A New Conversation About Dreams
Who’s Directing Your Life?
By Marcia Wieder, America’s
While aspects of you encourage, “Go for your dreams,” simultaneously
other parts threaten, “Don’t you dare.” A cast
of characters lives
inside of you and at different times you may receive conflicting
or contradictory messages. If you are want to be happy, successful,
and fulfilled, consider putting your “dreamer” in the
What are the voices inside of you saying? As you
turn the volume up on the voice of your dreamer and down on the
voice of your
doubter, you can practice discernment allowing for greater clarity.
To assist you in hearing these voices, let’s set up a simple
Picture something you want, something that matters to you. Choose
a personal or professional dream and consider how these various
parts of you might respond.
Dreamer – The dreamer inside says, “What if…” and
is open to
a creative process without over-analyzing it. This is the part
of you that imagines, believes in possibilities, has hope, and
seeks kindred spirits. Dreamers talk about their ideas with intention,
clarity, and passion. Great dreamers get others excited about
their vision. And most importantly, successful dreamers take
action to make their dreams a reality.
Doubter – This voice is often heard saying such things as, “I
don’t think this is a good idea.” The doubter provides
touting, “But what if…” and imagines the worst.
If you crank
the volume up it can even become annihilating with accusations
shouting things like, “Are you out of your mind?” William
said, “Our doubts are traitors.” Carlos Castaneda said, “In
to experience the magic of life, you must banish the doubt.” My
favorite quote on this subject is in The Prophet where Kahlil
Gibran wrote, “Doubt is a feeling too lonely to know that
is its twin brother.”
Realist – “Be realistic…” Modulate
the doubter down a notch or
two and it becomes the essential voice of the realist. This part
wants to know, “What’s the plan?” including
where is the time
and money coming from. However, in the early phase of dreaming,
you may not know. The challenge is not to allow the realist to
immediately turn into a doubter who might judge or obliterate
your idea. Honor this voice by (to the best of your ability)
giving it the information it needs. If you ignore or reject it,
cleverly agitate or distract you. Being realistic offers prudence
and makes you do your homework but if you are overly realistic
or go to strategy too soon, you will most likely compromise the
dream and kill your passion.
Visionary – This voice says, “Anything is possible
so let’s dream
big!” These are the leaders and people we look up to and
They have learned the process of realizing their dreams and embody
what it means to be a big dreamer. Setbacks or failures do not
stop them. Simply put, a visionary has a vision and invites others
to join them. They are found in all walks of life and we are often
so inspired when they are in the presence of a true visionary
that we sign up just to be near them or part of what they’re
A visionary is not defined by the size of the dream
since dreams are precious and come in all sizes, shapes and areas
If you were living your dream life, how would it be different?
What do you see yourself doing? How many lives would you touch?
What would you change? Who would you help if you were truly living
as a visionary?
Avoid Sabotaging Your Dream
these different voices merge they can become muddled and result
in confusion and poor decisions. For example, you might
poison your dream by projecting doubt into it. Then with each
step you take toward what you want, you also move toward your
doubt. Doubt and fear, which most of us may have at some time
or another (especially when embarking on a new or big dream) do
not belong in your dream. These feelings are simply part of your
reality. This is a subtle and essential point.
Here’s a simple technique for avoiding this
sabotaging pattern. On a piece of paper draw a line across the
middle. On the top
half write out your dream with as much detail as possible. On
the bottom write out your reality in relationship to your dream,
where you are now. Reality usually includes good news and (so
called) bad, as well as any fear or doubt you may have. Just state
the facts and your feelings about them.
Now, which one are you more committed to; your dream
or your reality? We tend to choose “reality” when we don’t
have a clearly
defined dream or when we saturate our dream with doubt. If your
dream is loaded with your worst imagined nightmares, reality will
always seem safer and saner. But doubt placed appropriately as
part of your reality, allows two things to happen. First, no longer
blown out of proportion, it’s an obstacle that basically
a strategy to manage it. But more importantly, with doubt where
it rightfully belongs, you are free to move forward.
It’s like a play. All the characters have
wisdom and insight, but you can’t clearly understand them when they’re
once. Take time to tune in, to listen, and on a regular basis,
have the courage to give your dreamer its directorial debut or
even the leading role. •
© 2005 Marcia Wieder
About the Author
Marcia Wieder, America’s Dream Coach, is a best-selling author
and speaker known for giving inspiring and moving talks to AT&T,
The Gap and American Express. She appeared several times on Oprah
and The Today Show. She’s also writes for The San Francisco Chronicle.
For more information, to receive a free audio e-book, "Jump Start
Your Dream", or to join her community of Dreamers, visit www.dreamcoach.com.