Often when we get in touch with our most heartfelt and
hopeful dreams, what may also surface are some of
There is an important relationship between (what I refer to
as) the Dreamer and the Doubter that lives inside each of
us. It is useful and necessary to develop skills for dealing
with our doubt; otherwise your dreams could very well get
The Dreamer inside of us encourages us with thoughts and
comments like, “Yes you can. Go for it. You
have what it takes.” By contrast, the internal Doubter voice may
challenge and confront with comments such as, “What are you
thinking? You’re too old (or too young), you don’t know what
you’re doing, and you don’t have the money or experience.”
If we turn the voice of the Doubter down it becomes the
voice of the Realist, the part of us that wants to know what
we intend to do. Most often, the Realist wants to know where
you will find the time and money, it wants to know your
plan, but be careful.
Early on, you may not have all the details figured out, so
if you go to strategic planning too soon, your need to be
realistic may have you compromise on your idea before
you fully explore what else is possible.
Consider this. If all parts of us carry wisdom, perhaps even
the Doubter can provide insight. If you interviewed this
part of yourself, literally asked about its concerns
and issues about your dreams, you might get some useful
information. For example, my own Doubter often offers
thought-provoking questions and prudence.
Your Doubter could inform you of potential obstacles related
to your dreams. Obstacles come primarily in two forms. They
are either limiting beliefs, something that requires
internal reflection or that you hold to be true.
Alternatively, obstacles can also be something more external
that require a plan, such as borrowing money or taking
For example, if your dream is to write a book but you don’t
know how, you might seek assistance or learn how to do it
yourself. But if what you are feeling is fear of failure,
which is usually more of a limiting belief, something going
on inside of you that only you can change or affect.
Of course, once you identify what you’re afraid of, a strategy
like working with a coach or a daily practice of writing might get you over
it. Some obstacles can be both belief and strategy.
Wherever there is an obstacle, you can manage it. But if you
don’t know there are obstacles present you may get blind-
sided or sabotage your dream.
It is incredibly beneficial to hear from your Doubter. Be
interested in what it has to say. Pull out a journal or pad
of paper and explore what your real, imagined or potential
obstacles may be. Knowledge is a powerful thing.
Most people either ignore or get consumed by their doubt. I
assure you, once you become aware that there is a Doubter inside of you
that is not the enemy, you are much less likely to be stopped by it.
Confusion and procrastination are often signs that the Doubter is
present but not being acknowledged. How do you feel when you are trying to
express and not being heard? I suggest you watch for signs; then, stop and
Once you are able to learn from your doubt, other people’s
doubts will have less impact on you. How might your life
change if other people’s negative comments only deepened
your conviction to your dream?
Once you deal with your own doubt you will no longer put the
beliefs of others over your own. This is a sign of
transformation as you become more inner-referenced. This can
lead to deeper self-trust, which in turn will enable you to
take greater risks and dream bigger dreams!