• Susanne Birgersdotter

A popular success and entrepreneurship adage, goes – fake it, ‘til you make it. It suggests we live our dreams now, that we rewire our perspective to that of the person we aspire to be. It encourages us to act, think, and live as we’ve envisioned a successful person would. It’s like living the dream while working for it. Savoring the successes of the end goal, while finding our way to it. If you dream of becoming the CEO of a successful business, dress like one, act like one and work like one.

While the maxim is encouraging, bold, and effective, it is incomplete. It does give aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals a push in the right direction. But it lacks the arduous part of achieving one’s goals. One shouldn’t fake the hard work, the frustrations, and the failures that come with our journey towards success. We shouldn’t discount the tears and sacrifices we will have to endure. Ownership of our dreams provides a more realistic and holistic approach to achieving our goals. While it gives us a peek of the great things to come, we are also presented with the responsibilities and the accountabilities that come with it. Owning your dreams is also accepting the hard work and consequences that come with it. It’s not only dressing up for the part but is also embracing the changes it will institute. It presents steps and actions that will lead you with your journey. Here are some of the steps to take on the road to success; Defining your dream – The first step is to define your dream. What do you want to achieve and the reasons behind your dreams? Don’t just say you want a big house. Include why you want the house, which kind of house, where it is located, and who’s it for. Make your goals specific. Getting rich is not a goal, having five million in your savings account in five years is. Highlight your WHYs. What is the driving force that propels you to dream and aspire? Who inspires you? Once you have clear goals, the next step will come easy. Plan your journey – Start planning your success journey. Planning will not ensure success, but not planning is a sure way to fail. A plan will include your journey from Point A (now) to Point B (goal). Each point in between is a major milestone or steppingstone that will lead you to the next. Taking on the ultimate goal at once can be overwhelming and easily lead you astray. Putting your dreams into paper will give you a better view of the journey. This will give you a good idea of the skills you need to learn or perfect, of what resources you need to procure, of possible challenges, and how to overcome them. Be organized with your plan.

Build a support system – The most successful women and individuals have one thing in common – a strong support system. They have people around them who believe in them and provide the support needed by someone going through a significant undertaking like building a business, overcoming personal challenges or cementing a career. The journey to greatness is never easy. There will always be a struggle. To own success is to wisely choose the people to surround yourself with. Stick with those who will push you forward, hard as it may seem. Banish fear and instill trust in yourself – You have your dream, you have a plan, and you have the people to help you achieve it. The next step is to fortify yourself. You can only move forward with full confidence and belief in yourself. Decide that you’re taking ownership of your dreams and that fear and doubts have no room in your journey to achieving it. Commit to your dreams by banishing fear! Believe that success is yours for the taking. You’ll just need to work for it. Squash bad habits – One way to adopt the successful lifestyle is to remove all bad habits that are taking you away from achieving yours. Procrastination, laziness, laissez-faire attitude, too much socialization, putting off things to do, reactive stance, financial indifference, and other bad habits that will hinder us from realizing our dreams. Take care of yourself – Make is your self-care your number one business. If you are to achieve great things, take care of your family, and lead conglomerates, you need to be healthy – mind, body, and soul. Prioritize your health by eating well, regular exercise, good rest, and taking restorative breaks and me-times. Do not lose yourself in your quest for the goal, take up a hobby and make sure to spend time with the people you love. Stay inspired – The road to success is long and arduous. One of the things that will make the journey easier is your motivation. Make a physical reminder of your WHYs in your office or place of work. Is it your family? A lifestyle? A future with your significant other? When things get crazy and the hurdles get too high, keep reminding yourself why you started. Relive the dream, envision the future, and get inspiration from those who’ve also gone through the same road and succeed. Take the first step – The last step to start your journey can also be the hardest one. A lot of us who aspired have taken the first seven steps and failed on the last one – taking the first step, leap of faith. As in any journey, the first step is small, yet so significant and life-changing. It can be as simple as deleting your Netflix account, showing your business idea to a friend, buying a website domain, or going for your first run. The measure and definition of success are different to each one of us. What is a great achievement for me could be an everyday thing for you, or what is significant to you could be something unimportant to me. Thus, our roads to achieve different goals are just as diverse. What is common and constant to our quest for greatness is the happiness it brings to us. The only reason we set and pursue goals is the belief that it will make us happier. But, happiness isn’t just at the end of the road, it can also be found along the way. And that is the essence of embracing and owning our dreams.