7 Dream-Snatchers You Need To Avoid
I’ve been a dreamer before I can even remember. When I was around the age of 5 I wanted to be an artist, like Vincent Van Gogh or Peter Max. I remember looking around my house at that tender age, seeing all of the beautiful paintings on the walls, and thinking, “I can do that.”
When I was 8, my dream began to change a little bit. I still wanted to create, but I no longer wanted to be an artist of canvas. I was now passionate about becoming a different kind of artist, an artist of music. It was pretty unavoidable: I was becoming more aware of the radio (my parents were avid music fans… yaaaas!) and all of a sudden something is me just wanted to be a musician!
We all have dreams and things that we see ourselves doing. And, if I may be honest, our dreams that are pure come from a divine source: God. These divine dreams we have get our blood pumping, our heart racing, and give us an excited joy to live in… but, a lot of the time that excited joy seems to dwindle or even die.
There’s this thing called “the process” that is in between our initial dream that God hands us and the coming to pass of that dream. This is what a lot of us are never told: there is a process to seeing any dream come about. During this process, which is always a period of growth for us, there are many great things (like skills, mentalities, and attributes) that are added to us. There are also negative things that try and take from us.
I call these things “dream-snatchers”. They try to enter our lives and either (1) steal our dream from us or (2) pervert our dream so that it’s no longer of the original intention and turn us off course.
Often times, because we don’t know what dream-snatchers look like, we end up blindly facing them while we walk through our process and allowing them affect our dreams. I’ve been through the process in many areas of my life (still in it in others) and I’ve had moments where I almost lost my dreams because I had come into contact with a dream-snatcher that was out to steal from me.
Overtime, I’ve come to a place where I can pinpoint some of these dream-snatchers. So, for those of you who feel as if you’re in the process and not quite at your destination yet in life, this is for you. Here are 5 dream-snatchers you need to be aware of and guard your heart from:
This one is a hard one to escape, because the temptation to compare ourselves and the legitimacy of our dream with others' is floating everywhere. From social media networks (Instagram is the worst for me!) to magazines at the checkout stand to our peers who are "more successful" than us to celebrities we look up to… the ugly monster of self-comparison can slowly kill our excitement for that dream in our heart.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” That’s exactly what it is. But, why do we do it? Well, there’s a natural inclination inside of each of us that wants to know if we measure up and if what we dream of is of value to the world around us.
So, naturally we compare ourselves to others we think are successful. This, my friend, is a dangerous foe. Comparing ourselves in entirety (problems and all) to a partial glimpse of another that we see is dangerous. Our misguided perception while comparing ourselves to others (whether fed to us through magazines or derived from our finite minds) often leads us to believe that we’re not good enough, that our dreams are too big/too dumb/too crazy/too (you fill in the blank) _______ … but in reality: God put that dream in our hearts for a reason and intended to use each of us to shine through.
So when we participate in comparison, we open the door for our dreams to be belittled and either placed on pause or thrown away. I encourage you to not compare yourself to others. Instead, constantly compare yourself to who you were yesterday and the vision of who God sees you as. Be your own standard and let God guide you down the road that only you can travel. Your dream is weird or/and unique for a reason: because only YOU can fulfill it.
Impatience is a dream-snatcher that goes a bit deeper than we often realize. When we grow impatient with the process and opt out of it to walk down the road we think is best for our lives, we’re ultimately saying: “I don't believe that God’s plan for my life is better than what I can bring to pass myself.”
This is a faith issue.
In order to remain patient and faithful through the process, which is indeed a waiting game most the time, we have to believe that the nature of God is good and that his plans for us are truly greater than what we can do (Jeremiah 29:11). If we believe this, there’s no way that impatience could snatch our dream and lead us into a life that is less than God’s intended-beautiful-amazing design for us.
When I was younger I heard a quote in a song by a rapper named Sho Baraka that changed my life. He said, “You can be a dreamer, but don't live in your bed.” This is exactly what fear will do to us if we give it permission to have control over our lives. It will keep us paralyzed and in our “dreamer beds."
Fear is a crippling spirit that leaves us chained to false comforts. That’s exactly what the author of fear, Satan, would have it be. Giving into fear is the opposite of walking in faith, which leaves God displeased with us (Hebrews 11:24) and our dreams at a standstill.
So, how do we overcome fear? We fill ourselves with the opposite: faith. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and therefore, if we have fear in our lives we need to let the word of God shine on our lives in that area. God’s word will shine light on our fears and even more, allow our dreams to come to pass in the timing God would have. Cool, right?
(4) Unneeded Opinions
Like I always say, everyone and their cousin has an opinion. It’s true and if we don’t guard our dreams, people will be more than happy to give us their opinions about our dreams. The danger in this is that (1) not everyone has our best interest at hand and (2) not everyone has the perception to grasp what God is doing in our lives.
This can lead to people crushing us and our dreams with what they have to say. And, let’s be honest - peoples’ words, whether they are meant to hurt us or not, can be very painful to endure.
So, if you’re sure about your dream, DO NOT… I repeat… DO NOT let others freely “give you their thoughts.” If you’re positive your dream must come to pass, it shouldn’t matter what others have to say. But, say you’re not sure about your dream and whether you need to pursue it or be believing for it?
In this case you should ask somebody who knows you and your heart for God well. Don’t just ask anyone. Ask someone who cares for you and you can trust. The process can be hard as is and we don’t want any bruising of our dreams to happen along the way.
(5) The Urge To Feel Busy
The urge to feel busy is a reality for a lot of us. It’s as if staying busy deceives us into believing we’re important. Contrary to what our societies can often tell us, rest adds tremendous value to our lives and keeps us in good shape to pursue, as well as actively believe for, our dreams.
There’s also this moment that we all get in certain situations that I like to call a “window of grace.” When it comes to our dreams, there will be a window of grace that we must recognize. It will require us to act and pursue our dream in a way that has not been done before.
When we fill our schedules with unneeded activities and tons of things to do, our chance of realizing when our window of grace or opportunity has arrived is very slim. Here’s why: it’s hard to be in tune with what God is doing when we fill our plates with unneeded activities.
If you’re in a season that seems slow and if not a lot is working out for you, please see it as more than you being a failure. It’s a season of rest where God is fine-tuning your perception of what He’s up to. Make sure you pay attention.
(6) "Talent Whoarders”
People realize a good thing when they see it and you better believe that people will realize that you’re talented/gifted when God is taking you through your process. You have to be aware of people who see your gifts and just want to take advantage of you because you’re talented/anointed/appointed/etc.
It can be hard to discern those who truly need your help and those who are using you to only fulfill their own purpose, but if you truly get to know a person or ministry and LISTEN to what they have to say - you will know where their heart is. The words people speak are always a reflection of their heart (Luke 6:45) and will clue you into what kind of motivation they have for wanting you on there team.
This is not a license to never serve in a cause or ministry. This is also not me saying that you should never lay roots and get involved in another's vision.
I’m saying: beware of those who just want to take advantage of you while you’re in the process and get in the company of people who really want to see the best come to pass for you in your life… whether you serve them or not.
Most of the people I know have been victims of this dream-snatcher and that’s exactly why procrastination is listed. I, personally, tend to procrastinate when a task seems big or hard. I don’t know why I do it, but the temptation is there and when I give into it I’m often left overwhelmed, discouraged, and unmotivated.
These are a few of the symptoms we get when we eat just the right amount of the procrastination pie, which is a different form of fear if we have eyes to see. Procrastination is fear masking itself as our own free will. “I’ll do it later, because I don’t want to do it now.”
Seems like we’re in control, but ultimately fear of exerting too much effort, being wrong or missing out (there’s other fears that can drive procrastination as well) is what’s controlling us.
Beware of procrastination and avoid it at all costs. It ultimately leaves you and I discouraged, as well as our dreams on the back burner wasting away. And we all know that the back burner is no place for our dreams. They are made to be cultivated and eventually realized.
At the end of the day, it’s not the question of whether or not we will face dream-snatchers. The question is: will we recognize them and how will we react to them when we encounter them? I hope this TayTalk equips you to be aware and fight your best fight to see your dreams come to pass while you’re in the process.
Let me know in the comments below what dream-snatchers you’ve encountered. How did you deal with them? Until next time, check out one of my previous talks on this subject that talks about the biggest lie I bought when it came to my dreams.
Love and peace,