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Dream Killing 101

by Lisa Manning on July 18, 2013

My 6 year old daughter wants to be a mermaid when she grows up.  She has even declared that she doesn’t need to learn to read because mermaids don’t have books.

We have all been there.  We have a great idea…or so we think.  We may even feel it is God inspired.  Giddy with excitement, we tell the first person we see.

“Guess what!  I am going to _________________ (fill in the blank)!!!

The moment the words are our of your mouth and you see the look in their eyes, you know it was a mistake.  Before you can turn and run, you hear a phrase or two like this:

  • Be realistic!
  • Where are you going to get the money for this crazy idea?
  • You don’t have time for that!
  • Do you realize that no one has ever succeeded with that before?
  • At your age?
  • But you NEVER finish what you start!
  • People like us can’t do something like that.
  • That could turn out so bad!
  • And so on, and so on, and so on.

Dream Killers. 

Most of the time, they don’t even think through their response.  They just blurt it out there to strangle your dream, slowly sucking the life out with their words.  For most of us, this probably happened the first time when we were young.   We shared our dream with someone who laughed.  Not only did they discourage you, they made you feel ignorant for even suggesting such a thing.  After doing this a few times, we realized it might be best just not to verbalize the grand ideas bouncing around in our head.  We kept quiet and the dreams died in our silence.

Even worse than being exposed to a Dream Killer, we became one.

mark twain quoteYour friend, relative, spouse or your child tells you about their dream with all the fire in their eyes you once had.  While you WANT to be excited for them, all of those phrases above come rolling out of your mouth in rapid succession until finally, they walk away with their fire extinguished.

Sometimes, the biggest offenders are Christians.  When I started telling people about my dream to get an RV and travel the country with my family, almost always, the people who gave me their negative opinions were my Christian friends.  My friends who don’t have a relationship with God said “That is really awesome!  I can’t wait to see how that turns out!”  From my friends who believe in Christ, I heard things like “You should REALLY pray about that.” or “I don’t think that is safe (or smart or realistic).”

Let me get this straight.  You believe that God parted the Red Sea and Christ rose from the dead but you don’t think He can give me an RV, means of support, and keep me safe while I live my dream to tell others about Him? Fortunately for me, that isn’t the God I read about in my Bible!  He is the God of the impossible (Luke 1:37)!

How does this happen? Sure, we need to be realistic about life.  If someone tells you that they are leaving their children and spouse, quitting their job and becoming a Tibetan monk, you might need to slowly and methodically talk them off the ledge.  But is it really necessary to be cynical when someone shares their dream with you?  Just because you haven’t been able to achieve your dream, doesn’t mean you need squash the dream of another.  Perhaps you don’t like their dream.  Guess what?  It isn’t YOUR dream!

I challenge you to change your thinking pattern when someone shares a dream with you.  Instead of immediately thinking about the negatives that could happen, ask yourself a few questions:

What would it look like if they WERE successful?

What can you do to help them succeed?

Become their cheerleader and encourage them all along the way!  Be there as they cross the finish line of their dream and celebrate!

My 6 year old has a dream to be a mermaid.  Swim, baby swim!

Part 1: #1 Reason For Not Achieving Your Dream

Part 2:  A God Sized Dream!

Part 3:  10 P’s to Achieving Your Dream




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