Are Your Small Dreams Holding You Back?

The other night after having dinner over at my parents place my Mom began to share with Vanessa and me one important truth she wished she had known when she was younger. It was something I have now heard from a few sources and need to apply to my life.

My Mom and me

My Mom and me

As she sipped her wine she shared about her success and how she had achieved everything she had set out to when she was younger. When she was younger she wanted to own her own salon and own a house. Having grown up working in the fields as a child and never having much that was success in her mind.

Looking back now she says she wishes she had desired more! Her vision was too small. It was what she had faith for at the time but she never adjusted that dream as she went along. She encouraged us to dream bigger; to believe for more than what we can currently imagine.

She was trying to get us to take off the limitations we had set on our own lives.

Tiny Dreams

My Mother is a very successful woman by just about anyone’s standards. She has achieved much in her life but she knows she could have done more. Perhaps if she had taken more time to dream bigger dreams as her smaller dreams became reality or if she had a person like herself to tell her to dream bigger when she was younger she could have done even more with her carrier and her life.

The more I thought about this the more I wondered about the cause and effect our thoughts and personal beliefs have on what we accomplish in this life. We tend to get exactly what we expect out of life. I’ve seen this to be true in many of my friends lives and my own (for good and for bad).

We rise to the level of success we believe we can achieve.

Dreaming For More

The more I think about it the more I have to ask myself: How many of my own dreams are too small? What is it that holds me back? In other words, as I come near the end of my carrier and look back, will I wish I had dreamt for more?

Here are 3 things that will limit your ability to dream big and ultimately hold you back in life:

  1. What I believe about myself. This may be the biggest limiting factor of what we can achieve in life. We worry about the talent we don’t have, the money we don’t have, the time we don’t have and think those things can limit God.
    When did God start choosing the most qualified person to accomplish a task?
    Think about Abraham and God’s promise to him. God had to take him outside 3 times (that we know of) and show him the stars in the sky to help Abraham to dream bigger. (Gen. 15:5, Gen. 22:17, Gen. 26:4)
    Yes, it was impossible!
    Yes, Sarah was beyond child bearing years!
    Yes, God still made it happen!
    If you are able to accomplish your dreams without a miracle you are still dreaming too small!
    Here are some beliefs we have that limit our dreams:

    • “There’s no use asking. He’s too busy to meet with me.
    • “I don’t know where to begin”
    • “I’m too old”
    • “I’m too young”
    • “I’m not that smart”
    • “I come from a broken home”
  2. What I Believe about others. This may be sneakiest belief that keeps us from dreaming big. We all know that we are connected and our success will be determined by how others react to our dreams. Will people support our dreams or will they tear them down?
    You must always be careful who you share your dreams with. sharing them with the right people will bring encouragement and strength. sharing them with the wrong people will bring doubt and resistance.
    Remember the story of Joseph and his dream? He was a young man with a dream that one day he would be the patriarch of the family and that his brothers and even his mother and father would one day bow down to him. (Gen. 37)
    They fought to destroy his dream but God made sure it still come to pass. In the end it was their resistance to the dream that began the chain of events that made it happen.
    Other than telling the wrong people about our dreams here are a few other false beliefs:

    • “that will hinder us from achieving our dreams:
    • “that person is too successful to meet with a nobody like me.”
    • “that person is too far beneath me to offer me any advice.”
    • ”that girl is too pretty to date a guy like me.”
  3. What I believe about the world. This one is probably the most obvious and hardest to get over. I hate to say this but I know people who, no matter what, see the bad in a situation and believe it will happen to them. It’s sad to say but more often than not, it does.
    I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if they began to look for the good that could happen in that same situation and believe for that.
    Proverbs 23:7 makes it clear that as we believe in our hearts, that’s how we truly are.
    If we believe we are the world’s punching bag, that is exactly what we will be.
    If however we believe we are successful and blessed beyond measure, guess what? We will be blessed beyond measure.
    Here are some common examples of beliefs about the world that keep our dreams small:

    • “You can’t be successful without compromising your integrity.”
    • “We are in a recession, you can’t make money right now”
    • “Bad things always happen to good people”
    • “Prius drivers never pay attention to other drivers on the road.”

Dreaming Bigger

Ultimately, all of these false beliefs we use to limit what we hope and dream for are carefully crafted lies. We use them as excuses to hold ourselves back and keep from getting hurt through potential failure or taking risk.

We all have impossible dreams in our hearts. We know what they are even if we are scared to admit it. I’m here to tell you, they are in your heart because God put them there. That impossible dream is the dream you must pursue if you want to live a life of faithfulness to God. It is a promise He has given you and every time you move toward that dream you are taking a step of faith and showing Him you trust Him to do His part.

Pursuing your impossible dream is how you walk by faith.

Question: What is a belief you struggle with that keeps you from dreaming big? (I’ll go first) You can leave a comment by clicking here.