What or Who Sabotages Our Dreams?
This morning I came across a Facebook post by a new and dear friend that said, “We are never too old to set another objective or to dream a new dream”.
I reflected and then commented as such, “Sad to say, but too often we say so and don’t believe what we’re actually telling ourselves. We doubt. This way neither actions nor results follow.”
Our dreams go back into their rightful drawers somewhere in our house, only to be forgotten about again.
Two days ago, I was talking about this very topic with Pepo, a new Spanish acquaintance. She has a dream but anytime it comes up in conversation, she can’t stop reminding me (and herself) that, “it’s very difficult, Elisabetta, very difficult”. She must have said in six or seven times in the short twenty minutes we touched on the topic, getting more emotional and frustrated each time.
We are the first ones to sabotage our efforts and ourselves. We let go of our dreams without even trying to achieve them, perhaps out of a fear of failure or because we were raised being told not to bother. It often happens when we refuse to consider what’s bubbling under the surface, in our subconscious, and is funnily enough more than likely to be the root of our sabotage. It can happen when we’re young or when we’re adults… even when we’re old. In fact, it often hits us tenfold in our advanced years, when words such as ‘impossible’ and ‘difficult’ have been repeated for longer and made a stronger imprint on our vocabulary.
In Layman’s terms, we allow our doubts and cynicism (which are often defenses) to run our lives. We don’t trust ourselves or have faith in the possibility of any external help.
But not only doubts and disbelief can sabotage our dreams or visions.
In his renowned book, ‘The Road Less Travelled’, Dr. Scott Peck talks about the real unique ‘sin’ which enshrouds every human being at point of their lives or another… It’s called laziness.
Laziness not only prevents us from taking action, it also keeps our minds blind or confused, impeding us for example from keeping an eye on our negative thoughts, emotions, doubts and beliefs which may take control of our lives. When they take the driver’s seat, we’re no longer able to direct the course of our lives from our spiritual centre, or inner self. Laziness supports procrastination and deepens our fear of the power that resides within us.
We stop caring to dream because we doubt our abilities, skills and chances of success. We don’t have a connection or belief in something other than ourselves being able to intervene and help us so we fail to see the magical synchronicities unfolding before our eyes. We live in fear of being hurt again after so many years of dreaming and even more years of seeing nothing blossom. Often, we just don’t dare to believe in ourselves and our innate capacity and power to succeed. Our internal experience is like a broken record, slowly hardwiring the thought, “who am I to achieve this dream?” as it repeats unwaveringly.
We programmed answers such as, “I’m not worthy enough”, “I’ve always failed in the past so why should this time be different?” or “God has better things to do than help me with my dreams”.
Another element that might block our desire to achieve our dreams is having the wrong perception of what humility means.
We can judge ourselves as ‘arrogant’ if we dare to dream big and fear others thinking the same. We’ve learnt from religion and other bodies of authority that humility is important. But is denying ourselves the chance of dreaming big, really what it means to be humble?
It’s important to ask ourselves why we’re self-sabotaging and what we’re getting out of staying stuck where we are. We must draw our own conclusions.
I found my way to my conclusion a while back, when I chose to make sure that negative thoughts and emotions, as well as doubts and disbeliefs are managed every day. I do this by looking on the inside and the outside and by keeping my spirit alive but holding onto my dreams. I started this journey 20 years ago when I was 36 and each year since has been an amazing and rewarding adventure. We can choose and find our conclusion at any time… age is merely an excuse and fictitious limitation, just as is blaming a lack of courage and strength.
Let’s not forget what Carl Jung once said, “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes”.
I ‘awoke’ by using the tools I learnt on my journey. I selected and practiced a routine every day to support my ability to be present with myself and environment every day and manage my thoughts and emotions. Maybe some of these will resonate with you and can be added to your own arsenal:
· Know when the best time to wake up is to feel your best
· Daily meditation and/or prayer
· Practicing gratitude
· Physical activity (which does not have to be intense)
· Eating well and in tune with your body
· Speak less, listen more
· Take time to enjoy solitude and contemplation to re-energise
· Do things that help manage your toxic inner fears and transform them into motivational and action-oriented energy
· Listen to music that inspires and ignites your inner energy
· Hire a coach in those moments when you feel you might need guidance to see what you alone are not seeing and therefore can’t change.
So how do you feel about where you are? Would you like to embark on the journey of discovering what might be really sabotaging your dreams?
And if not… maybe it’s the time to ask yourself what’s holding you back.
Header image by Tanalee Youngblood