What is dreaming small? Among other things, it’s safe, comfortable and, frankly, easier for other people to accept than Dreaming Big.
Small dreamers are those people in your life who seem alarmed when you talk about how much you want to make, how much good you plan to do, how very far you aim to go. People who are intimidated and even offended by your Big Dreams. People who themselves had dreams they’ve shelved, shuttered and shut away. People who have the excuses they used at the ready as proof of why your dream won’t work.
It’s easy to be discouraged by the small dreamers because their doubts so perfectly mirror our own. They say out loud what the mean voices in our heads are muttering all the time. Small dreamers say without saying that they don’t think you’ve got what it takes to make it. And at the darkest times, you don’t think you’ve got it either. They want you to dream small.
But listening to them will get you nowhere fast. Or worse, nowhere reallllly slowly.
Because nothing worth a damn was ever achieved by dreaming small.
We didn’t send people to the Moon by dreaming small. It’s called a moonshot for a reason, not an “Imma aim for that low tree branch, halfheartedly hope for the best and slunk away” shot.
Us Big Dreamers have the obligation to dream big because we’re the ones who make, create and discover. We bring forth the things that make small dreamers’ lives better. We are the ones they later brag about knowing – and believing in all along.
As someone running a non-investor-backed feminist media company, I run into small dreamers all the time. People who are intent, without even realizing it, on shrinking my dream. Maybe it’s to make themselves feel big. Maybe they don’t think I’ve got it. Maybe small is their default.
I used to let their pessimism and dream shrinking get to me, but now that I see what they’re doing, I just feel sad for them. Sad that they can’t see past their own experience or what they believe to be possible. Sad that they can’t be encouraging. Sad for the dreams they once had.
I have Big Dreams for Rebellious in the coming months, and I’m grateful for everyone who’s joining us on this journey.
I hope they serve rosé on the Moon when we get there, y’all, so we can toast that we made it.
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Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...
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