Overcoming UnderDREAMing: Part 2

How to Desire More & Still Appreciate What You Have…

One of my Get Out Of Your Own Way students posted this in our private forum. With her permission, I wanted to share it because I think this is such a common way we prevent ourselves from dreaming big. In Part 1 of the Overcoming UnderDREAMing series, we tackled how to practice dreaming big so you exercise this skill like a muscle. In Part 2, we’ll address how to be grateful and still live the mojo-full life we all deserve.

I feel like I was just getting to a place where I was feeling content and loving what is in my life, and now I feel torn. Like, darn, I knew my life wasn’t perfect.  That’s why I’m here [taking the Get Out Of Your Own Way e-course].  But now I feel really focused on what’s NOT the way I want it to be and like that has really spiraled me downward into a place where it all feels so overwhelming – where do I start? There are so many actions I could take, so many areas I could work on… and it all feels terrifying. I feel scared to take action in this vulnerable state. I feel scared when I look at who I really am – like I don’t really have any clue. I am a conglomeration of masks, and I just don’t see what’s underneath. I can’t recognize hardly anything as authentically ME. I’m afraid to take this girl out into the world because I’m still not clear who she is, and I feel like that seems reckless. How can I love her if I don’t know her? How do you love and appreciate what you have while simultaneously striving for improvement?

Such great questions to discuss!  This thread inspired an uber juicy dialogue in our private Get Out Of Your Own Way forum, where the students and I interact together every day. It turns out that many of the students struggle with overcoming underdreaming, and at the root of it lies this question:

How do you dream big and still appreciate what is in the moment?
Here’s how I answered them:

Once you have crossed the Pink Threshold and started dreaming big, you might find yourself feeling blue, which might tempt you to stop dreaming. So what do you do?

You start with self-love and gratitude. Instead of kicking yourself for what you’re not doing well enough, love yourself for how much you ROCK. You become your biggest cheerleader. You remind yourself how awesome you are – already, right now, in this very minute.

And instead of focusing exclusively on what’s missing from your life, you stand simultaneously in the bounty of how much you already have. You ride the gratitude train. You list what you’re grateful for every day. You notice everything that’s going right in your life. You celebrate what is – right here, right now.

Then you can be free to dream big and desire more. Most people are either glass half full or glass half empty people. They’re either cheerful Pollyannas, not sweating the small stuff and focusing on the positive or they’re grumpy Scrooges who bah-humbug their way through life without ever feeling satisfied. I’m asking you not to choose- to just look at the glass without judging it.

2 Gratitude Exercises:

Mama Gena’s BGD’s

Regena Thomashauer, of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, teaches her “Sister Goddesses” to practice what she calls BGD’s (Brags, Gratitudes, Desires). Doing this exercise, in this order, allows you to simultaneously celebrate what’s great about you and your life while tapping into how you might want to take it up a notch.

For example, here are my BGD’s for today:

I brag that I am a really great doctor, and I helped a friend I love make a medical decision this week that may have saved her an organ her doctor had suggested she remove.

I’m grateful that I sold a bunch of art this week and my big blowout art sale doesn’t even start until Saturday!

I desire clarity on how I’m meant to change the world of medicine without depleting myself or getting crucified. Plus, I desire a vacation at the Four Seasons in Bali!

What are you BGD’s? Post them in the comments.

Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen’s Reflection

My friend Rachel Naomi Remen, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and one of the mentors who has influenced me the most, teaches people in her workshops and in The Healer’s Art (the course she teaches to medical students to reflect on their lives backwards every night before bed) to answer these three questions:

What moved or touched me today?

What surprised me today?

What touched my heart today?

Doing so can change your life very quickly, especially as you embark upon challenging journeys of illness, self-improvement, or loss. Try it.

Here are mine:

I was moved by how much I care about my friend when I found out today she has stage 4 cancer.

I am surprised by a growing knowing that I am called to somehow return to the practice of medicine, but in my own distinctly unique way.

My daughter touched my heart today when she, who is home sick today, said, “The best part of being sick is you, Mama. I get to be home with you.” *melt*

What moved you today? What surprised you today? What touched your heart today? Post your answers in the comments.

It’s okay to want more. In fact, it’s our birthright to dream big and get in touch with our desires. But we must balance it out with appreciating what’s awesome in our lives right here, right now.

Want more tips and tools for dreaming big and getting out of your own way? Sign up for our private forum and enroll in the Get Out Of Your Own Way e-course here.

What do you desire? What are you grateful for?

Dreaming real big and grateful for YOU,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.commotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.



Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun6 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

Thank you for the inspiration!

Rachel R.
Rachel R6 years ago

I have always struggled with something similar to this last point "How do you love and appreciate what you have while simultaneously striving for improvement?"
but I phase it as, if you accept everything as perfect as it is, why would you want to change it? i.e., where is the motivation to change. My brother has no problem with this, but to me it is as unfathomable as a Koan.

Kristine Huff
Kristine H6 years ago

It certainly is the power of positive thinking and having the gratitude for what you have this very moment. With that sort of attitude you can not help but go forward and do whatever it is that you dream of.

Mary Brady
Mary Brady6 years ago

Interesting concept. Some of what I think you have overlooked is being in the moment. Acceptance of your situation and being aware of your abilities. I have done and continue to evolve as a person, wife,friend, business person, mother, sister, ect. Dreams are aspects of us that are not always best acted upon. Think through and then act on dreams with a clarity and a plan.

Zee Kallah
.6 years ago

Why work?

Day dream your way to success.

Then put legs to your dreams.

That's why work.

Zee Kallah
.6 years ago

Dreams are real experiences......in other dimensions.

Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi6 years ago

Person can achieve any thing if he has positive thinking and determination to do it nothing is imposable

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Marjaana V.
marjaana v6 years ago

my father tried so hard to impress upon me how short life really is - but being 15 i really didn't grasp it. i mean, he was so OLD [in his early fourties!], so how could life be short? funny that i still should remember it, although a lot of good that did.

life is not only short, you have to decide what you want to do with it, instead of waiting for something to happen that will clarify it for you.

pick a direction! it maybe wrong, but at least you then know that is not what you want and try something else until you finally arrive at the proper destination.

this may not seem possible, but if you think of what may be, instead of what you just possibly couldn't do, you'll get there.