As mental health professionals, the ability to dream big doesn’t always come naturally to us. Although we often support our clients in imagining their dream lifestyle, we may find it hard to do the same for ourselves.
But the first step to achieving your ideal lifestyle is being able to imagine it – and that’s where dreaming big comes in!
In this blog post, we want to share why it’s so important for you to dream big. We’ll look at the factors that hold many mental health professionals back from dreaming big and how we can overcome them.
If you’ve been dreaming of setting up a location independent practice, working for yourself, or travelling the world, then read on. Because here in the LIT Community, we want to help you make your dream a reality!
Why It’s So Hard to Dream Big
As we mentioned above, many therapists have a hard time letting themselves “dream big” when it comes to their life and business. But why is this? There are lots of factors at play, and being able to understand them can help you overcome them.
The truth is that most of us got into this field in order to help others, and although we often ask our clients to envision their ideal lives, we don’t always take the time to ask ourselves the same question.
And even if we ask ourselves that question, we may not be able to come up with out-of-the-box answers. That’s often because we don’t realize how much the systems and cultures we’ve been brought up in or have worked in may be limiting our ability to think outside the box.
One of the first things you can do is to notice if you’re feeling frustrated or stuck in your current situation. If you are, then chances are it’s time to start exploring what’s holding you back so you can take control and start working towards your dream life!
Another significant factor that makes it hard to dream big is that mental health professionals also tend to have very little business training. So, we might think that our big dreams are too out there or simply not achievable (since we were never taught how to actually create the business of our dreams).
We may also struggle with imposter syndrome, our money mindset, or just not have the practice of talking about the money side of our careers. There’s also a stigma around trying to make more money or having financial aspirations when you’re in this field.
As service-based professionals who focus on helping our clients improve their wellbeing, we risk forgetting that we also deserve a good standard of living, satisfaction, and happiness in our lives. And we might not achieve these things by following the status quo.
All of these things can get in the way of helping you imagine and create the life of your dreams, but in the LIT Community, we’ve seen so many of our members work towards and achieve their dream lifestyles and businesses. And we want to help you to break past these inner obstacles, too!
It’s Time to Dream Big: Identifying Your Dream Lifestyle & Business
The next step in dreaming big is identifying what exactly your dreams are. You can’t take action and start working towards your dreams if you don’t know what they are in the first place.
So, it’s worth spending some time reflecting on what your dreams really are. Where would you like to be in 1, 5, or 10 years’ time?
Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
- Who will you be working for?
- How many hours a week will you work?
- What kind of clients do you work with?
- How many clients do you have?
- Where will you live? Will you have a home base or travel around?
- What does your day-to-day life look like?
- How much time off do you take?
Let your imagination flow and try not to shut down any ideas or thoughts that come into your head. Often, we’re so used to thinking practically that this exercise can feel difficult and we can struggle to really let ourselves dream.
Be open to exploring all your thoughts without censoring yourself. Be brave and allow yourself to dream big!
Dreaming Big Will Look Different for Everyone
Now, that brings us to another important reminder. Your dreams are yours alone, so don’t feel the pressure to have the same dreams as those around you.
Even within the LIT Community, one member’s dream may look very different from another’s. And that’s because our dreams are intensely personal and won’t look like anyone else’s.
So, don’t feel like you have to aspire to someone else’s lifestyle. Instead, focus on figuring out what’s really important to you.
Here are some ideas of what dreaming big could look like for you! But remember – you get to dream big and choose what you want to achieve in your life!
- Travelling around the world as a digital nomad
- Having a home base and being able to travel for some of the year
- Being able to split the year between different locations
- Spending more time with family and friends around the world- without giving up your income
- Working for yourself instead of in a toxic work environment – the freedom to choose when, how much, and with whom you work
- Being able to support your family financially
- Improving your quality of life
- Not being tied down to where you come from
- Starting new exciting projects like setting up a guest house or coliving space (an actual dream of one of our LIT members!)
- Having an international lifestyle while being able to live close to family
- Improving your work-life balance and having more time for yourself, your loved ones, and your hobbies and passion projects
Don’t worry if your dreams seem too big or ambitious. It’s far too easy to make ourselves smaller and hold ourselves back.
Dreaming big is just the first stage in achieving your ideal lifestyle. But if you don’t dream big in the first place, you’ll hold yourself back from ever creating the life and business you really want.
Dream Big So You Can Give Back
As you’ve seen, there are so many reasons for dreaming big and having goals to work towards. But another important reason to dream big is so that you can give back and help to make the world a better place.
We know that this is a significant driving factor for so many colleagues who work in mental health. And by dreaming big and pushing yourself to create your dream lifestyle, you’re also in a better position to give back to others.
For example, you could take on more pro bono clients or have more availability for clients on a sliding scale. But you could also donate a portion of your profit to a cause that’s meaningful to you, either locally or internationally.
By dreaming big, you can also impact many other lives beyond your own.
Avoiding Getting Sidetracked from your Goals by all the “Shoulds”
Once you’ve decided on your big dreams, you’ll need to put on your blinders and focus on the path ahead so that you don’t get sidetracked. Especially by all of the “shoulds.”
Now more than ever, everywhere we turn online we’re being offered advice on the best way to do something, or the 5 things you must do to be successful, or how someone runs a 6-figure business working 4 hours a week…
Some of the advice out there is genuine and good, but there is a lot of noise, and definitely a *lot* of material coming at us each day. It’s important to remember that none of this advice is actually tailored for your specific situation. This means you might end up spending time and energy following advice, only to realise that it’s not aligned with what you want in your business and life.
With all of this content, advice, and “shoulds”, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and lose your sense of self and what *you* want your business to be along the way. This is why it’s so essential that you get very clear on your dreams and goals because it will help you to stay focused on the bigger picture.
Each time you feel like you should do something because an expert, guru, colleague, or friend said so, come back to your business vision.
Keeping in mind where you want to go, will this step actually help you to move in the right direction? If yes, that’s great! But if not, you can confidently move on and ignore the advice because it won’t actually help get you closer to your dreams.
One place we see this happening a lot with mental health professionals, is with social media. They start business accounts on every imaginable channel before they stop to think about if their ideal client is actually spending time there (and looking for a therapist there). Then, they end up wasting a ton of time creating content that does not help their ideal client find them.
They may even wind up with a lot of followers – but what good is that if their dream was to be booked with their ideal clients? In the LIT Community, we are often reminding one another that we do not need to do all the things. We only need to focus on those that will help bring us closer to the life and business we want.
While it can be difficult to not listen to all the “advice” and noise online and instead focus on developing a business that’s in line with *your* vision, you’ll never achieve your own goals if you’re working on what other people consider a priority, rather than what’s really important to you.
The LIT Community Can Help You Dream Big
Having a supportive community around you can be so helpful when it comes to dreaming big. You can take inspiration from each other and see how your colleagues are making it happen all over the globe. You might discover new ideas or opportunities you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
And within a community, you have the support of like-minded professionals who understand the challenges of setting up a location independent practice.
They can pick you up when you’re feeling down or provide advice, accountability, and support, depending on the situation. Our members celebrate each other’s achievements and help to keep each other’s spirits up on those difficult days.
By connecting with other LIT Community members from around the world, we’ve had our eyes opened to all of the different options that exist when it comes to working as a mental health professional. We’ve seen that there are many different ways to live and work if we’re brave enough to find our own paths.
We also help our members to keep their goals at the forefront of their minds. We do this through regular events, such as our monthly happy hours where we reflect on the past month, celebrate our achievements, and make plans for the next month.
Plus, we also have workshops and events each year dedicated to our annual vision as a way to encourage our members to keep their long-term goals in mind.
Are you ready to dream big?
Dreaming big in itself is an essential step to working towards your dreams and goals! Because you can only create what you can imagine, so you have to be brave enough to have big dreams in the first place! So, congratulations on taking the first step towards your dream lifestyle and business!
The next step is to create a plan to get to where you want to be. In the LIT Community, we support our members in starting or growing their location independent business through business, social, and therapy-based events. For example, we have bi-monthly Business Meetups where we tackle subjects like marketing, SEO, and social media.
We also check in with our goals and progress every month in our Happy Hours, host social and networking events, and have member-led case supervision sessions in three different languages! And if you’re ever feeling stuck you can sign up to be on the “hot seat” of one of our regular hot seat coaching sessions where we offer peer coaching and support to help you move forward.
If you want to find out more about the LIT Community and start making your dreams a reality, sign up for our mailing list. You’ll be the first to hear when we next open our doors, and in the meantime, we’ll share some helpful tips and resources with you once a month.