What’s a Dream

in rehearsal, wearing a maskPaula Josa-Jones

Many times in my life I’ve had a dream where I’m at the wheel of a car or a boat and it’s speeding towards something and I have no brakes, or I need to get out of There and I have no accelerator.  Ever been there? I also have the dream where I have a gun and the “bad guy” is coming at me and I can’t shoot – for whatever reason, I’m just not pulling the trigger. Been there too?

We all have dreams – things we want to do and have, fears we won’t, can’t get It. Like first day of school dreams or paper due, I find myself never knowing where I am, where I’m supposed to be – all that.

Some of the reticence we have is to keep us from jumping off cliffs, even when many others may be going down that path. Containment structures are not all bad – what keeps us polite is a good thing, what holds us back may not be.

It is really important to have quality control in our lives. Not just for what we consume, but for what we put out. The extreme is taking the quality out of control and holding ourselves back – fear is usually the driver there. A form of fear is comfort. We all know how hard it is to get out of a big over-stuffed armchair. It often feels like it’s imprisoning us in some weird way. A job can do the same thing. Is it too easy? The other people great to work with? Politically correct? These very proper and good things can be holding us back from our passionate selves, from what we really want to do because what we really want to do is scary.

Here’s the main rule: what you really want to do is always scary. It’s the biggest form of “calling the shot” that I can think of. When I was a kid I did a lot of target shooting. In my family no one cared what you hit, no one called a shot. I went shooting with a friend’s family and they asked me, “what are you aiming for?” I didn’t say it but my answer would have been, “whatever I can hit.”

Not a high aim there. No putting myself out. But in time I said what I was looking to hit and if I hit it I noticed I felt better and the praise or “better luck next time” I got wasn’t such a big deal. I am grateful to them and for their care of me, which often included what I took for criticism.

Just a slight tweak of words brought me a vehicle for self-esteem. The same as any sales pitch – whether it’s online or in an interview – a gesture, a choice of words and you are in or out. That starts in your mind-set – your head, your thinking process. The first rule here could be, “don’t believe everything you think.” And, most importantly, believe in yourself. Believe that you have something to say, to give. Then go for it.

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