Take a second and imagine what your dream life looks like. Close your eyes, and feel what that feels like. The freedom, the courage, and the life so full of passion. Imagine a life where your wildest dreams can actually become a reality… because they can. But here’s the thing. To live your dream life, you need to take action. For years I wanted nothing more than to quit my soul-sucking 9-5 job and pursue my passion for travel. I wanted to do in for years, but the fact is I was terrified. What if I failed? What if I got kidnapped and sold to the sex slave trade, Taken style? Chasing your dreams sounds like a fun venture, but that has to be something reserved for the special, right?
Wrong! Just a couple of years ago, I went from Preschool Teacher to a YouTuber and full-time traveler. This wasn’t something that fell on my lap and wasn’t something that was easy to do. It was terrifying. And the terror was so petrifying, I almost gave up on my dream altogether. But why does this crippling fear keep us from reaching our highest potential? And more importantly, how can you overcome these fears and FINALLY live your dream life? Well, friend, have I got the treat for you! I’ve brought in my friend Amie, a licensed trauma and anxiety counselor who’s here to teach how to kick fear square in the booty, and chase those big ol’ dreams of yours fearlessly!
To live your dream life, you have to understand why fear is so powerful
Fear. It’s can be so intense, sometimes even enough to stop us from following our intuitive calling and living the life of our dreams. Once you understand why and how fear appears, it’s easier to face it (and even embrace it!). When you realize the mechanics of what is stopping you from making that big decision or contemplating that job or relationship change- you will be equipped to start following your dreams while making sure not to be dragged down by the voice of fear.
The Fear Part Of Your Brain
To understand fear, you must first understand how it works in your brain. There are many areas of the brain that create that sensation of fear in your body. However, one of the most important is the amygdala. The amygdala is a small structure deeply rooted in the back of the brain. You might want to think of this as the smoke alarm system that tells you what is safe vs. unsafe. The stronger the threat in your environment or within your body, the more likely the amygdala will become active. At the same time, everyone’s amygdala is different due to life experiences and childhood traumas. For example, in some people with a history of trauma, the amygdala is so reactive that it causes anxiety constantly throughout the day.
You might even think that problems with the amygdala happen mostly with those who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or an anxiety disorder. However, the truth is that most of us have an overactive amygdala in some way or another. This is also why we are a stressed-out society – the brain has been programmed over time to see everything as more threatening than it really is.
Note the last part: your brain has been programmed!!
Here is the good news- your brain can also be re-programmed due to a fancy word called Neuroplasticity. It just means that your brain is wired for healing. In other words, you have the power to settle that amygdala down so it stops sending your body all the stress signals that keep you from living your dream life.
Why You Get Stuck In Fear
Yes, you can heal! At the same time, you have to know the tools to rewire your brain in order to make your dreams a reality. On that note, now let’s explore the reasons you get stuck in fear, even though your brain is set up to heal. The amygdala and other fear centers of the brain connect to your subconscious and what is known as the “reptilian” part of the brain. This section is always in survival mode and is far removed from the front parts of your brain.
The front part of the brain is also called the pre-frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain you use every single day to work and make decisions. Because the amygdala does not understand logic like the pre-frontal cortex, it’s unlikely that talking yourself through the fears will change the way you feel. At least not on a deeper level. This is why you are unable to fully break free and live your dream life. The rest of this post will help you align with your intuition and rewire your brain so you can break through the limitations of your mind and live your dream life.
I Understand- Really, I Do.
Recently, my husband and I bought an RV, sold almost everything except for a few bags of clothes and some keepsakes, and prepared our furry children for our big move. We drove to the Southern coast of California and started a whole new life. I created a psychotherapy practice, Sacred Journey Therapy, and can work from anywhere in California. In addition, I provide in-depth online courses through my company, One Awakening Institute, for spiritual growth and intuitive development. All from my RV!!! All of this came together as a result of becoming clear on what I really wanted and trusting my intuition along the way.
I love knowing I can travel whenever I want and I also have that sense of freedom I never had before. It’s an amazing feeling- I enjoy waking up every day to the smell of the ocean and the sweet song of the birds. I have come home to myself.
Here’s The Truth
Was this all easy? A piece of cake? NOPE, not at all. I had so many fears come up!! My mind spun in circles worrying about whether it was the wrong choice, concerned about what my family and some of my less adventurous friends would say, and stuck in wondering if I could even handle the RV life. Plus only people who are retired purchase an RV to live in full time…right? Wrong. I learned along the way that many people do this, even if they work full time!
Related: Make Money While Traveling the World
Truthfully, I went back and forth on the decision to move and start my own therapy business for weeks until I drove myself crazy. Finally, remembering my own internal resources, I made a new choice. I decided I was going to get in touch with my intuition to make sure this was the right decision. It’s incredible what happened as a result of that. I no longer allowed the fear to take over and now I was longer paralyzed by it.
I want to help you live your dream life so you can step into the freedom you deserve. To do what you love and love what you do.
Life is truly meant to be joyful- did you know that? Maybe you know somewhere inside, but it’s true. And it feels much truer when you experience it.
How Your Intuition Helps You Live Your Dream Life
Let’s take a moment to determine what you really want. You may already have the life of your dreams floating through your mind, but I suggest we take a better look. Oftentimes, we have two opposing forces within us that determine the choices we make and the dreams we desire. The first inner force is your intuition. The second inner force is your ego. Your intuition knows what is true deep in your heart and soul. Your ego is fear-based. Sometimes your ego wants what your intuition wants, but for very different reasons. For example: your intuition may want to feel free and the ego may just want recognition. In the categories below, we explore the differences between the two.
You can tell your intuition is speaking to you when you hear that powerful, but subtle voice inside. For you, it could even be a physical gut sensation. Truthfully, when you align with your intuition, fear doesn’t stand a chance. Intuition is such a powerful way to not only tell you what your true dreams are, but it guides you towards them.
Below are some examples for how to recognize that your intuition is speaking to you:
- Gentle nudges to start a new project, with an excitement to begin
- Having an “Aha!” moment out of the blue
- Engaging in creative activities, not feeling bound by the constructs of time
- Waking up from a vivid dream that makes you feel happy and inspired
- Feeling a clenching in your gut when asked to take on more tasks at work
- Noticing the same signs in your day to day life
- Sensing an emptiness within that makes you feel like you aren’t following your purpose
- Meeting the right people, at the right time
The difference between your intuition and ego can be subtle at times but there is a way to unmask the ego. The ego is separation based, you can tell it apart with these words:
“It’s me vs you”
“It’s us vs them”
“I want more instead of less”
“I am not good enough” or “I am better than that person”
The ego might feel like the enemy, something like the big bad wolf that keeps you from being happy and makes you feel like you are separate from everyone and everything. This is what keeps you stagnant and from living your dream life. However, when we take a closer look, the ego is just a collection of old mind patterns, most of which you didn’t choose.
Thoughts from the ego are ALWAYS fear-based and separation based. Within the ego, there is an emptiness or a black hole that you are trying to fill. This black hole is just old pain that hasn’t healed yet.
You know you are “hanging out” in that black hole when you have:
- Fears of being alone
- Worries about not having your basic needs met, even though things are going okay
- Fears of not being happy
- Worry that you might become too happy (because then you could potentially lose it all)
- Anxiety that you are not loved, liked or seen by others
As you can see, we are complicated beings!
What Do You Really Want?
Here are some important journaling questions to ask yourself to gain clarity on living your dream life. I suggest you grab a journal and contemplate these questions:
- Do I want this (job, relationship, lifestyle, house, etc.) because I am trying to avoid feeling lonely or not enough? Or do I seek recognition in some way?
- If all the fear inside magically disappeared, what would be left? Would you still want the things you do?
- Do you believe you are powerful and/or responsible for your life? If so, what emotions does this create within you? If not, why not?
- What percentage (0-100%) of your intuition is guiding you towards your dream life vs the ego? If you don’t know- What’s your best guess? (For example: 80% intuition/20% Ego)
There aren’t any right or wrong answers to these questions, so be gentle with yourself. Instead, this is just a way to explore the basis for your desires. As you review the answers, see if any of them fall into the category of the ego/black hole mentality. The truth is, your intuition may be guiding you to live your dream life, but your ego may be sabotaging your efforts by dragging you into that black hole.
Five Simple Ways To Move Past Fear (and Live Your Dream Life)
I use these five simple ways with my therapy clients and they always get great results. These are wonderful ways to begin rewiring your brain towards healthier, happier patterns. Of course, repetition is key! Make sure you practice these regularly:
- Take 3 deep breaths from your diaphragm, breathing slowly and gently (This deactivates the amygdala and therefore stops the stress response in your body)
- Write your fears down on small pieces of paper and put them in a dedicated “Worry Box” (This contains the fear so you don’t have to hold onto it)
- Place your hand on your heart and say “I am doing the best I can right now” (Self-compassion deactivates the amygdala and helps to regulate your emotions)
- Take a mindful walk for at least 10-15 minutes (leave your phone at home, feel the wind on your skin and the ground beneath you as you walk. Enjoy nature!)
- Write an intention statement such as, “I choose love over fear or I intend to take the next steps towards living my dream life”. Now carry this with you wherever you go and read it often as a reminder.
It’s Time to Live Your Dream Life! Step Into It!
If you read through this to the end, you are on your way to stepping into living your dream life!!
To bring it all together, it’s important to understand where fear comes from and why it is so powerful so it is no longer the enemy it used to be. Additionally, understanding the differences between your intuition and ego will help you weed out those fears and live your dream life. As you determine what you really want and follow your intuition along the way, you will be unstoppable!
I want to continue helping you on this journey. Below you can download a free and well-tested visualization meditation- so you can move towards making your dreams a reality. This visualization helps you to get in touch with your intuition and breakthrough those fear-based thoughts. As an extra bonus, I am providing a free companion workbook to help you create a powerful step by step plan so you know exactly what steps to take towards your dreams moving forward. Cheers to your beautiful journey!
Amie Dean is a licensed trauma & anxiety counselor and the founder of One Awakening Institute. She is dedicated to helping freedom seekers discover their true calling, explore their inner world and connect deeply with their intuition. To learn more you can check her out on Sacred Journey Therapy, Facebook, and Pinterest.