A woman leaning over a counter as she holds a cupcake

We all have dreams—those things that we have thought about since we were children. Many times, our dreams are the things that we are building up the confidence to try to pull off. Our dreams are important to us, but how realistic is it to give up everything you have ever known to pursue them? The truth is achieving our dreams is more attainable than we believe.

My ultimate dream was to one day live in Paris, France. I traveled to Paris a few times, and I was in love with the culture, the art, the fashion and the language. Paris was the most beautiful place I had ever been.

But I wondered: Can I leave behind my friends, family, lifestyle and cushy job for a dream? Could I recreate my life in Paris?

I loved my job at a global company, and the thought of leaving terrified me. I immediately started processing what it would be like to resign and give up a job that I worked so hard at every day for almost a decade.

Would I be OK financially if I do this? The unknown was the scariest part. Within the year, I found the perfect condo in the 8th District of Paris, moved all of my things into storage and jumped on a flight to France where I lived for the next six months.

Throwing caution to the wind and doing what is in your heart is easier said than done. Here are three things you can do to move toward your ultimate dream:

Throwing caution to the wind and doing what is in your heart is easier said than done.

1. Be a planner, research and find the most concrete way to achieve your dream.

Changing from what you know to an entirely new daily landscape can be complicated. Before you take the leap and move overseas or buy a home, create a plan.

What does your new dream look like? Make an outline of what you need to do in the next 30 days to move toward your dream. Organize your finances and make a list of the things that are important to your lifestyle. Think about the smartest way to move forward starting with a simple to-do list.

2. Don’t allow fear to hold you back.

You may be afraid. Being afraid isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We have to understand the value of pushing ourselves beyond fear in order to move toward our dreams. If we allow fear to supersede our dreams, then we may regret not going for exactly what we want.

Regret is far worse than a setback. How do we truly know what we are capable of if we do not push ourselves? Move toward your dream one step at a time.

Regret is far worse than a setback. How do we truly know what we are capable of if we do not push ourselves?

3. Be optimistic.

Optimism and positive thinking go a long way. Think about all the reasons you want to pursue your dream and all the reasons you can. Talk through your ideas with a supportive friend and listen to their initial thoughts. Start your day with an affirmation that reminds you of why you are pursuing your dream.

The most important reason that we must go for our dreams is that when we achieve them, we are free to create and conquer an entirely new dream. Being brave is a conscious effort. We all have the capacity to think bigger, to innovate and to live our dreams.

Conquering our dreams is important because we never know how strong we are until we have to be. How would we know that we can have a life in another country as amazing as our life in our native country if we never try? While in Paris, I realized that my openness to experience the unknown and to do something that I would not typically do afforded me the best experience of my life.

We never know how strong we are until we have to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes we focus on why we cannot achieve a dream instead of focusing on how we are going to achieve the dream. Once we have a mindset that the “impossible” is in fact possible, nothing can hold us back. We can start a business, paint a collection of experimental art for an exhibition or ask for a huge promotion.

If we don’t go for it how will we ever know if we truly could have done it? What is a dream of yours? Start making steps today to reach your ultimate dream. Truly anything is possible.

What is one dream that you have not gone after? What is holding you back?

Image via Kat Borchart, Darling Issue No. 19

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