Your dreams might scare people. Your passion might overwhelm those who have yet to journey into the realm of possibility. Your huge heart, courageous words, and wild life may cause others to gawk and point. And this is exactly where you want to be.
If onlookers are not saying, “You’re nuts!” then your dreams may need a booster shot.
Those who will try to stop you (are the ones you'd least expect)
In CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe, the youngest sister, Lucy, showed the greatest courage, but all her older siblings tried to stifle it. This is the way the world works.
In the Bible, Joseph shared his dream with his brothers, and what did they do? They “graciously” threw him into a well, leaving him for dead.
How about these dreamers? How were they received? Abraham Lincoln and his “ridiculous” mission to abolish slavery? David and his “pebble” as he faced the giant? Tim Tebow and his “self-promoting” football career? These are world changers and game players.
They showed up, gave all they had, and put it on the line in spite of the nay-sayers and finger-pointers. And despite all setbacks, they leaped for their dreams.
How I took the leap
Sometimes, my dreams scare me. Sometimes, I hear in my own head a voice saying, “Yes Jenny, you ARE nuts!” But somewhere, I crossed the line of comfort, ease, and predictability and chose to live a bigger life.
There is more here, and I will give each day, everything I have, and not look back. (Okay, I have looked back, and I’ve even listened to some of the voices in the crowd, and I bounce back a whole lot faster than I used to).
We chose adoption even though we already had three biological children. It was risky and began as foster care, so we didn’t even know if they would be “ours” or not. But we felt called, so we took the risk anyway, despite the voices of opposition:
- “They already have three biological kids!”
- “Why on Earth would they bring kids with ‘issues’ into their home?”
- “Three year-old twins… seriously?!”
This month, our twins — yes, our twins — celebrate their eighth birthday this month, and their third year of adoption into our family.
The lesson? Risk pays, and it costs. But it’s always worth it.
The risk of sharing your story
We decided to share our stories, three of us from very different backgrounds: a pastor’s wife, an ex-convict and former addict, a small business entrepreneur.
We risked by telling more than many were comfortable with, by “airing our dirty laundry.” We started a blog and life coaching business. And again the naysayers' voices rang out:
- “Can’t you keep that stuff quiet?”
- “Do you really need to be so honest, so open?”
- “No one wants to hear about your addiction, abortion, or abuse.”
We chose to write a book, the story of identical twins: one caught in addiction and the other trying to save her.
We chose to enlarge our circle of influence. The other day, we spoke with a man who asked us to speak at a four-day conference next year — in Africa! All because we hung our laundry out where others could see it, and we didn’t worry about what they’d think.
We stepped into our dreams and believed that by living in more boldness, that even more would show up. And it has. And it will.
Don't listen to the voices telling you no
So when they point their fingers at you, the game players and world changers that you are, do this:
- Choose more joy and less fear.
- Choose deeper passion and less discouragement.
- Choose bigger dreams and less complacency.
And when they don’t understand, live in the truth, and hope that one day, they too will take their dreams off the shelf and join you. You never know what you might start.
What helps you hold fast to your dreams when opposition comes your way? Share in the comments.