How to Live Your Childhood Dreams

By Brooke Ozlem Erol

I believe we are all born creative and powerful, with unique gifts that we bring to the world.

As we grow up, our challenge is to rekindle the passion of our early dreams and connect with our true potential in this journey we call life.

Everything is possible when we are young. Just watch children: Everything is a wonder, and their dreams are always big. (I never heard any child wish to work in a boring cubicle job for 20 years). Unfortunately, most of us lose this precious aspect of ourselves as we grow up, the part that has faith in ourselves and the gifts we have to share. We subconsciously seek so much approval from our parents, family, or society that we give up on our passions. It becomes more important to fulfill the expectations of others and follow the norms, and in the process we often realize more appreciation and acceptance then if we were to break out on our own.

If we are among those rare individuals who really believe in their dreams, our parents might try to talk us out of them to protect us from future disappointments. As a parent, I now understand why we do this at a deeper level. We are concerned that our children will fall flat on their faces while they are taking risks on their own. We are unsure how to handle our feelings; it is really about us—not them.

Uncovering Your Gifts and Dreams

It’s important for us not lose our precious gifts and that special calling. They are buried under a pile of limiting beliefs accumulated throughout the years—but we can pick up where we left off as children by making a conscious decision to reconnect with ourselves. It happens when we create silent time for ourselves inside of our often crazy and hectic lives. These personal retreats allow us to hear our soul.

As we practice more “being” instead of “doing,” becoming more aware and mindful, we hear the real voice of our soul buried under the voice of our ego.

While our ego has a purpose (it keeps us safe from danger), we don’t have to listen to everything it tells us to do. We can start to differentiate between the voices of the ego and soul, and learn to feel hunches and hear whispers. Then our intuition will really start to kick in.

As we reconnect with ourselves, we start to feel lighter, more joyful, and regain the sense of wonder we had as kids. As we practice to do more of what moves and inspires us, we start to feel happier and more fulfilled. Something feels “right.” When we do things we love, we don’t notice time flying by. We also start to ask important questions:

“Can I leave this job that doesn’t satisfy me?”

“Can I carve some time in my schedule to practice what I love?”

“Can I bring more meaning into my life?”

For some of us, this is all we need to move forward. We get connected to what we love and find a way to integrate it into our lives in the form of a hobby, new career, or new business. For others, there is a big hurdle of resistance to overcome and, although we are finally so excited to see our calling clearly, we may not be able to embrace it immediately. We may be paralyzed by fear—fear of failing or great success. Perhaps we don’t want to disappoint others. We have followed their path and made them proud (hopefully) so far. How can we switch to do something we love now? What will they say? What if we fail and lose what we already have?

Resistance usually comes up as we are called to do something big, and we need to accept it as normal and then commit to taking the steps needed to move forward. One approach is to read about people we admire. See how they took risks and failed many times, but still persevered. On the surface we see only the shiny, successful part of their lives, but when we dig deeper we find they also faced self-doubt or fear, and they pressed on to achieve their dreams despite those feelings.

Fear of success can be hard to deal with, too, and most of us are not even aware of this stumbling block. We believe success only brings glory and joy, and that we are ready to embrace it all. However, often it is not easy to step up to the plate because our energy has been at a totally different level for a very long time and—even if this level was not where we wanted to be—it became our “comfort zone.” We do not know how it feels to be vibrant and full of amazing energy on our own path. Although it sounds great when we journal on paper and visualize dreams, it may not be comfortable energetically when we actually engage in the process of realizing them. To address this problem, we need to be open to feeling different and have faith that things will work out when we are in our own flow.

The whole process of realizing our dreams may look long and cumbersome, but many people do it—so can you. What is the alternative? Having a life you don’t love? What will you think when you are close to the end of your life and you did not even try? What do you want your legacy to be when you leave this world? It doesn’t need to make the headlines, but it should be something that is meaningful to you and a reflection of who you really are.

Think about people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Vincent Van Gogh, or others you admire. What if they were too afraid to act on their callings? It would be a different world. Think of all the incredible inventions and technologies around you. They all started as others’ dreams. What if they never created the things we use every day to make our lives better?

I hope you are ready to follow your dreams and make your short time on earth as meaningful as possible. If you think you fall every time you try, find someone to help keep you on track and help you stay out of your own way. You can be who you were meant to be and make this world a better place. Imagine if we all were able to connect with our authentic Self and live to our full potential!

Brooke Ozlem Erol worked for 11 years in training, sales, marketing and account management at IBM. She moved to the U.S. 15 years ago and worked as a sales and marketing manager at small to medium size companies. She started her coaching business in 2003, in which she helps individuals find their own passions and gifts, getting out of where they are stuck and stepping into a life they love. She also helps businesses identify and highlight their unique strengths to be successful in their own market. Visit

This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at,, and all ebook formats.


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