Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why dreamers ride the hardest

Last Sunday I started a new year’s tradition that I hope to continue. I had several friends over for a vision board party. It was a lovely afternoon of snacks, wine, crafts, and conversation. Even though I was the only link between everyone, it didn’t take long for my guests to connect and laugh together like old friends. As one friend was leaving, she remarked on the pleasant vibe among all of us. “It was just such a nice atmosphere. Everyone was so warm and encouraging. They weren’t mean girls. This was just so awesome.” I thought to myself, well yeah, I’m generally not friends with jerks. After more reflection though, I realized there’s more to it than that. People who are actively working toward a vision support others who are doing the same. Here’s why.

People who are chasing their dreams face countless obstacles before that dream is realized. It doesn’t just happen overnight. There’s usually a climb and a bit of a discrepancy between the time you start toward a goal and the time others see the results. Therefore, it’s incredibly vulnerable to say to the world (or even to yourself), hey, I want to use my gifts to make a meaningful contribution. I want to do something good and help others. I want a platform to influence people in a positive way. I think most of us want those things. It’s just that some will be relentless in our pursuit of them and others won’t.

In Dr. Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she has a message for all the haters and naysayers.

If you aren’t in the arena getting your butt kicked too, I am not interested in your feedback. For example, if you’re in the cheap seats, not putting yourself on the line and just talking about how I could do it better, I am in no way interested in your feedback (Brown, 2012).

Can we just pause right here and say Amen? This is so true. The ones that are trying to start a business, write a book, grow their performing career, continue their education or invent something new, generally aren’t going to be snide and discouraging of other dreamers. They know how much courage and perseverance it takes to step out and go for something. They are your biggest cheerleaders. The biggest critics, however, are usually the ones on the sidelines. They are vocal about other people’s faults, but they don’t have the willingness to make themselves vulnerable and get in the game. Although they are the loudest, these people matter least. Until they step out and do something really hard, they really don’t get a say.

With it being a new year, I think most of us have some goals we’ve set or dreams we’re ready to pursue. Over the next few months, I encourage you to reflect on people’s response to your aspirations.  Whether it’s friends and colleagues you’ve known awhile or newer associates, consider who is supportive and encouraging of your goals. Who is open and collaborative? Who shares resources with you and follows up on how things are going? Who offers constructive critiques from a loving place in order to help you improve? Who genuinely cheers when you make it? I bet you’ll find it’s the ones who are going after something too. It’s been my experience that only fellow dreamers ride the hardest for you.


  1. I'm a latecomer to reading Daring Greatly, but it's rocking my world as expected.

  2. Great post and I can relate to every single word!

  3. Great post and I can relate to every single word!