Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Dream Bigger

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From Jeremy: This is a guest post by Tammy Helfrich. Tammy is a kid disguised in the body of an adult. She dreams big. She shoots for the moon. You can connect with Tammy on her blog or on Twitter.

I want to be a policeman when I grow up.
I want to be an astronaut!
I want to be a doctor, or an artist, or a race car driver.

When we were young, we were not inhibited by what we can or can’t be. We told the world, and we were proud of it.

We could be ANYTHING we wanted to be.

As we grow older, that changes sometimes.

photo by clappstar (Creative Commons)

Why Do we Limit our Dreams?

Maybe someone we loved told us we couldn’t do it. Or we weren’t talented enough. Or that we are just dreaming. It was time to be more realistic.

While I understand that sometimes this is their way of protecting us, it can also be a way of putting us down. Their way of saying “I never got to live my dream, so I don’t want you to be able to live yours.”

Most of the time, however, I think we haven’t been shown good examples of what chasing our dreams looks like. We haven’t seen many people take big risks and succeed.

We’ve seen them take a risk and fail. That is what gets publicized. And it scares us. We think the worst case scenario will happen to us. And while the failures do happen, many times we just don’t hear about the successes.

In your life, you typically have multiple people who have followed a dream and succeeded. They started a business. They trained for a marathon – and completed it. They traveled to a unique place in the world. They started practicing their art.

How do you find out about this?

By asking them about their dream. By listening to their stories. By believing in them.

Are You Dreaming Big Enough?

Not only are many of us not dreaming, but for those of us who are, we aren’t dreaming big enough. We limit our dream. We say, “Okay, I’m going to start dreaming again. But if I do, I’ll make it a realistic dream because I don’t want to be disappointed.”

This can often be another form of self-sabotage. If we’re going to dream, then why not DREAM BIG?

I’m talking big dreams. The kind that scare you. They put a knot in your stomach and make you wonder how in the world you will ever do it.

I have met some amazing people lately who are doing this. They are challenging me to dream bigger. They are living life in full force and loving it.

How are they doing it?

They are believing in their dream.

They are doing something about it. They’re taking action.

They are living life fully engaged.

They are continuing to dream bigger.

They are trusting that God will open doors and guide them.

I believe God has uniquely designed us with a purpose. Many of us are still trying to figure out that purpose and learn to live and exist in it. That’s okay. Just take a step. Do something. Continue dreaming and praying and believing.

Are you up for it?

What’s your dream? How can I encourage you?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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38 Replies

  1. I’m honored to guest post for you, Jeremy! Thanks!

  2. Great thoughts, Tammy.  I hate that we often lose that “I can do anything’ mentality.  We retreat into fear.  Thank you for this challenge not to.  

  3. Thanks! I’m learning to challenge myself in this too!

  4. Thank you, Tammy. I will sleep well tonight (which is right now for me) with you running things here today.

  5. What a great call to action, Tammy!


  6. Tammy, thanks for the reminder to dream big! I love watching you dream big as well!! ~Heidi

  7. Tammy, you are already encouraging me in MANY ways. As is Jeremy. Thank you both so much for all you do.

    How do you think we can get adults to embrace their dreams? 

  8. “I’m talking big dreams. The kind that scare you. They put a knot in your stomach and make you wonder how in the world you will ever do it.” This is spot-on, Tammy! My friend and I were just talking this same idea over last night…we put a voice/a name to our dreams and even in the fear, I am excited! 

  9. Thanks! Would love to help encourage you!

  10. Your book helped me dream big about a new project I am working on!!

  11. I think we can help people give themselves permission to dream by encouraging them and helping them think differently.

  12. Awesome! Can’t wait to hear more.

  13. J. Chad Barrett

    Yup. I got a knot in my stomach now. Been praying for months, researching, seeking wise counsel about my dream. My dream? Going out on my own with my inspiring evangelism ministry. It does scare the heck out of me.

  14. Giavana Jones

    Yes!!! this was refreshing confirmation that I am not crazy! 🙂 This was just the subject of a post on my own blog…partly because it was a challenge that I had put to myself. But also because I see too many of my friends and family settling. I’m beyond excited to dream and partner with God to fulfill the purpose that I was made for! By the way, my dream(s) do scare me…in fact, most days it seems impossible…but I know God will provide and bring it to fruition.

  15. I love that photo Tammy.  This is such an awesome post.  I love everything you write.  I still put limitations on myself and my dreams.  There is always this practical side, the rational side, the down to earth side… always challenging the childlike dreams that I have inside.  I thank you so much for this post, it is inspiring to me.  I am so glad to be on this journey with you of thinking big and realizing dreams.

  16. I am living my dream Tammy! Just this morning, I was all tears and prayer, wondering, musing and aching about a couple of things on my plate.

    Then as He does often, God reminded how often I prayed for this level, how long i waited to do this full-time. I know am still in the early stages, but wow, I am blessed to be doing this!

    Living one’s dream doesn’t equate comfort! More like stretch!

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  17. Congrats on the guest post Tammy! You did fantastic. 

    My dream is to leave a lasting impact on those I come into contact with. Letting them know that they’re valued and worthy. That they can have an impact on the world around them. 

  18. Thanks Joe! That’s my dream too.

  19. That is awesome! I would love to hear more about your dream.

  20. I go through this too, for sure. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward. Appreciate your encouragement!!

  21. You are not crazy!! Keep it up!

  22. Good luck! Praying for you!

  23. Good stuff. Stuff that will matter forever.

  24. Craziness is needed, otherwise who would do it?

  25. I think you just start. Usually small, and when you find out it didn’t kill you, you get a little bit bigger. Eventually you can’t stop. Adopting two kids is crazy, buy I am so hooked on this. I love it. What a privilege.

  26. Great post Tammy…thanks for the encouragement:) Definitely feel ‘out of my comfort zone’ right now with pursuing my dreams…so I guess that’s a good sign right?  thanks for the reminders!

  27. Definitely a good sign!

  28. Tammy – loved your post!! I made a decision at the beginning of 2012 – to stop limiting myself & God and dream BIG !!! We serve a BIG God, who in His Word says NOTHING is Impossible with Him. So I started going for it. This post helped remind me of why I decided to DREAM BIG in the first place. It really is more fun that way.

  29. I agree, Wendy. We are good at saying God is big, but it is time to start acting like it.

  30. Dreams burn like fire in the heart and sometimes the water that is poured to put that fire out is “be more realistic”.I absolutely appreciate the authenticity of this post. Many times failure is publicized most and we consume that kind of information gladly because it largely justifies our ‘fear and comfort zones.’Spending time with those who are living their dreams helps us to challenge ourselves to dream again and it does involve ‘taking action.’ On to action now…

  31. This is a really great post! I LOVE the dream bigger idea. Really resonates with my soul. We just talked with our youth group about this exact subject and I was surprised at what they dreamed they wanted to be. Pretty amazing the things we can think. 

  32. Thanks, Jared! I think we limit our dreams sometimes. I love this reminder to dream bigger!

  33. That is so true. When we spend time with people who are living their dreams and have taken steps forward, it is amazing how much different our attitudes and desires are. Great point!

  34. That’s awesome, Wendy! Would love to hear more about your dream. I think we often underestimate God by limiting ourselves. Thanks for the reminder!

  35. Thanks for sharing this post, Tammy!  All my life I’ve been told by folks that I could do whatever I wanted to do.  Better yet, those closest to me have always encouraged me to pursue God’s dreams for my life.  And I have.  And so many of my dreams have come true.  I’ve traveled the world (although there are still places I have yet to visit!) and met some truly amazing people, even a hero of mine – Mother Teresa.

    Today, I’m fulfilling a life-long dream of writing a book with my best friend.  Our goal is to become published authors.  We’re both believing God for this big dream to come true!

    Yet, despite all those dreams coming true, there are still times when I find myself only pursuing dreams that I can fulfill.  Realistic dreams.  Are realistic dreams even DREAMS?  Perhaps.

    This summer I’ve been challenged to think bigger.  There are some God-sized dreams out there that are meant only for me.  Things I can only imagine, that are impossible for me to comprehend, let alone fulfill on my own.  My head cannot grasp the thought, but my heart is yearning for the dreams of God to come true in my life!

  36. I heard exactly this the other day: “If your dreams don’t terrify you, you’re not dreaming BIG enough.” Amen. My dream – always – is to write for publications, write books, write for nonprofits. And that really does terrify me when I think of all the hours that need to be spent alone in order to accomplish those things. And I also dream of traveling THE GLOBE. When I was younger, I wanted my own show on The Travel Channel, so I’d be paid to travel and explore. And now that I’m older, my dreams have only gotten crazier. Guess that’s a good sign 🙂

  37. I can’t wait to hear where these dreams take you, Liz.

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