I have a dream… a great opening statement to what has got to be one of the most recognised speeches globally. Not only did Martin Luther King have a dream, he dared to share it. There was no ‘but’…
And that is where many of us fall short; we hide our dreams for fear of ridicule, criticism and failure. We tell ourselves we would love ‘x’ or ‘y’ in our lives ‘but’… thus writing the dream off.
As children we are encouraged to dream, to be creative and then by our early teens we are encouraged to ‘get real’… What does that even mean? Is it not possible to dream and be real?
Here are 5 reasons why our dreams do not come to fruition;
It is much easier to go through the motions of daily life than it is to pursue your greatness. Pursuing your greatness takes time, courage, desire, responsibility and decision-making – to name but a few… So instead we fall in with the crowd, we limit ourselves through our thinking, behaviour and lack of goals, keeping everything well within the comfort zone that stunts our growth. But we tell ourselves it’s okay because everyone else is doing it; only the exceptionally lucky and talented few can go beyond that…
Do you truly believe that? Are you not as talented in your gift as the next person is in theirs?
We let others take control of our dreams
The moment we allow someone to direct the course of our lives we have loosened the grip on our dreams. No one else is in a position to decide what your dreams are; they are inside of you. It is that internal voice that you need to turn the volume up on whilst turning down the external ones.
Some people set out to sabotage your dreams and others, because they care & worry about you so much, discourage you for fear you will be disappointed. So you begin to let the dreams go until finally they are forgotten…
What did you use to dare to dream of? Who has held you back?
We avoid pain
Failing can be painful, no two ways about it but we are far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. We are built to fail forward and yet we focus on only doing the things we are certain we can do. This pain avoidance only helps to keep us small. It ensures that we never experience the fullness of living.
One of my favourite books, The Prophet, talks about this beautifully as it looks at love; (extracts)
“For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.”
So what if you have tried before and not got the results you wanted? Did you walk confidently the first time you attempted to walk? Could you do all of your timetables the first time you were asked to in front of your class? Have you not had some of your best moments having initially made a mistake?
If you avoid failure, you avoid living… Be fearless
We believe dreaming is child’s play
Older, wiser and quite frankly, more boring. Suddenly being creative and daring to picture magnificent things in our lives is bordering on insanity. Real life just isn’t meant to be dream-like; says who?
We constantly tell ourselves and others to get real. The reality is what we see around us, what we have become accustomed to seeing and experiencing but life possibilities go way beyond what the eye can see.
When you listen to a child describe in detail some place, person or adventure, it is their ability to see beyond reality that allows them to do so; and it feels real to them. We too as adults can tap into this creativeness if we would just allow ourselves to do so without feeling foolish. Permission is granted!
What can you picture in your life when there are no barriers, no self-imposed limitations?
We have low confidence
Often we display a lack of confidence in our dreams. We want them to come true, we want to believe in them but internally we play them down believing we are not deserving of them, they are too big and we don’t have what it takes.
But if everyone thought that way we wouldn’t have the majority of goods and services we have available today! Telephones, the worldwide web, aircraft; they would all still be hidden dreams in their author’s mind.
Building confidence around your dreams is essential. With so many things waiting to destroy them you have to wear your coat of armour to keep your dreams alive and that armour is made up of self-confidence, assertiveness, belief, faith and desire. Once these are wrapped around your dreams, they will be preserved!
So dare to dream… and dare to dream big! What are yours?