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If you’re struggling to find freedom through your dreams, this piece is for you.

When I Grow Up: Making Room for Joy

What did you want to be when you were five? Ten? Eighteen?

What changed?

Was it just you growing up, your passions and interests growing with you?

Or were you told it was too silly? Too unreasonable? Too impossible?

When I Grow Up: Making Room for Joy

When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be….

A ballerina. An astronaut. A dinosaur.

brown hair baby girl in blue dinosaur costume

Why do so many seem to constantly discourage dreaming big? Is it because so often our own dreams are crushed? Is it a sour hand-me-down from the previous generation? They never made it and neither will we, so it’s best we never try?

When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be…

A writer. A doctor. The President of the United States.

young brown hair woman writing

Why if our children say they want to be artists or football players, do we tell them “That’s really hard to make a career out of…”

Is it because we want them to know the struggles they’ll face? To prepare them for the possible heartache? Or do we so greatly fear them living with us forever that we have an immediate reflex to want to stomp out that spark?

When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be…

A secretary. A bus driver. A teacher.

young brown hair woman giving presentation to small crowd

Do we think we must aim for more reasonable heights because it’ll hurt less if we fall? Are we afraid encouraging others will lead to an inability to handle the rough-n-tumble that is our current day?

When I Grow Up, I’m Going to Be…


young brown hair woman sticking her tongue out

A mother. A blogger. A partner.

Financially free. Happy. Organized.

A superhero.

young child in captain america costume

Today I challenge you to stop limiting yourself and to never discourage dreams, yours or others.

Any time you hear that little whisper that says “I can’t…” or “Maybe if I was younger/older/smarter/richer…” I want you to physically shake it off. You can try a little shake at first. Tap your toe. Flick your wrist. Whatever it takes to remind yourself that negativity is not welcome here.

Then at the end of the day, when you can just let it all go without judgement or fear of looking silly (or kinda nuts), give yourself a full body shake.

Shake off all the negativity, the stress, the anger, the regret. Just let it go.

Make room for the positive, for the joy and the dreams. Welcome your optimism and believe in it.

Shel Silverstein said it best:

shel silverstein poem

What would you be if you could do anything with no risk of failure or remorse? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.