Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, encourages and challenges women to actively pursue their dreams in her New York Times Bestseller Lean In. The executive thrives in her career (earning a multimillion dollar annual salary) and personal life (married with two children) — enough so to write a book urging women to “lean in” to what they do versus pulling back. Sheryl Sandberg intentionally and unapologetically pursues her dreams when the world tells her “no.”

The time is long overdue to encourage more women to dream the impossible dream. -Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg didn’t awake one morning and transform overnight from an entry-level employee to COO, but determination, persistence and frequent personal reminders of her dream concocted the success story that she is today. She was intentional in believing that she could equally achieve success both at home and in the workforce, and is now leading the global charge for women to do the same.

How can one become their own Sheryl Sandberg? Three steps: imagine the dream, believe the dream, and endlessly pursue the dream.

“When I grow up, I want to be…” is a phrase that children universally are both asked and ponder. In adolescence, young girls’ dreams are thought by society to be a recipe of grandiose and cute: astronaut, dolphin trainer, actress, pop star and the list goes on. Sure, women mature and discover individual strengths and weaknesses, childhood dreams evolve, but when does the clock strike midnight on women abandoning their goals at the expense of societal pressure? Why do women feel forced to choose plan B above plan A? The answer: when the combination of fear, monetary uncertainty and comparison with others disorients the dreams of the heart.

In 2011, the phrase YOLO took over both the Internet and worldwide colloquial languages. Albeit juvenile to utilize verbally, the you only live once acronym can be a fantastically simple reminder to pursue personal dreams. Consider it: every human being only lives once, so why not live life doing what you love? There is endless truth to the saying, “Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life.”

Imagine the dream, believe the dream, and endlessly pursue the dream.

One can choose to be their biggest cheerleader or their own worst enemy. In a competitive world seeking the failure of others, Team [Insert Your Name Here] needs a cheer captain. Each person has unique talents and capabilities; capitalizing on and maximizing your skills are valuable assets to making your dream a reality.

Achieving personal dreams can be daunting, but each individual’s goals are what set them apart as unique. Challenge yourself to imagine the dream, believe the dream, and endlessly pursue the dream.

Because, what is life without dreams and what is living without pursuit?

Image via Gabriel Flores



  1. Natalie, I loved what you had to say. I think so many of us feel that we have to give up on our dreams as we grow up, but it’s important to fight against giving in. When I was in college, everything seemed possible, but when I graduated and faced bills and finding a job, it seemed better to make money than to pursue my dreams. I’m realizing that’s not what my life should look like, and starting to work towards my dreams again. Your article was a helpful reminder to keep dreaming!

  2. Just splendid. This comes at a magnificent time in my life, with my dad stepping into new territory planning to start up a new business after retirement, and realizing corporations may not be the environment I see myself pursuing future success in. Creativity is like wildfire in my family and I have caught the itch to channel my motivation toward making something of that knack and inspiration.
    Thank you for your inspiring words!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.