Noun: The faculty or activity of imagining things that are impossible or improbable.
I was a first class fantasizer. My fantasies of becoming rich led me to make some extremely poor financial decisions. Investments that, had I had my head on straight, I never would have made. My fantasies of finding "the one" romantically and sailing off into the sunset led me to jump too quickly into relationships that were never in a million years going to be right for me. When the "dream man" turned out to be a "fantasy in my head man" I was left heartbroken and oftentimes poorer than before I'd met him.
Fantasies are not only a cruel and ironic side-step away from a real dream, but they can be damaging, both to your finances and maybe more importantly, to your heart.
What are the warning signs?
How do you tell a real dream from a "never to be made real" fantasy? There are warning signs that will tip you off.
Your "dream" is probably a "fantasy" IF:
1. You use your "dream" as a pacifier.
You've seen this all your life "“ in others, if not yourself. People who whip out their "dream" whenever they feel sad, bad or downtrodden. It makes them feel (temporarily) like it's just a matter of time before everything's OK again, because they have the "dream" in their back pocket, ready to manifest at any moment. The problem is, it doesn't manifest, ever. But it never loses its charm as a temporary "feel good" (kind of like drugs or alcohol).
2. You aren't acting on your "dream".
Actions solidify our dreams in a number of ways. They let your subconscious know you are serious about the dream. And they let you begin to "try out" the dream in the real world. If you aren't taking action, you probably don't have a true dream, but a fantasy.
3. You aren't learning "how to" and "working towards" making your "dream" real
William Arthur Ward said, "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it."
I believe that anything imaginable is within our ability to make real. But dreams don't just fall into your lap. If yours aren't becoming real there is a reason for that.
Perhaps it's a belief that says you can't have it or don't deserve it. Perhaps it's a habit of feeling like a victim or "stinkin' thinking". Whatever it is, you can figure out what your stumbling block is and change that.
There are internal steps to take to make every a dream a reality. If you aren't bothering to figure out how to go about it and doing the work necessary, the universe is likely not bothering to manifest your "dream".
4. You aren't even sure the "dream" is yours.
Yeah, this one bites. Imagine spending your entire life hanging onto a "dream" that wasn't even yours to begin with. What a colossal waste of time right? So what might that look like? It looks like this:
You "dream" of starting your own company not because you have a passion for being a leader but because that's what your father did.
You "dream" of going back to school for a masters degree not because you love the subject matter but because your older sibling did that and gets all the glory in the family.
You "dream" of winning the lottery so that you'll "never have to work again" (Ahem"¦ perhaps this is the "dream" of your adolescent self, not the adult self. The adult enjoys and finds deep meaning in his/her work.).
Of course these dreams are not wrong in and of themselves"¦ but if they are not "your" dreams or you want them for reasons you don't feel OK about, you probably won't allow yourself to manifest them.
5. You aren't moving closer to your "dream".
Don't get me wrong, dreams do take time to make real. But eventually, they should become real. At the very least there should be signs that they are on their way to becoming real.
What does a "sign" look like? Well, if your dream is to double your income, a sign might be:
You receive a call from a headhunter about a position you might be qualified for.
Your cell phone company offers a combo plan for you and your partner that saves you $20 a month in fees.
You clean out your car and you find a $5 bill.
Oh yeah, I know what you are thinking, "Wait a minute, how can that $5 be a sign? After all, I was the one who put it there in the first place!"
And yes, maybe you were (and maybe you weren't). It doesn't really matter. What matters is, you didn't think you had that 5 bucks and then you did. That is a sign. You created that in your world. And it's no coincidence you created it at the same time you were working on your dream of abundance.
You have to look for the signs in order to see whether the universe is delivering your dream. And if you have had the same dream for a decade (or even a year) and you aren't seeing signs of it happening you may be deluding yourself.
1. Decide whether you really want it.
Just because you've been lugging this dream around for years doesn't mean you should continue to. Do some soul searching to find out if it really is still your dream.
2. Commit to creating it.
There are processes to make a dream real. There are books about it. Websites dedicated to it. Determine your path and don't let anything stop you. If it really is your dream it is worth going at it with everything you have.
3. Begin acting on it.
Show the universe you are serious about this dream. Take steps, baby steps maybe, but take regular steps towards your dream. What's the worst that can happen? Either you change your mind (no biggie"”dream a new dream), or, you don't see the dream materialize (again, no biggie"”if it doesn't happen something is askew, figure it out and change something"¦ remember, if you can imagine it you can create it!).
4. Look for the signs that it's happening.
If you are thinking about your dream with positive emotion, there will be signs. And when you see them, you will strengthen your knowing that your dream is coming true and your resolve to keep up the positive vibes until it shows up fully.
There is no need to do it alone. Help is available on this planet and beyond. First, ask your unseen friends. There is a lot of assistance waiting for you to ask on the other side. Ask for help from your higher self, god, goddess, your angels, your guides. What can it hurt?
Second, find some support among your seen friends. Find a mentor, a support group, an accountability partner or a coach. Seek out assistance and allow the journey to be more fun and more fruitful.
And you can.
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