I’ve been thinking a lot lately about having a dream and what it takes to make it happen. We’re encouraged to “dream big” (aka “have vision”). But then what? We have a dream…and for many of us it remains just that; a dream.
This year, something happened that had been a life-long dream (in the it’s-impossible-it-will-ever-come-true category of dreams) for thousands of people. Leicester City Football Club won the Premier League.
OK – I know football and life coaching feel like an odd match, but indulge me just for a moment. Because this isn’t really a story about football at all.
At the start of the season the bookies had the club at 5000-1 to win the Premier League. You could get better odds on Piers Morgan becoming Arsenal Manager or Kim Kardashian becoming US President. They weren’t just rank outsiders, it was considered actually impossible that Leicester City could achieve this amazing outcome.
But they did.
And, as a Leicester fan myself, I can tell you they didn’t win it in true Leicester City style (scrappy goal after a nailbiting last ten minutes), they bossed the league all season and led from the front almost all the way. It was nothing short of a masterclass in how to achieve something apparently beyond the ability of those trying to achieve it.
Well, what they didn’t do was just dream and hope and find that was enough.
In life, work or sport, having a dream is a good positive place to start, and allows you to develop a vision to keep striving for. But dreaming, and believing your dream is possible, doesn’t achieve anything by itself. If you want to achieve something new or significant, you need to take action.
So what was the action that Leicester City took?
Well, when you break it down, their recipe for success is full of ingredients that are actually within reach of most of us :
- They took one step at a time, focusing on one thing at a time and building on each step once completed until they reached their ultimate goal.
- They understood their strengths, focused on them, used them and built on them.
- They worked hard
- But also took breaks to rest and remain relaxed
- They had belief in themselves
- They knew they were in control of what they did and what they achieved and remained focused on themselves not others
- They looked after their health well to maintain fitness right to the bitter end and ensure their star players were always available
- They used the support on offer to them and got everything out of it that they could (one word: clappers)
- They knew the team was of primary importance, trusted each other and worked together to achieve. Nobody tried to do it alone and players took personal responsibility if they let the team down.
- They didn’t allow themselves to become overwhelmed by the enormity of the dream they had
- They didn’t do what everyone else did, just because that’s what everyone else who’s been successful has done
Sounds fairly straightforward, doesn’t it? Nothing very new there is there?
But so few of us actually manage to get those ingredients working together in our lives and achieve the successful outcomes that would be possible if we did.
Well, maybe you also recognise some of these:
- We over-complicate things
- We waste precious time focusing on things that are actually irrelevant or not really needed
- We don’t have the belief in our own ability to achieve something that feels so big or far away, or we feel we don’t really deserve it, so we don’t even try
- When we do try we quickly become overwhelmed by what is needed and give up
- We choose not to take responsibility for making it happen, we blame circumstances which seem to be against us, or we hope that someone else will create the possibility for us
- We just rely on our dream, keeping our fingers crossed for a bit of luck, instead of taking the bull by the horns and working out how, step by step, we can turn that dream into a reality
I have had a successful career, but have had to work on many of the ingredients at different times to dig myself out of a tough patch and keep going. There’ve been times where I’ve had to work on my own self-belief and sense of self-worth, and others where I’ve had to recognise that I would have more success if I reached out for the support available to me, rather than bravely (but unsuccessfully) striking out on my own.
More recently I realised that there was a particular key ingredient I didn’t have in place that would make a bigger difference than I had cared to believe: I wasn’t looking after my own health well enough, which meant I didn’t have the energy or fitness needed to do things that are really important to me, fundamental things that make me happy. So, with the support of a coach, my friends and family, and taking it step by step (“slowly, slowly” as Mr Ranieri would have it) I am doing something about it, to remove that barrier to my happiness.
Have you got all the ingredients in place? Have you got a dream that you are hoping might come true?
It might not be as big a dream as winning the English Premier League but that doesn’t make it any less important or exciting.
It could be something you’ve always wanted to do but feel you don’t have the time, confidence or skills to do.
Or maybe it’s a dream of a lifestyle where you have more time for yourself and less all-round stress.
It could be a dream for your family’s future or a dream of a change in your career that means you’ll be jumping out of bed every morning, full of energy, that will bring you daily happiness.
If the answer is yes and you are ready to do some hard work to take that dream into your hands and make it a reality, and you would like some help to support you in working out what steps you actually need to take to move towards your goal, to help you unpick the roadblocks along the way, to encourage you and help you remain motivated when things get tough and to ensure you develop the personal confidence and positive mindset to achieve whatever it is that matters so much to you, get in touch with me and find out how, as your coach, I can help you move out of your comfort zone and head on a journey towards achieving your dreams.
If you want to find out more about what personal life coaching is all about or feel ready to work with a coach to achieve more in your life, call me o 07947 623211 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discover more.
It could be your first step along the road to achieving that dream.
I’d love to hear from you.