Beware the dream killer. The dream killer is a master of disguise, often masquerading as someone who loves you and proclaims to have your best interest at heart. The dream killer loves to tell you all the reasons why your dream won’t work or why you are foolish for following it. The dream killer insists that you should be more practical, safer.
When we share a new idea or a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), there will frequently be someone standing in the wings telling you why it won’t work. These people insist they just don’t want to see you waste your time or get hurt. In reality they probably don’t think like you and therefore cannot visualize the future the way you do. Or they have a lower risk tolerance.
When you encounter someone like this, I think it’s important to consider what they say, analyze it against your dream, and then either accept it as fact, or toss it out. You don’t have to believe them; it is just their opinion. They can’t predict the future any better than you can. I do think it’s important to not ignore it. I say this because sometimes we are headed down the wrong path completely, and it’s the advice of others that can pull us back.
It takes a lot of discernment to determine if the person is correct or if they just don’t see the future you see. Don’t allow people’s reactions to steal your dream.
If you are really concerned that you are on the wrong path, and you want to weigh someone’s advice, here are a few questions you might try to help determine if their advice is helpful (WARNING: one question won’t help you; you need to weigh all the answers. Also, this is not an exhaustive list. You can think of more):
1. What is their risk tolerance? Do they frequently step outside their comfort zone and try new things?
2. How successful are they in the area you are pursuing? If you want to be a CEO, are they a great leader? If you want to be a rock star, do they sing, or are they connected to the business?
3. What are other people saying? (Don’t rely on this by itself: many great minds have had the multitude disagree with them – the world is flat, remember?)
4. How impartial are they?
5. Are they a visionary? Are they analytical? Do they see the forest or the trees? Each of these can be valuable for different reasons.
If you want to test the potential of your dream I suggest:
1. Do some soul searching. Know what you believe. Know what your goal is and how you want to get there.
2. Talk to an expert in the field.
3. Talk to a trusted advisor or mentor.
After you’ve done these things, and you feel like you are meant to be on this road, start pursuing your goal!