I returned from an exciting trip to New York in September last year where I combined my USA book launch of Creating Encores with a cultural shopping, dining holiday in that fabulous city. During those 10 days in New York, I began to reflect on all of the “what ifs” that have come up in my life in the past year.

I spent those days around women who told me that their dreams several years ago were to work and live in New York, and that they all managed to find a way to do it. So it got me to wondering, why do some people get up and go and follow their dreams when others just stay stuck?

These women were of all ages and levels of careers, so it shows that the ‘what ifs’ are not based on our circles or our society, in fact, the “what if” voice moves through all of us. It often makes us want to wait until ‘the time is right’ and can shut down parts of ourselves the more we listen to the ‘what ifs’ and suppress our true desires.

These Australian women living and working in New York had left their comfort zone. One woman I met is a singer songwriter and has a fabulous career, in a city that is renowned for “spitting people out”. She is very successful, has diversified her performing arts talents into speaking at major events. She is a star and breathes inspiration and genuineness, something that sits at the core of many Australians.

And, I recognised myself in these women, because as I grow my speaking and coaching business I find now that the struggle has gone out of my world. I have learnt how to listen to my heart, trust and follow. I have embraced the “what if” and moved through the doubts and fears of failure both financially and personally. I realize that we can get stuck around a non-supportive mindset that challenges us when we step out and follow our passions. This mindset likes us to be comfortable, maybe from the past and we can almost hear it saying, “why do you want to change”, “why do you have to do this at this stage of your life”, “take the comfortable path, do not resist and stay safe”.

I remind myself each day that the quality of my life is mainly about my mindset. I can make my life the best it can possibly be and from here the opportunities will open up. It is as if once I let go of  “what if I fail or don’t succeed, will I be out on the streets?” and convert it to “What if my business succeeds beyond my wildest desires – how wonderful that will be for me!”

There is an energy that moves around now that helps me to embrace the success, passion and purpose in my life. I even notice that my voice softens, I laugh more, I feel fulfilled alive and in touch with all areas of my personal and professional life.

So what happens when we allow ourselves to follow our dreams? We bring back passion, purpose and hope into stuck parts of our lives. Even if we don’t fully realise our dream, isn’t it better to have moved ahead because of our heart’s desires, than to have stayed in the negative “what if”.