I read an article on underdreaming yesterday. It is nice to have a name for something that I have always put down to a lack of ambition or a shit imagination. What shall I do? Oh I don’t know, whatever comes along… What’s the dream? Best not think about that because there is nothing worse than the gnaw of disappointment. Oh yes, apart from the sticky shame of failure or the anticipated humiliation of “who does she think she is…”
Apparently this is not unusual.
In a post entitled ‘Overcoming Underdreaming’, Lissa Rankin lists seven “barriers to dreaming big”, almost all of which I can identify with in some way or another. There’s the practical thing (“I’d like to be a journalist but, really, it’s a declining industry and I should have made my mark a long time ago, plus I just can’t see a logical way in….”); the undeserving thing (“because who am I, really, to come up with the next big thing and, should I actually make something magic happen, would I spend the next year waiting to be caught out”); and, yes, I’m still a little hung up on “but what will everyone else think”. I tend to be impressed when people stretch themselves but, for some reason, the same does not seem to apply if I flip it.
I could drill deep down into the origins of this condition (a stinging rejection at 12 that still feels red-faced hot; the echo of schoolgirl bitchiness; a tiring uphill crawl towards self worth) but I am far more interested in the fact that underdreaming seems reversible –
And, it starts with practicing dreaming big.
I have had a half finished post sitting in my drafts folder for the past 6 months. It is called ‘Shooting for the stars’ and tapers off at “and, so, if I was to shoot for the stars then I would…..”
But then that doesn’t normally put me off….
So, in the interests of experimentation, I am going to start flexing that dreaming big muscle, as recommended. I have roped in a dreaming big buddy, pledged to dream regularly and, although I feel a little bashful, am going to see how high I can aim –
Global entrepreneurship, madcap adventures and change the world book writing, here I come… 😉
– because there is nothing more frustrating than realising that you are standing in your own way. Nothing more disempowering than having a great idea – and then smashing the excitement before it’s had time to bloom. Nothing more depressing than dumbing down your dreaming and then looking back, ten years later, and wishing that you’d shot for the stars, because you might just have acheived your wildest dreams –