When I was little, my mother always told me: “Just be like the rest of them…” I was told and taught to be invisible and just go with the flow. I have always been a good student, always in the top 10 of the class, but deep within me, I have always wanted to be number one. But every time I handed out my academic card to my mom, she would say “Good Job, this is more than good enough.” In my heart, I always wondered whether deep within her, she wanted me to be number one. So I thought at that time, 3rd or 4th place is always good enough.
I think that is the time I stopped dreaming big.
Fast forward to college days, I would bring home silver and bronze medals from different speech and elocution competition but never the gold one. When I entered the real world as an adult, I have been so good at chasing mediocrity. Getting an “okay” job at a call center, settling for a second hand 20-year-old car as my first car, even if I can afford a new one at that time because this second hand is “still okay”. I would spend hours and hours in “Ukay-Ukay (thrift stores) to find office clothes instead of buying new ones because the used clothes are still “okay” to wear.
I became frightened of dreaming big or doing big.
I questioned myself whether I am worthy enough to get a new car, or bright enough to be promoted, skilled enough to charge higher rates. I got scared of getting more and doing more because I would always hear Mama at the back of my head.
Now at my mid-30s, looking back, I can’t help but feel heartaches. I stopped myself from dreaming and I also stopped myself from becoming.
I’ve wasted 30+ years of my life to just settling for “okay”
Today, I encourage you to join me in listing down our BIG Dreams. Let’s call our younger self and try to recall the dreams we once had. The dreams we shut down with our own fears, our own lies, our own self-limiting beliefs.
- Become an author, publish a book
- Become a theater actress
- Be a better singer and singPraise and Worship at church
- I once dreamt of being in the media industry, having my own talkshow or a youtube channel.
- Travel to places I’ve never been, countries I’ve never seen
- Learn to speak and write a new language
- Learn photography and capture moments of my children and loved ones
- Continue to build this home into a two-story abode.
- Buy myself a new car – not second-hand ones.
If you’re just like me, I encourage you to comment below and share your story.
It’s not too late for us you know. Martha Stewart was in her 40s when she made it big. All we need is to start dreaming again. Keep that dream alive in our hearts. And when others start to doubt or say otherwise, hold on to that dream. It’s yours. No one can take that away from you. Not one can chase that except you.
Chase your dreams. It’s waiting for you.
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