Using your daydreaming to help you with your real-life ambitions

One of the questions I often ask when I’m coaching someone is “what resources do you have?” When we want to achieve something, it’s useful to think about what we already have that can help us get closer to what we want. Resources in this context can mean all sorts of things. It could mean “what skills do you have?” or “who do you know who could help you?” or “what previous experience can you draw on?” Immersive daydreamers have an additional resource at our disposal: our daydreams. So, what can we bring from our daydream world that will allow us to achieve our real-life ambitions?

Our other selves

Many of us daydream from the perspective of an idealised version of ourselves. In our daydreams, we take on the characteristics we think we lack in real life. We might be more confident, more outgoing, funnier, smarter, stronger. In other words, in our daydreams, we become the person we wish we were in real life. But the thing is, we’ve had hours of practice at being that person in our heads. So how hard is it to be that person in the real world? Not forever, but just long enough to do that thing that we’ve been avoiding doing? If you aren’t moving forward in life because you think you aren’t smart enough or you aren’t confident enough, try letting your smarter more confident daydream self take over for a while and see what that better version of you is capable of.

Our characters

Achieving almost anything in life is easier if you have support from the people around you. But some daydreamers don’t have as many friends as we’d like, and in any case, sometimes our friends and family aren’t supportive of the things we want to achieve. But when we daydream, we naturally create the things that are missing in our real world. If there’s no-one in your real life that you can turn to for advice, do you have a character who is a mentor or role-model? If you don’t have friends who support and encourage you, do you have a character who believes in you 100% and will always be on your side? When you aren’t sure how to move forward with your real-life goals, draw on the skills and wisdom of your characters. Have conversations with them in your daydreams about the challenges your real-life self is facing, and see what they advise you to do.

Our imagination

If what you want to achieve in real-life was easy, you’d have done it a long time ago. The fact that you haven’t is an indication that you might need to come up with some creative solutions about how to get there. Immersive daydreamers are good at creative solutions. Your characters have successfully navigated far more difficult situations than anything you’re facing in real life. And, as daydreamers, our vivid imaginations give us an additional advantage – we can try things out in our heads before we have to commit to doing them for real. If your real-life challenge were a plot in your daydream world, how would it play out? Run the scene in your head, all the way to the end. Experience the success – notice how it feels, how your characters react, what emotions it generates within you. Enjoy it. And when you have the plot perfect in your head, you’ll be far more confident about taking action in real life.

Our daydreaming can be a big factor in not taking action towards our real-life goals. It’s understandably hard to summon up the motivation to work towards something in real-life, when you can have it in your daydream world in an instant. But it is the work we put into achieving our real-life goals that makes the achievement more rewarding. Once we make a commitment to ourselves to work on the things that are important to us, I believe that we can turn our daydreaming from an obstacle into our biggest resource.