There’s a common misconception that in order to go after our dreams, to reach for success, we need to wait for the right timing to strike, to wait until we are in a state of near perfection with ourselves and our goals before we can venture out.
I too was once under this delusion – particularly when my wife and I picked up everything and moved to San Francisco to follow a calling on our lives. We wanted everything to be lined up ahead of time – we wanted to make sure we had enough money to survive at least a year out there, we wanted a job lined up for my wife well ahead of time, and we wanted to make sure other fine details were adhered to before we would agree to walk out the path God had called us to.
It wasn’t until we stepped out, we ventured toward SF, that everything started to line up and doors started to open. Not the other way around.
Perfection before action. If we don’t recognize this misconception for what it is, it can prove to be a deadly anchor to our dreams and aspirations, because it means we will never start down the road that will eventually lead us to our goal. Because in truth, nothing will ever line up exactly as we’d like it to. And if it does, it’s sure to change not too far down the line, causing even more problems for us.
Sometimes, all we really need to break through onto the path we need to be on is a step of faith. And then we need to continue on that path, no matter how difficult it may become.
After experiencing this first hand, I’ve realized there are some things to keep in mind that will help us to start even when we don’t think we are ready –
Count The Cost
There are certainly some ventures we need to question heavily before engaging in them. A leap of faith always has the potential to be a foolish move. We need to count the cost – but don’t let the cost be your only defining factor in deciding whether or not to venture out. Things may look impossible – remember, 99% of the time we only have the ability to see part of the path in front of us, and our vision of the goal at the end. Everything else is the adventure, the journey, and most of it won’t be revealed to us until we start moving forward. Sum up the sacrifices you know you will have to make to reach your dream and allow that to help you evaluate everything as a whole.
Surround Yourself With The Right Support
Surround yourself with a strong support group – friends and family who will stay by your side through the long haul and encourage and uplift you as you go. These individuals are different than ‘yes’ men. ‘Yes’ men only want to tell you what you want to hear. That’s not what you need. Nor do you need people who are so much the realists that they criticize every single thing regarding your dreams. Find a healthy balance in those you surround yourself with. It also helps to find those who have done what you’re about to do. They can help mentor or instruct you in regards to some of the pitfalls you may encounter.
Commit To Change
Things will change, sometimes drastically. The fear of instability is a very strong and very real fear, but don’t let it detract you from doing what you know you need to do. Even if you start out the way you always envisioned you would, it won’t last long. The path will change, and those changes will work toward bringing you in line your goal even if it doesn’t look like it now. Embrace new ideas, forks in the road, and detours. Trust that God will carry you through.
Things are going to get rough. You won’t just fail, you’ll probably fall to your knees or pull your hair out in pain and frustration. The path to our dreams and goals will never look the way we envision them. God’s plan will almost always trump our idea of what should happen and how things should occur. Plan for the unplanned. Expect the unexpected. It’s good to set out with our own intentions, but leave plenty of room for what God really wants to do. And don’t be detoured by disappointment. Your dream, your vision, your goal, is greater than that disappointment. And if it’s not, then maybe you should reevaluate why you’re heading in the direction you’re heading.
A lot of times, we wait for everything to be just right or for us to be completely ready before we jump toward a vision or dream for our life. We need to learn that most times we will never be completely prepared for what’s right around the corner.
Sometimes, by venturing out without all of the questions answered, we activate the plans that God has for us, and it is then that (at least part of) our path is made visible before us.
What area(s) of your life are you hesitating in? You know you’re supposed to move forward, but you’ve been afraid. I encourage you today to step out and see what will unfold before you. Don’t worry – if you fall too hard, God will always be there to restore you.