How The Magic of Believing Can Kill Your Dream

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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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Believing Can Kill Your Dream

If your subconscious mind believes that you are not good enough (smart enough etc.) then you will self-sabotage your dream without even realizing it.

Your actions will reflect your belief of not being “enough.” You will not move forward. Your dream is dead before you begin.

Your core belief could be killing your dream.

When you write down what your dream is, what is the first thing you think of when you look at what you’ve written?

Catch that thought.

What is your belief about your dream?

If it is positive, then you can stop reading this article right now, but if it is negative, I invite you to try a little belief experiment with me.

Write your limiting belief down on another piece of paper and ask yourself the following:

1. Is this belief accurate?

Are you sure? Do you really accept it as truth? Is it your truth, or did you inherit this truth from someone else, like a parent, sibling, husband, or childhood friend? Keep asking yourself if it is really true.

2. Can you say the opposite?

Can you contradict the belief with another statement? For example, let’s say your belief is, “I am not smart enough.” Can you counter this statement with, “Maybe I am smart enough?” or “What if I am smart enough?” or “What if I am smarter than anyone who has ever attempted this before?”

3. Is this belief true about you all the time?

Does everyone you know (who loves you) believe this thought about you too, which can also be supported by overwhelming evidence that you are not enough? If your belief is that you are not smart enough to become a math professor, then have you flunked out of every math class you have ever attended? Did you flunk every single test? Is this fact, or is it just an opinion?

4. How does this belief help you?

How does believing this negative thought help you in your life? Does it prevent you from taking risks? Does it save you from being responsible? Does it protect you from feeling dumb, being rejected, or facing a fear? What is the benefit to you of holding on to this belief?

5. Say the belief out loud in a funny voice.

How does the belief sound to you now? What happens when you say it out loud in a child’s voice? How does this make you feel? Are you beginning to understand where this belief is coming from?

Many negative beliefs are irrational and ultimately false, yet, we treat them like the truth. It’s possible that this negative belief about your ability to execute your big dream was learned back when you were a small child, and this core belief might have protected you in some way.

Maybe you had an over-critical parent who would say cruel statements about your dream, and there’s still a part of you that is afraid to hear the same from someone new, who you currently perceive has the power to crush your dream.

Until you identify your negative beliefs surrounding your ability to move forward on your dream — then take these beliefs through the 5 steps listed above, the chances of you being able to make an accurate assessment of your abilities is very small, while the chance of never achieving your dream remains high.

A great practice is to recognize your limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of your dream by writing them down on separate pieces of paper. Walk them through the 5 steps, then set them aside for a few days.

Come back to the beliefs later and write, “Thank you for sharing, but what I really believe is …”

If the thought is still negative, then repeat the 5 steps until the point where you are able to take the negative belief and turn it around. An example would be to take the negative thought, “I’m not smart enough,” and turn it into, “Thank you for sharing, but what I really believe is that while I might not be as smart as some; I am definitely smarter than others, and I am definitely smart enough to …”

Keep working the statement until you can say, “I am smart enough to …”

Say it in the mirror every morning as you are brushing your teeth. Say it at night before you drift off to sleep. Before you know it, you will have changed a negative belief that is getting in the way of your dream.

Because the only person standing in the way of your dream is you.

What you are telling yourself about your ability to achieve your dream is what is killing it.

Change your belief and you will change everything.

Try it. It’s magic.


  • Lisa

    I am *SUCH* a strong believer (hmmm :) in the power of our own beliefs to either make a dream possible, and catapult us forward, or to cause us to engage in lots of self-sabotaging actions when underneath it all we do not think we deserve whatever it is we want, or do not think we’re good enough… Love these exercises to turn around limiting beliefs! Love you! And I believe in YOU! <3 xoxo