When working toward building a life you love, you need to be able to rely on yourself and harness your power. This is impossible if you are bogged down by fear, insecurity, inaction, and uncertainty. Your strengths, skills, and relationships can help encourage you and give you assurance in the face of all the you-never-knows in life that make us scared to pursue what we truly want.

Have people ever told you that your dreams just can’t be done? That you’re overestimating yourself? Giving in to these voices — which can be external, but are more often than not internal — can keep you from reaching your true potential and achieving your goals. And while your strengths and skills will take you pretty far down the path of success, the power you get from recognizing your own abilities and the value of the relationships you possess have the capacity to accelerate your journey.

If you want to stop getting in your own way and really, passionately chase your dreams, here are a few critical steps to take:

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Own Your Power

You are your most valuable asset. While this might sound like a new-age premise, it’s the truth. You were born with natural abilities and you have developed a host of skills. Combined, these two factors, which are completely unique to you, are at the core of the personal resources you can draw on to define and develop your lifescape. Far too often do we just stop believing in the skills we’ve honed over the course of our lives, but it is important to realize that no one can do what you do exactly how you do it. You are completely unique, and once you realize this, you can really make a difference in your own life.

Stop Blending In

Many different things keep us from recognizing our own gifts. It could be that your talent comes so easily that you underestimate its value. Or maybe you were taught as a child not to be boastful, or suffered ridicule at the hands of classmates for doing well in school. It’s also possible you haven’t noticed that you possess a certain strength because no one has acknowledged you for it. Whatever the circumstances that have taught you to ignore or discredit yourself, once you resolve to step into the light, true growth can begin.

No More Excuses

Far too often we hold ourselves back from achieving our dreams by making excuses when we get in our own way. You can’t control everything in life, but you can control how you react to hardship and frame your perceptions about yourself. Are you always too busy or too stressed to pursue your dreams? Often, out of a fear of failure, we set up roadblocks for ourselves, so we never actually have to try. The good news is that you don’t have to let this fear stop you. Remember: you have choices. When you identify a belief that is holding you back, you can decide to reframe it, and take control of the narrative of your life.

Open up to Rejection

To truly shift your thinking and pursue your dreams, you need willingness. You must be willing to be rejected — to be afraid, move through that fear, and noticed that you have lived. You must be more interested in what you want to create than what others think of you. Yes, you must acknowledge the possibility of failure if you ever want to succeed. And yes, you will most likely fail along the way. This is nothing to fear, because failure helps us grow. Mistakes will teach you valuable lessons that will matter all the more when you do succeed.

We all have thought patterns and previous experiences that cause us to doubt ourselves. But once you identify these, you can overcome them, and step into your power. Then you can become who you have always wanted to be.