Motivational author, Napoleon Hill warns us…
“The fear of criticism robs man of his initiative, destroys his power of imagination, limits his individuality, takes away his self-reliance, and does him damage in a hundred other ways.”
Have you ever had an idea you think is so good it gets you animated just thinking about it?
Have you been mulling over a problem feeling a little undecided when what seems to be the perfect thought magically pops into your head! You believe with all your being you have the answer. You get excited. You play it out in your head and you know. You know you have come up with a fabulous idea. You experience delight, even anticipation at feeling that this is right.
Have you then revealed your inspiration with someone you assume will share the same level of excitement and they don’t react the way you wanted, and expected? They don’t show any of the enthusiasm you thought they would. In fact they just don’t seem to get it!
Have you felt that in that instant they have stolen your dream?
You probably recognise this person. This person is what is commonly known as a Wet Blanket. Wet Blankets or what i prefer to call dream stealers are everywhere. You will find dream stealers in your workplace, you will find them in your clubs, and regrettably you can even find them amongst your family and friends.
“Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours.”
Maybe via calculated commentary. Maybe with an unconsidered opinion. Or maybe without even saying a word you interpret their body language and you know they just don’t share the same exhilaration that you have leaving you feeling deflated. I have learnt that unfortunately the wet blankets…the dream stealers, usually has more influence in that initial moment of sharing than any other enthusiastic supporter will at any time later on. In that initial moment they can wound you, they can squelch you passion and your enthusiasm. They can immobilize you!
Wikipedia describes the meaning of wet blanket as one who discourages enthusiasm or enjoyment. It lists other synonyms such as kill joy & spoil sport. These words are defined as one who mars the pleasure of others. Exactly what the dream stealers in our lives do! Mar the pleasure we have in savoring in our great ideas.
I believe you need to weed these people out of your lives. Sounds a little harsh maybe you’re thinking? But…
Imagine if our history’s greatest visionaries allowed wet blankets in their lives to steal their dreams. What if Martin Luther King shared his “I HAVE A DREAM” speech with a wet blanket before he delivered it to the masses?
It might have gone something like this…
“Don’t you think that is a little grandiose Martin? Do you really believe it is feasible to dream that little black children and little white children would join hands and play together? Why aim for the impossible”
Or if Mother Teresa had allowed the naysayers of the church to squash her hopes to assist the homeless and starving in India. “I can’t imagine how you would get funding and publicity Mother.” And what if Thomas Edison allowed dream stealers to rob him of his desire to invent a practical incandescent light and electric system? The world would be a lesser place without our inspirational leaders who fortunately didn’t take notice to the dream stealers in their lives…and i guarantee there would have been many. You can imagine what was said to Edison when he had the idea to invent the electric light bulb in a time of candles? But he, like all remarkable leaders; chose to hold fast to his belief in his idea no matter how lonely it might have been.
Be warned dream stealers are out there…waiting…waiting with their criticism…their negative comments…and their…rules! They might say something like…”Do you think that is realistic? How can you afford that? OR That’s not how we do it here!!!”
Do you recognise any of this dream stealer tactics in your own behaviour? Are you guilty of squashing another person’s aspirations?
WELL STOP IT! DON’T BE GUILTY OF DREAM THEFT!
Recognise that if a friend shares an idea they are excited about, they don’t want the reasons why it won’t work. They just want you to share in their enthusiasm. They want you to support and encourage. Details and realistic problems can always be dealt with at a later time, but don’t spoil that first inspired sharing with a reality check.
For the dreamers amongst you – for those of you with tons of passion, big ideas and big goals, don’t allow the dream stealers to rob you of your hopes and desires?
Set a solid foundation of self-belief. Trust that your ideas have value. Know you have what it takes to bring your ideas, your dreams into fruition. The capacity to achieve the result you intend is to believe your ideas have merit and are not dependent on the enthusiastic support of others. Know within your whole being it is a great idea. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will give you the confidence to believe in yourself. People who enable you. People who will encourage your enthusiasm and passion.
Wet blankets – dream stealers – kill joys – spoil sports – whatever you might label them have the power to stop ideas ever coming to realization with their negative responses.
So I urge the dreamers not to allow dream stealers to dampen your enthusiasm. Have faith in yourself and your ideas. Behave like the visionaries who changed the world by not permitting the wet blankets in their lives to cheat them out of their dreams.
DREAMERS… Block out disapproving comments, damaging responses and discouraging looks.
Believe in yourself and allow your best thoughts and ideas to flourish.