"Beware the Dream-Takers"

By Jen Timmins

Click below to listen to this blog

I was at a podcasting workshop yesterday, hosted by Yenny Stromgren of Noosa Stories. Near the end of the workshop Yenny talked about things to be aware of as we attempt a new goal. One stood out to me.


As the name suggests these are things in your life that if you’re not aware, will rob you of your dreams and desires. I was so impressed that Yenny chose to include this in her workshop. Just think she’s got a room full of inspired, hopeful people who are eager to put themselves out there in a new way.

People who have a spark in them and want to create and give something to their community and beyond. People who are innovative and are spending their time and money on Sunday afternoon to learn a new skill. Imagine how devastating it would be for any of these people to have this spark in them and have it put out by these dream-takers. Tom O’Toole originally used the term in his memoir. In his description:

“There’s heaps of dream takers that tell you it can’t be done, our mates, bank managers, accountants, even our partners say, that’s too big a dream. Beware the dream-takers, they’re like bloody mosquitoes, they’re everywhere”.

I’ve had it happen again and again in my life. Been robbed of a dream, or an idea that to someone else seems unimpressive or that it’s better to do what everyone else is doing and ‘play it safe’. More than that, my biggest dream-takers have been my own fears and inadequacies. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to following our dreams. The thoughts and feelings of not being smart enough, creative enough, rich enough, or just simply not being good enough.

And what happens when you quieten your own internal dream-takers and achieve success? Our society can be really good at keeping us small. In Australia, we call it the Tall Poppy Syndrome:

A perceived tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable wealth or prominence in public life. (Dictionary- Australia).

All through my life I’ve seen that when someone excels or goes after something impressive or takes a bold chance, people feel it’s their duty to give them a reality check (and let’s be honest it’s not a reality where wonderful things are possible).

Wouldn’t you rather believe that everyone is capable of greatness? Wouldn’t you rather see people achieve their goals and feel inspired to do the same?

Wouldn’t you prefer to believe that if we can dream it, it’s possible to create it?

What would start to change in your world if you believed this to be true?

Things would change, wouldn’t they?! You might have to step up, change, transform, let go and grow. But as scary as the unknown of change can be, it’s a whole lot more appealing than living an unfulfilled life. Howard Thurman said:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Imagine if more people were encouraged and supported to work towards what inspires them. Maybe we’d have happy, content, generous, inspired people everywhere! (Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!)

What would life look like for you if you were surrounded by dream-givers?

Do you have a dream in you that’s asking you to pay attention?

What I know is, if you have a spark and a dream in you, it won’t leave you alone. It’ll keep whispering in your ear, tugging at your heart and tapping you on the shoulder until you give it your attention.

Let me guess, you do have a dream in you that won’t leave you alone.

Hot tip: Your dreams were made for you.

They are unique to you. Only you know what sits in your soul. It could be travel, a career change, to start a non-profit organisation, to connect with a new community, to write a book, to volunteer. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. If it makes money or it’s for fun. What would you go after if you knew you were fully supported?

This is about feeling safe and encouraged to show up for yourself and your dreams and know that you have people by your side who will encourage you. Your team of dream-givers! The people who will cheer you on every step of the way, through the successes and the failures, who know that your thoughts will be your biggest dream-taker and reality-check, so they don’t need to be.

Can you be this for the people in your life? Will you be a dream-giver for your friends, family and community, who you know better than anyone else? We can often see the amazing qualities in others before they see it themselves. Share this with them. Tell them why you think they are amazing and capable and all the great that you see.

The world needs more encouragers. Dream-givers. People with attitudes that say, “go for it!” and “I’ll back you the whole way”. Wouldn’t that be amazing to have more people following their dreams and doing what they love. That’s a community I want to be a part of.

Got a topic you'd like me to write about? Got a question for me? Click here to get in touch.