Everyone has a dream. And no, dreams don't have to be large, impossible sounding ventures. Some dreams are immediate. Some are simple. And some seem extraordinary. Pursuing a dream though, no matter the size, requires moving past an invisible wall that has guarded our actions for years—sometimes decades. And while it may not be the only obstacle to overcome, I've found that is one of the first, if not largest hurdles that new entrepreneurs must conquer. What is this wall? Security.
Security feels safe. It's both a plan of action as well as a fallback plan. It's a perceived constant. However, clinging too closely to security can lead to the death of a dream. Often, our evaluation of security as top priority can cause us to devalue other key areas in our lives: emotional stability, creativity, or physical wellbeing. We place such a high price on security, that other areas of our lives begin to suffer as a result.
For those that are able, ready, and excited to move ahead, but find themselves stuck in the land of security, it's time to move forward! Let's take down three myths that clinging to security cause us to believe.
MYTH #1: It's not my dream job, but at least I have job security.
No job, no matter how seemingly stable, is ultimately secure. We've all witnessed friends or family lose a job after years of dedicated service. Delaying the jump to your dream because you think it won't be as secure as your current position, assumes that your current job will forever be there. However, the reality is that companies downsize, positions shift, and economies change. If we embrace change as an inevitable companion, then the move to our dream won't seem as daunting.
MYTH #2: I can pursue my dream another time—perhaps next year.
I've heard this line many times! It's true that the circumstances of life may prevent us from pursuing a dream. Dreams might have to go on hold in lieu of caring for your family or other responsibilities. However, I've found that staying in a position for decades is sometimes a matter of choice, rather than a necessity. Always looking to "next year" assumes (as MYTH #1 does) that present conditions will remain constant. But this is not the case. Will market conditions be the same next year? Will you have the same connections? If you're in a position in life to take that next step, then the best time to act is now.
MYTH #3: I should stick with what I know. I'm not qualified.
Unless you're wanting to be an astronaut, chances are that you're more qualified to pursue your dream than you think. Often when I hear clients speak about qualifications, what they're really referring to is that they haven't had formal training, or they're comparing themselves to other individuals. Wanting to be better qualified or continually comparing our skill set can keep us stuck in the familiar. There's security in what we know. However, small steps towards your dream are better than giant steps towards feeling more qualified. Ideas are not advanced by qualifications, but by actions.
The more we dwell on our present feeling of security, the more we develop a fear of failure rather than a hope for success. While dreaming may seem like a luxury reserved for everyone else, I firmly believe that if we're willing and able to pursue a dream—who we become, the lessons we'll learn, and the quest for hope—is more important than feeling secure. It's time we reevaluate the prominence of security in our business plans.
If you've found yourself questioning your next step—perhaps knowing what your dream is, but not ready to make a move—I hope this post is helpful. What is some advice you've heard on pursuing a dream? If you're an entrepreneur, what made you finally go "all in"? Share your story with us!