05/31/2018 by Kori Burkholder
Get Unstuck: 4 steps to get clear on what you want and turn it into reality
"I don’t know what I want, but I know I need to do something."
Sound familiar? We are busy professionals and it's to put ourselves and our dreams on the back burner. Maybe you’ve been thinking about a career change, planning that dream trip to Amalfi, or signing up for that improv class.
But you haven’t done it. Why?
As a career transition coach, I see so many people wanting to find more fulfillment and purpose in their careers and lives. By the time they find me, they’re done with excuses. The light has gone on. They want to carve out time in their busy lives to put the focus back on themselves and their dreams.
The challenge is that most don’t know where to start. More likely than not, their dream is a bit fuzzy. They know something is burning inside them, but they need time to get more clarity and steps on what to do next.
When the light is on, it’s the perfect time to take that long-held desire to do something and transform it from a fuzzy vision into a clear vision. We start with these four steps:
Step 1: Clarifying Your Dream – Finding Your North Star
John C. Maxwell defines a dream as "an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it."
If you don’t spend time clarifying your dream, you’re not going to know where you’re going.
You have to find your North Star, which is your inspiration. It’s why you get up in the morning. It’s the work that you’re here to do. It’s the driving force behind your dream. The more specific you can be about your goal, the more excited you will be to pursue it.
To clarify your dream, you need to figure out what you want. If you don’t exactly know yet, start by figuring out what you don’t want.
Once you know what you want, it’s helpful to lock it in by getting to the heart of your WHY. In his Ted talk, Simon Sinek, the "Why" advocate, shares, "People don’t buy WHAT you do, and they buy WHY you do it." So start by asking yourself, "why do I want this"? Then, dig deeper by asking yourself, "why is that important" – keep going until you get to its heart (freedom, creative expression, unconditional love, etc.). Then ask yourself, "What would I do if I knew I would succeed?
Once you’ve identified your North Star, it’s time to envision your success.
Step 2: Envisioning Success: The Power of Visualizing
Visualizing opens your mind, expands your perspective, and unlocks your creativity. It’s essential to be free and unlimited and allow your imagination to run wild and free.
Visualizing is a way to turn your brain off for a moment instead of thinking about reality. It’s a way to tap into your higher self, your subconscious mind, and create from a space of nothing.
It’s a place where you can feel what it feels like to already be in your dream, so you can lock in that feeling of what it’s like to have already achieved it. That feeling is feeding your subconscious mind, and you can identify and zone in on the opportunities that will be leading you to your North Star.
Mary Morrissey explains visualization as "a place where the power of our imagination is rooted. As you let the childlike side of yourself begin to dream and get emotionally involved with ideas that enliven you, you enter a new realm of possibilities. This new realm of possibilities comes with new solutions that were previously unavailable to you."
I have manifested my relationship, dream trips, and business partnerships through this technique. For example, while facilitating Paint Your Wildest Dreams workshop for a women’s retreat in the Poconos, I realized that I was living inside a dream from a seed I had planted five years prior while on a retreat in Ecuador.
I had been envisioning in vivid detail The Inspirality Center, what it would look like, the design of the building, the view, who would be there, and how I would feel being in the space. I saw myself leading life-changing creative programs and attracting the best healers and teachers globally.
It suddenly dawned on me as I was setting up. The room was very similar to my vision – ample open space with sliding doors that revealed a beautiful view of a lake. I was surrounded by a beautiful community of women, who were healers and teachers leading life-changing creative programs to women attendees who were there to create and live empowered lives.
That’s the power of envisioning! If I hadn’t spent time creating and clarifying my dream back then, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Step 3: Declaring Your Dreams To Create Opportunities
Declaring it provides the opportunity to not only say it to yourself, but the others around you will experience your dream through your own words, your unique expression, and your passion.
For some, it’s not always easy to share it – for reasons like vulnerability, maybe some will laugh or say it’s unachievable. I had a story that I’m not engaging or interesting enough and that people are bored when I speak (limiting beliefs at its finest). I recognized it as a story and regularly challenged myself to share my vision with others because that’s when it starts becoming real and opportunities start showing up.
When others hear you, you start to create personal accountability, and through sharing it, opportunities show up that might not have been there otherwise. Maybe someone has a helpful connection or is looking for what you have to offer. You never know!
Step 4: Solidifying Your Vision With Your Unique Creativity
The creative process adds fuel to your fire and allows the space to connect to your vision deeper. I encourage my clients, after our deep work, to solidify the vision by crafting a creative project like a painting, a vision board, or journaling. Start with your intention in mind and use your creativity to bring it to life.
Now that your light is on take action with these four steps! Get support. Keep sharing it with others. If you hit a bump in the road, go back to your vision, why, and artwork to keep you motivated. And remember to have fun along the way!