Is there Such a Thing as Dream Shaming?
Throughout my life, I’ve been around big dreamers.
I’d listen to their lofty plans, goals, and dreams and wonder why my own dreams didn’t match up with their big vision. And then this would lead me to ask myself, “What’s the matter with me?” (because that seems to be my standard go-to question).
And rarely did the big dreamer ever ask me about my dreams. Or even help me brainstorm something bigger and better for myself. In fact, I got the definite impression that these big dreamers were shaming me (silently, of course) for my lack of big dream focus.
It took me years to come to terms with accepting my own focus, my own sensibilities, and my own dreams without the self-criticism that would ordinarily accompany what I determined were my ‘small’ dreams.
My ‘small’ dreams revolved around being of service; around helping people to feel inspired and empowered; to assist them in finding comfort and peace when they were discouraged, fearful, or questioning; to guide them to uncover their own strength, courage, and brilliance; to support them during times of crisis; to educate them on the correct use of their mind and aligning with universal spiritual principles. In other words, to help them live their aligned life.
Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don't do anything. If you make small goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher goals. ~ John H. Johnson
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain
The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning. ~ Oprah Winfrey
Would I like to speak in front of thousands? Of course! Would I love to facilitate sold-out workshops and seminars? You bet! Would I love to write a book that sells 1 million copies? That’d be awesome!
But even more important to me is connection and community. As Oprah says in the quote above, I’m interested in significance. And I want that one-to-one feedback that lets me know that I’m making a difference.
Standing ovations are great, but a personal testimonial is even better!
Just before I moved to Spokane, I attended the Celebration of Fine Arts Festival in Scottsdale. I was overcome by the magnitude of talent the artists displayed and I was inspired that these artists were an example of living their dreams. And I wondered about small dreams and big dreams.
You see, I know one of the jewelers who was participating at this Fine Arts Festival. She once told me that she credits me with helping inspire her to take a chance on herself and sign up for her very first ‘Arts & Crafts’ Festival in Cave Creek, AZ and it was after that when she realized she could make a living selling her jewelry. That’s pretty significant for both of us.
And I remember talking to her about small dreams and big dreams. Some people close to her advised her to dream bigger. They suggested she open some of her own galleries across the country or hire a sales team so her items could be in even more galleries. They questioned her ‘small’ dreams.
She makes every piece by hand and she loves it. She enjoys getting to know the men and women who buy her jewelry. She loves working with people and bringing some of their personal designs to life. In fact, she’s made several of one-of-a-kind pieces for me, both rings and necklaces (of course all of her pieces are one-of-a-kind since she makes each piece by hand). I’m ecstatic that I have a totally unique piece and she gets to see that I’m ecstatic. She’d miss that if her non-jewelry making hours were spent running a gallery or managing employees.
And yet her ‘small’ dream provides her a very good living that has allowed her husband to quit his job and join her in the shop and on the road.
Have you been a dream shamer? Or maybe a dream shamee?
Don’t judge your dreams and goals by what others think. And don’t compare your dreams and goals with anyone else’s either. Neither one is healthy nor smart. And I know you’re smart!
Your dreams are unique to you and they’re perfectly suited to you as well. Don’t allow your tendency to compare and judge take you away from the joy of dreaming or the magic of becoming who you are meant to be.
Say “YES” to yourself and believe in the magic of your dreams!
Women hire Janet to design a life of meaning, fulfillment, and passion because most struggle with putting everyone else first, playing small, and feeling like a fraud. She helps them crush their excuses so they can move beyond the negative voices in their head and unleash their purpose, unmask their self-confidence, and uncover possibilities that they have been blind to.
Bottom line: You need to say “YES” to yourself to live the aligned life you were meant to live.