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Put Your Dream to the Test  – OWN YOUR DREAM!

Today we will talk about taking ownership of your dream.  We’re exploring the book Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell.
The first step in owning your dream is being willing to bet on yourself.  How much do you believe in yourself?  If you believe you can accomplish your dream, you will.  It’s a known fact that if you think you can do something, you probably will.  If you don’t think you can, you never will.
How you think about something is how you will act.  How you act determines how you will reach your dreams.  If you think you can’t, change your mind.  Train your brain to think differently.  YOU CAN train your brain to think positive thoughts which will change the way you act which will change your life.
Take ownership of your dream.  Believe in yourself.  YOU CAN DO IT!  This means that whatever your dream is your belief in yourself overcomes any fear you have around it.
John Maxwell has a quote from the movie Akeelah and the Bee:
“The story is about Akeelah, a girl from South Los Angeles who overcomes many obstacles to compete at the National Spelling Bee.  When her spelling coach, Dr. Larabee (played by Laurence Fishburne), asks her, “Have you got any goals? What would you like to be when you grow up? A doctor, a lawyer, a stand-up comic?” she responds, “I don’t know.  The only thing I’m good at is spelling.”
“Go over there,” he says, motioning toward a plaque, “and read the quotation that’s on the wall.  Read it aloud please.”
She reads, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people to do the same.”
Believe in yourself and  you will accomplish what you set out to do.  It’s a fact.
This something I never realized I had the power to change and lead my own life.  For so many years I just allowed life to happen to me.  Now I happen to life.  You have the power to change your current circumstances.  Don’t like the career your in?  Find out what it is that stirs your passion, find out what you need to do (training, etc) to get in that field, plan, strategize and move forward!
I mentioned in one of my blog posts how my parents spoke negatively into my life which I believed and took on as my own for many years.  I didn’t think I had any choice as to where I was going, who I would marry, where I would work.  I was a lowly dumb girl who found herself as a single mom with no plans for the future.  How silly that even sounds when I type it.  It wasn’t until I met my current husband that I found out WHO I really am and that I am smart, I am beautiful, I can do anything I set my mind to.
When I realized how much I love project management based on a company who did an academic test on me and determined project management was the best department for me, I soared! I would come home with my brain exhausted from learning project management concepts all day long and tell my husband I LOVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT! I would proceed to bore him and my entire family with the exciting methodology of project management and how cool it is and how much I loved it!
So, as I learned more and more about project management and realized this is what I was created to do, I started researching on-line salary rates for project managers.  What I found out is that the highest paid (at the time) project manager is an e-commerce project manager.  THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO DO.  Honestly, at the time my focus was on my salary and I had a specific goal I wanted to reach and even though it seemed IMPOSSIBLE at the time, I still was proceeding to reach my dream! I had no fear! All I could do is pursue my passion, my goals and my dreams and even if I met my salary goal by 50%, that is still 50% higher than I was being paid already! So no matter what, I would be successful even if I never met my goal!  So I did more research on companies that had e-commerce project managers.  I looked for jobs that had e-commerce project manager positions open.  I applied for them.  I was hired by a telephony company as a network project coordinator.  I was making $10/hr more than I was at the first company who put me in project management! I would have less responsibility and almost twice the pay! I was on my way!  I continued to look for and plan/dream about being an e-commerce project manager.  I finally was hired by a major bank and while I ended up being in technology, I was managing e-commerce projects! AND I MET MY SALARY GOAL/DREAM!
What is your dream? Is it yours? Make a plan and live your dream!
This goes back to what we just talked about above.  When I put into project management, I had no idea I was going to love it so much.  It sounded exciting when I interviewed for the position and they told me about it, but I really didn’t know what it meant.
My circumstance may have been a little different in that I was placed in my dream position and didn’t realize it at the time.
You need to discover what it is you have a passion for and do that!
If you don’t know what your strengths are or what type of position you would be best suited for, I suggest the book Strengthfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.  BE SURE YOU BUY BRAND NEW! THE ASSESSMENT IS ONLY GOOD FOR ONE TIME.  If you buy a used book where the code has already been used, you won’t be able to take the assessment.  The assessment will tell you what your top 5 strengths are and what careers you would be best suited for.
Think about the job you would do even if no one paid you to do it.  This is what you love! Do that!
This is key! In life don’t compare yourself to someone else or what they are doing or what they’ve accomplished.  They do not have the same personality, brain power, experiences, training that you have.
In John Maxwell’s book he states, “Success is doing the best you can with what you  have wherever you start in life.”
This is true!  Your success is can only be compared to what you are capable of!  Are you giving your very best? Are you setting goals and dreams based on your passions? This goes back to living your dream, not someone else’s.
Don’t focus on your weaknesses.  Focus on your strengths! What CAN you do?  What are you good at?
I used to measure success on my job title and my salary.  I could ONLY be considered successful if I had this job title and made this much money.  How deceived I was!!!
Success is determined by what you hold valuable, what you deem worthy, what you think your success is.  Not on anything or anyone else.  You can accomplish what someone else can’t.  You have been created for a purpose.
I had a dear friend of mine one time at a leadership conference who presented a puzzle board to us.  The puzzle was partially put together and glued onto a board.  There were other pieces glued that weren’t put together yet.  They were hap hazardously glued to the board, just pieces.  He explained to us that we are each a puzzle piece and we are created to work together to fit into a puzzle.  He gave us each a puzzle piece to remind us that we are unique and the puzzle can never put fully be put together without our piece.  We are each unique in our gifting and what we have to offer, is our gift to the whole.  I still have my puzzle piece and I will never forget that lesson.  I’m important and if I don’t share my gift and offer it up, my piece of the puzzle can never be finished.
Another analogy that I’ve heard over the years is that we are all a piece of a tapestry.  Threads woven together and through the tapestry.  If our thread isn’t woven in, the tapestry will never be complete. It’s similar to the puzzle piece in that we should all offer our gift and our dream into the tapestry to be woven perfectly together.
I’ll be honest here, I used to care what others thought of me and I was a people pleaser.  However, when I was placed in project management and found my gift, it didn’t matter to me who didn’t think I could do it.  I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.  
For so many years, I was the person I thought everyone else wanted me to be.  I lost so many years trying to be someone else.
Now I’m spending my time making up for all the years lost being zany and crazy and being the person God created me to be.  I like steam punk.  For so many years, I wore what I thought I was ‘supposed’ to wear.  Normal, conservative, etc.  Now I wear what I love and of course what my husband loves.  Usually they coincide together.  I love renaissance period, so does my husband.  I love the long bell sleeves and I buy tops that are like that.  I don’t care what other people think.  I enjoy wearing it and it makes me happy.
I like different  hairstyles.  I colored my hair recently ‘cherry crush’ red.  My boss on the first day said, “WOW! I liked it better blonde” Well, and that’s ok.  She can like it better blonde.  I like to do my hair different on occasion and this time I chose red. 🙂
Some day I’d like to have purple streaks in my hair.  As long as I work in the corporate environment, I probably can’t do that.  I’ve thought about doing the streaks underneath my hair so it’s not as visible.  But I digress.
Many people don’t understand all of me and that’s OK. I believe in me and my future and my dreams.  I know my husband does too and that’s more important to me than what anyone else could say against me.
God created me this way and I continue to grow into who He has called me to be and I know He is for me and not against me.
What I like, you may not like and that’s ok.  I may not like what you like. 🙂 The key here is to be yourself!
If you have a vision/goal/dream and someone else tries to bash it down, WHO CARES!?! IF IT’S REALLY YOUR DREAM YOU WILL GO FOR IT NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAYS OR DOES!!!
I’ve had my friends ask me “Why do you want to be a coach?” “Why would you want a bed and breakfast in Scotland?” “Why Why Why?” BECAUSE IT’S MY DREAM! As long as you have the vision for it, don’t listen to what other say about your dream.
And for crying out loud, if they are negative, DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!!! Hang around those who support your dreams/visions/goals.  You need positive support.
I had a friend of mine who was in the hospital and they hadn’t given her a good diagnosis.  When I went to the hospital to visit her, I was stopped at the door by her husband and he said, you may only enter if you believe in her healing and have faith that God will heal her.  No one may enter who doesn’t believe.  I thought wow, that is really cool.  He wanted to make sure that no negativity would enter her room.  Only faith and belief in her healing could enter.  That has stuck with me and I’ve used that story many times to point out how important it is that you hang around people who believe in you and your dreams.
John Maxwell states in his book “If someone tries to silence your hopes or deny your progress to pursue your dream, maybe that person isn’t your friend.” Something to think about.
If you need someone to believe in your dream and help you get where you want to go, I’m happy to talk to you about it. or facebook page
Make it a GREAT day!