Passion. Heart. Faith. Joy. All these things mean nothing in isolation… at least not to me. I have spent most of my life as a tight clenched fist hoping for good to come into my life. But when you walk around uptight all the time, being a control freak and perfectionist, there is no room for the ease of good energy to flow. In the last few moments of 2013 I had an epiphany. The most joyful times of my life did not arise from perfectly executed plans; my most memorable moments have all been the result of letting go.
A few months ago, I started a fundraising campaign to help me accomplish a previously aborted dream. In essence, I left school with a degree that was, in my opinion, less than the one I set out to attain. It’s haunted me for years and I decided it was time to go back and “reclaim my dream.” I did everything… well mostly everything… I could to make it happen. I was determined to return to school and get that degree, even though many of my mentors assured me that I did not need a second master’s to become a life coach. I still wanted it and still pursued it, aggressively. With all that work, I was not getting closer to my goal. I finally decided to step back and say, “Am I taking the long road to my dream? Do my mentors have a valid point? Why am I really pushing so hard to do this?” After some soul searching, I accepted that my plan was not working, but was too afraid of people’s opinions to abandon it. Many days I thought to myself, “What if I just go back later if necessary, but for now do a coaching training course? I’ll be so much closer to my goal and it will cost WAY LESS.” I went back and forth in my mind until, just days ago, I decided to drop that uphill plan that just wasn’t panning out. I came to realize that changing my route was not equivalent to giving up on my dream.
It has been my desire since the days of Growing Pains to one day open a private counseling/coaching practice. I assumed the only way to do so legitimately was as a licensed therapist. I felt that I needed to have a degree in counseling in order to be “official.” This is where having good friends comes in. I mentioned that point to my dear friend, Danielle Navonne, and after allowing me to vent, she lovingly reminded me that I ALREADY HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE IN COUNSELING. I was so committed to my plan to get my LCPC license that I was ignoring that I already have credentials. I also know firsthand that being a licensed counselor is not the only way to support, or produce lasting results, in the life of a client. I have a life coach who has transformed my life, and a dream coach who is responsible for me taking my life to the next level. Neither of them have degrees in counseling, They are however amazingly gifted and well-trained for what they do. So…. guess what? It’s time for me to drop the story that I’ve been telling myself about the one and only route to my dream.
The amazing blessing of all this is that by changing paths I am so much closer to my dream. The process of attaining my license as a therapist was going to take me at least three years! Going through a life coaching training program will take me a few months and cost fraction of the price. Now, the money I have raised through my FundRazr, coupled with the money I have saved on my own, is nearly enough to pay for my coaching training! Doing it this way has been nagging at me for weeks, but I refused to let go of the story I was telling myself about how it must be done—that one and only route to my dream. I am now realizing that sometimes the plan we have doesn’t work out, or feels completely uphill, simply because there’s a much better way, possibly one that we’ve been ignoring.
“Do not confuse your route with your dream.”
So what’s the point? 🙂 I’m writing today to tell you to be careful of mistaking the route for your dream. There may be numerous paths to get you to where you desire to be. Tony Robbins teaches a very successful strategy for accomplishing goals. One of the steps is simply, to look at the results you are getting, and if what you are doing is not working, try something else. Why continue on a path that’s not getting you closer to your goal? Let go of the story that there is only one way to accomplish it. Likely there are multiple routes. Don’t be too embarrassed to try something new for fear of what people will think. Anybody who supports you will want to see you succeed. If the new route will help you arrive at that success faster, why wouldn’t they support that? It’s just a matter of communicating the new plan, if necessary. (Some people do better with less information. Just show them the end result. 😉 )
If you’re on the wrong path, and you know it, it’s time to meditate, pray, get clear in some way on how to get on track. Do not confuse your route with your dream. Changing paths does not mean that you’ve given up on your destination. The blessing of our dreams is that there is often more than one way to get there—or at least that’s what I believe. If you’ve been following a path to your dream for a while now and it feels like you’re not really making progress, it may be wise to consider another route… or at least leave room for the possibility that there could be a better way. I feel such a relief for no longer ignoring all the signs that this route is not “it.” I am truly overjoyed at the thought that I am now closer to my goal because I simply let go of what I thought was the only way.