I believe all of us have the potential to do great things in life. We all have the ability to bring our dreams, no matter how big or small, into our reality. I know you have a dream too. Something you would really like to accomplish. A dream that makes you excited and light up every time you talk about it.
Whether you are only starting out, or have already began a journey towards that dream, I’d like to share with you a brief story. The story is about the lessons I’ve learned on the way to one of my dreams. My hope for you is that these lessons can inspire you and give you courage to follow your own.
In my twenties, I set upon a path of becoming a private pilot. It was a big and exciting dream, which changed my outlook on life forever. When I decided to pursue this dream, I was filled with excitement and inspiration. I could not think about anything else but flying. Suddenly, my whole life revolved around it.
I’m not going to lie, learning to fly was hard work. It required lot of commitment, and it was something that put me out of my comfort zone almost every single day. At the same time, it was love at first sight. It was a discovery of something beautiful. When my instructor allowed me to take the aeroplane up to the skies for the first time on my own, I felt extremely lucky. The freedom to cruise the sky, and seeing the world from this new perspective, felt absolutely magical. It felt like a secret door to a new life has just opened right in front of me.
During my training I learned a lot, not only about flying. I learned so much about myself, my life and what I’m capable of achieving when I set my mind to it. I learned to be courageous and to step out of my comfort zone. What’s more, I gained confidence within myself and also in my decisions. As a bonus, I learned to stop comparing myself to other people and to their journeys, which are unique to them. And most importantly, the experiences I gained are now helping my students and clients when we work together on pursuing their dreams.
When someone starts working towards a dream, at first, they are full of excitement, self-belief, and self-confidence. They feel ready and are fully committed. This is very inspiring. I find that when people start encountering initial challenges, however, doubt steps in. The dream they were so excited about just a short while ago can suddenly seem difficult and somehow distant. The two main blocks that often hold people back at this stage are: stepping out of their comfort zone and comparison to others.
I have encountered these two challenges too, but have a different outlook on them now which I’d love to share with you.
Make one courageous decision at the time
While learning to fly, stepping out of my comfort zone wasn’t always easy for me, especially when it came to my first few solo flights. The scary voices in my head were often making me question myself and my abilities. But after a while, I got tired of listening to that disempowering mind chatter. I wanted to learn to fly and be good at it. I decided to change my perspective, and realised that, up to that point, I was looking at the big picture, which felt sometimes overwhelming.
Changing my perspective helped me understand that it is not about the final goal, but about the journey. When I broke the process down to smaller steps, my dream of becoming a pilot looked more achievable. Since then, I began making one courageous decision at the time. I took control, by staying focused in the moment, doing what I had to do each lesson, without thinking too far to the future.
I also learned to be more patient with myself. One day, I took one step forward, another day, two steps back. This was all part of the process.
Your journey is unique to you
One thing that holds many people back, in any area of life, is comparing themselves to others. We often idolise other people, making them seem better than ourselves. But what we forget is that all of our journeys are unique. This is another lesson that I learned during my training.
My flying school had many students. All of these students came from different backgrounds. They were different ages and had different perspectives. Some were more intellectual; others were more practical. Some were doing exceptionally well. Others seemed to struggle sometimes. I was able to learn very quickly that comparing myself to others would be irrelevant. I had to focus on my own journey. So I stopped comparing myself to them and I stopped putting myself down when I wasn’t doing so well.
I decided to replace comparison with inspiration. This gave a completely different outlook, which felt a lot better. Picking up this good habit has served me well ever since – even in other areas of my life. These days, I see other people’s confidence, abilities and courage as a reflection of my own abilities. Seeing someone confident and inspiring, gives me a clear indication that if I’m willing to put in some work, I too, am more than capable of achieving some great things in life. With this mindset, everybody wins. I learned to stop comparing myself to others and focus on my journey, which is unique to myself.
We all get a bit scared and apprehensive sometimes, especially when we are starting something new. But it is the courage to try new things that will set us on a path of accomplishing something great. So whether you want to be an author, a musician, or perhaps a pilot, take a deep breath and start making that one courageous decision at the time. Know that setbacks and obstacles are part of the journey, and that they are teaching you some valuable lessons.
Don’t forget that comparing yourself to other people can only hold you back. Your journey is unique to you, so instead of comparing yourself to other people, see them as a reflection of your own greatness, which is currently hidden somewhere within you. You too, are able to achieve that big dream of yours, like I did in the end, if you set your mind to it.