5-Steps to Stop Wishing For Your Dream Job and Start Doing It Already


Acts of Bravery website launches today!

Go check out the online open house. Here’s a list of fun activities you can do on your virtual tour:

  • Subscribe to the blog. Just a heads up, all the Acts of Bravery goodness you receive on Sundays will be transferred to the website starting May 6th. So, if you don’t want to miss out, re-subscribe there.
  • Join the Acts of Bravery community and become a Brave Warrior. Here you’ll get all the latest updates and some exclusive treats reserved only for the AOB community.
  • Take the FREE 5-Days to a Braver You Email Course. I developed this course with you all my brave warriors in mind. It includes simple (but hard) steps to jumpstart your bravery, so you can accomplish your dreams already.
  • Help me out and tell me all about your bravery challenges by taking this survery.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the last few weeks’ sneak peeks into the resources I’m developing designed to inspire+empower+motivate you on your brave journey to fully realize your dreams. If you missed what this is all about, check out all the details here. Or better yet go checkout the ActsOfBravery.com and enjoy the virtual Open House.

By now, you know all about BraveResources and its four sections—BraveYou, BraveRelationships, BraveParenting, BraveCareer.

The last three weeks, I introduced BraveYou, BraveRelationships, and BraveParenting resources. For the website launch, in celebration of reaching a HUGE milestone in my dream career, I’m introducing BraveCareer. Here’s a snippet of what it’s all about:


How many of you are slaving away at a job you barely tolerate, concocting lavish fantasies about your dream job? What about that dreaded coaching conversation with an employee fast approaching? Or all those tasks breathing down your neck with overtime tick-tick-ticking away?

Over the years, I’ve done it all—been the worker bee, the boss, the entrepreneur—and in BraveCareer I share what I wish I knew back then. You know, back when I struggled to stand up for myself in my tasks, my work relationships, and my writing. BraveCareer resources help you learn the skills you need to get from stuck in your nine-to-five to happy and content in your career.


This week’s blog fits right into the heart of what BraveCareer is all about—taking the steps necessary to have your dream job. I hope it gives you the swift-kick motivation you need!


5 -Steps to Stop Wishing for Dream Job


Barnes & Noble is my happy place. I love books, can feel the story pulsing in my hands, can sense the world hidden inside. Like any other book enthusiast (a.k.a. obsessed-hoarder of all the stories, whose favorite characters are friends) I appreciate being around all that creative genius stuffed onto rows and rows of shelves.

Imagine this. I’m in my happy place, surrounded by geniuses, loving life, minding my own business, when lo and behold, at the end of an aisle, in prime book real estate, sits a glorious title.

Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes.

Just the cover speaks to my soul.

What better food for a brave warrior’s brain than to read about someone else’s bravery?

I buy it. I go about my week. I keep hoping to get to it. I have a break in the busyness. I pick it up. Devour it. I can’t put it down.


Reading about Shonda’s fear and how it held her back felt like holding a mirror. I kept nodding and whispering, “Me too.” I kept sipping her words, getting tipsy on the fact that this woman was my kindred spirit and she didn’t even know it.


Kindred Spirit Turned Mentor

I was so word tipsy by the time I got to Chapter 5: Yes to Speaking the Whole Truth, I thought “Preach it sister” and kept guzzling until I got to this gem of a passage:

(Context: Shonda, an alumnus, is delivering the commencement speech to the 2014 graduating class at Dartmouth).


When people give these kinds of speeches, they usually tell you all kinds of wise and heartfelt things. They have wisdom to impart. They have lessons to share. They tell you: follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.


At this point my heart sighs. Yes. This is what I’m doing. I’m learning to dream again. I’m taking brave steps to achieve those dreams. I even have a Dream throw pillow and a Dream sign sitting on my bookshelf of Dreams. My new kindred spirit says I am on the right track. Then I turn the page and read these words:


I think that’s crap.


Wait what? I sit up straighter, turn back a page. I must have gotten two pages stuck together. I mean, has she not seen my Dream pillow and my Dream sign sitting on my bookshelf of Dreams?

But I have not skipped pages. My heart sinks. Suddenly, I’m not feeling so kindred. I am feeling dry-mouthed and spinning. I keep reading.


I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.

The dreamers. They stare at the sky and they make plans and they hope and they think and they talk about it endlessly. And they start a lot of sentences with “I want to be . . .” or “I wish . . .”

“I want to be a writer.” “I wish I could travel around the world.”


Really? She picked my top two. My greatest longings. As Shonda so often and eloquently says: Rude.

But she doesn’t stop there. On no, she twists the knife:


You write in your journal about your dreams. Or discuss it endlessly with your best friend or your girlfriend or your mother. And it feels really good. You’re talking about it. You’re planning it. Kind of. You’re blue-skying your life. And that is what everyone says you should do. Right? That’s what Oprah and Bill Gates did to get successful, right?


Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.


Double rude. You have offended my Dream pillow.


#1: Stupid Fear rearing its stupid ugly head. Again.

We know this though. Logically, we know we won’t live our dreams if we don’t get off our butts and do something. Still we stay immobile. Why?

Probably for as many diverse reasons we all have for being brave. Which means it comes down to fear. It always comes down to fear, doesn’t it? And if it comes down to fear, it means we need to step up our game.

The realization that I still have unresolved fear to deal with, that I have to step up my brave game again stung like a bullet wound as I cuddled my Dream pillow in wide-eyed shock.


#2: Here’s a shovel. Get digging.

But, how? I whined. I couldn’t think of a single way to step up said game. Not because I’ve overcome fear, but because I’ve buried all those dreams so deep inside that I couldn’t access them. They were in a coffin buried six-feet underground. They were shriveled-corpse dreams. They were decaying worm food.

I need a shovel because I am still terrified of putting myself out there for my career. I am terrified of telling a complete stranger my book blurb. I am terrified of public speaking. I am terrified of tracking down local magazine editors to interview to figure out if I even want to write for them. Much less submit an article? TERRIFIED. I have not done these things. I have put them on the back-burner and allowed all the other, less terrifying things to happen. Write a novel. Easy. Query agents. Mundane. Go on the radio. So fun.

Not exactly getting me out of my comfort zone and achieving growth is it? I so badly want to get over this. It’s why I started Acts of Bravery. It’s why I still force myself into situations that require risk that make me nauseous. So, I grabbed that shovel and did the only thing I really know how to do.

I made a plan.


#3: Make a Plan.

I am currently staring at a business plan, complete with a billion action steps for Acts of Bravery and indie publishing my novels. These action steps all have various rankings on the terrifying Richter scale. They will keep me busy doing for months. Years probably.

Planning is not sexy. It’s not some beautiful piece of art we can pretty up and share on Instagram. And if you do share, you probably won’t get hundreds of followers fawning over your ingenious action steps.

But your plan is essential to doing. How else are you going to get from unearthing your dream career to living it?

Seriously, you ask, how?

First, create big boulder milestones to keep on track. Then add stepping-stone action steps to get from one boulder to the next.

Also, not sexy. But incredibly simple.

What if you don’t know what the big boulders look like?

No worries. Identify the first step. Then the next and the next and the next, until you have no idea what comes after that. When you get to the end of those steps, you’ll know what to do. I promise.


#4: One baby step at a time. Daily.

Nothings is less sexy than planning, except for self-discipline.

But we can’t talk about doing without it.

Self-discipline is the only way I know to get from point A (aka paralyzing fear) to point B (aka rocking your dream job).

The fuel behind self-discipline?

Passion. Longing. Yearning. Aching. Desire.

These will keep you going when the monotonous, drudgery of those baby steps has you longing, yearning, aching for lunch with a friend instead of taking that action step. Heck, sometimes I’d rather scrub toilets than take the boring step assigned to the day.

But here’s the secret to success: Your dream job takes hard work. It’s a sloooooooooow, boring progress mixed with terrifying, vulnerable risk that gets you where you want to be. The difference between dreamers and achievers is mandating self-discipline. To do, to achieve, to arrive at your dream job requires taking those steps, day in and day out.

And believe me, one day you will arrive, and when you swing those hips and pump those fists to the tune of your victory dance, you will feel nothing but gratitude for all those boring steps you took.


#5: What are you waiting for? Get doing!

Here’s my call to action.

I am metaphorically handing you the shovel.

Get doing. Get to mud-flinging (and all the terrifying fun you can possibly have along the way).

Care about that dream more than you care about your fear.

Risk it for the sake of your dreams. For the sake of your sanity. For the sake of your happiness and contentment.

Heck, risk it because your dream—what you were born to do—is what the world needs to reach its full potential. Don’t let us down!


What Now?

In the comments, share your dream job and the first step of your plan. Better yet, tell me all about how you took that first step in doing. I’m rooting for you!

And! Don’t forget to go check out ActsOfBravery.com. You’ll witness the first milestone on my BraveCareer journey in action!


4 thoughts on “5-Steps to Stop Wishing For Your Dream Job and Start Doing It Already

  1. I’m not sure what my dream job is. I know I want to help others. Often when I dream about this it’s to help others realize who they are and help guide them in becoming that person. I dream about mining the gold of a person and handing that nugget, showing them how amazing they are and how much the world needs them. So I guess my dream job(s) is what allows my the time and resources to do that mining.

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