day? Cut back and put those hours in the time bank for your passion project.

 

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you tried?

You’ll fail? Maybe. Failure is always a possibility when you aim high. Failing at achieving your dreams is by far the better bet than never trying.

If you can break the limiting belief that you’re not good enough, or that it’s not possible, then all that’s left is for you to do the work and try your best. 

And here’s the real kicker: you have to keep. trying. until. you. achieve. your. dreams!

Giving up is easy. But trying when nothing seems to be in your favor? That takes sheer guts.

How To Achieve Your Dream: Don’t Give Up

Learning how to achieve your dream is worthless if you do nothing about it. Worst of all, over time, you’ll regret it. You’ll try to fill the void with other obligations you convince yourself are more realistic. “Those were just pipe dreams, after all, it’s time to grow up.”

Unfortunately, this pseudo-argument crumbles over time. What’s left in its place is regret.

It’s a harsh truth but a truth nevertheless. If you don’t try, my friend, you’ve failed, and that is so tragic. Be courageous enough to believe that if you put yourself out there, you will succeed. You will definitely face a lot of setbacks, rejections, and doubt — from yourself and others. But that’s the beauty of pursuing dreams with wild abandon. None of those lows matter when you reach the top.

And boy, is the view sweet as hell!

The jagged climb has the best view!

The climb toward achieving your goals isn’t pretty. It’s soaked in tears and agony, but the view from the top is worth every knee-scrape and meltdown. The bottom line is that we cut ourselves short by not believing we are worthy enough to pursue our dreams. 

I know this first-hand! I’ve had success with my freelance writing business, and I’m super grateful. However, it’s by no means the ceiling for me. I’ve still got a novel to finish editing and so many songs to write and publish. 

Sounds like I need to take my own advice! That’s why I wrote this post, to help me reconnect with my mantra, my purpose, and share with you the seeds that have helped me chase my dreams time and time again.

I will never fully arrive at achieving my dreams because there are so many. However, I’m in constant pursuit of the journey that accompanies wild dreams. Will you join me?

Here’s a series of pics of me on cliffs to persuade you.

Blogger Christina Lyon sits on a perch in San Gimaniagno, Italy on a study abroad trip, wearing a red top, black sunglasses, and a backpack A portrait of the author, Christina Lyon, on her study abroad in Florence, Italy. Christina Lyon sits on a perch at the Grand Canyon at Sunset. Christina Lyon sits on a cliff overlooking Horseshoe Canyon in Arizona, USA. Christina Lyon writer sits on a cliff overlooking the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne, facing fears is a great step to finding your why. Travel writer Christina Lyon leaps from a cliff into the ocean in Barcelona. Christina Lyon travel blogger rides a zip line through the jungle canopies in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Christina Lyon writer poses at the top of the Swiss Alps from Lucerne, Switzerland. Christina Lyon sits on a perch on a trip to Florence, Italy, overlooking the city below. Christina Lyon rides a zipline through the jungle in Panama. Christina Lyon sits on a tower overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Cinque Terre, Italy.

Christina Lyon sits on a cliff in Fiesole Italy, writing in a journal.

Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams 

Or as I like to do, fake it til you make it, babe, no one needs to know your knees shook and your voice cracked. Strike a power pose and figure it out along the way!

If you’ve read through to the end, I applaud you! And I don’t intend on letting you leave here without a hearty spoonful of motivation. Also, stats cut through any doubt you might have about my pitch, so here they are:

  1. The majority of small business owners do not even have a college degree
  2. There are 15 million self-employed Americans who work full time
  3. Vincent Van Gogh didn’t start painting until he was 27.
  4. Milton Hershey got fired from a printing apprenticeship, then boldly started three candy companies–which all failed. Did he give up? You know the answer.
  5. Tina Turner spent most of her career in a violently abusive relationship, lost everything divorcing her abuser, and cleaned houses for years afterward. Finally deciding to return to music as a solo artist, she put out two albums that BOMBED. It wasn’t until she was 44 that she released “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and became the oldest chart-topping female solo artist in history. 🙌  

 

Moral of the story? Tina Turner refused to give up. Be Tina Turner. NEVER give up on yourself. If Tina can do it, so can you!

Now, you’ve learned how to achieve your dream, the rest is up to you! Go forth and make waves, you’ve got this!

Writer Christina Lyon stands at the bay of Panama City in this article about how to achieve your dream.

July 21, 2020

Personal Growth

*This post may contain affiliate links, and I may receive a commission on purchases made through provided links (at no extra cost to you).

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by Christina Lyon

Hey there! I'm a coffee sipping, piano playing, word-obsessed freelance writer and musician on fire for helping creative entrepreneurs and small biz owners tell their stories with engaging marketing copy. Need written content? 

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