This time around upon listening to the words sung by Susan Boyle, “I had a dream worth living,” they resonated with me in terms of career planning.

So many times we do have dreams, but all that comes of them are excuses. Why is that? Some say it’s due to lack of time, negative teammates and ill-willed management, negative voices inside our heads, and/or the lack of faith the right opportunity will come into being.

Life long dreams

If you were to put all of the doubt and fear aside, the next questions to follow is, “Was your dream merely a one-time fantasy or is it a recurring desire?” In my opinion, if the idea frequently flows into your mind and heart – then, like Ms. Boyle, it’s a dream worth living.

The best route to take is to learn from those who have gone before you or who have taken a similar career path to what you desire. What was done poorly? What actions were executed well and made the difference for success? Are you able to mirror some of these while remaining authentic to you and building your reputation? These lessons are invaluable for building a concrete path to follow.

Next, let’s look at a few techniques for handling the usual self-doubt. The first place to start is to leave negative minded people behind. If this describes your work environment, make a plan to elevate yourself and your career. In your free time envision your career at its finest – what are your aspirations that had been safely tucked away until now? What are the milestones you need to achieve to get to the peak of your career?

Be of the mindset from now on, you will keep pursuing your dreams. On your next interview, it’s your job to determine if you will fit in with the company culture. Are you able to meet some of the future team members to get a sense for what you will be “in for”?

As you see others moving up their ladder of success you will begin to wonder if you too are capable of the same. Learn by asking questions of them on how they got past their sticking points to achieve what once seemed insurmountable.

One of the easiest ways to rid yourself of negative voices in your head is to become very focused every minute of the working day. At any given moment, you know what you need to work on to keep moving forward. Time efficiencies, goal setting and clear vision of where you are headed must be adhered to every working moment. Once your mindset is focused, the negative voices will slip away to find someone else less inclined to be successful.

Another technique to discourage negative voices from plaguing you is to decorate your surroundings with reminders of the fine work you have done in the past. These may include Thank You notes, awards, pictures capturing milestones in your life and anything else that will remind you of just how special you really are. You will be surprised to find just how motivating this is and it drives home the point, “Yes I can!”

If the lack of faith in your abilities plagues you or you have a profound fear of failure, try the technique large corporations use. Change your vocabulary from “fear of failure” to “marketing research”! They never say to the public, “We failed due to our last product being so ineffective, so we’re hopeful the new one will be better.” Instead they say, “Our marketing research demonstrates this new product will be even better than the last one!”

Your strong belief in what you contribute to the world, dedication and perseverance to achieve what was originally just a fleeting thought is a large part of your personal brand. As you go on this dedicated journey, you will attract attention for better opportunities with greater probability of achieving your dream.

In other words, if your dream is worth living, then it is well worth it to take the time to learn from those who have gone before you. The best career investment is in your education and yourself. Then you will be ready to go for it with your heart and soul. Even if you aren’t successful the first time out, when you keep refining, pursuing and learning – you will be on the road to success and your dream will be worth living!

Of course, when your dream thrives, I call this a Smooth Sale!