Why Are You Afraid To Dream Big?

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Big dreaming isn’t as hard as you might think; it’s how you think about your dream that makes it hard.

It has been estimated that the human brain, on average, thinks 60,000 thoughts per day. Your conscious mind is logical and analytical, while your subconscious mind is illogical. Yet most of your behavior is determined by the subconscious mind. Since the subconscious mind stores all your life’s memories and experiences, sometimes it feeds you thoughts that are no longer true, but you allow your thoughts to influence your behavior anyway.

And this behavior can get in the way of your dream.

This weekend I put the final touches on my e-book “Find Your Dream“; uploaded it to E-junkie, created a Google Merchant account and prepped the book for Amazon. It’s been a long process filled with many hours in front of a computer, and little sleep.

But how did I go from someone whose thyroid was kicking her butt – to someone who launches, manages and markets a top blog, launches e-publications, and gives inspirational speeches?

Even though these were all a part of my original dream, if you had told me everything I had to do to get here, I might not have started in the first place. If I had listened to my fears, along with the voice in my head telling me I was crazy to try this, there would be no e-book to help you find your dream.

How did I do it?

I took baby steps, but I did take steps. I made mistakes and corrected them. And most importantly, I took my dream on one step at a time.

But there’s really more to it than this. My back was up against the wall and I was hungry to change. I like how Tony Robbins explains it best

People are motivated to change and take action when:

1. They hang around people who are doing better, who are also hungry for change, or

2. They have a big problem to solve (bills, loss of work etc), or

3. They are excited or passionate about something.

Your success in creating change in your life is based on your beliefs, and how you work what I call the “Success Square Dance” based on Tony Robbins explanation as to why we do the things we do.

The Success Square Dance –

Your potential leads you to take certain actions, that bring about certain results, which validate your beliefs, thus reinforcing your potential.

Let’s say, you have the potential to be a famous author; you take action by writing a book and pitching it to 120 publishers, but the result is you get turned down by all 120 publishers; therefore your belief begins to change from “I can do this!” to “I don’t have what it takes to be a famous writer”; which causes you to take less action by not submitting to more publishers; which gets you no more  results, further reinforcing your new belief, which further limits your potential.

This Square Dance leads to non-action and low self-esteem.

Now let’s say you’re Jack Canfield . . .

He has the potential to be a famous author; he takes action by writing a book, then pitching it to 120 publishers; which gets the result of being turned down 120 times, which DOES NOT ALTER HIS BELIEF system because he firmly believes in his potential; undaunted he continues to take action to find the right publisher, which eventually leads him to the results he wants by publishing the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, which becomes a best-selling novel.

His Square Dance leads to success and a continued positive self-image, which leads to more success.

Can you see that it’s what you do with your results that determine your beliefs in your potential?  Your thoughts about what is happening to you determine the outcome of  your “Success Square Dance”.

How do you change your beliefs, if old tapes from your childhood are preventing you from moving through your Square Dance with ease?  You need to find an approach to counter your negative beliefs, and counter them in a way that is completely individual to you.

As you work through my e-book “Find Your Dream” and take notes on the things you love (or once loved doing)  pay attention to your list – because any one of those passions that don’t end up as your dream choice can help you when your beliefs begin to mess with your potential.  For example, I love to dance – love it.  When my web dream is making me think crazy thoughts threatening my potential, I attend 8 Women Dreamer Laurie’s NIA class and dance my heart out.  Doing something I love frees me from the limiting beliefs that I am temporary experiencing so I am able to stay in the game.

For you it might be an inspirational speaker at a church service, or hiking trails near your home, going for a bicycle ride, or playing on the floor with your kids and pets.  I have found reading an inspirational book helps too (I list several in the back of my e-book that I recommend).  Getting my hands into the dirt of my garden lifts my spirits, or spending time with positive, uplifting friends can change my thoughts surrounding what may be happening in my life.

Once you’re sure you have your dream idea be sure to keep the list of the other items you love, so you can use them whenever your dream stalls, your belief system begins to tank, and you need a lift.  Think of them as your ultimate dream Square Dance partner!

Ask yourself what limiting beliefs you need to change to create the kind of commitment to your dream that your dream deserves.

I know you can do it!

Now go out and make your dream happen this week.


Catherine HughesCatherine’s dream is to be a motivator and published writer. She is testing her theories on motivation with this blog and the seven other women who have volunteered to be a part of her dream project. Catherine also writes about her life as a mom at the blog A Week In The Life Of A Redhead. She would also like to be invited to speak at TED as the next Erma Bombeck. Catherine posts on Monday mornings.

  • Jackie

    You mention such a great things here and it is always pleasure to read. I always learn from you.

  • Thank you for this perfect reminder, Cath, that the only person stopping me from moving forward with my dream is ME.

    I have the power to make new tapes that play in my head, especially now that I have found this and other support over the internet to show me that I am not my past, yet I am able to use the pain of the rough childhood I experienced and turn it into power to catapult my dream into reality. If I was unwilling to cash it in as a teenager, perhaps there is a reason I am here.

    I will apply this advice today, with gratitude and move forward:)

    Thank you,


  • Toni Schram

    I get many ideas for my dream when I’m doing things I love: gardening, photography, people watching, playing with my dogs. It settles my mind and lets my imagination work it’s

    Congratulations on becoming a e-book author!

    Love ya-


  • Rayne

    I love this post! Such great information and encouragement!!! I know I will come back and review it again – when I need to give myself a boot in the backside!

  • Lisa Powell, author

    Cath I am SO RIDICULOUSLY PROUD OF YOU!!! Seriously! You DID it! You’re DOING IT! and you’re making it possible for all of US to truly live our dreams. And inspiring countless others along the way. <3

    Fabulous post, right on target, so clear and well-written and inspiring - one of your best (amongst hundreds of inspiring posts!)

    So proud to be a part of this team! I love you!

  • Laurie

    It is quite a ride. 2 of mine are out on their own and I’m still on the bus! I find my kids to be quite an inspiration as well as a pain in the ass….Life Is Good! Congrats on the book.
    Love, L

  • Catherine Hughes, Editor & Chief

    Me too.

    My son Brian is in the middle of project time for school. I need to write a post about how to launch an ebook while helping a teenager with honors classes – lordy!

    What a ride!


  • Remy, Photographer & CEO of Cornerstone Creative

    Awesome! i want one!!! The square dance…love it. Looking forward to what the week brings! xox Rem