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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dresser

12 Ways to Shift Your Mindset to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Dreams - and Traps to Avoid




1 - Remember It Is Never Too Late to Begin

Whatever you are dreaming of, it is never too late to start. But from a very young age we receive messages about what we "should" have achieved at every age for all areas of life: education, marriage, career...


Do not fall into the trap of conforming to those artificially created timelines. Don't criticize yourself for not starting sooner, and don't berate yourself for the life choices you have made to date.


If you are hesitating to make that change, I can tell you that you do not need to feel 100% ready. Start as you are, begin with doubts and fears, but start!


2 - Have a Clear Vision of What You Want to Achieve

Be very clear about what you want to achieve. If you do not have a full picture of exactly what you want to do yet, then clarify your values first, and let your intuition guide you forward. Back in 2010, I realized that my current career was completely misaligned with my own values. My first step to change was to return to school to study Sustainability.


"Reason has a limited perspective. Take the next step that resonates with your intuition."

Reason has a limited perspective. Take the next step that resonates with your intuition or heart, whatever you want to call it.


I thought at first I should move sideways and remain in corporate and applied for roles in Corporate Sustainability. My logical mind was trying to provide a logical path. But this still didn't reflect my values, and a role in a company was still someone else's job, not my own. So I ultimately rejected the idea of being an employee for anyone.


I then went on to complete my hypnotherapy training in 2014. I combined the concepts of models of Sustainable Communities, particularly the elements of social and spiritual support, with my hypnotherapy certifications to offer no-cost therapy and support available to everyone through my Youtube channel.


It may not be a linear path to success but every side path will inform you if you remain open-minded.


3 - Get Creative Within Constraints

Waiting for the perfect time, the right amount of money, to feel ready etc. are all forms of procrastination. Whatever the limits on time, money and other resources, ask yourself each and every day what is it that you can do. And it is much, much better to start small, refine your work and only then expand.

"Start where you are, get going with your dream, however small those steps may seem."

I call myself a pragmatic idealist. I started my channel with an $80 investment in a microphone and an old computer. I'm not waiting for the world to change or for anyone's permission to do what I do. I am doing the work I believe in today, right now.


4 - You Have an Unlimited Resource - Your Mind!

In 3D reality, there are constraints of time and money.


But you do have an unlimited resource: your mind.


As most of our brain power lies below conscious awareness, within our subconscious, you need to get your subconscious on board with your goals and dreams. Listen to my Meditation to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Dreams. It will take you on a journey of challenges that will teach you patience, resilience and self-belief.



5 - Build Habits to Support Your Goals

Goals are the result of the actions you take every single day. And we operate on habits for more than 90% of the day. So I encourage you to create a routine that sets you up for success as soon as possible.


Establish habits that support your productivity, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, and creativity. Habits will also help you get back on track sooner when something goes wrong and will give you a framework that sets you up for success.



6 - Focus on Progress, Not Perfection

Mistakes, I've made more than a few. And there is no avoiding them. You have to do the work and, as you progress, be prepared to stumble along the way. Don't expect to get everything right the first time.


Following your passion requires an unusual mix of confidence and humility. If you can embody both of these qualities, you will recover from your mistakes and transform them into lessons learned. Keep moving forward


7 - Remember It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

If you are pursuing your dreams, no doubt you are fuelled by passion, and you will want to work on it day and night. There may be extraordinary demands on you at all levels. And it can be challenging to know when to stop, to rest. But you do need to rest.


"The mindset that brings you initial success can be your downfall in the long term."

I admit that this is a lesson I am still learning myself. But the relentless prioritization of work above all else may make you successful at first but can end up being your downfall in the long term.

Pace yourself. The path you to your dreams may be longer than you think. It's a marathon, not a sprint. You need to preserve your energy, your focus and your health to ensure that you go the distance. And, if you don't already, you must set boundaries with your work.



8 - Be Aware of Your Self-Talk - and Talk From Others

Defend your dream no matter what. Protect it, nurture it, and don't let anyone else dissuade you. When I quit the corporate world, I experienced a surprisingly negative backlash. Some openly expressed that the concept of low-cost and no-cost support simply could not work; that I would fail. And you know what, they were right. In the beginning.


For the first three years I was losing money. In fact, I lost all my money and got into debt. But I could see that year over year, even though I wasn't yet breaking even, I was getting closer to becoming financially self-sustaining.

"He who thinks he can and he who thinks he can't are both usually right."

It required even more work to get out of debt, to work two more jobs in addition to this, my vocation. And now I support myself.


But there will be times you can't ignore that doubting inner voice, which leads me to the next tip.


9 - Transform Fears into Risks - and Manage Them

In the process of pursuing your dreams, you will face obstacles and disappointments you never imagined. And after a few setbacks, the mind can quite easily start to imagine things that have not gone wrong yet but might.


If you find that your mind starts to tell you stories, first, be aware that the brain has a negative bias. It is designed to notice threats above all else.


Second, write down the fear. This is something I did for myself. Fear manages to be both incredibly vague and overwhelming at the same time, paralyzing us into inaction.

"When we name a fear, we tame it."

I challenged that voice of fear to get very specific. And in that act, I drained some of the power of fear by transforming it into a risk that I could manage.


Here are the questions I asked myself:


  1. What am I afraid of that may go wrong? How will I recognize this risk if it becomes a reality?

  2. What is the impact of that risk?

  3. What action will I take? Can I mitigate it, stop it or reverse it?

  4. How can I recover and get back on track?


It can feel at times as if life happens to us. But there is always something you can do. You are the greatest influence over your own life.


10 - Celebrate ALL Your Wins

It may take longer than you think to achieve your end goal (it did for me). And you may become disheartened if you don't stop and notice what you have achieved.


If there is just one person you can trust with your dreams, share your achievements with them.


If not, at the end of every week, journal what you have achieved. Goals can be something tangible, or you may have learned something new. Celebrate it all. Make this part of your weekly habits.


11 - When You Can't Move Forward, Refuse to Turn Back

You may not always feel like you are progressing, but you are. And if you are too tired, overwhelmed, or confused, give yourself a break. We live in a world that pushes us all to go faster and faster, to do more and be more. But you are already enough. And I'll return to my first point and remind you: it is never too late. You still have the choice to go at your own pace and to rest too.


Don't put a timeline on success. I decided that I would be making a living, breaking even after year two. It took three. Hold faith that your goal or dream WILL happen.


12 - Failure is Not Final

The only way to avoid failure is to do what you've always done or, worse, do nothing at all. Failure is not final, and success is not a single point in time. Success is a journey of many steps. So if you haven't already, I encourage you to take that first step today.


And to support you in whatever your goal or dream may be, listen to my Confidence Affirmations to Go for Goals and my Sleep Meditation to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Dreams.




Thanks for Reading

Sarah Dresser, Creator of Unlock Your Life

My name is Sarah from Unlock Your Life, and I quit a 17-year corporate career to create the job I love.


You can access my hypnosis, meditations and affirmations sessions on my YouTube channel here and connect with me on Facebook and Instagram.


If you have benefitted from my work, please donate to support me here on Paypal or through Donorbox.

And, as always, I am here to support you on your journey.

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