8 Ways To Reach Your Dream Starting Today


You don’t want to look back in 10 years and realize you were the reason you didn’t reach your dreams.

I’m a dreamer. On some level, I believe I’ve always been a person of dreams and vision. But just because a person can dream doesn’t mean they will automatically reach their dreams.

To reach a dream involves work. You cannot sit on the sidelines and do nothing. So many people do this very thing. They hope, and pray, and wish for something new and amazing to happen in their life. They may even have a mental picture of what they want their life to look like, but the reality is, you have to do something about your dreams.

Dreams are just pictures of what could be. They are the visions of a future you desire for yourself, and while it’s great to be a dreamer, you’ll never make it to the place you hope for fueled only by desire.

I’ve had the opportunity to counsel with those who have marriage problems like issues with trust, intimacy; even verbal abuse. They want their relationship to get better. They desire to be closer to their spouse, but they never put in the work to make it happen. They’ve told me they want to build trust or stop saying hurtful words, but without the work they never get the result.

You’ve probably known others who really wanted to create a strong relationship with their children, but they refused to take the time to do it.

The list could go on and on:
– Dreams of a more loving home
– Dreams of a more stable income
– Dreams of a better spiritual life and deeper relationship with God
– Dreams of becoming healthier and whole
– Dreams of helping others and making a bigger impact

Dreams are noble. And many times, your dream is completely attainable. However, you can’t allow yourself to be the lid that stops your hopes. Too many people become the lid that caps off their future and their potential.

For over twenty years in pastoral ministry, I’ve had the opportunity to see people do this, and on occasions, to work with them. Most never realize that they are the problem. So before you become your own stumbling block, allow me to give you a few things I’ve observed over the years that we all have the tendency to do.
These things block your dreams and sometimes kill your dream altogether.

Here are eight ways to reach your dream starting today:

1. Have the willingness to risk things.

Dreams require risk, period. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and do things that are risky. If you want to develop a deeper marriage relationship, for instance, you cannot remain distant, emotionally closed, and untouchable. To have deeper friendships you have to risk your feelings and the potential that you might get hurt.

Playing everything safe and inside the lines may keep your life where it currently is, but it will never advance you forward. Taking a risk is a necessary part of the work required to reach a dream and pursue a vision.

2. Stop being afraid.

Fear will hold your life hostage if you allow it to. This was one of my problems for years. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly haven’t reached all my dreams, but I can say with excitement that I have reached some of them.

Fear will be the stumbling block that keeps you from launching out. It’s not that you don’t have the talent or ability. In some cases that might be true, but most people who dare to dream of something more, something bigger, have already put in the work to develop their talents and abilities.

You can do it, but you let fear stop you, and it’s a shame.

The world needs your dream. We need to see you live up to your potential. We WANT to see you live up to it.

The people closest to you need you to reach your dream because 90% of the time a dream impacts them for the better too. Don’t let fear make you miss your it. Ten years from now, you don’t want to be that guy or that girl who WISHES they’d have had the guts to launch.

3. Be vocal about your dream.

Listen…you have to speak up about your dreams. No one is going to get out there and do it for you. God has gifted you, and placed something special in your heart. It is a desire that has the potential to change things in your life, but you have to believe in your dream enough to speak up about it.

Too many dreams have silently slipped into nothingness because their owner never had the courage to speak them out.

Here’s the thing: When you speak something out of your mouth, it becomes more real. The more you talk about it, the greater you convince yourself of its reality. Scripture says that, “faith comes by hearing.” This principle holds true no matter what you apply it to.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Many dreams silently slip into nothingness because you don’t have the courage to speak them out. ” quote=”Many dreams silently slip into nothingness because you don’t have the courage to speak them out.” theme=”style2″]

It’s true that you shouldn’t tell your dreams to just anyone. Some people will discourage you from reaching for them. They won’t believe in you. But you have to be willing to speak to yourself.

I remember when I first began “declaring” things in my life. It felt silly like I was just talking to myself or something. In reality, when you speak out or maintain your belief in your dreams, it’s a form of prayer that not only speaks to God but also builds up your faith. Your dreams take on a reality that they would not have otherwise.

4. Put in the effort necessary to reach your dream.

Over the years, I’ve heard people talk about their dreams, but somewhere along the way, talk becomes all they do. They talk about it but never take action.

This is one of the saddest things of all, because you know they have the potential to reach what they’re talking about. Don’t you hate it when you see someone who obviously has the ability, skill, talent, and connections, just throw away their potential? I do. I’ve seen so many people do this, but what’s worse is I’ve heard them complain at the same time about not going anywhere in life.

Listen, don’t complain. If you’re not going to do anything to reach your dream then stop complaining about it. You could reach it if you just tried.

5. If you fail, get back up and try again.

This involves some of the fear that we talked about earlier. If you’ve tried before and your attempts failed, I can understand and relate. You may not want to try again, but remember, there have been so many others who stood in your place and made a successful go of it just because they made an effort to try again.
It is cliche to talk about how many times Thomas Edison failed before he developed the light bulb, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Where would we be if everyone who failed, simply gave up?

The unwillingness to try again can come from several different sources. One time I tried something, and it failed. I didn’t have the resources to try that particular idea again, at least not in the same way. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the notion though.

You can raise funds, put down your pride, get the help, go a different route, make a change, or whatever, but don’t quit just because you failed one time.

6. Be the example of sacrifice.

Dreams require sacrifice. You have to give up to go up. Every dream worth reaching always involves other people too. If you won’t sacrifice, don’t think that those around you will.

The lack of sacrifice comes from one of two places: You either don’t believe in your dream enough to sacrifice for it, or you’re selfish.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Dreams require sacrifice.” quote=”Dreams require sacrifice.” theme=”style2″]

If you believed in your dream deep down in your heart, I mean really believed it was possible, you would sacrifice. A sacrifice isn’t as much a sacrifice if it has the potential of great reward. Having a belief in your dream is critical because reaching it will always take things out of you and from you, at first.

Vision and dreams don’t pay off in the short-term outlook. Their reward comes when you stick with them over the long haul.

On the other hand, if you’re too selfish to sacrifice, just quit talking about your dreams and save us all some time.

7. Lead yourself well.

The other quality that dreams will always require is discipline. Good, old fashioned, hardcore, discipline is the ability to lead yourself. If you can’t lead yourself, you’ll never reach your dream.

Here’s the reason: Reaching a dream takes motivation.

Nobody is going to be your cheerleader or motivator all the time; it’s going to be up to you. You have to get good at motivating yourself and leading yourself to change where change is necessary. It takes discipline to do this.

What qualities will it take to reach the dream that’s in your heart? Whatever they are I bet it will take the leadership of discipline to build them into your life. If you can’t lead yourself, you’ll never make it. The thing is, having discipline, motivation, and leading yourself are a choice. You can choose to have or do these things. If you really want to live in that dream of yours, be willing to lead yourself into the qualities that will make it happen.

8. Sell out to your dream.

Selling out to your dream is the deepest form of faith, sacrifice, and risk. It is saying, “I’m all in.” Selling out is holding nothing back, giving all you have, and betting the farm.

Few people are willing to sell out to reach their dreams, but those who do usually reach them.

I don’t know what selling out will mean for you. It’s something that you have to calculate on your own.

Studying scripture has made me realize that Jesus had a dream. His dream was that humanity would have a bridge to get to God. So Jesus spent every waking hour taking risks, enduring arguments, giving up his personal rights, developing those around him, and sacrificing.

In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you. He created the bridge to God. His dream for humanity become a reality.

You probably won’t have to die for your dream, but your pride may have to. Your frivolous wants and desires may have to die for you to reach your dream. Your fear will certainly have to die.

If you really want to reach your dream, then sell out to it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you.” quote=”In the end, Jesus sold out to his dream. He died for it. Jesus died for you.” theme=”style2″]

My hope is that you reach your fullest potential and live your dream. My prayer is that this post helps make it a little more possible.

Would you mind to do two things for me?
First, if this post has pushed you to take some steps toward your dream, or encouraged you, if you’ve received value from it, share it on your social media so it can help someone else.

Second, let me keep pushing you to reach your dream by signing up for my Faith Building Challenge. You can do that below.

Faith Building Challenge

Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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