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Dreams: what is really holding you back?

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If you are anything like me, there’s a list of excuses holding you back from building your dreams:

  • when I have more time,
  • if I had more money,
  • as soon as I finish.

For those of us that said that we needed more time at home, 2020 has provided many of us with a lot more time at home. Now we get to find out that this wasn’t holding us back!

Perhaps you said you needed more time with your kids to build stronger relationships. I don’t know how it’s working out for you, but my experience is that I am finding out just how little patience I have for teaching a six-year-old how to write, do her social studies and mathematics lessons!

Today, I am avoiding her play area, because I cannot bear to see the mess it is in. I am restricting myself to cleaning Friday, Saturday and Sunday: otherwise, I will use cleaning as my excuse for not getting things done in my business. Things that make me uncomfortable.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”

What is holding you back from following your dreams?

Perhaps you are held back by your lack of curiosity. Many of us hold our dreams at bay, sticking with the status quo. But let’s be honest: the status quo has been majorly disrupted! I don’t ever see it coming back! Are you curious about what you could create in the void? How open are you to exploring new ideas and perspectives in the changing world?

Do you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve this year? I know – 2020 is disrupted! So, maybe you revisit your plans: keeping the end in mind, what do you need to do now to achieve it?

Are you willing to fail trying something new when everything is up in the air? What if you create a website while you are stuck at home and no one finds it because you haven’t learnt how to use SEO? Is that really failure? How much of your time and energy are you willing to invest in learning a new skill?

You procrastinate. We all do it. I procrastinate cleaning the house. What’s your favourite excuse? The reality is that we do something else (within our comfort zone), instead of creating and manifesting our goals and dreams.

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I use the word “manifesting” widely: not in the sense of sitting and holding an intention and visualization, but in the sense of seeing it, creating a plan, and then executing the plan! Manifestation requires action, however small. To use an example from gardening: it’s the sowing we do in order to reap the harvest. The whole process begins with seeing the crop, but then we go and we get the seeds, we prepare the soil and we plant.

Obviously, once we’ve sowed, we may have smaller tasks to complete: watering, weeding and making sure that there are no slugs eating our crops. Some crops require more effort and attention than others. Some dreams & plans do too.

Then, we wait. We trust that what we’ve planted will grow and that there will be a harvest.

Are you letting your doubts get the better of you?

Unfortunately, if you harbour doubts about whether your dreams are feasible, you are unlikely to succeed.

In fact, I’ll bet you don’t even start!

100% chance of failure when you fail to start! Your actions, and lack of action, impacts your results.

Suzy Kassem
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

Do you even believe you could be that person that achieves greatness?

Or do you spend your time catastrophizing and awfulizing?

At a time like this, I understand the urge to make mountains out of molehills! The world appears to be upside down. People are panicking. Are you buying into their fear and doubts? Do you allow that to feed your fears?

Our minds are brilliantly creative: designed to make up stories. That same creativity can get out of hand, with imaginations running wild.

When you invest your time and energy feeding your doubts and fears, you will convince yourself not to even bother. I have a friend that regularly wants to come over and tell me about their problems. They have an amazing capacity to create obstacles and challenges that don’t even exist yet! Unfortunately, when I ask them to turn that creativity into looking for solutions for the actual challenges before them, they shy away. They allow their doubts to create imaginary obstacles in the future, that they fail to face the smaller challenges they actually have before them in the moment.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: “This will never work out“.

When you doubt in your heart:

What do you want? Today, for this month and this year?

Can you trust your heart to listen to what it wants and desires? Are your dreams formed in your head “this would be a good idea” or does the seed begin in your heart: I dream of being happy, free, bold and fulfilled.

Vincent van Gogh
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

Many of us second-guess our desires because we choose to “think it through”. Unfortunately, this often means that we tell ourselves “no” before we’ve even studied possibilities with curiosity.

Dreams: I shouldn’t want this, because it’s unrealistic

How many times have you abandoned a dream, without taking a single step? Perhaps you heard your mum or dad’s voice in your head “be reasonable” or “you can’t always have what you want”. Whose voice do you hear?  Does this person get to decide what you “should” or “shouldn’t” dream of doing or becoming?

Consider for a moment your inner dialogue and what it tells you about who you are and who you should be.

Sven Goran Eriksson
“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.”

It’s easy to should yourself into oblivion.

Telling yourself “no” stops you from being curious and looking into it. Perhaps the first idea you have is a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean that the dream should be forgotten. Most of us want to start at “amazing” and “awesome”, forgetting that we are beginners when we start anything new.

Perhaps what you should do is expect to make mistakes at the beginning.

Doubts for your safety and security

I don’t know about you, but I regularly avoid failure. If I’m honest, I’ve sat on a draft of this blog post for over two and a half weeks! It was hitting too close to home.

When something takes me outside of my comfort zone, into a place where I might make a mistake, my natural instinct is to preserve the safety of the status quo. It doesn’t matter than I know (head knowledge) that endless procrastination inevitably leads to failure and defeat. I defeated myself because I didn’t put in the effort.

What safety and security are you craving at the moment that is keeping you paralysed? Stop looking down and start to look up, with a wider and bigger perspective. If you are physically safe at the moment, what more could you be doing if you invested your energy in your dreams instead of your doubts?

“The gap between what we do and what we’re capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

At the very first sign of any problem, we quit. Of course, perhaps that’s the moment to roll up our sleeves and show what we are truly capable of.

“No” rarely means “impossible”

When we drum up a little more courage, we realise that “no” simply means “harder”. There are obstacles and challenges. But tell me a time in your life when there were no obstacles and challenges. Can you think of a single period of your life when you weren’t forced to step up and into becoming something more?

At this moment, we are all being asked to step up and out of our comfort zones. The stakes are higher, the challenges are bigger. Your dreams are just as important now as they ever were!

The challenge I put to you today is what would change for your life, your family and loved ones if you dared to step past your doubts and into what you are capable of?


Have you signed up for our weekly newsletter? Beth Gray Coach
Sign up to receive my weekly newsletter, which will let you know about my latest blog posts, as well as including a weekly journal prompt and weekly affirmations!
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Finding your voice: loving your authentic life

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For me, the year 2018 was all about finding my voice and becoming me authentically. I discovered areas I focused on people-pleasing. I was busy living up to expectations, rather than speaking my truth.

It came on the heels of burnout. I recognised that recovery required a new set of standards and values by which to lead my life!

Have you stopped loving your life?

Maybe some of the following words or phrases resonate with you:

  • Disengaged
  • Unfulfilled
  • Unhappy
  • Stuck
  • Inauthentic
  • Going through the motions
  • Living up to old dreams
  • Yesteryear
  • Living up to other people’s expectations
  • I forgot what the question was while pursuing the answer
  • Life just got in the way and took over

And then, one day, you wake up, finding you lost all respect for yourself and others and you ceased loving.

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him, and so loses respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

The Power of Authenticity

There is an extraordinary power that is held in YOU being You. When I suggest you need help finding your voice, I am not referring to a writer or a speaker. Instead, I want you to find the power of the small, still voice – somewhere deep inside – that dares to stand up for you.

It’s finding that voice that dares to think your thoughts.
That dares to speak your mind.
That dares to make decisions for that are right for you – because they are right for you.
The voice that truly represents who you are – or perhaps, at this moment in time, who you wish to be.

I invite you to search for the best, authentic, true version of you.

  • The you that keeps your word – especially to yourself – that wakes up when the alarm goes off the first time. When you know the value of starting the day early, you keep the smallest promises to yourself. “I will get up at this time.” When you finally recognise that if you lied to yourself about something this insignificant, you couldn’t trust yourself for the more essential things in life.
  • I want you to find YOU – the you that keeps your word about how much exercise you want to do and how you want to feel in your body – because you care about you.
  • You keep your word about what you will do and get finished today because what you say to yourself matters.

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Because how you do anything is how you do everything.

Finding your voice is discovering the You that has investigated, for yourself:

  • What you really think
  • What you truly desire
  • And who you most deeply are: the deep inner you.

You are, in your own, unique way, really creative, truly compassionate and fiercely courageous.

They say that we come into this world as living souls of infinite potentiality to be discovered and released – when we dare to live life from the inside out.

A story is told of a man who sits brooding at his desk in the evening.
Earlier that day, he received his dismissal notice from a company that he had served for more than 20 years.
He’s busy despairing on the difficulty of getting a new job – at his age – the impossibilities of living on his income – the shock of finding himself dispensable in the world!
Washed up.
A little spider was walking across his desk at that moment, and he unconsciously brushed it off.
Immediately he found himself watching, in awe, as this tiny creature took this disaster – of being swept into the air and off its path, and spun a tiny strand to bear its weight and gracefully swung down to the floor.

If that spider – a tiny creature – can get into the flow of using all its talents and natural resources and deal so creatively and gracefully with a crisis – why can we not do the same?

Your innate power lies within:

Could you invest a little of your time discovering your inherent ability?  This power comes from knowing who you are and what your strengths are and the resources that you have at your disposal.

The power of a person that owns what they say – that can compassionately, and yet clearly, say what they mean. Can you permit yourself to be you – warts & all?

– Jay Acunzo
“If you just stopped trying to be a better version of everyone else, you might find way more success using your creativity to be the only one who does what you do.”

Finding your inner voice: WHO AM I?

When you are alone, taking off the labels of relationships, religion, profession, nationality, and all the rest of the tags that society or even you have placed on yourself – WHO are you?

-Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist Philosopher.
“Mastering others is strength; Mastering yourself is true power.”

Know Thyself.”

Know thyself now. It does you little good to know the person you were ten years ago. Even the person you were last year is not going to help you out today. Who are you now?

Are you in touch with your feelings and needs?

We are human beings: who are you now? And I would even go further. We are human becomings: who are you becoming?

Most importantly, who do you want to become?  Understand “this is me here and now” even as I grow and change.

‘A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.’

I started off asking if you were stuck, unhappy, disengaged. One of the issues with forgetting who you are – really, truly, deeply – is that you can’t express who you are because you don’t know any more. You’ve become trapped in the definition of self that you made up some time ago.  Or worse yet, you failed to define “who am I?” and so someone else told you!

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Finding your voice and identity: 

As you get to know yourself, you find happiness: I like this, but I don’t like that. Then you can say I want to do this and I don’t want to do that.

When you know yourself – you feel less conflicted.  Your actions will align with your inner feelings & values.

When you know the answer to “who am I?”, it’s easier to make better choices for yourself.

  • Do I like this sweater?
  • What would I like to eat?
  • What do I want to invest the rest of my life building?

Knowing who you are, and finding your inner voice, allows you to slow down. Do you feel that you are busy living your life with other peoples’ choices?  Or, are you choosing what you would like to eat? Do you love your body? How does this influence your wardrobe? Who decided your lifestyle?

Know Thyself

What are your limits & boundaries?

Here are some great questions to ask yourself:

  • How good am I at X?
  • How well do I do what I do?
  • What are my strengths & weaknesses? What are the limits of my strengths? Strengths might be your abilities, skills & talents – but don’t forget your character strengths –
      • Loyalty
      • Respect for others
      • Love learning
      • Emotional intelligence
      • Empathy
      • Encouraging others or a great listener

Do you know your “superpowers”- because knowing these strengths also gives you self-confidence!

Knowing and acknowledging your weaknesses allows you to hold back from accepting responsibilities or roles that you are not cut out for.

And one of the best things about knowing yourself, of really understanding your likes and dislikes – is having the power to say “no” when you mean “no”.  How many times do you say yes – to social obligations, to invitations, to responsibilities & commitments, when you wanted to say “no” because you weren’t standing in your power?

Do you need guidance in finding your voice?


Have you signed up for our weekly newsletter? Beth Gray Coach
Sign up to receive my weekly newsletter, which will let you know about my latest blog posts, as well as including a weekly journal prompt and weekly affirmations!
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Imagine your desired life: how to create it

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Imagine your life is perfect in every respect: what would it look like? (Brian Tracy)

I'm going to exercise more, New Year's resolutions, life plan, vision boardThis year, I am not making any New Year’s resolutions. I do not promise:

  • I’m going to exercise more.
  • This year will be the year I get healthier.
  • I will lose weight.
  • I’m going to find a hobby and stick to it.
  • I will play more.
  • This year I will start each morning with meditation.

Nope. I have no intention of setting myself up to fail to keep my word because I am hesitant to give my bond unless it aligns with the perfect life that I envision building. Continue reading Imagine your desired life: how to create it

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Fundamentals of success: knowing is not enough

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Wherever you look today, you will find information and awareness campaigns. If ignorance were the problem, the information age would have solved everything. Whether you want to look at issues of health and wellbeing, caring for the environment, or simply improving your lifestyle, it seems that knowledge is not enough to bring about change. Knowing is only half the battle.

For example, perhaps you know what kind of diet and food your body responds the best with. What results do you have to show for knowing this?

Or consider your goals and plans for the past twelve months. What did you know had to be done, to you to reach those goals? How much of that did you effectively implement? Continue reading Fundamentals of success: knowing is not enough

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Your heart dreams, head creates, and guts motivate

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Your heart dreams of more – living with intentional choices that satisfy connection and bring value to life. Nonetheless, I relate. As a single mother, I get caught up in just being busy – on a continuous loop of week-after-week. And then, upon awakening, I find my centre because busy-me ignores my dreams, desires and goals. Busy leaves life empty and almost meaningless, at the expense of best.

Yes, I care for my daughter and get stuff done – but for what purpose?

Continue reading Your heart dreams, head creates, and guts motivate