Setting intentions

Setting Intentions

Discover how to set intentions by being open to exploring your dreams and overcoming fears of success.

By now, you probably know that I’m a fan of stating intentions and watching them come to me. Sometimes, it’s hard to state my intention in a clear enough way. And too often, it’s hard to be honest about what I want and to get out of my own way.

It’s one thing to be able to say, “I intend for THIS to happen.” But what if you’re a little afraid of the results? Or a lot afraid? It seems like we wouldn’t fear getting what we yearn for, what we dream of. Not so.

What if our fondest dreams and deepest desires come true and…we can’t handle the results? Or we get it and then lose it? What if we get what we want and find it’s only an illusion?

Success will take us to a next step, and we can’t turn back. It will be new joys, yes, but also new pressures and bigger risks. What if we fail? Is it better to stay where we are and assume we’ll just never have those things and be as content as we can force ourselves to be…or do we go all out, risk everything, the worst of which is losing our dreams and knowing they’re not what we thought?

I have a couple of dreams like that. The only thing that has stopped me from being successful is wondering what if I’m not.

I confessed my own fears and posed these questions to a young friend who was at a crossroads in her professional life. She has a grand dream, but the next step means she sticks to this career field or turns away from it. You’d look at her work and never think she’d considered giving up a dream like that, but she’s afraid of what happens next. Like me. And it’s enough to paralyze her forward momentum.

I’ve come up with a different way of setting intentions for my scariest dreams–the ones I most want and most afraid will fail. My most intense dreams are ones I cannot write here–you’d be shocked at some and others are too obvious and yet too personal. So in lieu of confessing the things I most want out of this incarnation here, I’ll give a few examples of lesser importance to me.

I start by taking the pressure off of the desire. Instead of saying, “I intend to be debt-free,” and then wondering how I’ll handle my finances if that dream comes true, I change up the words a bit, like this:  

Dear Universe, I am willing to explore…being debt-free.  


Dear Universe, I am open to exploring freedom from debt.

I like the latter one better. If the result is good, it’s good. If there are issues (there will be of some sort), then I’ll work them out as they appear. But I’m willing to let it happen to me and to explore that feeling of being debt-free, with no mortgage. When I think of it this way, I can almost taste it. It’s a delicious feeling, and I can simply…explore it. Be willing to explore. Open to exploring.

Other lesser dreams of mine might be phrased like this:  

I am open to exploring how it feels to wear a slinky size 6 dress that fits perfectly.  

I am open to exploring speaking before a large crowd with self-confidence.  

I am open to exploring what it feels like to be accepted by my social circle for my beliefs.

I’ve started experimenting with results on a small scale. One thing that has eluded me is having a guy around the house who can take care of the handyman chores that I’m not able to do myself, either for lack of knowledge or lack of upper body strength. I stated my intention as “I’m willing to explore what it feels like to have an honest man in my life that I can trust to take care of handyman projects for me and one I wouldn’t mind giving the run of the house to when I’m at work.” Note that I didn’t say how the result had to look. This didn’t have to be a boyfriend or a male roommate. The result didn’t have to be male, really, though I never thought of it at the time because some of the projects around the house require certain physical strengths.

The result turned up rather quickly. A friend and student of mine announced he was leaving his job and starting his own business as a handyman. He’d volunteered his handyman services on several occasions over the years I’d known him, and I’d once thought there was nothing he couldn’t fix. He was someone I already trusted. I was immediately and happily his first customer, with a long punch list of handyman work waiting for him.

Now that I understand how this type of intention-setting works and that it’s a way for me to get beyond my fear of success–and fear of subsequent failure–I’ll give it a try on my bigger, more personal dreams.

What are YOU open to exploring?

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