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How to Reclaim your Dreams: Navigating Fear and Embracing Change

Updated: Jun 20

Many dreams are put on a shelf, forgotten, and not pursued.



Dreams are abandoned because someone had an opinion, because we got insecure, because someone said something weird that we couldn't relate to, or simply because we got discouraged. Everyone faces this dilemma, whether it’s about leaving a job, starting a business, moving to another country, or even making personal decisions like getting a divorce. The fear of not receiving unanimous support can be paralysing. I want to share a perspective that you might not have considered before, especially if you’re on a journey of personal development.


The Paradox of Personal Development 


In personal development, there is a strong emphasis on introspection. It's often said that it's all about us and that we need to look inward to create an internal shift and change our perspective in order to move forward. While I agree that this is crucial, external factors and societal pressures interfere, and these can't be changed overnight. Society evolves slowly, and waiting for these changes can be frustrating, especially when you need to reclaim your power and voice immediately to make significant life changes.

 

When building a business or making a major life change, the potential, creativity, and power you need are required right now. We can’t afford to wait for generational changes because we need to act now. The highest level of freedom you can ever achieve is when you let go of what others think of you. It's not all about confidence, although confidence plays a role. 


Understanding Fear of People's Opinions 


Fear of people’s opinions is widely researched, with many neuroscientists working on it. However, it is not a medical condition and should not be confused with social anxiety, which is internal. Fear of people’s opinions is largely influenced by external factors and society. It's crucial to distinguish between these as we address their impact on us. 


When you are about to make a significant life change, such as starting a business, moving to a new country, or leaving a job, you will often face criticism from the outside. This criticism can stifle your potential and creativity, leaving you feeling powerless. The urgency of our desires doesn’t align with the slow pace of societal change. We need tools to navigate this fear and reclaim our dreams.



Embracing Resistance 


Resistance is a natural part of the personal development journey. Often, when we attend meetings or conferences, we do so intending to multitask. Resistance shows up in different ways: distractions, discomfort, or skepticism. If you feel resistance, welcome it. It's a sign of impending personal growth. 


We tend to pretend everything is fine and have it all figured out. But this pretence only piles up, becoming overwhelming until we finally give up on our dreams. Resistance is an ultimate sign of personal growth; bulldozing through it can lead to transformation.

 

The Impact of Societal and Cultural Conditioning


Societal and cultural conditioning play a significant role in our fear of people’s opinions. We live in a patriarchal society where power dynamics have historically favoured certain groups over others. Movements for equality are ongoing, but change is slow.

 

The Role of Confidence and Criticism 


Confidence is not a static trait; it fluctuates based on our actions and the feedback we receive. Confidence is built through taking action and developing skills. However, the fear of criticism often holds us back from taking these actions. 


Constructive criticism can help us grow, while non-constructive criticism can lead to feelings of guilt and unworthiness. It's essential to recognize when criticism is non-constructive and not let it affect our pursuit of dreams.



Practical Exercises to Reclaim Your Power 


Identify Where You Give Away Power: Reflect on situations where you give away your power to things you can't control. Write them down in full sentences. This helps you acknowledge and address them. 


Body Scan Meditation: Practice body scan meditation to connect with your body and release tension. This helps you ground yourself and deal with discomfort and anxiety. 


Constructive Criticism: Learn to differentiate between constructive and non-constructive criticism. Constructive criticism offers a chance for growth, while non-constructive criticism should not deter you from your path.

 

Surrender to What Is: Accept the emotions and feelings that arise without judgment. This helps you deal with resistance and move forward with clarity. 


The Journey Ahead


Building a business or making significant life changes requires resilience and a toolkit of practices to navigate external pressures. It's essential to practise self-compassion and recognize that personal development is a continuous journey.

 

In conclusion


The fear of people’s opinions can significantly impact our ability to pursue our dreams. By understanding the root causes of this fear, embracing resistance, and developing practical strategies, we can reclaim our power and move towards our goals with confidence. Remember, the highest level of freedom you can achieve is letting go of what others think of you. Embrace your journey, and don’t let societal pressures hold you back.

 

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