What If Dreaming Big Is Too Scary?

There are five steps to making your dreams come true. First, just play with your idea. Second, let it sit for a while. Third, take that seed of an idea out of the marinade and see how you feel about it. Fourth, get down to business… what do you need to actually make this dream a reality? What resources, in terms of time, money, help, can you bring on to help you? Fifth, come up with an Action Plan.

Steps one through three are more mindset and motivation oriented, whereas steps four and five are about action.

These two sides of the coin are crucial; you need both. In the case of dreaming big and reaching amazing goals, you have to have confidence, know what you want, and believe in the possibility of actually achieving your goals. Then, you have to take action. Just believing isn’t enough; you have to marry belief with action.

Some people might have trouble with the belief part, while others, like the reader above, struggle with action.

Here are some tips and strategies that might help you get past your challenges with either side of the dream/goal coin.

What do you do if the mindset and belief piece is too scary?

Create and repeat affirmations. Retrain and rewire your brain to believe the good stuff. Remember Julia Roberts’s line in Pretty Woman? “The bad stuff is easier to believe.” Overwhelm the negative stories with positive ones!
Remember that you’ve had success before. And you will again. Remind yourself by a daily gratitude journal or a regular ritual where you write down all that you’ve accomplished. Mark and I do this every quarter, and each time we’ve done it, we have more and more to write… because we’re retraining our brains to look for the successes.
What is the reality of the fear? For most of us, what we fear is in the future… someone will say this, someone will be mad at that… what if this doesn’t work? And so on. You could even write down the worst thing that could happen. Then, what you’ll probably find is that 1) it’s not as bad as you imagined (with no real information), and 2) you start coming up with your plan if Worst Case Scenario does indeed occur. Now, you’ve diffused the fear with planning.
Stay in the present. What is the reality of the present moment? More than likely, you don’t have nasty people calling you on the phone, and you don’t have people screaming at you in email. Breathe in what is going on in the present moment.

Now, what do you do if the action steps are too scary?

Get all the mind crap out of your head and down on paper. When all the to-do’s and concepts and possibilities and fears are jockeying for space along with the grocery list, ideas for dinner, and Jimmy’s rehearsal schedule, no wonder actions seem overwhelming.
Break down the actions into as small steps as possible. It’s awfully hard to wrap your head around a big project or goal. But it’s much easier if you look at one action… write the chapter outline of the book. Jot down what you want participants to get out of your new program. Write the words “Workshop Exercise” on a document.
Take one tiny step. Just one, and it can be the tiniest, itty bittiest step you can imagine.
Try to make progress on (not finish!) your goals every day. Once you give yourself permission to just make progress and not complete, it’s much easier to take action. “All I have to do is ____” is a pretty powerful statement.
Make taking action as easy as possible. If that next step is a hard one, it’s less likely that you’re actually going to take it. Set yourself up for easy. Take the picture that goes along with your blog post, and then when you go to write the blog post, you already have the picture for it. The next step feels a little easier.

The truth is that reaching our dreams and goals isn’t easier than doing nothing. But doing nothing doesn’t get us nearly as far as pursuing our dreams.

Employee Morale Is An Outcome Of Motivation

Employee morale is a function of many factors both internal (within the individual) and external created by the culture, management style, economic times, uncertainty and whether employees feel validated and valued.

During my career having worked with hundreds of clients around the world I have found that when employees feel under stress whether caused by perceived or real issues it seriously impacts morale and why is morale important? To be concise – morale is simply how employees behave towards each other, customers, management and their roles or responsibilities in general.

When people operate dominated by fear or uncertainty they will tend to withdraw and fail to share honest feelings or make positive suggestions or recommendations, in other words it has a tremendous impact on creativity, problem solving and how they react to challenges.

Morale – the general level of confidence or optimism felt by a person or group of people, especially as it affects discipline and motivation.

There are two types of people in the world – inside-out and outside-in people. Outside-in people tend to turn the responsibility for their actions, decisions and behavior over to the outside world – supervisors, the economy, spouses, parents etc. They fail to look in the mirror and generally always point the finger elsewhere.

Inside-out people tend to take responsibility for their actions, decisions and consequences. They don’t blame, whine or complain.

My experience tells me that more and more people are becoming outside-in due to a variety of economic and social contributors. If this is true and a majority of your employees are outside-in folks – these people are always looking for something or someone to blame for their reactions or circumstances as a result when things go bad they will tend to stoke the fire causing things to get worse. They will use excuses, gossip, politics or any factor at their disposal to avoid responsibility. As a result if there is a great deal of uncertainty or change going on in your organization these people will contribute to causing morale to sink or keep it in poor condition.

These people require outside-n motivators like fear or incentives to perform well or to have them perceive that their work environment is positive i.e. a positive morale.

If morale in your organization is poor or getting worse I will guarantee that it is partially due to the stress levels of employees whether the stressors are real or just imagined.

There are only three types of motivation – fear and punishment, rewards or incentives and attitudes or self-responsibility. The first two are effective on outside-in people because they are outside-in motivators. Inside-out people perform not because of threats or the promise of rewards but because it’s just who they are – they are self-motivated and don’t need your threats or promise of rewards.

So, again if you have a lot of outside-in employees your dominant culture will be driven by these two (and I will add) temporary approaches to achieving high performance employees. Both of these approaches increase the level of stress on individuals. So if your culture is a heavy top-down management style people wait to act. They wait to decide. They wait to make suggestions. And why do they wait – the need for approval, acceptance or the avoidance of negative consequences.

Stress keeps people in a panic tension state causing them to hold back, wait and avoid negative outcomes based on actions or decisions.

As a result, a culture of poor morale prevents growth, creative problem solving, right decisions and a whole lot more that is needed for an organization to grow, profit and succeed.

A top-down management style tends to increase the uncertainty and lack of control employees feel that have which only adds to their perceived stress.

A management style of heavy ego or constant arrogance just feed this flame further causing people to feel insecure, fearful and lacking control over their career and therefore their life.

Poor morale just as good morale is contagious and in general has little to do with reality but their perceived reality. In other words if people think it is true – whether it is true or not – they will act accordingly.