"I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul." -William Ernest Henley

Whether it’s going back to school, write a novel or start that business you’ve always dreamed of owning, we all have dreams and goals that we’ve set aside or that have become seemingly unattainable due to life’s circumstances. We let fear halt our progress. We buy into the negative seeds that are sown into our hearts by others, take root and grow, choking our confidence and suffocating our drive.

I remember wanting desperately to pursue a career in Fashion Design and painting when I was younger, but by the time I was set to enter college and really pursue those these fields I’d let discouraging questions and comments about my ability to make a substantial living deter, and ultimately detour my path.  Notice I used the word “detour.” I’ve since decided that my destiny and ultimately my happiness is very much connected to my ability to express myself in creative ways. So nearly 20 years later I’m back in school pursuing a Master’s degree in Design, and opening myself to new and exciting opportunities in other creative arenas, i.e decorating, crafting, etc.

I credit this “second chance” to my faith and tenacity, but also to the time I took to do a lot of evaluation, reflection and analysis.

  • Evaluation-taking stock of where you are in your life. Who you are? What you’ve achieved.  Where you are headed and what you want to become.

  • Reflection-What experiences were positive or negative? What have you overcome? Are you proud of yourself? Do you feel that you are living your purpose and using your gifts and talents to the best of your ability? Are you happy with your life today?

  • Analysis- What’s your life going to be? Who do you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years? Is the path that you’re on one that will lead you to where you want to be? Are you doing what’s necessary now to prepare you for the road ahead-are you laying the ground work now for what is to come?

Reality Check: Even if you’re only 25 time isn’t waiting for you.  The clock won’t stop while you defer your dreams. Try to do something each day that moves you closer to your goal. A small step is still a step. It’s never too late to start but the reality is that youth has it’s benefits. You’ll probably have more energy and resilience and less life complications at 35 than you might at 65.

Confront Your Fears: The naysayers, the haters, the doubts, the insecure feelings, the fears, it’s time to face all of them. Depending on your situation these may be actual people in your life or voices that have taken up residence in your head, not matter the make-up it’s necessary to come to terms with these messages and move forward in spite of them, because the reality is they will pop-up every once in a while. Feelings of fear and self doubt can affect anyone the key is not allowing these feelings and messages to have the ultimate power that is paralyzing your growth.

It’s Ok Not to Share: As you are working things through and hashing out your strategy you may feel compelled by excitement to share your new found direction with the world. It’s important to understand that not everyone will share your excitement. Everyone may not have your vision and have the ability to understand what it is you are trying to build in your life, which is not to say that this comes from a negative place or from a lack of love, but there will be people in your life with whom you share your ideas and aspirations and they just flat out don’t get it. That’s ok. It will be up to you to determine if you have the strength and confidence in your plan to brush that off. It’s ok to be selective in sharing your news, it’s also ok not to share until you feel confident enough to brush off any negativity, you may be hit with.

Take Action: Remember, a small step is still a step. If you’ve already figured out what is it you want to do or accomplish, as a result of time taken for reflection, evaluation and analysis, then it’s time to begin the work. So maybe you can’t afford to take the classes you really want to take, are there any Blogs or “How-To” videos that might offer you information in the meantime? You want to start that business but don’t qualify for loans and don’t have the savings to finance it yourself. Have you started writing your business plan and done the market research? Think about the small things can you do each day or a few times a week that will help chip away at the larger picture or your overall goal.

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