Contributed by Robert B.

Many of us have big hopes and dreams, but achieving them can be overwhelming and seem impossible.  I know when I think of my dreams I get excited about the end result and then I am immediately paralyzed when I start to think about the work required to bring these dreams to life. Why does this happen?

Well, for one thing, when we make goals we see the big picture: owning our own business, having an art exhibit, writing a novel, etc.  We might even imagine the throngs of customers, the reviews in The New York Times and being featured on morning shows or making appearances in other public venues. But how do we get into action?

One thing that helps me is to have the goal in mind but to break it down into steps.  In my case, I wanted to own my own business and realized the first thing I needed to do was to write a business plan.  Putting the business plan together included breaking it into smaller steps such as doing some competitive research, figuring out my target market, finding out the costs associated with running the business and so on.  Since I had not ever written a business plan, I had to break that down even further. I did some research on business plans and found a few people who had done plans before to help me get started. I also found someone in a similar business to talk to, visited a competitive business to see who shopped there, considered possible locations and found out rental costs, etc.

Suddenly it was not as difficult for me to be in action. I tapped my network of friends for referrals to people in the industry to do some fact-finding. I visited the local real estate office and find out about rental costs. By taking it step-by-step, I am putting together the information I need to write the business plan and learn other details that will help me achieve my big picture goal of owning my own business.

How do you handle the paralysis that sets in when you think about bringing your dream to life?  We invite you to join the conversation and share your ideas in the comment box below.