What Brand Are Your Dreams?

As a life coach, I am in the business of helping people get what they want in life. But far too often, the problem is not in the “getting,” but in the “wanting.” Most of us walk around either not knowing what we want, clinging to dreams that sound good, but aren’t really what we want or being afraid to admit what we want.

For example, if you had asked me in 2004 what my dream was for my career, I would have told you that it was to be a professor and win the Nobel Prize for my work in Synthetic Biology. That sounds like a great dream, doesn’t it? Big and bold and ambitious, and heck, who wouldn’t want to win the Nobel Prize? The truth was that I chose that dream because it looked good on paper and sounded impressive, but I didn’t really feel excited about it. At the Handel Group®, we call this the “PR Agent” brand of dreaming. This kind of a dream is all about managing how you look to other people.

Once I realized that my heart really wasn’t in the Nobel Prize dream, I moved on to what we call the “numb” brand of dreaming. If you had interviewed me about my career in 2005, I would have told you that I had no idea what I wanted to do. That I could make a list a mile long of possible careers, but none of them really seemed that exciting. I could have forced myself to do any one of them, but was just plain tired of trying so hard. At this point in the interview, I likely would have burst into tears and bemoaned the fact that I wasn’t one of “those people” who knew what they wanted to do since the age of five.

I was frozen in “numb” for a while, until 2006 when I began coaching with the Handel Group® through a course offered at my university. I began to dig deeply, understand myself and what I really felt about things. In short, I thawed the numb and discovered– a chicken. Thus began a third brand of dreaming, the “chicken” dream. This is where you know what you want to do, deep down inside, but don’t want to admit it, because the dream takes you so far outside your comfort zone that a different language is spoken over there. For me, my heart was saying that I wanted to be a therapist or life coach, but that idea scared the daylights out of me. Picture the scenario: my heart told me to leave a field that was deemed the “It” technology of the 21st century, for which I had trained for 11 years and instead, enter a field that most people had not even heard of, at a start-up company with no track record, and all for little money with no guarantees that I would be any good at it. What did I do with this wisdom from my heart? I chickened out and refused to admit that coaching was my dream.

After a year of living in chicken-ville, desperately trying to find something ELSE that excited me, to no avail, I finally put down my chicken, faced my fears and began training to be a coach. This was the fourth, and last, brand of dreaming on my career path: the “heroic” brand, where you boldly take on your heart’s deepest desires, stand by them and play full-out. For the first time in years, I was happy and deeply proud of my career choice. I hadn’t known that it was possible to feel that happy about a career.

Once I had finally admitted my dream, I wrote it up to get it out in the open. Following all of the dreaming techniques, I now teach others, I developed a heartfelt and deeply inspiring dream that knocked my socks off. And then, at that point, it was just a matter of implementing it. I say “just” because it took me far more time to find the dream than it actually did to make it come true. You might think that’s unusual, but I am not unique in this situation. I find that many of my clients have not built the life of their dreams because they simply don’t know what that means. Once they take down the PR Agent, numb, chicken or other clouded brands of dreaming, and dream in earnest, the path forward becomes a whole lot clearer.

Where in your life are you not in love with your dreams? What is your brand of dreaming? Write a note and share.

Love, Samantha

P.S.- Want to learn how to dream? I lead a weekend workshop where I teach just that: the Life Coaching Crash Course. Register using promo code: Daily100 to save $100. I promise, these two days will change your life. (Locations include: NY, Boston, DC, Florida, California)

# # #

Dr. Samantha Sutton is a Senior Coach and Vice President and Director of Courses and Seminars at The Handel Group®. Samantha designs and leads the Handel Group’s® flagship workshop, the Life Coaching Crash Course. Samantha additionally coaches at universities such as Stanford and MIT. Prior to becoming a coach, Samantha received a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT.