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I had the opportunity to speak to a group of young people at a youth event recently and I absolutely enjoyed talking about my favourite topic “Purpose Living”.  I believe that we all have a purpose and we are given gifts and talents to help us fulfil that purpose.

For years I struggled to know my purpose, and I was so envious of people who seemed to have theirs clearly defined. When I allowed myself to dream, I saw a recurring picture of me on a stage, speaking to an audience. But self-doubt and condemnation would never allow me to explore that picture in my mind. Words like “who do you think you are”, “self-obsessed” “opinionated” and “self-glorification” would always ensure I went no further with that picture. I barely acknowledged the dream, yet alone utter them to anyone. Until one day at a counselling practice training session, my colleague who was practicing her counselling skills on me, drew it out of me. She probed and encouraged me to expand on details excitedly and then I snapped. It felt like torture having to talk about it and the next thing I remember was crying my eyes out frantically, questioning why she was putting me through such an ordeal. I blurted out “stop! Why are you making me do this, it is not going to happen!” It was then I realised just how much I had suppressed this dream. Weeks later I decided to explore what had happened with my actual counsellor as my reaction really bothered me.

Picture Me On Stage

Having a safe space to explore and find out what this picture in my mind meant, was life changing. The picture of me on a stage represented my desire to make a difference. I wanted my life to matter. I have always had this sense of greatness on the inside of me; to empower people, to be a change maker, to break conformism, to talk about difficult topics. But that knowledge was overpowered and crushed by deep insecurities. Fear of believing, fear to dare, fear to step out and be seen. It wasn’t obvious or clear, but somehow my experiences and environment made me believe that I was not worthy. No one had ever pumped belief into my system or encouraged me to dare. I internalised the message that I needed to play it safe, be practical and not dream outside of my limitations. Through counselling and coaching that began to change. The fact that my counsellor would engage in what at times felt absolutely ludicrous and silly in my head, made a difference. Soon enough the picture became more vivid, clearer and real. It wasn’t a silly fantasy that made no sense and I had enough belief to let that picture come alive.

daring to dream

Dreams Are Meant to be Lived And Not in a Box

I have had similar experiences with my clients with their own pictures. I almost fell off my chair recently when a client revealed a similar picture to mine. I once asked a client what she believed her purpose was. I could see by her reaction that it was big, her eyes lit up and her demeanour changed to excitement. Yet she struggled to utter the words. Each sentence was carefully constructed and selected to dumb down her purpose into ordinary, believable, sparse and bitty information. The initial excitement I saw on her face was replaced with hesitation and doubt.  I could certainly relate to how she was feeling, so I wasn’t fooled.  For another client, counselling provided her the space where she could open her box of dreams for one hour. Together we explored, imagined, and travelled to a place she had never felt brave to tread before.  We treasured that one hour and at the end, her dreams went back in the box. Until one day when she realised that it was no longer in the box, but alive and active inside her.

Time to let your dream out of your box

What is the picture you see, when you dare to dream. Are you afraid to take a peek? If you can relate to my story and want more, Come lets explore together. Find out more about counselling and coaching services.