By: Colonie Hughes, Executive Women’s Program Director / Co-Founder
It all starts with a dream. To dream is to have a cherished aspiration or vision of what you desire in life. Yet, the question is, how do we make our dreams become a reality? What steals these dreams in the infancy stages of development?
“Nothing happens unless you first dream,” – Carl Sandburg.
Dreaming of Better Days Ahead
My dreams started in the first year of my sobriety, dreaming of one day having a women’s home to help others find the freedom I was so blessed to discover. I believed that one day this dream would become a reality. There were seven years of preparation before this dream would begin to manifest in the natural realm.
The first obstacle was to start something from nothing. I had to believe in what I was doing so much that I had to take risks. My biggest hurdle was the fear of failure. What if I do this… and it doesn’t work. I remember my husband telling me, “What is the worst that can happen? We fail and then go back to our regular jobs and do what we are doing now.”
“Wow,” I thought to myself, “this couldn’t be more true.” It reminded me of the words God spoke to me once when I while in Teen Challenge:
“If you leave now, you will always wonder what your life would have been like, if you would have stayed,” He said.
That was a defining moment in my life, and my husband’s words reminded me that the worst really wasn’t that bad.
I decided right then that I was in it for the long haul. The only thing that failure could hurt was my pride. The “fear of failure” is the number one dream stealer. It robs you of ever trying to win in life.
Overcoming Fear and ‘The Critics’
Don’t let worrying about what other people will think or how much money is left in the bank stop you from accomplishing your God-given dreams. If you want to take risks, you have to decide if you are willing to lose it all and pride has to be the first thing to go.
The truth is, you will fail, but will you get back up and do it again?
The second dream killer is the “critics” who always seem to have an opinion about what you are wanting to do. The critics’ mindset will be there to discourage you from saying it’s not possible, you can’t afford it, or you’re crazy.
Words from Roosevelt
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Beliving in Yourself
Lastly, the dream main dream stealer is inevitably “yourself.”
Do you believe in yourself? Can you overcome all hardships, insecurities, and ridicule? Can you push past each failure and learn from it? Do you really have what it takes? The answer is YES, if you choose to believe this.
When you go after your dreams, it’s a messy process. In the beginning, remember it’s a work in progress. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t become what you want even after years and years of trying. But you don’t care what it looks like, you don’t care what people say, and you absolutely never give up, your dream will be like a beautiful work of art.
It is a masterpiece that you are creating from a blank canvas. One day everyone will see it and not only admire it, but ask how in the world you did it. And the best part is, you will not only be living your dreams but telling others how to achieve theirs as well.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26