How to handle the 'dream killers' in your life
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey
YOU have this great dream or this fantastic idea bursts into your head. You're excited about the unlimited possibilities and can't wait to share it with your closest friends and family.
What is their reaction? All too often, their initial reaction is to ridicule the idea, to point out its flaws; to remind us about our lack of education, our lack of money, our lack of experience; or to point out how so and so tried it and it didn't work. The result, too often, you let your dreams die, be minimized, or give up on your ideas. You let your friends and family rob you of your future and your potential for greatness!
Why do they do that? It might be for a variety of reasons, some of them with the best intentions. It might simply be their concern to see you avoid getting hurt or to side step what they see as a path to failure. It may be based on their own fears projected to your action and life. It might be due to a personal failure on their part and a fear that, if you succeed, they will lose you. Or a fear they will have to deal with the reality that, just maybe, they could have done something about their "seemingly impossible" situation. Your potential for success scares them.
How do we handle these "helpers" or "idea killers" in our life? One of the best ways is to be aware of 'their' existence and seek to avoid them in areas of vulnerability. I don't mean to cut them off completely, just realize that they are not 'committed' to or understanding of your dreams and desires. Make a conscious choice to keep these areas private, especially during the embryonic or incubation stages of exploring or establishing your dreams and ideas.
Maintain your focus and keep moving forward to seeing your idea or dream become a reality. As someone once wrote, "Show no regrets for the past, no fear for the future. Expect to win!
It's a funny thing in life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you often get it."
We may not choose our family, but we do have full control over the friends we make and over the amount of time we spend with either. This is where we make the decisions that help shape and determine our destiny. In life, there are those who would kill our dreams and those who would, if asked, help nurture our dreams. We can identify and choose each group in which to associate and invest our time.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with an idea killer is in doing your homework. When you have fully researched your dream and have done your due diligence, some can even be brought around to being at least a neutral observer, if not supporter or cheerleader.
Use feedback from these Idea killers as mirrors to reveal your blind spots. Often, they may see things that you might miss in the heat of passion. Keep in mind their input is for information only and check it for accuracy before you allow it to impact your decisions.
Demonstrate by your actions; that you're committed to seeing this project through to completion. Demonstrate that you are committed to working on it regardless of the obstacles you may face.
Perhaps our past track record of starting and not completing projects influences their support and enthusiasm. This is especially true with immediate family members.
Idea killers may occasionally become allies, but it takes massive work on your part to win them over to your team. Keep focused on your Dreams and working with those who are fellow dream builders and cheerleaders!
Don't let another person's critical attitude determine your self-worth or your future. You don't know how high or how far you can fly until you spread your wings and take to the sky. Please, don't let another person's limiting beliefs, no matter how well-intentioned, stop you attempting to dream big, to compete for the ultimate prize, achieving your personal dream.
In the mid 80's I belonged to The Entrepreneurs Association. Our Credo was:
"I do not choose to be a common man (or woman). It is my right to be uncommon, if I can. I seek opportunity, not security! I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state took after me. I want to take the calculated risk, to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will NEVER cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, 'This with God's help, I have done. ' All this is what it means to be an Entrepreneur." (Entrepreneur Magazine was initially our Association publication.)
This too, could be your credo in being a 'dream builder' and in encouraging others to build their dreams. This belief is what part of my work as a speaker, trainer and business coach is grounded on.
It is too easy for those around you, who are hopelessly mired in their own mediocrity, to criticize you for trying to follow your dream or acting to implement your great idea.
Theodore Roosevelt, who was often criticized wrote, "...it is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The CREDIT belongs to the man (or woman) who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly - who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion ... and spends himself (or herself) in a worthy cause. Who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and at the worst, if he (or she) fails ... at least fails while daring greatly, so that his (or her) place shall never be with those cold and timid souls ... who know neither victory nor defeat."
"Do not follow where the path may lead ... go instead where there is no path and leave a trail," writes an unknown scribe.
If you are to receive criticism, and you will, let it be for following your own vision and personal leadership and in daring to build your dreams. Couple that with a sage tip from me, "Remember, they don't build monuments to critics."
Good luck in your continued efforts to lead, to build your career, leadership or your business. Don't let the dream killers succeed. Your success is a beacon to the rest of us who also sail the challenging seas of opportunity.
© Copyright 1995-2006 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey All Rights Reserved. Bob is a Creative Catalyst and Idea Farmer who loves to work with people who still have dreams and works to assist them in building foundations for success under those dreams. Visit www.ideaman.net/ for more information on his innovative programs and services.