Monday, July 12, 2010

Beware the Dream Squashers

How many times have you mentioned a dream, goal or flight of fancy to someone only to have them immediately squash it for you? Probably too many times to count. If it's someone we trust or a person in authority we immediately agree with them and feel foolish for ever voicing our aspirations.

Most Dream Squashers don't realize what they're doing. They are often family members who believe they know what is best for us. They feel it's their duty to point out all the pitfalls of a plan in order to protect us.

Some Dream Squashers say they're "just being the devil's advocate." Listen up! The devil has plenty of advocates and he doesn't need your help.

Many of our dreams are just that. They are musings about "I wonder what would happen if I......" Once in a great while we can create the action steps to bring those ideas to fruition. As we think through logistics, sometimes we realize that particular goal is not really right for us. The Dream Squashers don't want to give you that chance.

Dream Squashers rarely tell us what they like about us. They don't focus on what you can do, or the wonderful person you are. They see barriers everywhere and are all too happy to point them out to you.


I realize that the running may have to be metaphorical because some of the biggest Dream Squashers live in your own house. Do whatever you can not to allow their negativity to hold back your imagination.

Instead, cultivate relationships with the Dream Enhancers. These are the people who encourage, listen and enlighten. They point out to you the marvelous qualities you have that you can't see for yourself.

To help you recognize Dream Enhancers from Dream Squashers, take a look at the language below.

Dream Squashers Vocabulary:

  • You haven't really thought this through.
  • You'll just give up on this like you've given up on everything else.
  • That will never work because....
  • What makes you think you could be a success?
  • Ha! I'll believe it when I see it.
  • Let me tell you all the problems with this plan.
  • A lot of people have tried and failed. You probably will, too.
  • You'll lose everything.
  • Your personality isn't the right fit.
  • You don't have enough education.
  • I just hate to see you get hurt.
  • Let me stop you right there.
  • You're going about this the wrong way.
  • I wish I could support you, but...

Dream Enhancers Vocabulary:
  • What can I do to help you?
  • You can do anything you set your mind to do!
  • I'm happy to be your sounding board.
  • Look at everything you bring to the table!
  • I love how you did A, B and C...I know you can do this, too.
  • If anyone can make a success of this, you can.
  • I'm so excited that you're thinking of possibilities!
  • We'll knock down the barriers together.
  • I'll pray that the right action steps will be revealed.
  • Here's some information about how others have tackled the same dream and won!
  • I'll stand with you and lift you when things get tough.
  • I'm with you!

Notice that the Dream Enhancers tend to talk in exclamation points. They believe in you! They know you can do it! Go for it! 

The biggest step is to become your own Dream Enhancer. Banish the internal voice of the Dream Squasher. God made us in His own image to create, to imagine, to pursue. It's who we are as human beings. So DREAM, and DREAM BIG!!

Faithfully yours,

1 comment:

Winona said...

Very good post! My mother is my dream squasher! I cannot tell you the number of times that I have gone to her all excited about something I was doing, only to come away sad and disappointed. Yep, I enjoyed this post. Have a great day! Winona