I’m teaching myself to dream big, or maybe even medium size to start with. Manifesting dreams has been a recurring topic recently in podcasts I’ve listened to and various online discussions. It’s been interesting and inspiring, the idea of writing down a dream or desire and focussing your thoughts on that thing. Perhaps visualising that dream during meditation or just keeping it present in your mind.
I love this idea and I’ve really enjoyed the positive stories I’ve heard from people who use the technique.
But here’s the thing, I find it hard to even admit a dream. My deepest wishes have been buried so deep that the idea of even daring to whisper them to myself seems terrifying.
Being practical curtails big dreams
I’m mostly a practical sort of person. It’s one of my skills. Give me a seemingly empty pantry cupboard and I will give you a meal. Show me the problem and I’ll do my very darndest to think of a solution. This is at odds with my other personality trait of extreme overthinking and procrastination. When faced with an urgent issue I can react quickly to find a way through but ask me to think about where I might want to be in three years time? Well then I will dilly dally, change the subject, struggle to commit and beat about the bush like nobody’s business.
Being practical is mostly useful. It has pulled me through some tricky situations and helped me navigate my way through some of life’s curve balls. When I needed a job that would fit around children and family, I made one. When we needed to move across country several times over I didn’t question, just started packing and house hunting. The ability to think practically is something of a preservation tactic. A protective shell that activates under pressure.
But somewhere along the way I realise that perhaps I forgot to dream. Or rather my protective shield meant I didn’t dare to dream. I kept my dreams small because then I could apply practical skills to make them happen.
Learning to dream big
And the big dreams, the pie in the sky dreams, the dreams that couldn’t be quickly broken down into practical, achievable steps? Well that just seemed too daring. Those sort of dreams risk failure, leave me vulnerable. They might hurt.
For the last two years I have attended a Creative Business Retreat led by Jenny Hyde. Dreams and hopes are a recurring subject at the retreat and Jenny gently encourages us to consider our dreams and give voice to our wishes. Unsurprisingly I’ve kept mine small and that first year, I struggled to come up with anything at all. This year I felt the seed of something planted very far back in my mind begin to sprout. It wasn’t something I could quite put proper voice to in that moment, or even dare to imagine and I realised that I was scared to dream.
If you don’t dare to dream it then it certainly won’t come true
It was something of a wake up call. The realisation that it’s ok to dare to dream. The idea that it actually doesn’t matter if that dream does not come true but it does matter if I don’t allow my dream a little light. Keeping it buried underground is a sure way to stop it having any chance to blossom. So I’ve written it down. I’m going to allow myself to think on it from time to time and who knows? Maybe with a little nurturing, a bit of bravery, then maybe it will manifest and even if it doesn’t, at least I wasn’t scared to dream. doesn’t matter a jot if those dreams don’t come true or even change along the way but one thing is entirely for sure, if I don’t even dare to dream them then there is absolutely no chance whatsoever they will come true.
So this has been my mantra for the year – dare to dream. And six months in, I think a dream is actually beginning to take shape. It’s not huge but it’s growing and I’m slowly learning to say it out loud. I’m testing out the sound of it, trying it on for size and it’s beginning to feel good.