I Shoot Down My Own Dreams: Why Do I Do That?


“I know one of your weaknesses,” he said.

After sharing what I believe are some of his strengths and weaknesses, I asked for my sweetheart to share his thoughts about me.

“You shoot everything down.”

Now you may be thinking I’m that person who nobody wants to go to with their idea or suggestion because I instantly find everything that’s wrong with it, but that’s not true. You see, my sweetie wasn’t talking about how I am in relationship with others, he was talking about how I am with myself. I shoot down my own dreams; why do I do that?

How he put it, I build this large, beautiful, state-of-the-art airplane. You can tell much time, thought, and consideration has been put into it. I bring it out for it’s grand debut, and then, “bang, bang, bang, bang,” he says—I shoot it down. Before it even has a chance to take off, I pull out my own guns and shoot down my own dreams.

And while his sound effects did make me chuckle, this weakness he described did not come as a surprise to me. I know I do it. But why? Why is it that most of my big dreams and grand ideas don’t even make it out of my mind and on to paper? And if they make it on to paper, they still rarely come out of my mouth. And if by some miraculous occasion I decide to share an idea (out loud, with another human), it is instantly met with uncertainty and doubt. Not from the person who is hearing it but from myself.

Out of fear, I shoot down my own big dreams before anyone can do it for me.

Fear of rejection—that my idea won’t be accepted.

Fear of failure—cue my perfectionist problems.

Fear of feeling stupid—what if they laugh at my dream?

Fear of not being good enough—my ideas are never good, big, or godly enough for myself, others, or God. By whose standards, you may ask… the ones I put on myself.

Fear of not being in God’s will—my deep desire to walk in God’s will has me paralyzed, not moving at all.

Out of fear, I shoot down my own big dreams before anyone can do it for me.

In the midst of all this fear, here is my reminder to myself, and I hope in some way it encourages you too:

Big dreams take big risk, courage, and effort. They cause you to be vulnerable, open, and in a position to be let down. And you will fail at something at some point. But if you want to not only dream big but live big, and see your grand ideas come to life—at least some of them at some point— you have to give your dream a chance to fly. Maybe it won’t even make it off the ground, but at least you didn’t shoot it down before you tried.

So, if you’re anything like me and shoot down your dreams, I challenge you to do something. It doesn’t have to be your biggest dream or grandest idea, but choose to see something through, simply for the practice of facing whatever fears you have and not letting them win this time.

It’s a big risk, but you’ll never know if the flight is worth it until you fire up that plane and see how it flies.

. . .

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

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