The thing abut dreams is they change.
What we want in our teens, 20's, 30's and 40's may well be different things.
The other thing about dreams is that, funnily enough, we can be prone to take on the dreams of other people.
Yip, without realising it, it is SO easy to get swept along by the tide of our friends, families, co-workers, colleagues - whoever - and we take on ideals as if they are our own.
This doesn't lead to a happy bunny situation, normally (sorry, Buggs).
There is probably counselling involved, a lot of tears, a feeling of disconnect, probably anxiety, illnesses, and a lot of mixed emotions.
How do I know?
I have been there. And so, very probably, have you.
At the age of *cough* 38, I am living the dream. I am living the dream of the life I want NOW.
But it took me a long time to realise it, accept it, and let go of the dreams of my 20's.
I am sure I am not alone when I mention the word "checklist" - ring any bells?
The list of things you would/should do by 25/30/40. Mine included doing an MA (tick), buying a house (tick), having kids (tick), living in Barcelona (nope), travelling to Australia (nope), having my own business (tick).
When we create lists, we set up to fail.
Coming from a list-a-holic this is a big AA moment; "Hey, my name is Jo and I have lists everywhere".
I am sure many of you Type A's will have a similar thing.
You should have seen the list of stuff I set up for myself as a new mum. As if being awake and dressed wasn't enough, I was trying to learn Spanish whilst breast feeding in order to tick off that box.
Madness. But then hindsight is always so damned focussed, isn't it.
I am a HUGE fan of going after what you want, don't get me wrong, but I love to go after a FEELING now rather than a checkbox (despite what my Bullet Journal brainstorms might say)
Danielle LaPorte Desire Map fans will recognise this as your core desire feelings, going after how you want to feel over what you want to have/be.
When you compare yourself to the dreams of others, or what others want for you, there is incongruence.
This could show up as illness, depression, anxiety and other physical and mental responses. You could feel out of alignment, lost, useless, uncertain.
You could be lethargic, de-motivated, uninspired, lacking energy.
The hardest part is actually the easiest part, too.
Only YOU know what feels right, and what "living the dream" looks like for you, and specifically you.
For me, right now, living the dream looks like being here for my amazing daughters before and after school, being with them as much as possible to read, bake, create, chill out and be Mum.
It looks like working from home for myself. It looks like going for walks and bike rides in the country.
10 years ago my dream was very different. I was living that dream in East London, a vibrant life with friends and colleagues, partying, socialising, learning, growing, being.
My dream has changed and I have too.
I have swapped my inner hipster for a onesie.
I am what some may think of as boring, (or what I prefer to think of as grounded.) I am in this cycle of life, enjoying it, being present with it, and loving it.
As solopreneurs making sure you are congruent with YOUR dream is so important.
After all, isn't this why we chose this crazy life that makes and breaks you?
It can be all too easy to see others doing amazing things, but remember, the dream is theirs not yours (at least we hope it is).
Don't feel the pressure of a dream that belongs to your partner, boss, parents, friends, sibling.
It's ok to say no, and to only say yes when it's a FUCK YEAH!
So, next time you go strive to live the dream check in with yourself - is the dream really yours?
I would love to hear below how you are living your dream, how you know when you are (or are not) congruent with your own dream, and what that looks like for you,
Tell me, awesome folks.
This post originally appeared on the Dexterous Diva.