Tom Leu

“We are all either building our own dreams or building somebody else’s.” ~ Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

Distance yourself from dream-stealers… you know who they are. Those people who take energy and inspiration from you rather than give it to you. You don’t have to go far to find them. They may be family, friends, colleagues, or simple acquaintances.

It’s tricky because dream-stealing often comes disguised as good advice; you know the… ” for your own good” bullshit speeches.

There are two types of dream-stealers… those who view you as:

  1. a Nut – These people truly feel that your endeavors, undertakings, plans, and goals may be unrealistic or are unattainable. They think you’re crazy for attempting to attain your type of goals. In an effort to be protective, they try to kill your enthusiasm in the name of helping you avoid future disappointments. Though their intentions may be good, the poisonous message they’re sending is that you aren’t good enough. Only you can decide that.
  2. a Threat – These people cannot, or will not support you completely because you and your ambitions make them feel bad about themselves. You are a mirror to their own perceived inadequacies, lack of action, or accomplishments. There are strong elements of competition, jealousy, and envy present. They often react uninterested and/or apathetic to your efforts because you are inadvertently calling theirs (or the lack thereof) into question. These are the worst kind of dream-stealers (and often the most prevalent), who need to be avoided at all costs.

**Remember, these two types describe how dream-stealers view YOU. This is just a symptom of their problem. The real problem, and their source of discontent is primarily about THEM, not you. Take some comfort and be confident in that knowledge.

If you can’t turn them off, at least try to turn them down. Where and when feasible, put some space between you and go your own way. Or to put it another way:

“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the f*ck you were gonna do anyway.” ~ Robert Downey Jr.

Stay tuned-in…

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3 thoughts on “Dream-Stealers

  1. Question: does the avoidance of dream stealers involve inclusion of affirmers? Of course you have to avoid puppets who will just parrot back whatever you want them to, but in the interest of growth and development, how is the best way to foster new ideas? And by “you” I mean “me” of course 🙂

  2. This is a great distinction, and worthy addition to this piece Sara. 100% agree and condone also avoiding (at least minimizing) the “yes men/women/people” in our lives. I think one could argue that these types could be equally, if not more damaging that the D.S.ers. Growth is not possible when everything is good and smooth and warm and fuzzy, at least not in my experience. Risking a cliche here, but whatever…

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~ Helen Keller

    So, I encourage the “bad news” from those I respect, and who’s opinion I value. I may or may not agree, or act on their perspective, but if it keeps me thinking; keeps me sharp; keeps me re-validating my perspective for truth and value, then I’m all the better for it…

  3. Excellent clarification. Thank you for that. Now the biggest challenge for me seems to be managing the “bad news” aka the painful truth. Makes me think of your ‘longest journey’ post. Logically, I know the growth is ultimately good for me. But emotionally, sometimes it’s really hard to maintain the distinction between self-aware and self-conscious.

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