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The Dangers of Dreaming Big

I've learned to dream big, but then to shove that big dream to the back of a closet. It can wait there to be dealt with when the time comes, when I've completed the work and given it time. Or else my dreams turn out to be just that - big dreams.
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The millennial generation has been taught to think big. We can do and be anything. I suppose that's why I have the constant and sometimes destructive habit of dreaming big.

Whenever I consider a new idea or project to tackle, after some initial thought, I immediately jump to the conclusion that it will be life changingly huge. I envision the best of the best.

Write a book? New York Times bestseller. Learn to paint? Next Picasso. Start a business? Forbes 100. No matter what I'm attempting I always envision the end result being monumentally fantastic.

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Photo via Pixabay.com

Now I completely understand the reasoning behind why we've been taught to dream big. You want to aim for the top, be the best you can be, reach your full potential. That has a much greater chance of coming to fruition if it starts with an idea.

There's nothing wrong with having a lofty goal. It's something to be admired. The problem arises when the final goal consumes the majority of my brainpower. I spend all of this time imagining success, what it will feel like, how excited and proud I will be once it becomes a reality.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm totally into manifesting and this is manifesting 101, but I have a tendency to get over excited and so consumed by the end result that when it comes down to doing the work, the work that will lead to this ever so incredible result, I become discouraged. When you've already has a taste of the reward you're not as motivated to do the dirty work that's required to get there.

I start out truly believing I can accomplish what I'm setting out to do; I believe it whole-heartedly. Then the work begins. I begin to research, practice and create my initial blue prints and plan of attack. The deeper I dig the more I realize my goal is further than I thought. The path is longer, littered with more obstacles and challenges. I still hold the belief that it can be done, but the motivation lessons bit by bit.

Hmmm do I really want to this? Do I want to devote my precious and limited time to this end goal, this end goal I've already experienced in my mind? Is it worth the sleepless nights, hours of practice, cut throat competition and risk of failure?

Suddenly this big dream seems so far away, but in actuality the path has always been the same length. It just seemed shorter because I was already mentally at the end; waiting for reality to catch up and let's face it I'm not that patient.

For some, this may not have any affect; it may seamlessly guide them to their goals. But for me, I've realized, rather than fostering my dreams this "big dreaming" is the first step to turning by back on them.

I begin to think the bigger the dream the bigger the failure. If you fail at big business you risk huge financial loss. If you fail on a big stage you risk widespread humiliation. However, if you fail selling soap at a country fair? Ok move along. Tweak your work; try again. Not a monumental investment of time or money.

When I immediately think huge I immediately think of the huge responsibilities that accompany the vision. I think so much about these future, currently non-existing issues that I psych myself out before I've begun.

What I fail to remember is that when I start small and work my way up step by step, I grow, I learn and eventually I become equipped to handle these responsibilities that intimidate me now.

By focusing on what's in front of me, what's achievable in this present moment I reduce the risk of becoming overwhelmed by the numerous steps ahead.

I love the idea of having an end goal, a focus in mind, a big extraordinary dream. I actually believe it's an essential part of any achievement. You must know where you want to end up; to be sure you're headed in the right direction. I just tend to take it too far.

Now that I know the pros and cons of big dreaming, I try a different approach. I allow myself my big dream. I imagine it real, specific, and solidified and then I let it go. I put it to the back of my mind. I know it's there but I don't allow it to distract me. Then I focus my attention on the attainable steps that are possible to accomplish in the here and now.

I've learned to dream big, but then to shove that big dream to the back of a closet. It can wait there to be dealt with when the time comes, when I've completed the work and given it time. Or else my dreams turn out to be just that -- big dreams.