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As you start to kick it into high gear to pursue your next BIG dream or goal, it’s super important that you understand what your dream is going to require of you.
And what you think you’re going to need in order to make it happen, well…
It’s NOT what you think.
In fact, I am going to share with you some of the struggles in the steps that I have taken to making my dream come true.
To be honest, it’s quite humbling for me to reveal myself to you in this way.
Especially when a BIG dream is in process
(it always feels much “safer” to show the before and after….not the “in between”, right?)
Yet, it’s also fascinating to really see who it’s required me to become.
That’s the real beauty of pursuing a dream
And it’s #1 thing that my dream has asked of me.
The best part of creating a dream is not the end goal.
Surprisingly, the best part …. It’s who you must become in the process.
Let’s dive into a very recent example in my life.
This past year, my team and I have been working hard behind the scenes doing a complete rebrand of my company, French Kiss Life.
Creating this new image of FKL is a key stepping stone in order to create my next goal.
And, here is the Brand Spankin’ New brand video that I am so excited to reveal to you today.
(And, this is just a taste of what’s around the corner)
Our new FKL brand video represents the core mission of French Kiss Life — living artfully and well — and it could not have been created without you.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
In bringing my BIG dream to life, there are two key things that fire me up:
1. I am so excited about the thousands of women whose lives will be changed by the work we’re doing in the world.
2. However, I am MOST excited about who it’s requiring me to become.
And in this post, I am going to dive deep into the latter.
I want YOU to get fired up about who you need to become in order to create your dream.
Because if you don’t become someone new, your dream will never come to fruition.
Let’s start by examining some of the biggest culprits of dream crushing….
Justifying all the reasons “Why It Can’t Possibly be Created”
Five years ago, my client came to me with a big dream.
She wanted to move to Paris, France.
On our very first call, I told her: “That’s easy.”
Her mind went crazy: “No, it’s not,” she replied.
And, she went on to give me all the excuses as to why it was so hard.
I don’t have enough money.
I’m not sure if I’ll like living there.
What if it doesn’t work out?
My family will think I’m nuts.
I don’t know how to speak French.
I get it.
It’s familiar. It’s safe. It’s known.
But, do you know what else it is?
Boring. Disappointing. Full of regret.
I let my client dump all her reasons on me. I knew what was happening. She was trying to talk herself out of her own dream.
See, our reasons as to why our dream cannot possibly come true can seem very rational, and clear, and justified.
But they are actually lies.
Justifying to stay right where you are is a dream crusher. #truth
Then, I continued,
“Moving to Paris is easy. People do it all the time.”
“The hardest part is actually becoming the woman who moves to Paris.”
Going after your dreams is going to be uncomfortable. But the woman who moves to Paris, even though it seems impossible, she is willing to feel the discomfort of creating her dreams. This is the most amazing part of what happens when your dreams become reality.
The BEST part of creating a dream is actually this:
Who you become in the process.
Our dreams ask us to evolve into the type of woman who can create them.
We can’t keep engaging in the same thoughts and actions and expect our dreams to come true.
In working with women to help them make their dreams come true, I have identified a pattern of being that will keep you right where you are…every time!
And, it has nothing to do with your circumstances.
If that were the case, Oprah would not be Oprah. We also wouldn’t have Jay-Z and Sarah Jessica Parker. And, there would be no French Kiss Life. All of us started from very humble beginnings.
Creating your dreams requires that you break addictions to certain states of being.
Every dream I have, has asked that I evolve as a woman.
And, I want to be very clear:
I’m not evolving because I think where I am isn’t amazing. Because it absolutely is.
I want to constantly be in a state of “becoming.”
I want to evolve and create because that’s part of what it means to mean to live artfully and well . . . to French Kiss Life!
During this behind the scenes rebranding process of my company + mission + movement, I’ve noticed certain states popping up for myself. The same ones that I recognize in my clients.
What you need to give up in order to remove the dream killers that reside in your mind.
Over the last several months, every time one of these thoughts reared its ugly head, I’ve switched my mindset and instead perceived it as a glorious invitation to become a more courageous and wiser version of myself.
I want to extend you the same invitation.
When it comes to your dreams, here are some 3 things you’ll have to give up:
FIRST THING YOU NEED TO GIVE UP = Confusion
How many of you claim to be confused about your dreams?
Raise your hand if you can relate.
This was my favorite way to hide from my dreams.
As it relates to this FKL rebrand process, I have found myself making it so complicated in my head.
How could I combine my love of style and personal development together?
Who do I want to reach specifically with this work?
Did I really want to give up my name and create something way bigger than me?
I was waiting for a confused mind to offer me clarity.
Turns out, it doesn’t work that way.
You must decide and keep moving.
Confusion is an excuse to hide and slow progress towards your dream.
I finally had to call myself out on my own B.S.
I know my message:
It’s where self-development meets style. It’s about living passionately, artfully and well. It’s about living with grace, grit, and gumption. And, for the love of God, it’s how I seek to live my life every day.
See, I was NOT confused.
But I was really good at pretending I was.
Now, from this rebranding process, I never say I’m confused…ever!
I don’t let my clients spin in confusion either. Because I know that this is just the minds tricky way of keeping you where you are. As long as you don’t know, you get to stay right where you are.
Just like my client, Rachel, who told me she was confused about what to eat. Her dream was to lose 20 pounds and keep it off. I assured her that she was not confused. I challenged her to verbalize what foods feel good in her body and what she needs to eat in order to lose weight. She recited a perfect meal plan that inevitably led to her weight loss of twenty-two pounds.
See, she was never confused.
She was just afraid of doing the hard work.
You’re not confused either.
Sure, you may not have all the answers on the “how” because no one does.
SECOND THING YOU NEED TO GIVE UP = DOUBT
Okay, let me be clear: doubt doesn’t kill your dreams.
But, listening and believing your doubt does.
Here’s the thing:
The bigger your dreams, the bigger your doubt.
So expect it.
And if doubt is not there sister, I am sure that you’re not dreaming big enough
Every day I’m filled with doubt because I am creating things that don’t yet exist.
I want to tell you that during this long and arduous FKL rebrand process, I have had many doubts arise:
Will women love it?
Am I making a mistake going to Frenchkisslife.com versus TonyaLeigh.com?
Did we choose the right designer and developer and branding expert and……?
Is this investment worth it?
When you are pursuing a dream, your mind will pull out all the punches to keep you scared and stuck, because the mind is lazy.
Your mind does not want to work so hard to change, so doubt will be present for any dream you have.
A Quick Tutorial on How to Conquer Doubt:
When it comes to doubt, you have two options.
Option #1: Listen to your doubt
When you do this, you really believe it when your mind says:
That’s not possible.
You’ve never been able to do it before.
Who are YOU to do something like that?
You’re being ridiculous.
You’re going to fail.
And, when you entertain these thoughts, guess what happens?
Absolutely nothing except living a life of regrets and “what-ifs.”
But, there’s another option:
Option #2: Doubt your doubt
Just this morning, I woke up full of doubt. Here’s what happened:
I had a conversation with a potential CFO for my company. This is an area that I know I need help with. I know that having this person will alleviate so many unknowns and unnecessary stress. I know this person is essential in helping me realize my dream of having French Kiss Life touch the lives of one million women.
My mind was going absolutely nuts this morning.
But, I’ve been in this rodeo with my doubt for a long time. And, I can either get on the bull and ride my heart out. Or I can run and sit on the sidelines and watch others make their dreams come true.
This is where confidence comes in.
I had to dig deep into who I really am.
And, I choose to believe that I a resourceful and smart woman who is on a mission to create a movement of women who are committed to living artfully and well in their lives.
How can I expect YOU to do scary things if I’m hiding out in my house afraid to hire a CFO?
So, I began to counter every doubt I had.
*It’s too much money.*
And…… Money is abundant. If I believe in my vision and want it to grow, I must be willing to bet on myself.
*You’re going to go broke.*
And….. I may become the richest woman on the planet (and wealth comes in many forms).
*You’ve been doing okay alone.*
And….. I’m ready to do better than okay. Imagine what I could create with an amazing team of people.
*You need to put that money away for Sarah.*
And….. I need to be an example to Sarah of what’s possible.
*Why don’t you just settle for where you are. It’s not so bad.*
And….. Where I am is amazing and I’m excited to create more. My 90-year old self says loudly “Go for it, darling!”
So, when you think about your dream, what doubts do you have?
THIRD THING YOU NEED TO GIVE UP = OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS
When it comes to your dreams, everyone will have an opinion.
Your mother will think you’re crazy.
Your co-workers will think you’re being “too much.”
Your friends will be upset that you no longer want to drink.
Your adult kids will throw out the guilt trip card when you create boundaries to support your dream.
People will laugh at you.
People will leave negative reviews.
This is one of the biggest obstacles I see when it comes to making dreams come true.
Dreams require that you care more about your opinion than what others think.
I wish I could tell you that everyone is going to support you and cheer you on, but I’d be lying.
Just like with doubt, the bigger your dream, the bigger other’s judgments of you will be (at least that’s been my experience.)
But, here’s what I want you to consider:
Those people don’t have to live your life.
So, why do you give them so much of your attention?
Yeah, I know.
It’s easier said than done, but it’s doable.
As a former people pleaser who was terrified of people thinking badly of me, I’ve had to practice this way of being until it’s become who I am.
And, while it’s very uncomfortable, I wouldn’t trade the life I’ve created for anything. And, this life required that I give up obsessing about other people’s opinions.
As I have been navigating this rebranding process, I have also faced other people’s opinions, especially when I told them I’ve decided to drop the brand name of Tonya Leigh and have the company fall under French Kiss Life. Including changing the actual website from TonyaLeigh.com to FrenchKissLife.com
Some people thought I was crazy.
Why don’t you brand your name?
Are you hiding?
Everyone is switching to a personal brand.
Don’t you think you’re making a mistake?
Then, there are some who are completely turned off with the name “French Kiss Life.”
That’s so inappropriate.
That’s not very elegant.
I don’t like it.
Imagine if I’d allowed these opinions to rattle me?
I’d still be trying to decide. And, I wouldn’t have listened to my heart. While I will respect your and other’s opinion, I won’t let it stop me.
(and in case you are wondering why I decided that I did……Here’s why: I want to build something that extends beyond me. And, the phrase French Kiss Life makes my heart smile because it reminds me of that moment in time when this whole movement started. #agreetodisagree)
Here’s another recent personal example:
Recently, I vacationed for six weeks in Europe.
Upon returning home, a so-called friend made a snide comment,
“Well, it must be nice. Not everyone gets to jet-set around Europe for six weeks.”
Yep, oh boy did they have a strong opinion about my doings.
But imagine if I let that stop me.
I wouldn’t have ridden a camel in the desert of Morocco.
I wouldn’t have seen the stunning sunsets of Porto.
I wouldn’t have been invited to a VIP Wine tasting at all the top designer boutiques in Milan.
And, I certainly wouldn’t have had the belly laughs that almost left me with six-pack abs
(by the way, laughter = the best ab workout ever. Just sayin’)
The old me would have tried to justify my dreams to this person:
“But, I was working while there. In fact, I hosted a retreat in Paris!”
“I’ve waited my whole life for this trip.
“You see, I’ve been unable to travel for the past two years because of my daughter’s health.
“I worked so hard for this!”
I don’t need to justify my dreams and neither do you.
Let me ask you a really important question:
Why would you put your future into the hands of other’s opinions?
And, not just your future, but your kid’s and entire family’s future?
Really think about that.
When your friends say, “Why are you spending so much time trying to grow a business,” they are not the ones having to feed your family.
When your mother says, “Just eat the cake,” she’s not the one who’s having to wake up each day in your body.
When your co-workers say, “I can’t believe you’re going on a retreat to Paris. That’s silly,” they are not the ones who have to wonder how that trip will change your life.
I get it.
It’s not easy to get over our people-pleasing tendencies.
It’s uncomfortable to go after what you want when people are telling you that you’re insane, selfish, delusional, or incapable.
But, dream making isn’t for the faint of heart.
Surround yourself with people who cheer on our dreams, who inspire you to dream bigger and who are in the arena with you.
Stop listening to those sitting in the cheap seats.
Be more committed to your dreams than you are trying to control other people’s opinions of you.
Ready to make your dreams come true?
These are three things you must give up:
- Other People’s Opinions
And, when you do, be prepared to amaze yourself with what’s possible.
Just ask my client.
She’s living in a flat in Paris.
And she’s never been happier……with her flat in Le Marais, AND with the woman, her dream required her to become.