Hands Up, Hands Down: Turning Dream Busters into Dream Builders

12 Jan

I will always remember the day I picked up my dream once and for all. It was during my second semester of grad school and I was attending a DreamFire® seminar as part of my life coach credentialing process. The dream activation exercises that my professor guided our class through changed my life.

One particular exercise sticks out in my memory. My professor started by saying:

“Close your eyes and extend your arms with your palms face down. I would like for you to think about someone who has discouraged you in the pursuit of your dream.”

He gave us about 30 seconds to really think about what the person said. All sorts of feelings and thoughts started running through my mind. I remember thinking about the discouragement I experienced when anyone from close friends to my SCORE business advisor gave me the smallest piece of criticism on my big goals.

In the middle of that thought, my professor said something that caught me completely off guard. He instructed us to turn our hands over with palms facing up and said,
“Now think of someone who has encouraged you and supported your dream. Someone you are grateful for.”

Immediately I thought of names and pictured faces that filled me a sense of joy, hope, and relief. When I thought of the people who encouraged me, I felt empowered and energized. And suddenly I had an epiphany just as my professor started to debrief with us.

“Alright! So what did you notice during this activation?” he asked.

A few of my classmates responded with very insightful answers. Just as my professor was doing the last call for observations, I raised my hand and then blurted out:

“I noticed that most of my people were on both sides of my hand? I thought of them when my hands were up and also when my hands were down.”

DreamFire taught me something that I would like to share with you. I believe that there are people in our lives that have functioned as our biggest supporters and our toughest critics. People who have encouraged us to dream and given us a reality check. This feedback creates cognitive dissonance that begs to be resolved.

When we decide to process the mental and emotional tension created by the people we share our dreams with, we turn our dream busters into dream builders.


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