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11-time author, nutritionist, yoga teacher and podcaster.
22 SEP, 2022
“Overcoming challenges and creating your dream life” -what a brilliant idea for a story. When the gang at Lorna Jane reached out to me and asked to jot a few words down about this topic I jumped at the chance. Because here’s the thing; creating your “dream life” is bloody scary and it takes a tone of courage. So, here’s what I’ve learnt and the things that have helped me navigate and stay on course to realise my dreams, and ultimately completely change careers, in my mid-thirties might I add!
First things first, do what you love. If nothing else mattered, what would you be doing? Would you be a painter, a musician, a doctor, a dog walker? Whatever it is, take a moment, and ask yourself this; “If failure wasn’t an option, then what would I be doing?” It’s confronting as it is exciting. Then imagine what life would be like if you were doing this thing, living this dream. Step back, look at it, imagine it, feel it. Then grab a pen and paper and start cooking up this dream. Baby steps, for me, when I do this, I dream of being an actor and finding that moment when time completely stops, and you're just doing that thing you love. That’s what we want to move towards, slowly but surely. Now I’m not going to sugar coat things, it will be tough, gruelling and some days brutal. You will fall, but what matters is that you get back up, again and again. You can do this.
On the first day of nutrition school, one of my lecturers said this to me, and it stuck. I always come back to it when I feel like I’ve failed or had a setback. “You’re the only person who can get you to where you want to go, and you're the only person who can stop you.” Pretty powerful right, come back to this idea whenever you feel stuck or lost. You’ve got this, but it will take hard work (much harder than you think), confronting experiences as well as confronting yourself, and it will absolutely take sacrifice.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Here’s the thing, chasing dreams is scary, you’re literally risking failure. But that’s part of the deal- you’ve got to be willing to risk it to win. A yogi mate of mine once said to me, you’ll find the biggest dreams, business ideas and goals in a graveyard, because most people are too scared to go after their ultimate dreams. He then went onto tell me that we have two deaths; one when we actually die and the other at around 25 years old, when we start to lose sight our dreams and slip in the social constrains of societies expectations. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me that’s way scarier than feeling the fear of possible failure but going after my wildest dreams anyway. So do it, just put one foot in front of the other and day by day, week by week, move closer towards your real dreams, not the stuff you “think” you should be doing. The stuff you know, deep down in your heart that you should be doing.
Make sure the people closest to you, believe in you, wholeheartedly, and they don’t judge you. Because going after dreams takes sacrifice and it’s a tough slog, especially at the beginning. And that tough slog part usually lasts longer than you’ve mentally prepared for. So, keeping people around you that truly believe in you is like having a superpower. There will be days that you don’t believe in yourself and the support of a loved one can be the very thing that keeps you going. Learn to read people; there are a lot of fake dingos out there that don’t have your best intentions at heart. Don’t hang out with them, have the courage to walk away from the things and people that don’t love you just the way you are, but instead support you moving closer towards your dreams. You’ll know this more by the way you feel when you’re around them than what they actually say. Trust your gut or intuition as some call it, it won't let you down.
Now this is going to sound like hippie advice but it really works; I actually use this technique in acting school when I’m working on character development. Find a totem, Miss Lorna Jane has one; her’s is a tiger, it’s linked to her drive, determination and it matches her work ethic perfectly. I interviewed her on my podcast, and she talked about having this inner tiger. How cool, right?! Well, find a totem for yourself, it could be an animal you resonate with or one you like the values or attributes of. Mine switches between a black jaguar and a lone wolf. I love the idea of a jaguar being so strong but graceful at the same time, a jaguar doesn’t waste time, every move is specific and for a purpose. The wolf I love when I travel and am in work mode, which means a lot of rejection living in LA as an actor; I slip into this “lone wolf” mode where I learn, grow, and build a safe haven “my wolf den.” I have no problems being alone and this concept of a lone wolf sits well with me, the lone wolf literally means the warrior or hero with strength who works alone. I know it might sound lonely, but LA can be a lonely place, and having the lone wolf mindset helps me accept and embrace it, rather than resist it. I also have a tight knit wolf pack who have my back no matter what.
The last secret I’m going to share with you about living your dream life is becoming brave. You must be brave to build the courage to go after what you really want. Some people are braver than others, I get that. But with work and building up your mental health and resilience, I believe you can build your bravery. Being brave will allow you to walk into the unknown, to have your own back, and to face the challenges that are a nonnegotiable prerequisite to making our wildest dreams come true. There will be pain, and that’s ok because on the other side of that painful experience is growth, strength, and a clearer understanding of who you are, what matters to you and what you’re going after.
Don’t waste any more time on sweating the small stuff or giving two hoots about what others think of you, just go after your dream, unapologetically. Now. Today, do one thing that brings you a pinch closer to where you want to be.
About the Author: Lola Berry
Podcaster, 11-time author, nutritionist, actor, TV host and yoga teacher.
Lola is an actor, TV host, podcaster, nutritionist and writer. She’s a best selling author of 11 books and working in the media industry for over a decade. She’s into her 5th year of studying acting and TV hosting and is currently living between Los Angeles and Byron Bay. Lola has a podcast called “Fearlessly Failing with Lola Berry” where she interviews notable profiles about their failures and how it’s the tough times that actually shape and help us to grow. The success of Fearlessly Failing the podcast lead to the 2021 release of her 11th book with the same title. It’s about how to grow though challenges and embrace the lessons so-called failure can teach us. It’s also about how to spot the signs leading you towards your life purpose, how to achieve lasting personal growth as well as what our body can teach us about finding true joy and lasting health.