What is the primary difference between a driver and a passenger? The driver has control. He can choose where to go and how to get there. The passenger goes along for the ride, but the thrill and the satisfaction of navigating the course and determining the destination is not part of his experience except vicariously.
Do you take charge of your experiences or do you let others call the shots? Do you sit quietly on the side, perhaps even offer advice, but never take the wheel? If you answered “yes,” I’ll also bet that you have a lot of dreams you never expect to be more than just dreams.
If you do want to make your dreams come true, you have to sit behind the wheel and navigate your own course. It’s not easy. There will be moments when you feel like a failure. You will make turns that cause you to detour from your planned path, but it’s the only chance you have of reaching your goals. No one is going to bring them to you. You have to make the journey yourself.
When you set a goal, it’s imperative to understand there will be resistance. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The resistance could be an “in your face” event, or it may be more subtle. It may just be those voices in your head that tell you all the reasons you can’t do this. Setbacks are not negative events, however, and neither are the voices. The setbacks are reflections of attitudes that are within you—attitudes that drew those kinds of experiences to you. The voices are those attitudes inside you stepping up to the microphone in an effort to maintain the status quo. How you deal with resistance is an important part of your journey. If you fall victim to the setbacks or the voices, you will start making excuses about why your goal is out of your reach or why you’re not meant to have it.
When dealing with resistance, remember to keep your eye on your goal so that you don’t get too far off course. Setbacks are your opportunity to change your life—to meet those old ideas you have about yourself and move past them without letting them slow you down too much. Don’t think it will necessarily be easy though. Confronting these attitudes means tearing down parts of your belief system. This can be scary. After all, you’ve spent your whole life creating and embracing these beliefs. Everything you’ve done has been supported by them. You may even feel a sense of loyalty to them. If they say you don’t have the talent to accomplish your new goal, going ahead with it could feel like a betrayal or just a silly escapade that will eventually embarrass you and prove that your old beliefs are right.
It takes courage and persistence to confront the resistance you meet when you set a goal. It also requires directed movement. Do you have a map in your mind showing various ways to get from where you are now to where you want to be? If you’ve never been somewhere before, a map is advantageous. It’s just as true when you set out to reach a goal. Unfortunately, people who speak about goal-setting often gloss over this part as if beginning the journey is the easiest aspect of reaching one’s goal. Actually, it isn’t. I put it right up there with the first time you get behind the wheel of a car and have to turn left onto a busy highway from a parking lot. It seems impossible, and you put the car in reverse several times to back up and look for a better way out. Don’t be discouraged if it feels like you don’t have a clue in the beginning. Most people don’t. It’s only afterward when they’ve figured it out that clarity arrives, and they no longer remember being unsure of the steps along the way.
Be sure to stretch yourself! If you don’t, you will choose goals consistent with your beliefs about yourself. Such goals encounter little resistance and are easy to achieve. Stretching yourself increases your confidence as you meet setbacks so that you can continue on. Even the nature of your goals may change. You may choose the scenic route rather than the freeway because you understand that the journey is more important than the destination. When you finally do reach your goal, you will already be making plans for the next journey. You will never be a passenger again!
Dannye Williamsen is a Ghostwriter, Editor, Author of fiction and nonfiction, and Creator of an award-winning 5 CD audiobook (It’s Your Move! Transform Your Dreams From Wishful Thinking To Reality). Dannye holds a degree in psychology and has studied spiritual psychology for thirty-five years. She and her late husband shared a passion for spiritual psychology. She is a Southerner from Memphis, Tennessee.