Giving My Dreams Away

Giving My Dreams Away

A recent realization about work, dreams, and pursuing goals in life.

Late Friday afternoon, about a week ago:

I had exchanged a few tweets with a long-time Twitter friend while he worked to book speakers for an event. I had ideas for him: connections to make, friends to refer. I wanted to help.

After missing a few calls from him, I finally had a quiet moment to return his call.

And, instead of talking about my friends, he wanted to talk about me. He asked me to speak, to present a break-out session at a conference.

That he might consider me never occurred to me — not at all — until he asked.

Then I realized: I’ve done this before, given my dreams away, suggested others for opportunities when I wanted, instead, to say: me! Pick me! 

Exhibit A:

Forgive me if you’ve heard me tell this story before. I responded to the Facebook status update to the left with a list, a long list, of suggested friends. As an afterthought, I added: I’ve always wanted to do freelance writing.

That story, like this recent one, had a happy ending. I got the gig.

But 3 Years later, and I am still. doing. the same. thing. Offering others when I want to offer myself.

Giving my dreams away.

I have been thinking about why. The obvious answer is that I lack self-confidence. I know that’s part of it. I know the truth of  what I can do. And I listen to lies. I know the truth and I listen to the lies, all at once. 

Of course, I want to help others. I love seeing others succeed and feel important if I help someone else make a great connection. I would have been very happy to see my friend chosen to speak at the conference. But I don’t think that’s the whole answer, either.

So, this is what I am pondering: Why do I give my dreams away? How can I fully embrace and pursue my dreams? 

Tell me something! What are your dreams? How are you pursuing them? What holds you back from fully embracing and pursuing your dreams?

Filed As:  opportunities, fears

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Hey Becks. You are not alone on this one. This upbringing of modesty can be a pain sometimes, so it is an active learning process to put you hand up and ring your own horn! I think Dan Rockwell had a post about tooting your own horn sometime last year.

    You are not alone on this one!

  • WOW! Does it help to know that you aren’t the only one who is guilty of giving your dreams away like this? There is a fine line between arrogance and just knowing that you are up for the challenge and letting people know you are ready. It is hard to promote yourself without sounding like a braggart. Good luck with your speaking and writing! Loved this post.

    • It does help, Burl, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s definitely challenging to find the right balance between self-promotion and promoting others. I’m not quite there yet. 🙂

  • Just so you know… you may keep doing it for a while but you are very near the tipping point where too many people know how good you are. At that point the number of people recommending you will far exceed the few occasions when you push someone else to the forefront.

    Think about it for a moment… first you were a blogger under someone else’s name then you broke out to your own; first you were helping someone else launch their business then you were launching your own; first you were scheduling someone else’s speaking engagements now you have one of your own; and the one I’m waiting for… first you edit someone else’s book and then you have one of your own!

    You’ve got SKILZ young lady…keep it up!

  • Dear Becky – Working with women, who are often so good at promoting others and less so at promoting themselves, I’ve discovered a way to reframe this issue.

    Your dreams are not your dreams but a message about a way to put into the world the gifts you have been given. Therefore, being out there, in public, on stage, speaking, doing, and more is an obligation. You can be humble on behalf of yourself while being bold on behalf of the ideas that have been gifted to you.

  • Becky,

    I totally agree with Anne, although I’ll take it a step further and push it into the faith perspective as well. I’ve always loved the saying that our strengths and talents are God’s gift to us; what we do with them is our gift to God.

    That’s why I love speaking about strengths so much. It’s really about helping people discover their purpose! If you have these strengths, you’re intended to use them. Your purpose includes them…and everyone’s purpose is unique. The point being, you could speak, or you could recommend someone else to speak…but if you really CAN and WANT to do it, then someone in that audience is supposed to hear YOU! Don’t let that person miss out on hearing you!

    Regarding confidence, I can relate to that too. Those voices in our head can be really compelling, can’t they? Try thinking about someone real that you can trust. Who speaks the truth to you, always, even when it’s hard? See if you can use that person as a sounding board and allow their voice to be louder than the one in your head. Over time, you may find that your dreams are actually leading you to realistic places, and that little voice in your head really isn’t so smart after all.

    By the way, if it’s worth anything to you, I think you’d be great on stage!

  • Great post, partner ‘o mine. This happens all the time to us humans – in Blanchard’s Situational Self Leadership program we talk about the concept of “assumed constraint.” If I believe I can’t, then I can’t. In fact, if I have assumed constraints about something, I don’t even consider whether or not I have the skills or motivation to attempt the task. In my reality, I can’t so I don’t.

    You CAN.

    You are a brilliant writer who has SO MUCH to share. Consider every platform, try it out, and see what serves you AND your audience.



  • Hi Becky,

    Fabulous post. I really appreciate your honesty about yourself. As the other posters have said you are capable right now. You have a tremendous amout to teach all of us, now. Today.

    We are ready for those gifts from you when you are ready to give them to us. I believe each of us commenting here are ready to help you today, just as you have already helped each of us.



  • Becky —

    Awareness that you’ve been giving those dreams away was the momentous first step! Now you’ve stepped up and into owning your own personal power and influence.

    As Erin would say….woohoo!

  • Hi, Becky

    Another thoughtful post, which has resulted in a wealth of wisdom being shared with you. I’ll just say “me too” to the perspectives shared in the other responses.

    I would add that I don’t think boosting others is something to regret. As Paul neatly pointed out, sharing is simply part of the process that builds your credibility and circle of influence.

    If we think in terms of abundance, much more is possible. You should be able to claim those things that speak to your skills and your heart, but please do not feel like sharing other’s gifts and abilities is negative for your own goals.

    Sharing others is not giving your own dreams away ~ it’s helping others find theirs:)


  • Awesome post and a great discussion filled with wisdom.

    Perhaps it is simply a matter of being willing to declare your dreams so you show up on your own list of possible resources. You are already on my “A List” of people to recommend!

    You have continued to take bolder and bolder steps as Paul recounted and I have no doubt you will continue to do so. With each step you gain confidence and clarity. I love John’s advice about embracing an abundance mentality.

    Thank you for being a continual source of inspiration and support. And I am so happy to see you blogging too!

  • Hi there….Becky and other dream givers,
    I agree with John above, the more you give and share your gifts, the more you get back.

    The Women’s Foundation says “Don’t be afraid to give them your wings….you WILL grow new ones!” One of my special guests recently reminded me that wealth is a rainbow and money is (only) ONE of the colors! (internet radio show heard at )

    May you continue to build a wealthy life for yourself and others!

    Patty DeDominic

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