noun 1. a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. 2. a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.
I am a dreamer. I dream in my sleep. I daydream when I am awake. I have a vivid imagination and I dream in technicolour.
Most of my dreams are positive and intentional.
Yet, I suffered from recurring nightmares as a child. I was always being chased by something or someone, trying to get away. I had those dreams where you need to wake yourself up to get out of them, but a few days or weeks later I would return to them, like I had unfrozen the screen and the drama had been paused.
I was scared of the dark of a child, I used to have to sleep with the hall light on, it was my comforter. I have grown out of this, but I am still easily spooked so I often check security before I go to bed (windows/ doors/ curtains) and sometimes I find myself checking under beds (thanks Luther!)
I am a visual person and I often visualise the dreams I want to achieve in life, I have sometimes made vision boards, putting my intentions out to the world. My house is full of artefacts, visual reminders of dreams I want to fulfil and memories of dreams I have realised.
“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future”. Dennis Waitley
I am a storyteller and I articulate my dreams internally to myself and externally to my nearest and dearest. I unpack my dreams and aspirations to my coaches and mentors along the way. Dreams need to be shared, once they are said out loud you are on the path to making them happen.
“You either walk inside your story and you own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness”. Brene Brown
A dream to me is a personal goal, an ambition is a professional goal, both are about setting your sights on something, challenging yourself to reach that destination. These journeys and experiences are sometimes spiritual, other times physical. In fact, lots of my dreams are about realising travel adventures – places I want to visit and experience. My bucket list seems to get longer rather than shorter as I let myself dream, despite travelling regularly and working my way through my list of dream destinations.
I am a planner. When I plan things they are more likely to happen. When I write goals and dreams down, I am more intent on realising them but also of holding myself accountable. A lot of my planning has been where my professional journey will take me, that bit of dreaming seems sometimes to be easier to control than our personal journeys. You can be more intentional about dreams that you can make happen, rather then try to will to happen.
I did a coaching course a few years back called Electric Woman, it was brilliant and required a lot of vulnerability and courage to fully commit to some of the discussions and follow up activities. The take away message for me was that I need to project manage my life like I project manage my career.
Dreams don’t arrive through our letter boxes and in our inboxes at random. Dreams are not realised through luck. Dreams need to stretch and challenge us, they need to test us and they require investment – emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically to realise.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”. Colin Powell
I have had coaching often through my life and my career to explore and unpack different situations. The coaching conversations normally arise from me experiencing some disruption or some sort of crisis, personal or professional, which has derailed me. Coaching enriches us and can empower us to fulfil our potential, to be purposeful and intentional in what we do, how we do it and why we do it. I need to remember this but on reflection think that perhaps my mindset is generally positive, optimistic and hopeful so I am self-coaching myself on a daily basis.
“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams”. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Maya Angelou tells us that we are the product of our dreams. She encourages us to not only follow our dreams but to pursue them. I love the active nature of this verb. I am in pursuit of personal and professional fulfilment. I am in pursuit of opportunities that will serve me, that are aligned with my vision and values. I am in pursuit of serving others.
“Dare to let your dreams reach beyond you”. Maya Angelou
Dreams can sometimes seem audacious. We can talk ourselves out of our dreams as we do not feel worthy, or we are not confident in our abilities to achieve them. Our deficit mindset identifies the barriers rather than the solutions, the impossibilities rather than the possibilities.
To start harnessing and harvesting our dreams we need to start by turning our can’ts into cans, and our dreams into plans. I intend to embrace being a dream-catcher for myself and others, to encourage others to realise their dreams as our dreams can become our realities if we are determined and committed to make them happen.