DREAM BLOCKER #3: The fear that it’s too big a dream
In this series of 5 articles, you will learn:
What stands in your way?
Let’s be honest.
It’s one thing to encourage you to not let anything stand in the way of fulfilling your dream, but the reality is, things do stand in your way, with many of them coming from inside us, whether they come from the circumstances of our childhood, from what influential others (like parents) have said about us or by what we learned about ourselves as adults.
I call them “Dream Blockers” and they are often built upon fear. These Dream Blockers stand in the way of our living the lives we were created to live, lives that can bring us the deepest fulfillment and joy we can imagine.
When we allow those Dream Blockers to box us in, we live small. And when we live small, we deprive ourselves and the world of all that we are, all that we offer. This doesn’t serve us, at all.
But you don’t have to let those Dream Blockers stand in the way of your dream. You can overcome them. And I’m here to help you do just that.
So let’s get started.
DREAM BLOCKER #3: The fear that it’s too big a dream
Maybe it’s because we learned growing up that it was better to play it safe. Maybe we learned as little girls that it was not appropriate to have big dreams. Or maybe we became comfortable in a very well-defined environment with few surprises and fewer still challenges.
These ways of living your life are not unusual. In fact, most people tend toward being cautious, wary of taking risks. They like feeling safe, knowing the boundaries and having predictable routines.
[Image: Brett Jordan]
These things are not bad, of themselves. But when applied over a lifetime exclusively, they can, at life’s end, yield a bitter harvest of regret, the “I-wish-I-hads.” Such has been true of women and men for as long as there have been women and men.
The American writer and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau captured this human tendency well when he said, in his book, Walden,
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
And he was right. Because somewhere in the process of always playing it safe, of not seeking the dream or, when finding it, feeling it was “too big for me,” the heart was wounded and disquiet settled in. Somewhere in their heart of hearts they knew that this was not living, so a desperation quietly bubbled up from within, a constant reminder of dreams now dead and dying. This is no way for anyone to live.
To further illustrate the deadly danger of not following your dreams, of living the life that you think you should live (maybe because you feel pressure from others to live a certain way, to have a particular job), I want to share with you a true story.
Several years ago, Australian Bronnie Ware spent six years as a hospice volunteer. She was interested in learning what people thought about, talked about, as they neared death.
Bronnie discovered that there were five topics that consistently showed up in conversations with these people, no matter their age, social status, sex, or any other characteristic. And, the topic that was consistently #1 on this list was: “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
You can read more about Bronnie Ware’s discovery in her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself,
not the life others expected of me.”
SHATTERING DREAM BLOCKER #3
Now I want to share with you another timeless truth to combat this fear.
TIMELESS TRUTH #4: You were created in God’s image. God created man (and woman) in His image. God is also a creative God. He created the universe, in its vastness yet minuteness; in its complexity yet its simplicity; in its great vistas yet its tiny detail. To look around this beautiful blue celestial ball is to know of a creative God.
God put his holy stamp on all of creation that announced, “It is good.”
TIMELESS TRUTH #5: You are creative. As God is creative – and man (and woman) – created in His image, then it also stands to reason that both men and women are creative creatures. We as female human beings yearn to make things more beautiful, more useful, more “new.” We share our propensity to create with our Creator. We can’t do otherwise.
When I speak of creativity, don’t just think in terms of an artist, musician or writer. Those professions are “creative” professions, to be sure. But there are countless other areas where creativity is needed, too.
Consider, for example, the creativity needed when solving a squabble between two children when they each claim the same toy. Not only would you have to resolve the issue fairly and have the children, hopefully, learn something in the process, but also you would have to creatively manage the situation so that each child could be positive about the outcome, each feeling he or she also got something special in the bargain.
TIMELESS TRUTH #6: You have a unique life mission. Given that we are created in God’s image, as spiritual and creative beings, it is not surprising that there is something inside ourselves that yearns for expression, something unique to each of us, that God alone created within us to discover.
TIMELESS TRUTH #7: That life mission could be “big”. So it is also not surprising—since we are talking about God here—that this “something” could be, well, pretty big, at least according to our standards.
TIMELESS TRUTH #8: Doesn’t matter if your life mission is big; you can do it. But we should also know that your life mission was placed within us by a holy and loving God, who knows us down to the last detail and who knew us even before we were born.
In fact the psalmist declares this about God:
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded
in your Book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
And since God is omniscient (all-knowing), he had a reason to put it within in you, the right-sized dream for you to embrace with joy.
When you find your dream, if it makes your heart skip a beat as you realize it is a big dream, remember the One who put it there in the first place. Then relax. He’s got it covered.
Since fear of failure can be a complex issue and it does affect a majority of people, I discuss it at length in my 20-page eBook “The Achiever’s Guide to Failure”. You'll also get tips, techniques and strategies to succeed in spite of failure. (See the special offer, below.)