Amy Jaffe Barzach, winner of the 2008 Dreamers into Doers Award, shares her tips for discovering -- and reaching -- your dream.
Find Your Passion
Not everyone has to face physical barriers in their day-to-day lives, yet all too often we live with other, less-obvious barriers that hold us back from finding and realizing our dreams. We are successful in many ways but sense that something is missing. Observe children at play and you'll discover an innate sense of joy and a passionate celebration of life. How often do you feel like this? For many women, it doesn't necessarily come naturally -- it has to be a decision. Permission to feel and have passion can be a gift you choose to give to yourself -- but first, you have to realize that it is missing and figure out what's blocking it.
Put a Stake in the Ground to Demonstrate That You Believe in Your Dream
As Marianne Williamson says in her famous poem (that I carry in my wallet and read every week), we are more afraid of our light than our darkness. I am a big fan of dreaming big dreams, and I encourage my Dream Coaching clients to "imagine what might be possible in a perfect world," and then dream even bigger dreams.
But if you stop there, it is easy to become paralyzed. Pick the smallest action you can take to demonstrate to the world and perhaps even more importantly, to yourself, that you believe in your dreams. A personal example: For years, people have said that I am an inspirational speaker. Even though I've spoken to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people for my work with Boundless Playgrounds, the thought scared me. After realizing that my speaking could inspire people to find their own passion and realize they too could make a difference, I went to vistaprint.com and created a business card that had my name, phone number, email address, and the title Inspirational Speaker. Within days, I was hired as a professional speaker!
Open Your Eyes: Need, Opportunity, and Resources Are All Around You
I saw a beautiful little girl in a wheelchair sadly watching other children play on a playground she couldn't get on, and I realized that I had never seen a playground that accommodated children with physical or other types of disabilities. That day, my vision for inclusive playgrounds where children of all abilities could play was born. I "consulted" with children of all abilities, parents, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, designers, construction executives, and community leaders to help design dream playgrounds where everyone could play together. The expertise and resources you need are often right there if you take the time to look.
Amy Jaffe Barzach is a nationally acclaimed speaker, coach, and advocate for inclusive communities and children with disabilities. During her tenure as its founding executive director, Boundless Playgrounds helped more than 100 communities create inclusive playgrounds where families and children of all abilities could play together throughout the U.S. and Canada. Today she is Chair of the Inclusive Fitness Coalition's Inclusive Play National Workgroup and Founder/Director Emeritus of Boundless Playgrounds. Her personal journey is chronicled in the book, Accidental Courage, Boundless Dreams. In 2008, Amy started Powerful Inspiration, a company dedicated to helping people find their own passion and realize they too can make a difference. Amy's guide to "Finding Your Passion Through Play" is available as a free download on her website, amybarzach.com.