How to Dream Big: Facing the fears

One of my favorite Christmas movies of all time is A Christmas Story, where the main character Ralphie who desires only one gift: Red Ryder BB Gun.  Response from parents, teacher and Santa, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”  But you have to appreciate how Ralphie dreams big, doesn’t give up, is persistent even after being denied and failed attempts to convince people why he should have this coveted gift.  In the end, he gets what he desires.
I don’t know about you, but I was never that persistent about a present, I have about other things.  But yesterday, I was watching this year’s Catalyst Conference DVD and many of the speakers talked about dreaming big.  They through out the challenge because it’s apparent that too many people live out small dreams, why?

  • Fear of Incompetence – When we know what we are doing we feel like we are in control.  When we feel like we are in control we feel like we can explain the situation.  Taking a risk means going into the unknown.  I don’t know where, “I don’t know” as an answer started becoming a negative thing?  In fact if we don’t know the answer to something, doesn’t that mean we need to grow?  The fear of coming off incompetent is really a fear that we don’t have control.  And we know we don’t really have control, we just need to trust God.
  • Fear of Disappointment – I can’t stand seeing a disappointed face.  It’s one thing to let myself down, but to let others down, that’s a different story.  Many times dreaming big means bringing others along, creating big expectations.  We don’t want to hurt others by disappointing them, but when we dream big and those dreams come through hope is right there on the other side.  You don’t dream big, you don’t bring others hope.
  • Fear of Failure – We feel like if we fail once we are automatically a failure.  As long as we try to learn from our failures, as long as we go back at our dreams with a new perspective or new strategy we can grow in ways that success could never bring.  But just because you drop the ball once, just because you mess up doesn’t qualify you as a failure.  In fact it’s through our weaknesses and through our failures that God is most powerful. (2 Cor 12:8-10)

The Bible is filled with people who dreamed big.  Some of them weren’t the most competent (Moses needed Aaron for his speeches), some of them disappointed (David and Bathsheba) and others feared failure (Peter denying Christ 3 times).  So what makes us think that we are better or more perfect than them?  Why do we strive to follow God but refuse to dream big like them?  Fear.  What we need to do is lean into the risk, we need to support one another to dream big and we need to lean on God.  So this Christmas season, as you open up your gifts, spend time with your family and prepare for the New Year dream big, write it down, share it and go after it.
What’s your big dream of 2011?  
What holds you back from dreaming big?
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