Are you dreaming big enough? 5 tips to get you started

Bigger dreams lead to bigger results. But still, many fear dreaming big

By Delna Mistry Anand

Published: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 5:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 10 Sep 2022, 11:31 AM

As schools reopened for a new session last week, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, sent out an audio message to students urging them to dream big and never stop learning, while wishing them a successful year ahead. “I urge you to excel, be determined, set goals, realise your ambitions and never stop trying,” he said. And whether you’re a student or not, it’s a great time to ask yourself — are you dreaming big enough?

We all know that bigger dreams lead to bigger results. But still, many fear dreaming big. And here are a few classic self-created blocks we must pay attention to:

• The past (or our understanding of it):

Limiting beliefs about ourselves, our capabilities and the story we have been telling ourselves (‘I’m not good at math’, ‘I have never been a good negotiator’, etc.) make it hard to dream big.

• Vision:

Lack of clarity about what we want and lack of discipline send us into a spin of procrastination.

• Fear:

The sad thing is that fear of failure will stop you from even trying.

Often, we keep our dreams small, because that’s all we know how to do. It feels safe and familiar. But if we truly aspire for something, the first thing we must adapt is our mindset. And here are a few things to remember:

1 Daydream: Did anyone ever tell you how important it is to daydream? Long commute back home from school? Day dream! Dream up all the things that excite you. Begin to visualise it clearly. How does it feel for you? Does it scare you a bit? (..a good sign if your dreams scare you, it means you’re on the right path)

2 Face the fright: Sure, it is scary to dream big. Obstacles are sure to show up, but think — what is the worst that can happen. Work around it, and find a way to overcome these roadblocks and move ahead. Roadblocks actually aren’t meant to stop you in your tracks, they can show you a new way forward. Be open to new routes.

3 Know your worth: Before you put out your big dream, look within and realise your own worth. You do deserve the success. You deserve to have a big dream. The mind loves what is familiar. Make self-worth a familiar feeling.

4 Find meaning: Why do we do what we do? What is the final outcome we seek? Respect from loved ones? Better relationships? Personal growth? Look within and connect with that. Find your “why”. Some things in life give us a great sense of purpose, and it makes all the hard work worth it.

5 Effective goal setting: A big dream deserves a big plan. Take the time to go through the process of effective goal setting using the S.M.A.R.T. format (S – Specific; M -Measurable; A – Attainable; R – Realistic; T – Trackable).

No great thing in life was achieved without a great dream. And now is the time to go make that dream happen.

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