The Biggest Dream Mistake of All: Not Dreaming Big Enough

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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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The Biggest Dream Mistake of All: Not Dreaming Big Enough - Brian's football uniform

The biggest mistake dreamers make when they first set their site on their big dream is not dreaming big enough.

I know it’s hard to believe, but trust me, it’s true.

Take for example my son, Brian. Several years ago he set his sights on being a Varsity football player. He worked out all the time and set his dream intention of “being in games the entire time” as a Varsity player. To a young freshman, it seemed like such a big dream at the time.

Fast forward to his senior year… he is playing all the time. His dream came true. But his team is 0 & 2. He didn’t add the phrase “winning games” to that original dream of “being in games the entire time.” In his mind, of course he wanted to win – why even say it, so he focused on being able to start on the Varsity team and be a key player in all the games.

He’s become a fine athlete, but I smile every time I think about this dream of his, because this is exactly what many dreamers do when they visualize their dream — they don’t dream big enough. I now remind him to dream bigger.

Not Dreaming Big Enough: Dreams come a size too big

Because your dreams will come true as you want them to be.

When I first started 8 Women Dream, I visualized having 100,000 visits to this site. At the time, it seemed like such a huge amount of traffic for this top blog dream of mine. Now that we’ve passed 2.2 million views I can see that I didn’t dream big enough. The first dream goal was almost laughable.

If you would have told me when I was first starting out on my dream journey that this website would pass even a million views I would have thought you were crazy.

So why do we shortchange our dream visions?

There are several theories as to why people do this.

When you first begin your dream journey, you are a certain way in your world, but as you work on your dream, achieve small goals and overcome obstacles, you begin to change and grow as a person. The longer you work at your dream, the more you change and the stronger you become. By the time you get to where you thought you wanted to be, you are a much bigger person and your dream is no longer big enough for the new you.

You want more.

You want a bigger dream because now you see what’s possible because you have more confidence in your abilities to make things happen.

Sometimes you will look back on your dream journey and be stunned at all that you’ve accomplished. You will find it hard to believe that it seemed so simple.  When I look back on what 8 Women Dream was like in the beginning and what it is like today, I am in complete awe — even speechless (which if you knew me would understand how hard that is for me to be).

When you begin to dream big later in life, you are scared that if you pick too big of a dream and it doesn’t happen, you will be terribly disappointed or ashamed, so you whittle down your dream into a small, easy one so that you limit your potential embarrassment.

No harm. No foul.

This kind of thinking doesn’t get you anywhere in life. The real killer of your dream is not starting on it and not sticking with it through the long slog of challenges that will appear (it’s the universe’s way of testing how bad you want it) until it comes true.

Not Dreaming Big Enough: As a Man Thinketh

One way to test if your dream is big enough is if the idea of your dream becomming a reality scares you to death. Great fear is a sign that you are on the right dream track. Your dream should take you out of your comfort zone and help you grow as a person.

James Allen, wrote in, As A Man Thinketh:

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

So don’t make the mistake of not dreaming big enough.

Become what you were meant to be … what you are capable of being.



  • Bigger dreams – I was just thinking about this over the weekend. Staring at my dream board hanging in my bedroom I realized it doesn’t represent where I am now. Some of those goals have been met, others aren’t ties to my current dream path at all! What scares me to death? Triathlon :) Headed to that now – thanks for the reminder to be specific and dream BIG!

  • Remy Gervais

    I dont know if I dream too small or if I just dont know how to dream bigger.  Its not a fear thing.  I think its a “one foot in front of the other” thing…Im too tactical and practical.  so Thanks for the encouragement and I will look for something that scares me to death in a good way. I mean, speaking on stage in front of thousands of people scares me to death AND I have no desire or dreams to do that….so, you mean….something I want AND scary.  Hmm…What do I want?  Great question!  xo Rem