You'd think the dreamers would find the dreamers, and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not, the opposite is true. See, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists? Well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.” - Cam, Modern Family
I always wanted to be a dreamer. I wanted vision and the ability to think outside of the box. I believed dreamers were the artists that could paint with oils and sketch life-like resemblances. I thought they were the inventors and innovators. Dreamers were everybody but me. I forced myself into the “realist” label. I dug deep and got tasks done when others wouldn’t or couldn’t. I put the dreamers in my life on pedestals and was loyal to seeing their fantasies come true.
And then one day something shifted. I can’t tell you what was different or what changed- it just was, and did. I clearly remember thinking- “I do not want to be in the same ‘place’ next year at this time. I don’t want to be working in this toxic environment (even if it is doing something I am passionate about) feeling limited in how I do my job and earning a fraction of what I am worth”.
I got to work making an exit strategy. I kept one part-time job, left one part-time job, and started a very part-time private mental health and addiction therapy practice. My goal? Break even. I had to make enough money to cover office rent and child-care. Each year since then I have seen my numbers grow. Some years have been leaner than others, contracts come and go - but the big risk gave me big reward. When I allowed myself to give power to my vision, my dream and did what I am good at (executed the plan) - it worked out for me! I had been letting the fear of my dream being “silly” or “too big” stand in my way.
What will you lose if you are in the same place one year from today? What will you gain? What is standing in your way? Where do you fall on the spectrum of Dreamers and Doers?
DREAMERS: individuals who spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what they would like to have happen. They are imaginative and creative. They are good at thinking outside of the box, planning for the future, and have insightful problem-solving ability.
The extreme side of Dreamers: May allow blocks and obstacles to get in their way, justifying why they can’t start. Dreamers may speak in hypothetical terms and list the pros and cons. Dreamers may blame external forces if a dream fails. They can be paralyzed by fear and are often focused on the destination. May compare their dream(s) to others and worry they are somehow lacking.
DOERS: individuals who act rather than talking or thinking. Executes actions and starts immediately in some fashion. Doers experiment - “it’s for science!” - readjusting when and where needed. Doers remain solution-focused and find ways to push through in the face of the “worst case scenario”. Doers embrace the journey and chalk their successes and failures up to “being an adventure”. Doers do not compare their journey to others, but will seek guidance and education from mentors or other sources.
The extreme side of Doers: May not dream big enough. May get stuck on one problem and not know when or how to move on. May be rigid in their problem-solving. Doers may ignore feelings, emotions, personal hygiene, and self-care in general while in pursuit of accomplishing the task. Doers may be “workaholics”, neglecting family and friends.
Dreamers and Doers go hand-in-hand. Two sides of the same coin, neither one can move forward without the other. As you read this, you may find that you most likely lean one direction over the other. One is not better than the other, it’s a spectrum - and you can find the balance you require to create the life you want.
List goals with deadlines
Write down baby steps to get you to goal
Track YOUR goal achievement - mind your own business, never mind the others
Who are your top friends or mentors?
Find a good mix of dreamers and doers
Ask. For. Help.
WORK SMART, WORK HARD
Know your mission
Know your vision
Know your beliefs
Be willing to think outside the box and change tactics as needed
ERROR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION
Assume your task or goal may take 10% longer or cost 10% more than anticipated
Build a slush-fund or have a contingency plan in case of unforeseen expenses
POINT YOUR FACE TOWARD THE SUN
Keep looking forward
Comment below and let everyone know how you build or maintain balance on the spectrum of Dreamer vs. Doer! And as always- feel free to reach out with questions and concerns or if you are looking for feedback or suggestions.