Dream mode is a comfy, fun place to be. Nobody can criticize, shame, or tell you how impossible it is to achieve your dreams. Except you. While dream mode is extremely cozy and warm, it is an infinite loop where you dream, tell yourself how far-fetched your dreams are, and then you’re back in reality… sitting at the desk-job you hate. Or maybe you don’t hate it, but it’s not very interesting and it doesn’t bring you joy when you talk or think about it. Not to mention, this shame, criticism, discouragement self-talk is SO toxic! AND, it’s YOU who is providing all this ammo to not really go after something that makes you feel… wild and free!
This is the place where I was for a good chunk of time after grad school. I can’t tell you how much I hated my job. I was miserable and depressed because I knew it was a dead end, even with my fancy, new Masters degree. Eventually, I ended up quitting due to some big life changes and had some time to reflect.
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of applying for a job on a new career path related to your degree. But I will tell you this: while unemployment sucks, it gives you time to do stuff like think and make. While I am appreciative of the time I had, I was sick of having great ideas and plans (IMHO) swirling about in my head and none of them being my reality.
One day, I got fed up with my whiny self. So, I took my butt straight to the nearest coffeeshop, ordered an Earl Grey with steamed milk (cause coffee gives me migraines) and spent about three hours mapping out my goals. After mapping out my major goals, I made a sub-map as to how I can achieve my goals. After that, little by little, I started to see some victories. I was selected as a volunteer with a fantastic, non-profit. Shortly thereafter, I landed a job. Though not my dream job, it was with an organization that very closely aligns to my degree, which is what I wanted.
Currently, I feel like I am at a cross-roads again. I had and have a couple of opportunities to really grow as an artist, but again, the ideas are a-swirlin’ and screaming to be materialized on paper… and to be perfectly honest, I think I am back in dream mode.
I encourage you to set aside time to map out your wildest dreams on paper. Write down actionable steps that will lead you to your dreams. Make a weekly appointment with yourself to do a check-in with your map. Maybe you had an idea during the week that you need to figure out how it fits into your map, or maybe you can improve upon your ideas that you wrote during your first mind-mapping session.
These steps can help you get out of the infinite loop of toxic dream mode to creating a reality you desire.