Psychology of Nutrition

11 Ways to Build Courage to Create Your Dream Life

This image portrays a woman jumping across too big rocks to illustrate that she is fearless and courageous.

Courage is necessary to create your dream life

Did you know that only 15 percent of individuals worldwide actually love what they do for their career?

Only 15 percent! 

Now, although that statistic is shocking on it’s own, it’s even more shocking to understand why so many people are not happy with their current career. Hint: It has to do with the title of this blog post!

Unfortunately, many people lack the courage it takes to truly live their dream life. Whether that’s because they are afraid of what others will think, they are worried about failing, or they don’t know the necessary next steps is unclear, but the truth remains the same…

People are living their lives stuck in a state of unfulfillment. 

That is a LOT of time to be feeling unhappy, so for your sake, we hope you’re ready to make some massive changes. Look, on average, you will spend about one-third of your life at work. And, our guess is that if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably in the 85% that isn’t entirely satisfied with what you are doing right now. 

But, where do you even begin!?

The only way you will be able to make lasting changes in your life is if you find the courage to do so. We know it can be absolutely terrifying to leave your current job, home, relationship — whatever is holding you back from living a life that is authentic to your goals. 

But, you know what? You’re not alone! 

We want to help you in your journey of self-discovery, self-love, and self-fulfillment. That’s why we created our list of 11 ways to help you build the courage to create your dream life. 

But before we dive in, let’s quickly explain what “courage” actually means

There’s a great passage by Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., that we admire because it explains exactly what courage means to us here at the Institute of Transformational Nutrition.  Dr. Cohen says: 

“Courage is not an extreme. It is neither blind fearlessness nor cowardice. If there is a truck rapidly approaching, it is not courageous to fearlessly attempt to cross the road.

But, if there is no sign of a truck, it is self-defeating to be afraid even if there are no guarantees that a truck will not suddenly appear.

Blind fearlessness will get you killed while cowardice will keep you from living. Either way, you won’t get across the proverbial streets of life.

Courage involves looking both ways, making a reasonable – albeit never certain – judgment that you can proceed, and then doing so.”

Much like it states in this quote, our list is not extreme. Instead, we focus on taking reasonable actions in order to take you from where you are now to where you desire to be. So, let’s get into the tips…

1. Get clear about what you really want

Really take the time to think about what it is you want from your dream life. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What do I want my career to look like?
  • Who do I want to be as a person?
  • What does success really look and feel like to me?
  • How can I best serve others?

The clearer you can be on what it is you are looking for in life, the easier it will be for you to get confidence around obtaining those goals.

This is a crucial step in building courage because you are able to ground yourself and find clarity. And just remember, don’t be afraid to dream big! This is your time to allow yourself to truly visualize a perfect scenario. 

2. Identify your deepest fears

What is it that you are most afraid of? What is preventing you from doing what brings you so much joy?

It’s easy to make simple excuses for why we won’t pursue our passions. Many of us land on thoughts like, “It will be too hard, or, “It will take too long and cost too much money.” …And, yes! We’ve found ourselves saying those things too! 

But, in reality, those excuses are just that…excuses…and they aren’t what is really holding you back from creating joy. The true reason why you aren’t taking the leap is most likely because you’re just plain scared to do so!

Which is okay. But, once you’ve identified the true reason why you’re afraid to live your dream life, the next step is to conquer that fear.

Our team at ITN uses what we call the “Face and Embrace Method” to acknowledge fear, embrace it, and then release it. Give it a try if you’d like!

3. Don’t just accept that everything is okay

Do you really just want to sit back and accept that everything is okay when, in reality, it’s far from it? Do you want to wake up each day and take strides further from the life you would truly love to live?

Acknowledging that you are unhappy or stuck in your current situation is an act of courage in itself. It is an essential step to overcoming your fears and putting into action what you REALLY want!

The easiest way to know if things aren’t actually okay is to reevaluate our first tip. If you just went through an entire vision of what your dream life looks like and none of it relates to what your life actually looks like now, well… it looks like you haven’t been living authentically. 

4. Break your goals into smaller steps

If what you want seems too large, or maybe even impossible to achieve, then break it down into smaller, more manageable steps to get towards your larger goal! This will help you in both making your goal feel less intimidating and by helping you feel like you are continuously making progress!

We’ve all heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” right!?

Well, just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is your dream career, life, or relationship.

But that doesn’t make it impossible to achieve! You can create smaller goals with actionable steps to help you work towards and reach that bigger vision you have! 

Especially if you are someone who is juggling a lot of different roles and responsibilities in your life. If that is the case, we’d encourage you to write down one thing each day that you can do to move you closer towards your dream. 

5. Create accountability

Oftentimes it feels less intimidating to work toward a big goal when you have others supporting you along the way and asking you how things are going. Just because you are working to create success on your terms doesn’t mean you need to leave everyone else behind! 

That is why we encourage you to round up the help of a support team — whatever that looks like for you! For instance, you could hire a life coach or a business coach, you could reach out to colleagues, you could consult with family or friends, or you can even speak with a service like the Small Business Development Center! 

Using these resources will not only help keep you on track, but they will make your dream life seem a bit more attainable. Once you speak your dream into existence, it makes it that much easier to actually make it happen! 

At the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, we offer a Private Student Community group that allows our ITN family to stay on task and get support for their journeys!

6. Walk with giants

If you have a dream vision for your life, then you need to surround yourself with people who are big thinkers and who will encourage you to do the same! This could include listening to podcasts, following specific people on social media, or joining groups and events that encourage you to step out of your box!

Additionally, you will want to avoid people and activities that may distract you and discourage you from reaching your dreams.

So much of who we are is impacted by people we surround ourselves with, whether we’d like to admit it or not! Be cautious of the energy others emit around you. If your family or friends aren’t being supportive, find people who are! Some options include network groups, business associations, and communities of like-minded people. 

7. “Workout” your courage

Courage is like a muscle — the more you lift heavy things, the stronger your muscles become and the easier things are to lift.

The more you work out your “courage muscle,” the more ease you will experience in doing the things you actually want to do and saying “no” to things that don’t fit your vision.

But, what does this look like realistically? 

If you want to build the courage to create your dream life, you have to have the courage to cancel unfulfilling plans with friends, set realistic boundaries at work and at home, and slowly start to bring your life into your own hands. It might be tough to start, but those who run marathons once started with just a mile. 

You got this!

8. Embrace fear

It’s a common saying to “Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.” 

Creating your dream life is no easy feat, and it is going to be scary. It’s going to be hard. That is the reality, but also the adventure of it! That’s part of the fun! 

No matter what your dream life looks like, this is your opportunity to push yourself, widen your perspectives, meet new people, and, along the way, fail. But guess what? You can get back up!

Learn from your mistakes and challenge yourself to be just a little bit better every single day. Embrace the unknown and welcome the journey. 

9. Practice saying “no”

It takes a lot of courage to say the word, “No.”

While it may be uncomfortable to say no right away, the more you do it, the easier it will become. Each time you say “no” to something that doesn’t serve you, you will be protecting yourself from making poor decisions and you will actively be taking steps towards the life that most fulfills you.

Not only can this just make you a happier person overall, but it will also limit distractions and wasted time. We challenge you to say “no” to something this week!

10. Turn obstacles into assets

Be ready to make a massive amount of lemonade from all of the lemons life will throw at you! 

Being courageous and fighting for what you want is inevitably going to come with hardships, struggles, and a plethora of obstacles. 

Whatever you do, don’t give up. 

Remember why you are doing this in the first place, and go back to step #1 to envision exactly what it is that you are fighting for! In the long-run, your obstacles will become your biggest asset, your biggest differentiator, and your biggest accomplishment.

11. Do what others won’t

Dare to walk the path less traveled rather than sticking to the conventional route. It takes courage to act differently than others! Be decisive, and be willing to put in the effort to get to where you want to be. 

The most successful people in life didn’t get that way by sticking to the plan. They allowed themselves to push against what is normal and fight to be different. You must do the same if you want to live the life you’ve always wanted!

So…what are you going to do?

We won’t sugarcoat it. Building courage takes time and intentional effort.

Practicing these steps consistently will help you shift from fear and comfort into a life beyond your wildest dreams.

The only question is, are you ready to break free from the 85% and instead follow your intuition?

ITN Founder Cynthia Garcia knows all about overcoming obstacles to build her dream life. In fact, she did a whole podcast episode talking about how she was able to go from homeless to health coach. Visit transformationalnutrition.com/podcast001 to listen!  

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