I was reminded the other day that I “used to be” a management guru.  Even though that is no longer my passion or dream, hearing that still hurt.  That single comment brought back a flood of memories of when I had my Bushiness Coaching business; which I shutdown for a variety of reasons. It brought me back to a time when I was running away from my fears.

That day was a double whammy.  I was also getting to know a new friend and the questions  “What happened with the business?” came up.  I am now able to answer these questions without avoidance tactics like “Did you see that new movie?”  or “Why is it so flipping cold in Ohio?”  I’ve never been much for small talk so writing this literally makes me literally laugh out loud.

The answer to all of these questions is simply that I was running away from my fears.  I was not running towards my dreams.  I picked the wrong door, yet at the time, I didn’t know that’s what I was doing.  Like everyone else, I have blind spots and when I make up my mind to do something I can be like a pit bull.   My CPA, my lawyer, my parents and my husband all told me I was crazy when I opened my coaching business.  Over time I wore my husband down but he was still less than thrilled about investing over $100,000 in a new business endeavor.  But when someone or something is standing in the way between you and your perceived freedom you simply don’t listen.

Desperation and fear overpowered logic.   The harsh reality was that instead of taking the time to fix me, to work on me, I did what was easier – I escaped my situation (see ideal situation chaser).  And friend I do not recommend this…that is why I am writing, to save you the grief of going after the wrong dream because you are motivated by the wrong thing…fear.

How do you know when the source of your motivation is fear not hope?   What are the signs that you’re running away from your fears and not towards your dreams?  Below are the signs I can see now that I’m out of the situation. I pray that they save you some grief.

1.  Large Risks Don’t Make You Blink:  If you are so miserable and burned out from living a life that you weren’t intended to live, that a risky business deal sounds better than staying the course for another minute, you are being driven by fear.

2.  You Stop Listening to Everyone:  When friends or family mustard up the courage to speak truth in love to you, which is hard to do, you nod politely and pretend to listen but you are already implementing your new idea in your head.  You don’t even consider the cons(s) in this scenario because, to you, they are negligible.  Logic has left the building…

3.  You Feel Like a Fake:  Once you start implementing what I’ll call the “false” dream others start to tell you that you are brave for venturing out, that you have guts and are fearless.  All of this encouragement makes you feel like a fake because you are scared out of your mind.  Not nervous excitement from starting something new but fear that if you don’t get this right you will have to go back to the world you escaped from.

4.  Implementing Your “False” Dream is Like Banging Your Head Against a Wall:  Starting up a new venture and dream does take hard work but you should have more good days then bad.  It should not drain the life out of you but make you feel free.  If you’re not having fun, overall, then you have the wrong dream.  If you dread working on it, it’s the wrong dream.  If words of passion don’t flow out of you when you tell someone about it, it’s the wrong dream.

5.  You Are Worried About Your Competitors:   This goes along with #4.  When you are are headed towards your “false” dream you live out of scarcity not abundance.  You fear the other people who do what you do. You fear that others will take customers away from you. You can’t imagine how to collaborate and are ready to fight to protect your turf.  The flip side, is when you are living in the right dream you could care less what others do.  You simply do what you do.  Serve who you serve.  You don’t have time for, want or need the distraction of scarcity.  You start to see opportunities to partner and collaborate.

6.  You Are Willing to Lose It All to Make it Work:  Just like number 2, logic has left the building.  Your biggest fear is failure.  Maybe you have never failed at anything in your life and you’re not going to fail at this.  Come hell or high water you will GET THIS TO WORK.  Yeah – I’ve been there and what looks like hard work and determination is really pride.  In the final stages, of the decision making process to shut my Business Coaching  business down, I asked  myself this question “If pride is the ONLY reason I am continuing this business is that the right reason?”  The answer was no.  Pride and admitting failure is really not losing it all.  I already lost our entire retirement, my health, on and on.  I was not willing to lose my husband too; that is where I drew the line.

7.  You Become Narcissistic:  This is really the root of the blind spots.  You become so determined to make SOMETHING work that we only focus on us.  You become obsessed with making your dream work – you eat, sleep and breathe it and become out of balance.  A perfect example of this is Steve Jobs.  I believe that he was driven by fear – He was as narcissistic as they come if I believe what I read.  Was he living his dream?  I honestly don’t think so.  I think he lost his soul in the process and lost his life which perhaps he began to recover later in life.  Like Steve Jobs I also had a single track mind for a time.  But when you only live for yourself, and if it goes on for too long, you end up standing alone…and if you succeed you become respected for what you did not who you are.  I don’t know about you but that is not my dream…

Do you see yourself in any of the 7 signs of running away from your fears?  Will you chose to re-direct?  Your REAL dream is worth the wait.

Find our what’s holding you back from claiming your dreams by taking this quiz.