Why Your Dreams Keep Dying
We have all had a dream and we have all been let down...
We wanted to do something big.
We wanted to go somewhere.
We wanted to see someone.
We wanted to create something.
We wanted to be remembered for something.
That "something" is known only by you, but it never happened. Life goes on and our "I hope so's" quickly turn into "what if's" buckled in the backseat behind shame, fear, and doubt.
What can we do to change that pattern?: I have listed a few ways I believe we allow our dreams to die.
1. You are talking about it too much.
In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah had a dream to build a wall. Just because he had a dream didn't mean he had to tell everyone though. He knew the importance of protecting his dream. His dream, to build a wall and protect the city, had to be developed before it was shared. He spent his time planning, strategizing and preparing so when the proper time came, his dream would have the strength to stand the opposition that was coming. Enemies cannot stop you if they don't know where you are going. Because Nehemiah was careful about who he talked to, was wise about his timing and was strategic about his planning, his team built a wall in 52 days. Dream achieved.
2. You aren't talking about it enough.
If you are anything like me, you love the excitement of new things. When you have a dream, you have to be careful about who you talk to, fight the tendency to share everything (although, you need people around you that will hold you accountable to what it is you are trying to accomplish). Select a small group of people that you trust to share your dream with. Vulnerability is risky and sometimes painful, but it is necessary for every great vision caster. Find people to dream with you, trust them, and win together.
3. You're trying to please others (they will never be happy I promise).
If your focus is more attentive to what others will think about you than what it is you are called to do, you will fail. Others may have good intentions, but they do no know everything you have been through. They do not know the prayers you have prayed. They do not know the time you have invested. They do not know what keeps you up late at night. They do not know the measures you have gone to and they do not know what God is speaking to your heart. More importantly, they do not control you. Liberate yourself from people's opinions by... you guessed it, finding better people to listen to. Be careful not to let the noise of others drown out the whisper of God. Nourish what God speaks to you by allowing yourself some time alone. Don't isolate yourself, rather guard yourself.
Love these lyrics from Ben and Kelley's song Whisper:
"What you whisper in my ear
Let it find room in my heart
Like a garden let your words begin to grow
When my faith is prone to fear
Remind me of your love
Remind me that you'll never let me go"
4. You really don't want it bad enough, so you quit and accept average.
It could just be that you don't want your dream bad enough to endure the process... and that's normal. Grit is the willingness to do whatever it takes, and sometimes that whatever it takes is just the ability to keep going. The "keep going" mentality is what will separate you. For Nehemiah the 52 days was just the icing on the cake. There were many years spent mentality preparing for those 52 days. I would encourage any of you with a dream or a goal to write it down and ask yourself every week, "What am I doing today that will better enable me to live my dream tomorrow".
It's a process. Don't give up.