You hear all the time about people getting their dream job, dream house, their dream vacation, or maybe they are just checking things off their “bucket” list. It makes it seem as if everyone easily knows what their dreams are.
Yet for some of us that isn’t true.
There are those of us who have learned
- to suppress
- bury and
- deny any hopes or dreams.
Many of us live a life with no dreams for the future. They have been stolen through disappointment or emotional pain.
Many people go through life with a sense of “is this all there is?” They have forgotten how to dream and are unattached to their hopes and desires. Why is that worth talking about?
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO LEARN HOW TO DREAM AGAIN
Dreams are a person’s innermost desires.
- Pursuing dreams is what makes a person’s life worth living and fantastic all at the same time.
- Pursing dreams helps produce a life with fewer regrets.
- Dreams can reveal your true potential.
- Dreams are a source of extreme happiness and satisfaction.
People who have forgotten how to dream may have the following in common:
- Dreaming became too painful.
- Dreaming brought too much disappointment.
- They feel hopeless about the future.
- They feel that they are not worth a dream.
Why and how do people get in this unhappy place?
Some of the causes are:
- They live with or have lived with very controlling people which can result in:
- Deflated self-worth.
- Lack of confidence in abilities.
- Shut down risk-taking skills.
- Busy just surviving the present.
- They live with someone who likes to “dream” but NEVER follows through. This can affect a person by:
- Associating dreams with disappointment.
- Learning it is too painful to dream.
- Often for people to realize their desires and dreams they have emotional and mental obstacles to overcome.
- These obstacles are from inside their minds from messages they have accepted as true from family, friends, and society.
- These messages prevent them from moving toward a happy and fulfilled life.
Is that you? What can you do? How can you dream again?
I NEEDED TO LEARN TO DREAM AGAIN
One of my sons sold most of his possessions (car, motorcycle, and drums) saved up several thousand dollars and just moved to another state. When he got there he found an apartment but they won’t lease to him without him having a job so he went out that same day and found one, went back and got the apartment.
Part of his dream was to pursue a college degree there and he is doing it! I was excited for him to follow his dream of many years, even though it means I see him about once a year. His dream was to start over in a beautiful state that wasn’t as hot as Texas and where he could make connections in the field he wants to go into.
Unfortunately dreams aren’t always that identifiable.
Years ago after I was first married I became interested in flipping houses. I would brainstorm with my husband and he was as interested as I was (or so I thought). So I took a Real Estate class, preparing to take the test to become a realtor. As time when on I realized that it was a dream my husband wasn’t ever really going to pursue with me, he just enjoyed dreaming but his dreams weren’t things he saw in reality.
Fast forward we had 4 of our 6 children and dreamed about moving to the country to raise them. We would take Sunday drives to select the area we wanted to move to. You know what happened next, NOTHING. It was all an emotional/mental activity for him and I finally got it – no more dreaming for me.
It was too painful and disappointing for me. To add to that pain and disappointment was a dawning realization that there were other areas of my marriage that were a mirage.
So I began a life of getting through the days. I did enjoy being a Mom and was good at making everything fun that I could.
But I had learned to put away my wants and desires for the future, even relationship needs.
You know what, that kind of living is deadly to your soul. You become irritable and tired. Hope has left the house. If someone had asked me then what my dream life would be, I think the only thing I could have said was to be not so lonely.
I need to state a disclaimer here; this will not be like other plans on “how to dream big” or “how to get your dream job”.
For those people who are consciously unaware of their hopes, dreams, and desires there is a way to reach them. Inside every person is a place that generates these longings. Sometimes these hopes, dreams, and desires need to be nudged to the surface.
HOW TO DREAM AGAIN
What does this nudging look like?
- First brainstorm with yourself.
- Write down any ideas that come to you. Outlandish? OK
- What you think you should want? OK
- You feel like you don’t deserve it? Write it down anyway.
- You feel you missed your chance. Put it on the list.
- Run out of ideas?
- Put the list down and come back to it at a later time. What you have done is greased the “wheels” of your mind.
- Your mind will be toying with the concept of dreaming and you may actually begin looking at the world with a little more possibility.
- When you are ready;
- Get your list out
- Add the new ideas you have generated.
- Now take a minute and sit still and be really honest with yourself.
- What has ever tugged at your heart?
- But you quickly rejected it as impossible? Write it down.
- Those things that you believe couldn’t or can’t happen. Write them down.
- Take a long look at your list. Do you see some common threads?
- The desire to travel?
- The dream of creating?
- The hope of learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills?
- Rewrite you list now and organize your ideas that are related into groups.
- Give it a day or two.
- Reflect on and imagine how life would be if you obtained one or more of these dreams.
- Ok, now the fun part.
- Which one stands out to you?
- Which one do you believe that you could tackle right now?
- Before you commit to it you may need to do some research.
- You want to travel to Washington? You will need the cost of the trip.
- Know how long it will take to save the money. Two years? Do you want to start with a goal that is that distant in the future?
- Steps for the fulfilling of something on your list:
- Pick one.
- My suggestion is to choose one that is very doable in the near future.
- Starting with one that you can experience success with will build your confidence and enthusiasm.
- Believe it is possible.
- Research what it will take to get it done.
This kind of short term dream fulfilling will build your dream “muscles”.
THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN STARTING SOMETHING AND FAILING IS NOT STARTING SOMETHING AT ALL. Seth Godin
Example Dream trip SWIM WITH DOLPHINS!!!
- Where can I do that?
- How much will it cost?
- How much will airfare be?
- How much will a hotel costs?
- What time of year do I want to go?
- What do I want to see and do when I get there?
- How long will I stay?
- Figure out a food and souvenir budget.
Now total the sums you came up with.
- How long will it take to save up the money?
- What is your target trip date?
- Now decide how you need (if you need to) adjust your spending so you can save up for the trip.
- Share your excitement with another person, this gives you support and accountability.
- Make the screensaver on your computer and the lock screen on your phone a picture of dolphin.
Here is an app that can help you with planning and offers accountability and encouragement. https://www.goodnet.org/articles/1063
That is all fine and good but you may find that you have blocks/barriers to getting this accomplished.
Fear of disappointment
Fear of failing
Fear of success
Fear has you shut down. You need to learn courage in the face of your fear.
Ways to combat these fears:
- Write affirmations addressing your fears.
- I will move forward toward my dream.
- I will be open to adjustments in my plan.
- Retrain your mind.
- Replace your fear statements with I can statements.
- Ask for help.
- Stand up for yourself.
- Don’t look at others, do your own dreaming.
- Believe in yourself, affirm your worth.
- Take small steps toward your dream every day, set daily intentions.
- Live your life in the now, for the future.
Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed but with what is still possible for you to do. Pope John XXIII
Did you recognize yourself on these pages? Have you been living a life devoid of dreams and hopes? It is possible to change that!
You may find my blog on Self-talk helpful.
Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like you thought, you can look back and see all that you learned and accomplished. It will make it easier to try following a different dream.
One of my great joys in life is seeing people live their dreams – whether it is a job, a relationship, living in a particular location or becoming the person that they always wanted to be.
Are you still struggling with the thought that you have dreams and that you could actually move toward them? Do you need help to overcome the obstacles that are getting in your way? Would you like to know what happiness would be for you?
“There is no use trying,” said Alice, “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.
“When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
OTHER POSTS IN THE GET UNSTUCK SERIES