By Coach Jimmy Hays Nelson
Do you still have dreams, goals, aspirations that you would like to achieve? It may seem like an odd question, but I find that the older people get, the more likely they are to have given up or significantly altered the dreams they once had.
When you were 10 years old it was easy! People would ask you what you wanted to be, and you would blurt out proudly the dream God had placed in your gut without any hesitation.
“I want to travel the world!” “I want to be a doctor!” “I want to work with exotic animals!” “I want to be an astronaut!” “I want to start a band!”
For a 10 year old, nothing is off limits or seems too hard! So when did that change? When did we start to dumb down our dreams? People in your life: parents, teachers and friends encourage you to settle for lesser goals because they “don’t want you to get your hopes up and be disappointed”.
Have you ever thought about what other outside circumstances led to you giving up on your dreams? Have you ever considered your health and fitness to be one of those variables? I know it was a huge part of why I was scared to pursue my dreams.
In high school I got bit by the acting bug my senior year. With the encouragement of some friends who heard me sing at church, I auditioned for the musical at my school that year in hopes to get a bit part. It would be something fun to do with my friends. Performing always intrigued me while I was growing up. I did some little performances at my church as a kid but nothing like this.
By my senior year of high school I ballooned up to the heaviest I had ever been up to that point, so getting up in front of people wasn’t the greatest experience. I knew God had given me a talent for singing and entertaining, but not being comfortable in my own skin really hindered my ability to enjoy using those talents.
I ended up going to college to continue to pursue my dream of acting and singing. But my nerves would get so intense before I got onstage that I sometimes literally couldn’t control a leg twitch, shakes or my breathing. I know it all stemmed from not being comfortable in my own body.
Have you ever felt like that? Maybe it isn’t acting. Maybe you want to interview for a better job. Perhaps you have a real desire to start a family but don’t have the self-confidence to go out and meet new people, much less go on a date.
Or maybe you never really pursued your dream in the first place, and now you think it is too late because your current confidence level tells you, “Why bother? Look at you! You have already failed at everything else. You can’t even stick to your diet, what makes you think you can achieve that goal!”
Does that voice sound familiar? I know it does to me. I used to know it all too well.
So how did I go from that nervous, shaky, uncertain whiner to the point where I was being featured in world premiere musicals, starting a modeling career, touring the country performing in front of thousands of people, and finding the confidence to move my wife and I to NYC to pursue my acting career full time?
I will tell you it didn’t happen overnight, but it DID happen with a decision. I had to realize that God put this dream in my heart for a reason. He gave me the talents and skills to be showcased. And more than anything else the biggest shift in my mind was telling myself “YES I DESERVE TO LIVE MY DREAM!”
I talked myself into thinking I didn’t deserve more than the status quo. I thought I wasn’t good enough to achieve great things. My dreams were ‘too big’ for an awkward fat kid to have.
Maybe you are in that same situation now. Without realizing it, you speak to yourself in that same voice. “You’re too dumb!” “You’re too fat!” “Who would listen to you?”
If that is you, I’m telling you, as someone who has been there, you MUST change what you are putting into your head. Sometimes its not easy because more often than not we have surrounded ourselves with friends, family, and co-workers that just reiterate the negative things we have been telling ourselves. A lot of times they think they are trying to help. They think they are protecting you by not telling you dream ‘too big’ or they don’t want to see you ‘get your hopes up’.
I have a question. Have you dumbed down your dreams in order to not get your hopes up? Are you disappointed with your life anyway? YES? Then giving up on your dreams didn’t prevent you from disappointment did it? I would much rather dream HUGE and maybe be disappointed, than have no dreams at all and still be disappointed anyway! Wouldn’t you agree?
Changing the way we think is a process much like dropping a few pants sizes is. I started by not filling my mind with as much mindless junk. I didn’t realize I was doing it, but once I became aware of what I was putting into my mind watching too much TV, the news, and mindless radio gab. I used that wasted time to be more productive. I started listening, reading, watching things that grew my mindset, my outlook, and my self-confidence.
Some of my favorite people to listen to are:
- Jim Rohn
- Zig Ziglar
- Tony Robbins
- PJ McClure
- Dani Johnson
- Sandi Krakowski
- Joel Osteen
- Craig Holiday
- Chalene Johnson
That is just my short list. You may have other favorites of you own. The important thing is to do it. Maybe you listen in the morning while you are getting ready to set your mindset for the day. Turn off the radio on the way to work and pop in a CD. Play one of these audios from your smartphone while you workout. There are hidden minutes and hours every day that we can be passively investing into and growing our mind.
Do you find that lack of motivation is a problem when it comes to exercise and nutrition? Start working on your mind first and watch how much easier it is to get started. You will also find that you start to attract more positive, supportive people into your life that will help you take action to change whatever it is that is holding you back from your goals.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU TO DREAM BIG! YOU DESERVE IT AND YOU ARE WORTH IT!
I want us all to start to dream big again. I invite you to stop by my Facebook page and share your big dream with me. It doesn’t matter if you are actively pursuing it right now or not. Just share what God has put in your gut to do. I can’t wait to hear from you!
In this thing together! – Coach Jimmy