How Not Taking Action Towards Our Dreams Is Selfish

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Recently it dawned on me that our inspired ideas, or our dreams, are our way of receiving guidance to make other people’s lives better. I am not really talking about sleeping dreams, although they could be too. I am talking about the ideas that won’t leave us alone and keep nagging at us to get up and do something.

For me, this is writing. I have felt called to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Following a more traditional career path, I got lost in the time it took to pursue other goals, neglecting what I am pretty sure I am supposed to be doing with my life. I feel that I have the capacity to help other people through written words. And this idea will not let me go or leave me alone.

Our Dreams Are Our Guides to Help Other People

Sometimes I wonder: what if everyone (myself included) did the things that came to their minds as exciting ideas, that could likely help others? Beyond writing, I have had a few others on my list for several years now that I just have not taken action on. The reasons are all similar: not enough time, what if no one likes it.

I have heard people talk about self care actions such as taking time to exercise as selfish, but have you ever considered that not setting aside time to pursue a dream could be just as, if not more damaging than neglecting self-care? It took me a long time to debunk the judgment that exercise is selfish, and today I would like to share why I think it is selfish to not follow our dreams.

Let’s say you have a great book idea, something that you think could help many people who are struggling with whatever issue your book has the potential to solve. But then you don’t write it. You just keep going around in circles, doubting whether the idea would be well received by others.

This has pretty much been the story of my life for the past several years now. As an aspiring author, I frequently (daily) question whether I have what it takes to write a book, and second guess my ideas constantly, convincing myself that they are not good enough, stupid, and other horrible representations of self-doubt.

Then I started thinking the other day, wow, how selfish of me. How selfish to be sitting here worrying about my precious ego when there are people out there who over the past several years might have benefited from my ideas had I not been so afraid to share.

The Commonality in Our Dreams

I believe this applies to any dream. When we are living our dreams, we are automatically inspiring other people. People who run marathons inspire me. I have no desire to run a marathon, but the fact that there are people who have the capacity to conquer such a challenge makes me feel inspired to do things like go for a long walk or go to a yoga class.

When a person is enthusiastic about whatever it is that they are involved in, that transfers to the people around and observing them. I love watching successful You Tubers and reading blog posts with hundreds of likes and comments. It makes me feel that I can someday have a positive impact on others while living my passion.

It doesn’t matter what you hope for or aspire to be. As long as there is no harm to others, each dream is worthy and valid. There will be people who are critical, but for the most part, just pursuing a dream can be rewarding in itself. Perhaps the original idea will transform into something completely different along the way. That transformation could not occur if there was not work being done.

Go ahead and be selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself (I don’t think it’s selfish!), and be unselfish in sharing your ideas with the world. The more I work on writing, the more I find that the criticism from others isn’t as big and scary in real life as it is in my mind. Most of the feedback I have received has been positive and useful, rather than the condemning version I envisioned in my mind for so long. The more difficult part is even getting the attention in the first place. But that will come with time and plenty of patience.

Do you have a dream that needs to be dusted off? Well, what are you waiting for? Please share with us below! Namaste!

image credit: CryingSoulGirl

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  1. Jamie Aug 1, 8:18 am

    I agree that we should listen to ourselves. Those ideas that won’t leave us alone happen for a reason. There are always going to be critics, people who keep us from fulfilling our dreams. We should not be one of them.

    1. anniehurley Aug 1, 12:29 pm

      So true Jamie. Good way of looking at it!


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