The Dream Come True

We are raised on dreams coming true. On happily ever after. Cinderella’s glass slipper fit her, not her step-sisters. Jack escapes from the giant with the goose that laid the golden egg. All problems neatly tied up and solved.

Your dreams are yours to create. Image: available as wallpaper from

We know it takes a pure heart and determination to make those dreams come true, but the stories of childhood end there. The guy gets the girl. They live happily ever after. It’s a little vague how that happens, exactly.

Making your dream come true can be scary. This is your dream, which is somehow supposed to stay in the future, and now you are holding it.  Part of you doesn’t believe you could (or should) have it.

Your negative self talk told you often enough how out of reach it was. You might have chased that dream because it was good exercise, but deep inside you may not have thought you’d catch it. And now you did.

At this very point–the point of reaching your dream or goal, you’ll want to jump back, to the point right before you had it.  After all, if you hold the dream, you suddenly become responsible for it. You will have to be content with it. You will have to live happily ever after. If you could actually achieve it, was  the dream good or big enough?

The biggest burden of reaching a goal is that the same you that struggled for it suddenly has it.   Along the way you might have become older, wiser, thinner, but it is still you.

Getting that dream doesn’t come with a limo and posse for most of us. It comes with responsibility of admitting that we worked hard and got what we wanted.  Time to  acknowledge it. Even when your friends whisper behind your back, “So what? What’s the big deal?”  Some friends will snort, others will be envious. A few people will be mad at you. None of this should stop you from admitting you reached your goal. None of this should make you belittle yourself.

The important part is knowing what you did to get here, knowing that you could have stopped to avoid having the responsibility and pretended to change the goal. It’s a brave thing to reach your goal. Unlike running a marathon, once you cross the finish line with a goal, you realize you can’t click a stop watch and compare your goal reaching with others and see who won. You did. You got it. You have succeeded.

Before you feel dipped in fear, acknowledge your growth. Be proud of yourself. And take some time to celebrate. Celebrations remind us that we have strength and courage and determination. Celebrations honor those traits without saying that we don’t need anything else. Once you reach a goal, no one can take the accomplishment away from you. Honor yourself. Be proud. You’ve earned it!

Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach who has a tendency to pretend that none of her goals were big accomplishments. She chooses the next one too soon.  She’s working on it.

8 thoughts on “The Dream Come True

  1. A very thought provoking post Quinn. We spend so much time focused on reaching the goal and so little time on what to do what it is finally achieved. Food for thought!

  2. When I was in my thirties I made a big leap in my work and took on an ambitious project across the country. My brother in law, who is my age, had just been given several promotions and was in the upper strata of the corporate world. He came to visit the studio and take me out to dinner.

    I started thinking about how I (and artists like me) never had public milestones that our friends and family could celebrate. Most of us weren’t getting shows at the Whitney. I didn’t celebrate my accomplishments either. It was just put the harness back on and keep going.

    I’m still trying to figure this out for myself.

    Thanks for the post.

    Sent from my iPad Susan King

  3. This is such an important idea — the how to’s after you reach a goal. There is all kinds of information out there on HOW to reach a goal, but not much on how to accept and know the new you once a big goal is reached.

    I think maybe I reach a goal, turn around, and look for me so I can celebrate, but the me I know is no longer the me I am. Change. Oh dear! I’ve gone and changed, and barely recognize the new me. Do I like her? Can I maintain the change, or am I really just a big fake? And what to I do NOW?

    You can probably tell how confusing the whole thing is for me. It’s hard to even get in words.

    • I’d suggest celebrating. You are due for one if you notice change and goal-reaching. And celebrating yourself in ways that make you feel stronger and surer that you reached the goal you worked hard for is an excellent activity. How would you celebrate yourself, Bo?

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