Everyone has dreams, but most of us don’t give our dreams a chance to become reality. We let worry and second-guessing stop you.
How do you know if doubt is getting in the way? Just assume it is, and then start really listening to the things you say to yourself and others. You can trust that if you hear yourself think or say any of the phrases in this blog, doubt is putting the brakes on your life.
Here are the three biggest dream-destroyers you may hear worry whisper.
“But what if” is the # 1 way we sabotage. And once the whatif worry spiral starts, it gets harder and harder to reverse course. Are any of these whatifs getting between you and your dream?
… but what if it doesn’t work out
… but what if my family doesn’t approve
… but what if I can’t find the time in my schedule
… but what if I don’t have the money
… but what if I can’t figure it out
… but what if I can’t handle it
When did our mind start inventing this fiction? Probably as soon as we could understand the meaning of words. That’s when the doubt and worry of others begin to imbed themselves in our thinking. In other words, it’s part of being human.
I love this poem by Shel Silverstein and use it in my coaching to highlight the nature of worry –
“WHATIF” by Shel Silverstein
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk the test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then
The nighttime Whatifs strike again!
Although it is written from a child’s viewpoint, when the hamster wheel starts spinning at 2am, I feel like the whatifs have crawled inside my ear. Maybe you do too?
Your adult list of may sound a little different and possibly include whatifs about marriage, career, children or aging parents. Either way, the list will go on and on, until we learn to stop indulging your whatif thoughts.
The #2 dream-destroyer is I’m not __________ enough. When you fill in the blanks on this doubt it gets personal, and more hurtful! Not only are you sabotaging your success, you are also casting doubt on you as a person – your essential self-concept and self-esteem.
Do any of these sound familiar?
… I’m not strong enough
… I’m not ambitious enough
… I’m not smart enough
… I’m not charismatic enough
… I’m not interesting enough
If you hear yourself saying these things, or something similar, you are pushing yourself further away from your dreams. There are several ways to remedy this downward thinking, but a quick way to stop the self-judgment is to reframe the statement to I am enough! I’ve found that it helps to stomp my foot while I say this.
The #3 dream-destroyer is I don’t have enough. Often we feel it’s time and money that are lacking, but the truth is that you can always find time and money for what matters most to you. But if you don’t invest in really figuring out what matters most and the true cost of putting your dream on the shelf, you will never really know if you have enough.
If your strategy has been to wait for the doubt, worry and second-guessing to subside, you could be waiting the rest of your life. If you are to reach our dreams you must learn to get comfortable with your doubts, understand they are fiction, and trust yourself to act anyway. Ask yourself what can I do with what I have from where I am today?
Want to master skills and strategies to contain your doubt and worry?
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