Do you have a dream? You know, the one you repeatedly come back to like an irresistible lover? If you do, why aren’t you living it? Now, I’m not accusing. When it comes to my clients—and even myself—there is a common thing that stops us all sometimes. It leads to a racing heart, sweating palms, and dreams on hold.
Quite simply, it’s fear.
You, me, and everyone alive faces it. Fear is part of our nature. It’s the instinct that kept early man and woman safe from animal predators. And it serves us well today when it comes to things like being confronted with a rattlesnake, seeing an out of control car racing in our direction, having a gun aimed at our face, or being in the path of a tornado. All of those are real and dangerous situations. Only a fool would face them without fear. But there’s another kind of fear.
I’ve heard defined by this useful acronym:
This kind of fear isn’t helpful. It keeps you living a safe life, preventing you from doing things that tread outside your comfort zones.
For me, this fear came in the form of being afraid to speak up in a crowd. I thought it was a real fear. I so dreaded the thought of speaking out in public that I sought any way possible to avoid it. But was it really a fear? Was it a real danger? Any rational person would say, “Of course not.” It was a textbook example of “False Events Appearing Real” thinking. But that part of my brain, the part that held on to a belief that something bad would happen if I spoke up, believed this was a real fear. And it kept me quiet. I might not have been able to turn this around if it weren’t for my dreams.
By understanding several dreams that pertained to this issue, I was able to see that my concerns were all about worrying about something that hadn’t happened and probably never would. By making a conscious effort to use this knowledge gained from my dreams, I was able to get my rational, waking mind to believe it.
How? By deeply examining my public speaking fear.
When I studied my fear closely, I realized it was the result of something from my past and not part of who I am now. It helped me see how false my fear was. I asked myself, “Would someone come up from behind and kill me if I opened my mouth? Would everyone else in the room pounce on me? Would I be struck by lightning or shrink into a tiny speck of dust or any of a number of other horrible things?” Of course not! The more I concentrated on this “new” knowledge, the more I saw how public speaking fear had no place in my life now.
The proof? Several weeks ago, I went to a seminar and was the first person to speak up. And you know what? There were no lightning bolts, no attacks, and no sudden death. I spoke my peace and that was it.
If you find yourself worrying about false events that appear real to you, the answer to letting go of the fear may lie in your dreams.
Here’s to your dreams!