From the early days of our adolescence, we were taught to wait for what we wanted to come knocking on our door.
Don’t tell a boy you like him; he has to chase you.
Don’t make yourself easy; play hard to get.
What will people think of you if you did that?
There’s something nasty and egotistical about putting out there exactly what you want past the age of 13.
“I want to be the most famous movie star, ever.”
“I want to marry Prince Charming and be treated like a princess.”
“I want to make millions of dollars.”
(Can you imagine what society would think of you if you said these words out loud?!)
Instead, we dumb it down like this:
“I’m going to take an acting class, for fun.”
“I just want a guy who treats me well.” (We all know we want more than just THAT.)
“I want to be manager/director/VP in a few years, when I’m ready.”
The latter are all things I’ve said I wanted at some point, when in reality, I wanted the former.
If I’m going to pursue the entertainment industry, I don’t want to be just a B-list actress; I want to be a multiple Oscar-winning actress who will never be forgotten. If I’m going to date someone, I don’t want a person I can moderately put up with and can see maaaaybe settling down with someday; I want someone who makes me feel like I’m on the moon! And if I’m going to be aiming for a promotion, I want that role NOW — not when a promotion is granted because I’ve been around the standard two years, but when it's based on my accomplishments, ambition and what I'm capable of today.
So why are we so hesitant to proclaim what we want?
When all is said and done, it boils down to fear of what others may think. Deep down inside, we’re afraid of looking greedy and selfish — which is perfectly normal , because we were raised to think these attributes as unattractive.
But why in the world does it matter?
Why dilute our deepest hopes and desires for the sake of appearances? Why limit our own capabilities, potential accomplishments and time in the limelight for the fear of disapproval by others? Is the opinion of others more important than realizing our own dreams?
I’m OK with appearing greedy, selfish and cocky if it actually gets me what I want. The opinions of others will exist regardless of how perfect or imperfect my life is in their eyes. At the end of the day, you are the only one responsible for what happens in your life. And the first step to achieving any goal is to declare it.
If we’re bold enough to acknowledge our dreams and brave enough to claim it, they're ours for the taking.
But how in the world do I even start?
Don’t believe something is impossible. Don’t even believe it’s difficult.
Just know it’s doable, and that it takes persistence. The first step to it all is being audacious enough to admit what you want. And while you’re at it, don’t sell yourself short and wish for the smallest version of your dream; be daring and declare the grandest iteration of that dream you could ever want.
Whether you want to become the VP of Marketing for a huge corporation, a world-famous opera singer, or a household brand name — declare it. Make it known that’s what you’re gunning for. Then work your ass off to get there. If you work hard and expect to get somewhere, the universe will part waters to get you there. Your actions and intentions influence those around you, bringing you closer to your goals.
Because I’ve decided that I will become a highly coveted, respected and award winning designer, I no longer think in the same bubble I used to. I view every project now as an award-winning design opportunity — and if the team or the project doesn’t seem like it’ll have that potential, guess what? I won’t take it.
The only way we’ll accomplish our dreams is to boldly declare them, take courageous strides and believe they'll happen. Because they will.