Everything starts with self belief.
That thing you want to do, that life you want to live, has to exist first in your mind’s eye. Going from dream to reality, that’s the hard part. But you need to believe that you can do it, that you deserve to have it. Without that, you will fall at the first or second bump in the road and never get up.
Suppose you never even dream? Your situation is such that you have no concept of a life beyond where you are, limited and stuck, blind to possibility. How could you escape and have the chance to reach your potential?
If you are lucky, help will appear. In the Hero’s Journey, he is the Wise Elder. He is Gandalf, Dumbledore, Morpheus, guiding the hero and imparting vital information. She is Glenda the Good Witch, the Fairy Godmother, the Oracle. There are (naturally) many more male than female examples in fiction, but that is a discussion for another time.
The Wise Elder sees in you more than you see in yourself.
Imagine some seeds lying on stony ground, uncomfortable but familiar. They are just seeds; unaware that they carry the blueprint of a mighty oak, a graceful willow, or a fertile cherry tree. The Wise Elder picks them up, ignoring their protests, and deposits them carefully in the dirt. There, they struggle, enduring rain and snow and wind and scorching sun.
And one day, they blossom.
Once upon a time, there was an old book. Battered and stained, it was destined to be thrown out of the school library. Instead, an English teacher rescued it, and gave it to a girl who had very little.
I owe some of my love of stories to this precious volume, which is almost as old as I am. It showed me a different world and opened my mind. Heartfelt thanks go to that un-named teacher who looked at me and saw possibility.
There may be no “I” in team. But every “I” needs a team behind and beside them, helping, encouraging, informing, and sharing the journey.