My friend Jackson has been posting some amazing stuff on Facebook recently.
Hard-hitting, inspirational posts.
Yesterday, he posted about the importance of believing in yourself and only sharing your dreams with people who will truly support you.
And that got me thinking…who are your dream police?
The people who try and stop you from pursuing what truly matters to you.
The people who tell you things like:
“No, you can’t”.
“That will never work”.
“You’re bound to fail”.
“It’s too risky”.
“You’ll make a fool of yourself”.
Someone from your past, someone from your present?
A friend? A teacher? Your parents? Your partner?
We all have people like that in our lives.
People who police our dreams and do whatever they can to stop us from pursuing what’s really in our hearts.
They say they have our best intentions in mind.
And I’m sure that many of them honestly believe that they’re being helpful.
Though in some cases what they’re really doing is looking out for their own interests.
What to do about your dream police
If you’re ready to commit to pursuing your dreams, then you will likely need to deal with your dream police.
The dream police can be relentless. They don’t give up easily.
If one tactic doesn’t work, doesn’t keep you from pursuing your dreams, they’ll try something else.
You have to understand that many of them had their dreams crushed at some point in their lives.
They went after something that mattered to them and it didn’t work out.
So they want to protect you from going through what they went through.
But the truth is that all paths in life involve some sort of risk.
And as I’ve said before, the bigger risk is not pursuing your dreams and dying with your dreams still inside of you.
So if you’re ready to pursue your dreams…
5 Ways For Dealing With Your Dream Police:
Pay attention and identify your dream police: The simple act of paying attention to your dream police can loosen their power over you. Every time you hear that “voice of reason” or that “voice of doubt”, pay attention and note whose voice your hearing and what exactly they say to you.
Actively dispute your dream police: Once you’ve identified who your dream police are, you can start disputing what they say to you. If it’s someone from your past such as a parent or a teacher, then you’ll need to do that disputing in your head (or you could write it down on a piece of paper). If it’s someone from your present, then you’ll likely need to deal with them directly.
You don’t need to be rude, you can say something like: “I understand your concern and I realize that there are risks involved, yet this is what I’ve decided to do“. Depending on how relentless your dream police are, you may need to repeat such phrases to them several times.
If needed, give them the boot: Kicking someone out of your life may seem extreme. But the truth is that you deserve to be surrounded by people who will support your dreams. If someone in your life adamantly refuses to support your dreams and tries to undermine them, you need to seriously consider kicking them out of your life.
Of course, this is NOT a decision to be taken lightly (particularly if it’s a family member) and should only be considered if active disputing doesn’t work. If you can’t kick someone from your life, then at least consider spending less time with them.
Create positive beliefs: Many of us have heard the voice of the dream police throughout our lives. And, in doing so, have lost the power to believe in ourselves. Creating positive beliefs about yourself and what you can accomplish doesn’t need to be complicated.
My suggestion is to develop a simple mantra that you repeat throughout the day and whenever you hear the voice of the dream police in your head. Something like “I can do this” or “Everything will be okay” or “Everything will work out for the best”.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you: You deserve to pursue your dreams and you deserve to be surrounded by people who will support you along the way. The more people in your life who actively support your dreams, the less power the dream police will have over you.
There’s no magic trick to finding people who will support your dreams. Look for people who already support you and start spending more time with them. And whenever you come across someone who’s already pursuing their dreams…make contact with them even just to follow them for inspiration.
You DO have the right to pursue your dreams.
And no one will ever care about your dreams as much as you do.
There will, however, be people who will actively try to stop your pursuit of your dreams – your dream police.
If you’re serious about pursuing your dreams then be on the lookout for the voices of your dream police and use one of the above methods to counteract them.
Just as it’s ultimately your responsibility to pursue your dreams, it’s also your responsibility to deal with your dream police!