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Barriers to Chasing Dreams

When I was little, maybe 6 years old, I loved thinking about what my future career would be... and boy did I have some high hopes for myself!

"I want to be a lawyer and a singer. Oh, and a hairstylist" I would say. My plan was to do my clients hair WHILE giving them legal advice, and on the weekends, I would sing. I'm still not sure how this plan didn't come to fruition.

Well, like many of us, those dreams changed. I got older and discovered I really wanted to become a writer. I loved writing- writing fictional stories, writing letters to my friends (often ending in "g2g", "LYLAS") and I especially loved writing in my journal. I remember a teacher telling me that I was a talented writer with a wild imagination.

It was also around this time I began to believe that I wasn't as smart as some of my friends. I wasn't in the "smart kid" classes, I always misspelled words on spelling tests, and math was basically a foreign language I didn't want to learn (they lost me when they started adding the alphabet to math). In fact, if I'm honest, I cheated my way through many math classes. I began to feel really unintelligent and inadequate and would come home and tell my parents exactly what I thought I was- stupid.

(I also have a memory of a boy at school making fun of me and he said "Kelli, how do you even spell stupid, and I said "that's easy, S-T-U-P-E-D." Yeah, I showed him).

So, I stopped writing for basically 15 years. Why would I waste my time when I'm not good at it? No one cares what I have to write. It seemed as silly to write as it did to simultaneously be a lawyer-singer-hairstylist.

Humans. We have this tendency to accept lies about ourselves so quickly. The lie pops up, we grab it, stamp it as "true", then place it in our brains where it repeats itself over and over, in every situation, all the time.

What's tragic is how quickly believing these lies can change the trajectory of our lives.

Would I have grown up to be a lawyer-singer-hairstylist? It's unlikely. A professional writer? Probably not. But what if? Who knows?

Allowing the lies to define us can become a detriment to following our dreams. The lies seem too true, too big, too scary to take a risk and put what we have out in the world.

What passions and dreams are on your heart that you aren't chasing because you are believing lies? Do you feel you aren't smart enough, not talented enough, not qualified enough for that dream?

Perhaps it's time to shake off the lies and go for it.

Those lies I believed so long ago still make an appearance in my mind from time to time. They try to tell me that they aren't lies, that I should just accept them. Sometimes I fall back into believing them... for a short time. But I've also learned to recognize them for what they really are.

We all have lies we believe about ourselves, we all have insecurities and self-doubts, but we all ALSO have the choice of whether or not we're going to allow these negative thoughts to rule our lives. Whether or not we give them the power is up to us.

What lies are you believing?

Life is so short. I believe God Himself puts dreams on our heart because He knows our future, knows our DNA and knows what we are capable of. They aren't on your heart for no reason. And even if you were to "fail", who knows what good would come just from the process.

Yes, maybe being a lawyer-singer-hairstylist somehow wasn't my true calling (hard to believe) but maybe writing is a part of my calling. How will I know if I don't try? It's not to late for me to try, or for you to try either. It's never too late to got for what you were made for.

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Kelli, I love how you bring it home. Real topics that we all deal with. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, insight and love.


Lauren Cochlin
Lauren Cochlin

Love how you acknowledge that this is something we all struggle with, though the lies may sound different. But my favorite part of what you said is that we have a choice. We always have a choice. Other people, or the Enemy, wants us to believe we don't have a choice-- but we do. It takes courage to take those steps -- even to stand up to some of the lies we're hearing and counter them with some other (more positive) things we know to be true about ourselves. It's tough work, but at the end of the day... we still have a choice.

I want to choose courage more.

Thanks for this post, Kel. Really good stuff.

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