Note: For ten weeks, I am using the Dream Coaching® program to work on my dream of finishing and publishing a book about my trip to Uganda, and I am reporting on my progress in my weekly column. As always, my column is posted on my blog every Friday. To read the series from the beginning, start with the introductory post, dated May 3, 2013.

The tipping point. The straw that broke the camel’s back. These and other similar phrases and sayings have to do with the point at which one small item or change, added on to all the others, starts an epidemic. Or causes everything to fall apart. Or takes us to the point of no return.

These sound ominous and destructive, but there’s a flip side to the phenomenon, and it’s a positive and exciting one. It’s the point at which something good about yourself, something that other people may have been telling you for years, finally takes hold. You see it, you believe it, and you know it to be true. When that happens, it’s life-changing – in amazing and powerful ways.

Session 6 of the Dream Coaching program is about believing in your dreams, which is not as easy or automatic as it may sound. But it’s essential if you’re actually going to achieve your dreams.

Believing in your dreams can come in stages, with steps you can take to get there. The first step is to actually have a dream – something specific that you want to achieve. The second step is telling yourself that you are going to achieve it. The third step is to start working on it – now. Not someday, or when you have more time or money, or when all the stars and planets line up properly. Don’t wait until you learn everything you need to know in order to accomplish it, or until all your questions are answered. A lot of your questions will be answered along the way. And, for that matter, a lot of your answers will be questioned. But before anything of significance can occur, you have to get moving.

Once you do, magic and miracles start to happen, and there will come a point when your nagging doubts disappear. When those voices that keep saying “No you can’t” every time you try to say, “Yes I can” are finally silenced. You reach a tipping point – a good one – and you suddenly realize that you really can accomplish what you set out to do. Even if you didn’t fully believe it at first.

I treasure a text message I got just last week from a friend who was taking part in a Leadership Institute. This is someone who is eloquent beyond words, but who never saw that in herself. Her text said, “I couldn’t go to bed without apologizing to you for never believing you when you kept telling me how eloquent I was.” She had been asked to speak briefly at the event, and was rewarded with thunderous applause and standing ovations.

Which brings up another point about believing in your dreams. Before you’re able to fully believe in them yourself, it helps to have someone else who believes in them, and who believes in you. Someone who knows you well enough to see all that you’re capable of, and whose opinion you trust. When someone else believes in you and encourages you to pursue your dream, it can bridge the gap until you’re fully able to believe it yourself. Once you do, there’s no stopping you!

I finished the first draft of my Uganda book this week, and part of my motivation was the people who believed I could do it and who have been encouraging me. Talking about it in my column every week has also been crucial, because if I were to fail, it would be in a very public and embarrassing way. And I don’t want to be a disappointment – not only to myself, but to everyone who believes in me and is cheering for me.

I love the quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, that says, “I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” That’s how I feel right now.

If you are working on a dream of your own at the same time I am working on mine, take a few minutes this week to think about your dream, and to put it into words. Then tell yourself, out loud, “I CAN do this. I WILL do it. I AM doing it. Decide what the next steps are that you need to take, and complete them in the coming week.

When you believe in your dream, you act on your dream. When you act on your dream, you achieve it.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on June 13, 2013.
©Betty Liedtke, 2013

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