Keep your dreams under your hat

When we have a big vision for ourselves, and are taking steps toward fulfilling that dream, it can be time of major transition and growth. When we are in this stage of growth, we need to muster all that we have to make our creative dreams come to fruition.

Including our self-confidence.

I have been writing about creativity and manifesting creative dreams for a few years now. Sometimes, I wish I would take my own advice.

If there is one thing I am certain about, it is this: when we get excited about our dreams, we like to share with our friends. Women, in particular, are experts at this. We share our dreams, frustrations, fears and secrets with our closest friends — and beyond. Sometimes it is on purpose: to drum-up support. And sometimes, we simply let it slip. But, often it is not wise to share our vision or dreams with others — until we are truly ready to do so.

Here’s why:

If you have a big vision, most likely only you can see it. You could have support of a coach and other advisors who might have a good understanding and align themselves with you and your vision, but only you truly can envision it. If it’s super big, it will be out of the vision — and comfort zone — of most people: including those in your circle.

When we are in transition or a state of extreme growth, we can feel wobbly inside with a deep sense of insecurity. Self-doubt rears its ugly head, saying things like: “Who are you to think you can do this?” Or, “I’ll never do this.” Or, “What if I fail?” Or, “What if I end up living underneath a bridge in a cardboard box?”

Transition is a highly-sensitive time. It could mean everything in your life is changing, from lifestyle to business – or both at the same time. You might be uprooting – or need to. Or you might need to leave a paid job to get a dream kick-started, which could be stressful and scary. You could be developing new skills and feel a lack of confidence as you do. You might be worried about how your changes will impact your loved ones, and possibly losing friends and family in the process.

The last thing you need at this important stage is to hear negative comments from friends, loved ones, or even advisors, that will pull you down, take you off your centre or discourage you in any way — or make you feel bad about yourself.

Our loved ones can provide well-meaning advice or suggestions, and feel it in their hearts, but be cautious: whatever they are saying or surmizing, they are doing it from their tainted rose coloured glasses – from their value system. Their values will not be identical to yours. Their comments can be extremely damaging for the delicate creative voice inside that already is fragile and fearful with its big vision.

For example, I recently spent time with a dear friend. I’ll call her Barbara. I adore Barbara to pieces, although our lives are vastly different. Barbara is not a career woman: I am. Barbara is a family-oriented woman: I’m not. Over the course of some quality time together, I shared my vision with a generous outpouring of excitement, trepidation and fear for what I am embarking on as I carve my path in this world.

When we did a re-cap of our time together, I was taken aback with her feedback. What I realized is, in talking about all the ideas and things I am doing that are moving me toward my bigger vision for myself — what my friend heard was something different. She didn’t get it. Her comments were a bit raw for a tender, creative soul trying to spread her wings. If  I had not done a lot of self-development work up to this point, I might have been hurt or, worse, impacted.

Instead, I felt misunderstood.

I found myself trying to explain further and clarify  bits and pieces to help my friend see my vision because I really wanted her to “get it,” but I stopped. I realized no matter what I said, no matter how detailed I got, my friend would never see my vision.

And that’s okay. She does not need to.

From this experience, I learned a lesson: Keep it under your hat. Put another way, keep close your dreams until you are ready to unleash them to the world. When you are ready, your actions will tell others what you are doing.

If you are interested in reading my past articles on creativity and making creative dreams come true, check out my previous blog, Create with Joy.

What lessons have you learned about sharing your dreams prematurely? I would love to hear from you, so please do comment.


Shannon Skinner is the author of  The Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity.


© Shannon Skinner 2012