Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Shannon and Michael Primicerio's soon-to-be-released book, Life. Now.: Overcoming the 10 Obstacles that Derail Your Dreams, (Bethany House, 2007).

 

What dreams lie dormant in your heart? Whatever you wish you could pursue someday isn’t really out of your reach right now. If you start making deliberate choices to pursue your dreams – without waiting for your circumstances to change – you don’t have to wait to see your dreams begin to come true.

 

So don’t wait for someday. Overcome obstacles standing in the way and start living your dreams now! Here’s how:

 

* Overcome fear. Know that, although it’s natural to feel fear about taking the risks necessary to pursue your dreams, giving into your fear will stop your progress. Realize that God will give you all the power you need to do whatever He is calling you to do. Rely on Him for help, knowing that He never fails. Don’t worry about what other people think of your dreams, since doing so will allow them to control your dreams. Feel free to seek counsel from a few trustworthy people who are close to you, but dismiss critics who don’t have your best interests at heart. Ask God to give you the courage to do what He wants you to do, no matter what others think. Make whatever changes you need to make to stop playing it safe and living in a rut. Move, change jobs, find a new church, or do anything else to get you unstuck and on the road toward where you want to go. Meet with a trusted friend, family member, or pastor to honestly express your dreams and fears, and ask that person to pray for you. Check back in with this person regularly as you make progress toward fulfilling your dreams.

 

* Stop trying to earn other people’s approval. Ask God to help you be comfortable with the unique person He has made you to be. Then be yourself, rather than the person others think you should be. Expect that, somewhere along the way while you pursue your dreams, you’re going to lose the approval of some people close to you. Don’t worry about asking anyone except God for permission to go after your dreams. Understand that sometimes, in order to obey God, you’ll need to disappoint other people. Ask God to give you the confidence you need to move forward with what He wants you to do, even when people you care about don’t support you. For one week, keep track of how you make your decisions (both simple ones like where to go to dinner and complicated ones like whether or not to take a certain job). As you make each decision, write down whether you did what you really wanted to do, or whether you did what you felt others wanted you to do. Then, after the week is up, study your notes to notice a pattern in your decision-making strategies. Going forward, remember to choose what you want to do instead of seeking other people’s approval.