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Change only happens when this ONE Ingredient is Included...

If you've ever felt stuck, on a goal, in life, with a dream you just can't seem to get progress on, it might very well be because of this one thing. In fact, without this one essential ingredient, you can take action until the cows come home and still never see progress. Ignore it and you'll only create more resistance in your life to what you really want.

What is it? And how can you make sure you have it? Read on to find out more.

A child in the midst of a vast lake with the words "How to Make Change Happen" emblazoned over the top


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“The very least you can do in your life is figure out

what you hope for.

And the most you can do is live inside that hope.

Not admire it from a distance but live right in it,

under its roof.”

― Barbara Kingsolver

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about dreams and goals and how to make them happen. Why?

Well, there’s a goal I’ve been struggling to get traction on for over a year or so with no luck. It’s not that I haven’t been working towards it, taking action, strategizing, and tracking my results, or rather lack of them. I’ve been doing all of that. And yet…

Despite all the things I’ve tried… It hasn’t really budged for me. I have yet to see the change I’ve been hoping for in this one arena.

Worse, by pushing on my desire for change, and taking action on this goal of mine, I had somehow managed to create MORE resistance towards it, not less.

In fact, the harder I tried to make this goal happen, to get it started and off the ground, the more it seemed I would resist it. At the end of that year, I was putting in three times the effort just to take a teeny tiny step towards my goal.

Only to have that not pan out either.

At one point it got to the place where I was dreading even looking at this goal. I’d think about facing it and putting it on my schedule, and then I’d think about… Eating some ice cream. Or cleaning out that desk drawer that I’d been neglecting for a decade. Or doing my taxes… Anything but tackling my dream.

Which was odd because I was excited about this dream of mine, even when I thought about it presently. And far from losing interest in it, I still l wanted to achieve it, desperately. It still felt on path for me. It felt right.

So what the heck was going on here? How could I want something and be resisting it at the same time?

I couldn’t figure it out, until a weekend or so ago.

I was knee deep in dog treats and training leads, attempting to teach my fur baby something she’s struggled to learn: meeting new people in our home.

This particular training hurdle has been a real mixed bag. Sometimes it goes well, only to have her revert back to barking nonstop at new people after 30 minutes or so of good behavior.

This was our fourth attempt, and it had looked like we were going to have success, at last! …Until, It reverted back to the barking. Again.

After this latest failure, I was beginning to give up. In fact, I was feeling pretty glum when I confided to a family member that night: “What if it’s hopeless?”

And as soon as I said the words out loud a knew what had been happening, not just with Bree, but also with this other goal I was stuck on.

Hope, that’s where the problem was.

Montage of images of change and growth, a butterfly emerging from a cacoon, train tracks, a bridge leading to some place new, etc

I wanted change, I wanted that dream, and I wanted Bree, my fur baby, to be able to have guests and new people come into our home.

But I was trying to make change happen without acknowledging my deeper, protective belief and fear that it was hopeless. That it maybe wasn’t possible.

Holding that belief just below the surface of my mind and desire, where I couldn’t really see it, was costing me my dream.

Because our minds are very, very clever. And they aren’t going to let us work at a dream, trying over and over, failing, wasting energy and becoming anxious, sad and depressed by the failures, when we’ve told ourselves, even secretly, it can’t be done.

Instead, our brains will resist our attempts to even tackle those dreams or start on them. Our brains, wisely, resist pain.

And in the back of my mind, underneath all of my enthusiasm and desire for this thing was a not just a niggling doubt, but a whole belief system and story that it was hopeless. That this thing was not actually possible, not for me anyway.

The magical ingredient that I needed in order to get that change I had been seeking, for both me and for Bree, was Hope.

Hope. Not the wishing kind, but the real stuff. In fact, the older definition of hope suggests that hope isn’t merely wishing for something, but a clear desire combined with reasonable confidence that it will happen. It even mentions trust. Trust that this thing will unfold for us.

And hope without confidence or trust is just wishing.

Once I listened to a life coach proclaim that he knew a client would fail whenever they talked about hoping: “I’m hoping that this year I can make six figures…”. Or “I’m hoping that this is the year I can finally lose the weight.”

He said they needed to lose hope. Yikes... I distinctively remember cringing at the harshness of this proclamation. To lose hope? That sounded pretty bleak to me.

But in retrospect I think I know what he was trying to say.

He wasn’t talking about real hope, he was talking about the wishing kind. You know, when we have to hope that something will somehow, just sort of magically happen for us, because deep down we don’t really think *we* can do it.

And he’s not wrong. That kind of wishing often signifies that we don’t actually believe this thing is possible, not for us anyway.

If you want change to happen, you need to develop hope. The real kind that combines desire with the belief that it can be done, and that it will be done.

And so the beginning of our work often isn’t action, or strategy, it’s developing that real hope.

Otherwise we are just, as Barbara Kingsolver notes in the quote above, admiring hope from a distance, instead of actually living under its roof right now.

The first step to your dream? To making change happen?

It’s clearing up old stories and beliefs that we can’t have what we want, that it’s too late, or not possible for us.

So we can begin the work of developing that magical, change-making, inspiring definition of real hope.

That’s the magical ingredient that has to be present before any change is possible at all. So if you are, or have been struggling with a goal or a dream, if you’ve been facing resistance, and you don’t understand why, might I suggest you take a page from my book, and start with hope.

And if you need help with developing that hope, or with clearing out old toxic stories, a life coach or a therapist, or even a friend or a good journal, can be a great place to start!

Sending you all lots of hope for all your dreams!

All my love,

Desiree Sommer


Desirée Sommer is a former Interior Designer & Writer dedicated to helping those around her to Beautify, Style & make their lives Fun again! She happily resides in the rural beauty of Idaho with her pet pooch Bree, where she gets to take epic hikes, and plot her next big travel escapade. Her favorite things include traveling, fil eam & anything French or Italian. Oh, and dancing! Always dancing!


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1 Comment

Jan 30, 2023

One cannot live life without HOPE!!

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