In a previous blog post, Unfinished Business, Part I: How Making Peace With Your Past Creates a Brighter Future, I discussed how making peace with our past is vital for our success. “Unfinished business” affects our daily lives and our ability to reach our goals. Today, I will expand on this thought and explore what comes next. After uncovering your unfinished business and making peace with your past, you may feel stuck or unsure of what to do. Well, I’m here to tell you: It’s never too late to chase your dreams, even if you feel like things in your past caused you to “miss the boat” years ago.
Thoughts that Often Hold Us Back From Chasing Our Dreams
Unfinished business can create self-sabotaging thoughts that can keep you from chasing your dreams. Here are a few you may have experienced:
- I missed my chance to pursue my dream – I’m too old now.
- I’d love to work in sales, but I don’t think I can because, in the past, I’ve been nervous about approaching people.
- I was rejected from all high school sports teams, so I could never be athletic now.
- My family has a history of money problems, so I’ll probably never be financially stable.
These thoughts, which sometimes consist of doubt, feelings of unworthiness, past regrets, and fear of failure, are destructive and harmful to your long-term success. Once you learn that your past does not define you and that your future is spotless, you’ll discover a new world of incredible possibilities!
Why It’s Never Too Late to Chase Your Dreams
If you regret not accomplishing a specific goal, it’s not too late to work toward it. The first step, as previously mentioned, is making peace with your past so you can move forward – never let things that have happened to you become your identity!
The next step is identifying what “boat” you feel you’ve missed and realizing there are versions of your boat all around you. Personally, not playing college football was my missed boat. Man, did I regret that! But do you know what I did instead that created a true sense of fulfillment that has stuck with me for years? I played park league football until I was 40. While it wasn’t my exact dream, it provided an invaluable sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. You can do this too!
Check out a few more examples of missed “boats” and versions of those opportunities you may want to explore.
- Did you feel you missed your chance to join the military?… Check out nearby weekend boot camps.
- Do you wish you had run track or cross country in high school?… Train for a half marathon or full marathon.
- Do you regret not going to college?… Attend online classes to work toward getting your education.
- Did you miss out on quality family time when your children were young?… Plan weekly lunch dates with them now.
The list could go on and on, but the point I’d like to drive home is it’s never too late to chase your dreams!
How to Chase Your Dreams When It Feels Like It’s Too Late
So, I’ve said it more than a few times now: It’s never too late to chase your dreams. But how do you do that when the process still feels overwhelming? Below, I’ll share a few tips to help ensure you don’t miss your boat this time!
Determine Your “Why”
“Your why is unique to you. It’s not what someone else wants you to do or thinks you should do… Your why lives at the intersection of your values and your passion. It’s your drive and your motivation. It’s your fuel that will keep you going and allow you to follow through to achieve your goals. If you’re going to have success, and be able to thrive in the storm, you will absolutely need to identify your why.” -Excerpt from Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity
Create a Plan
Write down your dream and keep it with you to stay focused. If applicable, create a calendar that outlines milestones you must reach to accomplish your final goal. If you don’t write down your plans, it’s easy to make excuses later. Setting a goal timeline encourages dedication and accountability and makes your ultimate prize feel more attainable.
Reflect on Your Dream
Refer to your plan and calendar frequently. Take time to meditate on your goal daily, breathing in what it will feel like to reach it. Keep a check on your feelings and let go of any internal resistance or self-limiting thoughts. Align your thoughts with your dream!
Get Support From Others
You don’t have to chase your dreams alone. Tell people you can trust about your goal, then check in with them often. Doing so will help you feel supported and provide another source of accountability.
In my book, Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity, I share more about how it’s never too late to chase your dreams. In Chapter 2, I will introduce you to my friend Louise Thaxton, who decided to pursue her dreams and find her purpose after losing her family farm in a hurricane. You don’t want to miss her inspiring story! In the book, I also share my journey of reaching my goals after making peace with my past.
You can snag a copy here and check out some of my helpful podcasts here.
What are your thoughts about my last two blogs, Unfinished Business, Part I, and Part II? Feel free to contact me with feedback anytime – I look forward to hearing from you!