How is it possible that we all have such great potential yet so few of us end up living our dream lives?
As a child, I wanted to be an actress. I was going to win my first Academy Award in the year 2000 and it would be presented to me by Sylvester Stallone (Don’t ask. I have no idea!). I was 7 years old when I first vocalised this aspiration.
My parents felt that acting was a risky profession – too risky to warrant missing school to pursue – so on I went with my education until I was 18. Drama school followed, where I gained a qualification that would allow me to become a drama teacher – because acting is a risky profession – too risky to put all your efforts into it; better to hedge your bets.
I arrived in London, aged 21, with dreams of becoming a West End (I no longer wanted to work in film. I believed I was too fat.) I didn’t attend a single audition. Not one. I became a waitress.
Yes, the odds were against me but it was my beliefs that ultimately killed my chances. Every time I had a choice, what did I pick? The safe option. Every time I had an opportunity, what did I think? ‘It probably won’t pan out. Is it even worth bothering?’ Soon enough, acting disappeared as an ambition and off I went to build another sort of life for myself.
Fortunately, I am now of the belief that we can have more than one dream life and I’m currently in pursuit of my dream life 2.0. Again with the odds stacked against me. This time, however, when I have a choice I’ll take a risk if it means I might get a step closer to that dream. Where opportunities present, I will be bothered. This time, I choose to chuck the beliefs that hold me back. I choose to cherish just one overriding belief; the belief that I have what it takes to beat the odds.
What beliefs should you chuck or cherish?