How to Come Back to Your Dream After Heartbreak

In honor of Andrea Schroeder’s Give Your Dream Wings Blog Hop, I’d like to tell you a story about my dream, giving up on it, and how I came back to it.

In 2009, I had enough early success as a coach that I quit my corporate job so I could focus on my business full-time.

I expected to see continued, steady growth. What I actually saw were short periods of success divided by much longer periods of creative drought.

Within a few months my body began to rebel. I was frustrated because my business wasn’t growing fast enough. I was freaking out about money all the time.

I was angry. Angry at my body for not staying healthy enough for me to build momentum. Angry at myself for not being able to ignore how I felt and just keep going.

Most of all I felt angry at the Universe because I’d gotten a clear signal that quitting my job was what would be best for me and my business, yet things seemed to be falling apart. It felt like a cruel trick.

The harder I pushed to grow my business, the less it grew until it started to shrivel. For three grueling years, I tried to subsist on the fumes of my past successes.

I didn’t realize until far too late that by continuing to pushpushpush, I was depleting myself. And that, in combination with my thyroid slowing down, led to a deep depression.

I’d often struggled with depression, but this was the lowest I’d ever gone. Even if I could have kept working, I no longer felt connected to my dream. Whereas my business used to feel like a being with its own soul before, now I wondered if it was all bullshit.

And so began a long, frustrating fallow period

Any desire to work came from a place of being afraid to stop working, rather than being connected to what my soul wanted to create.

I tried to focus on healing myself and the heartbreak I felt for things not going the way I expected. I had reached the point of being willing to walk away from my dream if I had to.

Eventually (over a year later), I started the long climb out of that deep pit.

I noticed a gradual willingness to look at what didn’t work before.

I saw all the ways I’d hurt myself by basing my self-worth on accomplishments.

I saw how I had been steamrolling my own soul, when I should have been partnering with it. (Well, I did partner with it for a while, until it was time to slow down, and then I stopped listening to what it had to say.)

I realized that no dream was worth losing my Self.

It’s been nearly two years to the day since I first acknowledged that the way I’d been pursuing my dream was utterly unsustainable.

And it’s only been in the last three months or so that I’m starting to see — outwardly — the fruits of the inner work I’ve been doing to heal myself and reconnect with my dream.

Here’s the thing:

What allowed me to reconnect with my dream was being willing to let it go, and to put my own needs before the needs of my dream. (The truth, though, is that your dream’s number one need is for you to get what you need.)

In a sense, I had to find the dream beneath the dream.

I thought I wanted a thriving business that would allow me to look forward to getting up and going to work every morning. That’s still true, but what I wanted even more was to be connected to myself and my soul so deeply that nothing could disconnect me.

I thought the deep connection I craved would be the result of creating the business.

The truth is that by nurturing the connection, I’m finding an ease in my business I’ve never experienced before.

Does it mean that things are always easy? Fuck no. Ease and easiness aren’t the same thing.

I have to choose to connect with my soul multiple times a day, and let it guide me. I have to choose to be honest with myself about whether I’m committed to growing my business (or am I more committed to dicking around on Facebook?).

Every day I have to start where I am and find a way to make it work.

The ease — despite the hard work — comes from knowing that I’m enough, even if I create something that doesn’t take off.

I’m learning to trust that deep, lasting progress comes from connecting to my soul, and working from that place.

Maybe you’ve experienced something similar:

You had a dream, it didn’t work out, and you’re feeling the heartbreak of that.

Here’s what I want you to know:

You are not alone. Though it may not feel like it right now, you have it within you to do what’s needed to support your dream.

The key to being able to nurture your dream sustainably is to make sure you’re connected to your soul. It knows what you and your dream need.

Learning to connect with your soul is a practice. Keep practicing.

Trust that your dream originates from your soul. Your dream is possible, because your soul would not hand you a dream you can’t achieve.

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The Give Your Dream Wings Blog Hop is a peek inside the process of how inspiring people make the magic happen. We’ve got some of the internet’s most inspiring bloggers sharing how they give their dreams wings – what they do that supports, nurtures and encourages their tender dreams to come to life.

This is happening in celebration of the new e-course of the same name by Andrea Schroeder of the Creative Dream Incubator. The Give Your Dream Wings e-course shows you how to nurture and grow YOUR dream, for free, in only 10 minutes a day. You do not have to wait until you have more time or money!

Click here to find out about the free e-course, and to read the other (crazy inspiring!) posts in this Blog Hop.

9 thoughts on “How to Come Back to Your Dream After Heartbreak

  1. Elizabeth

    Oh, Victoria. I adore you x a million. I feel like somewhere deep inside, you have tugged at a thread, and there is an epiphany coming, but in this moment, I feel wordless. (I can say that I want that same connection and that everything I think is a disaster, it turns out, is a way of cementing that connection.)

    I am celebrating + honoring your strength + your love for yourself + your journey.

  2. Paula Tarrant

    You have found the beauty inside a difficult journey. I could hear a collective groan of understanding across the ether when you said, “You had a dream, it didn’t work out, and you’re feeling the heartbreak of that.”

    So many women have a dream and no idea of how to reconnect to it. I love how you shine a light on how to find the way back “Trust that your dream originates from your soul. Your dream is possible, because your soul would not hand you a dream you can’t achieve.”

    You’ve been a creative inspiration to me since I was first introduced to your work, before your fallow period. I look forward to seeing how you share your gifts with us in the coming months. Welcome back!

  3. lori

    Here I am flailing about for years trying to reconnect my heart with my work and I’m having trouble staying connected and working on any project for very long. And I couldn’t figure out why until I read this…
    “I thought the deep connection I craved would be the result of creating the business.”
    this sentence really hit home for me, that is what I thought as well, because I thought that’s what made me feel so connected and whole in my biz years ago, and I kept trying to get back to that connected feeling. I had things backwards. As a result I could never reconnect with the love of my biz for very long and now I see why.

    Thank you so much Victoria for writing this!

  4. Victoria Post author

    Oh my goodness…I’m so moved by your beautiful, thoughtful comments!

    Elizabeth – I can feel the epiphany working its way to the surface! And it’s so true that the stuff we think is disastrous can always be turned into a way to connect more deeply. Still sucks when we’re in the middle of the disastrous bits, though. Definitely it’s important not to rush to the turnaround — that would just be mean.

    Paula – * deep bow of gratitude * I’m looking forward to sharing more, too! Thank you for the encouragement!

    Lori – You’re so welcome! I suspect that most people get it backwards because of how we’re raised and what we absorb from our culture. I’m wishing you lots of clarity around what you need to re-grow that connection.

  5. Tara

    Hi Victoria ~ I’ve found you via Andrea’s blog hop {as a fellow hopper! :) } and I’m so glad I have. I absolutely LOVE this post. I read a lot of blogs and often skim, but this I read from start to finish. It sounds so familiar, and so TRUE; I could feel myself nodding all the way through, and you talk a bit like me so I guess I feel recognised. :) I’m off to explore your website now! Lovely to have ‘met’ you. :)

  6. Victoria Post author

    Tara – I’m so grateful that this post struck a chord. What I want most for my writing is for the people who read it to feel recognized. xo

  7. Suzanne

    “Your dream’s number one need is for you to get what you need.” — I love that SO much. It took me a long time to learn that lesson as well, but it’s absolutely true. And it applies to everything in life. If we’re too focused on the external goal, we neglect our hearts, our true selves. And even the smallest of compromises in that arena can eat away at us until we’re slowly depleted of the energy that made the dream so dreamy to begin with. So, thank you for the reminder!

  8. Victoria Post author

    Suzanne – Yes! You’re exactly right about that slow drain of energy. Often it’s so slow that we don’t realize it. Here’s to taking care of our true selves so our dreams can stay dreamy!

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