One of the greatest blessings in my life is the relationship I have with my father. My dad is a dreamer. I can remember my dad always encouraging my siblings and I to dream bigger whether it was in baseball, volleyball, business, or really any realm of life. My favorite memories as a child are those where my dad would get going on one of his famous rants. My dad was passionate about setting goals and how we could achieve them. I am sure my siblings would echo the fact that my dad is a blast to listen to when he gets excited about something—especially his kids’ futures.
I can guarantee you that my dad was shaking his head when he read those words. Want to know why? He is probably shaking his head because in all of those famous dad rants, I was famous for NOT listening to his rants. I would love listening to my dad yet I would put none of it into action. This steadily became more and more evident as I was getting older. I would come home excited to talk to my dad about a lesson that my coach or teacher shared with me. I would tell him something along the lines of, “Dad, you wouldn’t believe it. Coach told me that he thinks that I have crazy potential. He told me that if I stay focused and keep practicing that I could really go far.” My dad’s response was always the same, “Really? That’s what he said? I feel like someone else has been telling you the same thing for a long time.”
I am actually laughing as I wrote those words, remembering the countless interactions where my dad would just shake his head and chuckle because I was so excited about the message that he has been telling me all along. Of course he was excited that I was excited, he just wished I would have believed in myself the first time he told me that I could be successful in whatever I was pursuing.
It seems like I am incredibly gifted at not believing in myself. It didn’t matter how many times that my dad told I could be anything that I wanted to be, I was still not going to believe it. I thank God for the constant push by my dad to believe in myself. So dad, if you are reading this, thank you.
I am writing these words today to hopefully encourage you. I want to remind you that you can truly accomplish way more than you think you can. There is no doubt that dreaming big and achieving your highest goals is a difficult task but guess what? It’s not an impossible task. I want to echo the advice of my loving father. All I ask of you is that you would read these words and try to put them in action.
STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK
I am king of not going after my dreams because I am terrified of disappointing people. What will they think if I go a different direction than what they wanted for my life? What if I waste the potential that they think I have for that career path? What if I fail? I will begin talking myself out of my dreams out of fear of disappointing people.
I was recently having a conversation with my dad about my crippling fear of disappointing people. He told me, “It does not matter what you do in life, you will have people who support you and you will have people that troll you. You have to stop overthinking things and focus on your dreams. At the end of the day, you are the one responsible for your own life.” This was a sobering reminder for me.
I took a step back and really asked myself, “Ty, why aren’t you pursuing this dream?” All of my answers had to do with my fear of disappointing people. I told my dad, “Dad, I am going after my dreams and I am done asking permission to do it.” I meant those words and they changed me. I am responsible for being my best self and I will not apologize for taking responsibility for my life and my future. I take my dreams serious and it is time to act like it.
I have a feeling that I am not the only person that struggles with fearing the rejection of others. Are you not pursuing your dream job or dream career because you are scared of what someone will say or think? Are you not relentlessly pursuing your dream life because you think someone will be disappointed with you? If you have been like me, crippling yourself because of irrational fears, I am here to tell you that you have to stop caring so much about the opinion of people that don’t care about your future like you think they do.
Put your head down, set your eyes on the goal, and push forward. I promise you won’t regret being your best you.
TAKE THE RISK
The other piece of advice that my dad has been so loving to share with me is the value of taking risks. Just yesterday, my dad and I were talking about my dreams. I told him that I was so close to accomplishing the first tier of my dream. He said, “What’s stopping you?” I told him that I knew that I would have to take a big risk to accomplish it. My dad strongly encouraged me to go all in and risk it if it meant that I could accomplish my dreams. I wish I would have listened to him every time he has ever said those words to me. Instead of regretting the countless times that I didn’t take the risks, I will move forward and take risks in order to achieve my goals and my dreams.
Calculated risks are necessary to achieve on a big level. You cannot say you have big dreams while simultaneously avoiding the risks necessary to achieve those dreams. You may have to remove the financial security of your current mundane job for the sake of achieving your dream and landing that dream job or starting your dream job. If I am unwilling to take risks, I am guaranteeing that I will never achieve on the high level that I say I want to achieve.
Is the fear of losing some security or the approval of others keeping you from taking the risk necessary to move forward in your life? Are you reading these words knowing what you must do yet fear is keeping you from doing it?
I want to close with a very simple challenge. Are you ready? Start today. Don’t wait till tomorrow or next Monday or the new year. Start today. Make the phone call, apply for the job, put together a business plan, go work out, by all means just do something!
Regardless if you had a dad that encouraged you to be your best, if you are reading these words, I am the one encouraging you to be your best now. If you made it to the end of this blog, take these words seriously. Don’t waste another day living in fear and false security, be you and take risks. You are way more capable than you realize. Get after it today!