EP 4: From Survival Mode to Dreaming Bigger
I've been reflecting lately on my childhood and how growing up in a household with parents who are immigrants, who don't speak the language, who were in survival mode, who were dealing with anxiety, addiction, a big family, and not having a lot of money gave very little room to dream.
As a child, we have very vivid imaginations, and a lot of times, we use imagining things as a way to feel better, as a way to escape from our reality. I found early on that whenever I would share my big dreams with my mom or my dad, they would look at me like I was crazy. They would shut it down. They would tell me “We can't afford that. No, you can't do that. No, that's not for us.” There were a lot of no's. And so I learned early on that it was unsafe to share my desires with people.
My parents were doing their best to keep us afloat. I'm the oldest of four, with three younger sisters. Anything beyond surviving, there was just no energy or capacity for it. I was told to get a good job, an office job, stay in Napa, (that's where I grew up) get married, have a family, and just live this small, safe life. Don't use your voice too much. Just smile and say everything's okay. Don't rattle anything, basically be invisible.
But there was something inside of me that would reject that. No, I don't want just a regular office job. My mom's goal for me was to become a secretary. I remember when I was a teenager in high school, my dentist asked me, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I told him, "I don't know. My mom says that I should be a secretary." And he told me, "You can be more than just a secretary." That comment was a lifeline for me. It inspired me to take action towards a bigger life, even though I didn't know what that would look like.
I was the first in my family to go to college. My parents didn't know anything about what was required to attend university. I felt like I was always behind, like there were all these rules to life and success that I didn't know about. But I used it to my advantage. Now, with my work, I use all of those experiences to inspire people to dream, to not give up on their goals, no matter how old they are or what their situation is.
I grew up with very little resources but a lot of love. Even when I applied to college and got accepted to several universities, my parents begged me to stay home and attend community college. But I needed to leave my little town, to have other experiences, to challenge myself in a different way. So, I decided to go to UC Berkeley, and it was exciting but challenging, as I had no guidance.
What I appreciated about Berkeley was the exposure to something different than my reality in Napa. It allowed me to think bigger, see things through a different lens, and learn that there are different ways of doing things. I met new people with different beliefs and tried new foods. The food scene in Berkeley was a revelation. I fell in love with exploring different cuisines.
I remember noticing that even the squirrels looked different in Berkeley. In Napa, the squirrels were gray and in Berkeley, they were brown. It was a small thing, but it symbolized the larger shift in my perspective. I continued to dismantle and break through the limitations I had inherited. I rejected the small dreams I had been given.
My journey continued through my 20s in LA, trying different things, feeling lost, but always holding onto the vision of more. I wanted to meet others who could relate, who were striving for more, not letting their circumstances define them. I craved that community but didn't quite find it.
When I embarked on my business and created programs, I initially focused on helping people manage stress, and anxiety, and find hope. But that part of me that craved community and support for pursuing bold desires remained unfulfilled. So, I decided to create it, giving birth to my Dream Bigger Mastermind.
I created it over three years ago, during the pandemic, as I saw people giving up and falling into fear. My nervous system did the opposite; it fought, created, and didn't give up. I wanted to bring that energy to encourage others and help them create a path toward realizing their goals. My Dream Bigger Mastermind has had over 50 participants at this point.
Every time I host it, it brings me so much joy to witness the transformation. Participants often start with reservations, concerns about the investment, and uncertainty. But they hold onto that little hope that things can change, that they can pursue their desires. Together, we go on a six-month journey where we talk about our challenges, wins, and create a loving, safe, supportive community.
In this community, you can be your authentic self, express your struggles, and not feel like you have to pretend to have everything figured out. Every week and month, you see how participants change and inspire each other. It has a ripple effect on their lives, their energy, and their interactions with others.
The Dream Bigger Mastermind isn't just about group coaching; it also includes private sessions to work on limiting beliefs and reshaping one's identity. It's incredible to witness the transformation, from financial struggles and burnout to receiving multiple job offers and manifesting love or self-compassion.
These intangible results lay the foundation for a sustainable future. I created this mastermind for my younger self, for those who haven't given up, and for those craving a community to share their goals and reprogram their beliefs.
If you're a dreamer, someone who hasn't given up, someone craving that community, I invite you to join my Dream Bigger Mastermind. It's an intimate container where you can share your truth and dreams. If you're interested, apply today on my website at https://www.analilia.net/mastermind
Our new group starts at the end of October, and I can't wait for the transformation and inspiration it will bring. Join us and end the year feeling inspired, confident, and ready for more.
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