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Andrea McLean’s Lessons in Making Your Dreams Come True

5 MIN READ • 10th August 2022

This month, our columnist reveals how she made her own dreams come true, and shows you how you can do the same

Cinderella famously sang: “A dream is a wish your heart makes” which if you think about it, is what manifesting is. You dream about something that you’d really like to happen, you wish for it, and then ‘just like that’ – it comes true!

The ‘just like that’ part of course is the planning, working, reworking, failing, falling down, getting up again, re-planning, working and then ‘ta-da!’ – you become an overnight success!

Right now, at this exact moment, I am having my ‘ta-da!’ moment. I am writing this in a hotel room in New York. In Manhattan to be precise, in a suite overlooking the lights of Times Square. I am here to celebrate the launch of my fourth book, having written two Sunday Times bestsellers and one Amazon bestseller. I write these words and I can hardly believe it is ME who is sitting here, that I am in this place because of things I did, of a dream I had, a wish that my heart made… way back in 1980.

Once upon a time

I was 10. And it all started when I used to scribble down stories that I’d then read to my little sister. She began to ask for them as bedtime stories, so I’d spend time thinking up exciting tales, with a new ‘chapter’ each night for her to snuggle under her covers and listen to. This small thing sowed a seed in me that I could do this, that I could put words together in a way that people liked, that made them happy, and that made me happy. So, I kept going.

I have written ever since. I had my first piece published in a national magazine at the age of 15. I didn’t tell them how old I was, I just sent it off and hoped they liked it. I wrote little pieces for the local paper, and shadowed a reporter whenever he’d let me, learning how to interview. At 22, I went travelling around the world and wrote articles about my experiences and sold them to anyone who’d have them. And then, when I couldn’t get a trainee job at the local paper, I put everything I owned onto the back seat of my car and headed to London to make it in the big city. I slept on a friend’s floor as I didn’t know anyone else there, until I got myself a bedsit. It was so small that it couldn’t fit an actual bed in, so I slept on a mattress on top of a wardrobe, putting 50p pieces into the meter on the wall to give me heat and light. And when I ran out of money, I’d climb the ladder up to bed to keep warm and huddle into the wall, where I could hear the man in the next bedsit breathing, and pretend he was in with me so I didn’t feel alone.

Fast forward 28 years, and the bathroom in my hotel room here in New York is bigger than that bedsit. Why am I telling you this story? Because the dreams I was manifesting back then were based on what I knew at the time. I had no idea that there were even better things in store for me, none of us can – because we only know what we know now. So let that help take the fear away – do what you can now, knowing that even better things may be in store for you!

How do you know what you want?

Think of a time when you knew you wanted more, but you just didn’t know where to start. What to aim for. What dream you were ‘supposed’ to have. For some, the ‘dream life’ is to put a roof over your head and keep your children safe. For others, it’s to excel at work and to rise up a company ladder.

Try this:

Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, in and out, letting your mind settle down. Think of something that you want. It may take a while, so let your thoughts come and go until something resonates with you or seems interesting or exciting. It doesn’t matter what it is. Let it come into your mind and settle there. Ask yourself:

  • Where are you?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you wearing?
  • What do you look like?
  • How do you feel?
  • How are you dressed?
  • Where do you live?
  • How old are you?

Now think about what you have to do to become that person.

To take the first step in making your dreams come true today, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who do you want to be?
  • How do you want to live your life?
  • What version of you do you want to be remembered for?
  • Are you on the right path to being that version of you that you saw when you closed your eyes?
  • Is it what you are doing now or does something need to change? If so, what?
  • Are you hiding behind someone or something and if so, why are you hiding, what are you afraid of?
  • And finally… if you could imagine your future self looking at you right now, as you are, what would she say? If you can imagine your past self, looking at you right now, what would she say to you?

Manifestation is not about dreaming something up and then doing one thing. Making your dreams come true is about having a vision and a purpose, and then doing many small things until you get to that place. Your dreams will never look how you imagined them – they may be even better. “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them,” said Walt Disney. Having that courage is when the magic happens…

This girl is on fire

It’s my life’s mission to help women feel better about themselves and that’s why I started I like to call it ‘a gym for the mind’. Since launching as a simple online blog in 2018, This Girl is on Fire has grown into an internationally loved personal growth brand with a simple but powerful premise: to help women think differently about themselves, their circumstances and their lives, giving them the mindset and tools to re-imagine their future. I know how it feels to be stuck, lost, afraid and broke. I know that making any kind of positive change to your life starts with the change you make to your mindset, and I want every woman to experience for themselves the emotional and financial freedom that I have found. That’s why I bring together the best mentors, life coaches and motivational speakers in the world to encourage my community to think differently. It’s why I promote the work of female entrepreneurs on my marketplace; to help them successfully build their brand and its awareness. It is my mission through the work we do at This Girl is on Fire and the ripple effect it has on our community, their families, friends and loved ones, to empower 100 million women and girls around the world…one girl on fire at a time. You can find out more by visiting the website, or check out the new This Girl is on Fire App.

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