Realising Our Dreams

I have been putting off writing this my second blog. I have had a number of ideas since completing my first blog, but none of them have really grabbed me, so I will just write and see if any useful thoughts come along! I think this is best, as I have learnt the hard way that if my heart isn’t in something it just won’t turn out the way I’d like it to.

I am writing this at the Bilbao World Transactional Analysis (TA) Conference. I am currently waiting outside an examination room supporting a friend who is right now doing the oral (and final) part of her certified TA qualification (CTA). A tense time, especially for the person taking their exam.

When candidates pass their CTA, there is much celebration and emotion (a heady mix of joy and relief), as everybody involved knows how hard they have worked to get to this important point in their journey as TA psychotherapists, counsellors, educators or organisational transactional analysts. There is delight and pleasure when the exam process goes well.

So what is it about these particular human beings that they willingly put so much time, effort and money, into pursuing their personal and professional journeys, and into reaching their full potential?

And what about the candidates who get deferred? (Thankfully not so many). Will they slink away feeling ashamed? Or will they listen to, and take on board, the constructive feedback they are given? Will they allow themselves to be supported by their friends and TA colleagues? Will they express and work through the complexity and pain of the feelings such an experience evokes? And, most of all, will they pick themselves up, dust themselves down, and have another go?

Why is it that sometimes we don’t pursue our dreams and maybe stay “comfortably numb” instead, as per the Pink Floyd song? Or maybe we are not comfortably numb, but we are too afraid to venture forth in service of our dreams.

So what can help us then?

I believe getting support from others is the single most significant step we can take. This support can come in many forms, for example: encouragement from good friends and supportive family members; mentoring from a colleague or from someone who had the same dream and managed to achieve their goal; and psychotherapy or counselling to help increase our awareness regarding why we are stuck or afraid, and what we can do to free ourselves.

Breaking things down into steps or bite sized chunks can also assist us in realising our dreams. Sometimes going for the whole goal at once can feel just too daunting. Breaking the task down into manageable steps or chunks and then taking one step at a time can make what seems impossible become possible. Remember every journey begins with a single step (Confucius).

It can also be helpful to imagine or picture ourselves AS IF we have already reached our goal. To really embellish our dreams and goals in our minds I. What do we look like? How do we feel? How do we speak and what do we say? What do we see, hear, taste and smell? Who is there with us? How have we changed? How did we get there? What were the steps we had to take.

And, last but not least, it is important that we mark and celebrate the goals and dreams we do achieve. If we discount our efforts, all we do is start climbing the next mountain! And then, we never get to where we want to be and we never become who we want to be.

I would like to leave you with one last thought …

“To overcome difficulties
is to experience the full delight of existence”.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Philosopher)

Take care and go well

Blog written by Ann Heathcote, Transactional Analyst Psychotherapist, Manchester, UK

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