Mandy Kloppers

Dare to dream

It’s amazing how many people never dare to dream. They become so worn down by life and feel that their chances of happiness or success are over. Putting themselves in that mindset is a dangerous step in the wrong direction.

When you give up on your dreams you give up on yourself. Too many people are afraid to dream. If they dare to dream then there is also the chance that their dreams may never be realised. That fear of failure is what makes so many people give up on their dreams.

Why you should dare to dream

Dreams and goals keep hope alive. If you give up on your dreams you settle for a future that isn’t what you’d hoped for. It’s far better to have dreamed and failed than to have never dreamed at all. Just the act of hope and daring to dream creates ‘happy’ chemical interactions in your brain. So just the mere fact that you are hopeful creates positive reactions within your body on a physiological level. How cool is that?

When you hope for more you keep a little spark inside you alive. That spark symbolises happiness, contentment, and peace. When you give up on your dreams you become more pessimistic and see the world in a negative way. When you dare to dream you set yourself up for opportunities that you may have missed if you no longer believed that good things are out there.

Dare to dream for a better world

Your hopes for the future don’t necessarily have to be egocentric in nature. By this I mean they don’t have to involve you directly. You can dare to dream about more kindness in the world or about people treating each other with more respect. While a dose of reality is healthy, maintaining hope and optimism is vital for survival.

Psychologists at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London studied women with early-stage breast cancer and found that the risk of recurrence or death increased significantly among those who lacked hope. There was nothing mysterious or mystical about this. Hopeful patients, for example, were inclined to manage their illness themselves, instead of letting outsiders make all the decisions.

Hope is powerful and it makes you more resilient to the hardships of life. I believe that my health is so good (I have Cystic Fibrosis) because I have always been hopeful. I have never seen myself as ill and incompetent. I have just found resourceful ways to do things when faced with physical limitations. I truly believe my mindset has had a lot to do with how healthy I am.

Hope underpins the recovery process in physical and mental health. It is like a secret ingredient that gives you the edge. Don’t be afraid to hope. I have often heard clients say that they expect the worse because that way they can’t be disappointed. It’s one of the worst things you can do.

Hope counteracts anxiety and depression

Research has shown that those who are more hopeful tend to cope better with depression. Multiple studies have shown a correlation between hope and reduced symptoms of depression.

Dare to dream by doing these activities more often

Gratitude journal

Start a gratitude journal and write in it every day. Write down three things you feel happy about or that made you smile that day. This trains your brain to make more positive associations with the world around you. Look for positive stories, focus on what is going well.

Be aware of your inner dialogue

Catch those pessimistic thoughts and challenge them. Is the future really that dreary? Are your chances completely lost? Probably not. Problem-solve a bit more instead of viewing the world through a negative mental filter.

Look after yourself

The better you feel about yourself the more hopeful you will be. You are the ‘vehicle’ that will help you get to where you want to go so it needs to be in good shape. Self-care is key for a positive mindset.

Forget fear of failure

There’s nothing wrong with trying and failing – welcome to life. It’s sad when you let fear paralyse you. Push past fear and keep trying new things. The more you do the more confident you will feel.

Dare to dream about little things and big things but don’t stop hoping. Keep the faith. You are in a far better position with a hopeful mindset than a pessimistic, defeated one.

Mandy X