Get to Know Your Inner Doubter
Do you ever feel like there are multiple people living inside your head, each with a different voice and opinion? Are parts of you saying “yes,” while other parts are holding you back? Hearing voices doesn’t make you crazy—it just makes you human. We all have a cast of characters living inside of us, and at different times we might be run by one voice over another. Unfortunately, sometimes those characters don’t agree with each other.
When it comes to making your dreams come true, there are four particular aspects (i.e., the characters above) of the self that you need to become familiar with: the Dreamer, the Doubter, the Realist, and the Visionary. The Doubter voice is often heard saying such things as, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” If you were to really crank the volume up on this voice, it might say, “Are you out of your mind?”
The Realist says, “Be realistic…” If we turn the voice of the Doubter down a bit, it becomes the voice of the Realist. Realists aren’t bad; as a matter of fact, they are important. However, if you are overly realistic, you might kill the passion around your dream.
The Dreamer says, “What if…?” The Dreamer imagines what might be possible, believes in the dream, and finds creative outlets. The Dreamer is an opportunist, always open to new potential and new opportunities.
The Visionary is the voice that says, “Anything is possible; let’s dream big!” If you turn up the voice of the Dreamer, it becomes the Visionary. We’ll be returning to this voice in a later article, so keep it in mind as we continue our series.
For now, however, let’s focus on the voice that can most easily sabotage your dreams: the Doubter. When you decide to pursue your dreams, the Dreamer is often gung-ho, while the Doubter provides a laundry list of concerns and issues that only serve to hold you back. I’m sure you’ve encountered each of them at different moments throughout your life, and probably even as you’ve participated in the exercises in this series. In fact, you’ve probably encountered both at once, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re having a heated debate – even now.
Learn From Your Doubter
Instead of letting the Doubter ruin your dreams, how about actually learning from your Doubter! For many Dream University ® Certified Dream Coach ® clients, this is their favorite session. Our obstacles can often get in the way of our Dreamer and our goals, and this step helps to get rid of those obstacles. This step gives you tools and methodologies to help you do just that.
I have spent 30 years of my life developing this doubt removal system, and it absolutely works. I’ve seen tremendous success with myself and with some of our Dream University ® Certified Dream Coach ® clients, and here’s what I know. If you have not dealt with your own doubt and you meet another doubter on the road, their doubt will magnify yours and vice versa. But if you’ve dealt with your own doubt and meet another doubter on the road, by contrast, it becomes an opportunity to deepen your commitment and your conviction to your dream. When you develop the capacity to talk to anyone, anytime, anyplace, regardless of what they think or say about your dream, you’re going to have a whole new set of muscles and capacity.
Now, the voice of the Doubter is interesting. Often people will casually say, “Well, I just want to ignore that.” Well, if you ignore it, it becomes like a screaming child: it gets so loud that it’s all that you can hear, or it becomes so soft that it will unconsciously sabotage your dreams. If we turn the voice of the Doubter down, it becomes the Realist. And the Realist wants to know what the plan is, where are you going to get the time and where are you going to get the money?
The Doubter Becomes The Realist
While the questions above are valid, in the early days of dreaming we don’t want to be overly realistic too soon because that will squelch the passion. If you’re overly realistic in looking at your checkbook for evidence of whether or not your dream is a good idea, you’re going to compromise the dream down to what you realistically think is possible based on how much money you have. Still, it’s not all bad. The ability to hear from the Doubter before you tone it down to be the voice of the Realist is a great tool because your Doubter will give you your list of obstacles. Once you have those, then you can overcome them!
Every obstacle is either an internal job, a limiting belief (which I’m going to talk about in the next step) or something that requires a strategy or a plan. When you really get to see that the only thing that’s stopping you from achieving your dream is some small belief that you don’t even necessarily have anymore, that’s a game changer. The Doubter is not something to fear; it’s the voice of prudence, and it has insight and wisdom. But we want to put it in its appropriate place as part of your dream team rather than as something stopping you. It shouldn’t be put in the role of visionary, because it’s going to have its doubts and fears and make your dream smaller. Still, it is a useful component when deciding what obstacles to be concerned about.
While obstacles are real, sometimes we misperceive them, making them much worse than they are. The number one way that we sabotage our dreams is by projecting our fears and doubts into the dream through three little words: “But what if?” But what if this is a bad idea? But what if I can’t really make a living doing this? Then, every time you move towards your dream, you’re also moving towards your doubt.
Deal With Your Doubter Exercise
When you think about your dream, open, just for a short period of time, the voice of the Doubter and see if you can come up with a list of obstacles specific to that dream. Write it out in bullet form, go through it intuitively, and next to each one write down if it is a belief (internal obstacles) or external obstacle that requires a strategy. Some people like to add them up. Do you have more beliefs (B’s) or more strategies (S’s)? This is your new “B.S. List”!
In the next Dream University ® Dream Coach ® Process Step, we’re going to talk about your beliefs, a very fundamental and critical part to making your dreams come true.