Has this happened to you as often as it has for me? You’ve spent a great deal of time preparing, studying, and believing in the opportunity that will get you closer to your dreams, but when that moment actually comes, you don’t seize it. You are then kicking yourself asking yourself why you didn’t do what you were supposed to. 

This was my life for a long time. It was almost as if I was having an out of body experience while it happened. I knew exactly what I had to do and why I had to do it, but yet I wouldn’t take full advantage of my opportunities. You may have had similar situations whether you’re an athlete, a business professional or a student.

seize the moment Man holding crystal ball in landscape

You see, we all have this voice within our head that tries to guide us, but often we doubt that voice because we don’t believe in our own power. Instead of acting out of instinct and doing what we feel is best, we hold ourselves back because we worry; what happens if I say the wrong thing or what happens if I do this, and it turns out badly? I’ve been there plenty of times.  

I’m the kind of person that plans everything in my head before it even happens. I want everything to go perfectly. But how is that even possible? How can you enjoy your life if you are constantly thinking of your next step. Don’t get me wrong, you should visualize and plan your goals beforehand, but you should also learn to just live in the moment. I’ve ended up missing out on a lot of moments that I could have been, because I worried too much about what others would say or what they would think of me. This is no way to live so I made a decision that I would not live this way any longer.

Embrace the Process

I knew that if I was going to pursue my dreams, that I would have to go through a lot of ups and downs. I decided to embrace the process and make every situation the best I could. Some of these moments have been the best memories I’ve had in my life. While others left me with a learning experience. 

The more pressure you feel the more you allow yourself to respond based on instinct. Whenever I was the most comfortable was when I did not allow myself to push through that proverbial wall. The size of your dream determines the amount of pressure you must face. Pressure is not a bad thing, this can be a very good thing. Pressure is something that forces you to be in a position where you must give it your best.

I still remember the day I was lead my first business meeting. I was 21 years old then and I had to give a talk about productivity in the workplace in front of an entire room of 250 people. One thing you should know about me, I’ve never wanted to be the center of attention. In fact, I would be perfectly fine just sitting in a meeting, taking notes, and learning from others. But do you know where that gets you? Nowhere. 

To be a leader, you must step out from the crowd and do things that make you uncomfortable. So as I began to take more leadership positions, I had the opportunity to lead this meeting, and I felt excited about the experience.  My heart was pounding out of my chest. I was afraid of stumbling my words and embarrassing myself. But then something happened, as I got up there and started to get things going, I began to live in the moment as I had never done before. I’ve heard people refer to this experience as being in “the zone”. I didn’t even need to refer to my notes or try to plan out what I was going to say next. It all came naturally. I simply felt engaged in what I was doing and did not have a single thought of doubt. I truly believe this was because I had 500 eyeballs on me and there was no time for me to doubt. These people were counting on me to deliver them a message that would empower them, and I simply could not spend any mental energy worrying about myself.

What Should You Do?

I cannot answer this question for you. Your situation is different than mine. Your story is unique, and that’s the beauty of it.  You have a path that you must take, and I don’t know what that path is. I do know something about you, though.  I know that you have a dream that you care deeply about, which is why you are reading this.  And that only you know what that unique path to reaching your dream is.

Too many of us try to find our “why” by looking in the wrong place. We watch motivational videos online and search for our inspiration by looking outside of ourselves. “Are you saying I should stop watching these videos?” Not at all. What I’m saying is you must look within yourself to find your true inspiration.

So why are you are reading this? Whatever it is that just came to your mind, that is what you should pursue. It may not be a burning desire yet, but it is a start. Now learn how to cultivate that desire into something you MUST have and start to put yourself in a position which creates pressure towards excelling towards that dream. I can tell from my own experience that it is much more rewarding to conquer your fears and doubts than to live an easy and comfortable life.