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Dream Killers: How to Spot Them (& Find Good People!)

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According to Zippia1, unsupported employees are 70% more likely to experience burnout. It turns out we really do need to surround ourselves with supportive people. However, not everyone we encounter falls into the category of dream builders.

Some unintentionally become dream killers, poking holes in our ideas and inadvertently sabotaging our progress. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the concept of dream builders and dream killers and provide actionable tips for identifying and avoiding dream killers.

Let’s do this!

What Are Dream Builders and Dream Killers?

Dream Builders are individuals or factors that contribute to the growth, development, and realization of dreams and goals. They provide support, motivation, guidance, and resources to help individuals overcome obstacles and achieve their aspirations.

On the other hand, Dream Killers are individuals or factors that hinder or sabotage the pursuit and achievement of dreams and goals. They may introduce doubt, negativity, criticism, or unhelpful advice that discourages people from pursuing their dreams.

But it’s not all bad—dream killers are not necessarily malicious. They don’t set out to hurt our feelings or crush our dreams just for the sake of it. On the contrary, dream killers genuinely want to ensure that our ideas are well-thought-out and have a good chance of success.

By pointing out potential flaws or challenges, they believe they are offering helpful advice. However, sometimes their well-intentioned words can unintentionally discourage us from pursuing our dreams.

Identifying and Avoiding Dream Killers

It’s crucial to be able to spot dream killers early on and not allow their unintentional negativity to affect our progress. Here are some actionable tips for identifying and avoiding dream killers:

Pay attention to their reaction to your ideas

When you share your goals and ideas with someone, observe their initial reaction. Are they dismissive of your idea or immediately interested in brainstorming ways to help you achieve it? Dream killers often exhibit skepticism and doubt, whereas dream builders respond with curiosity and offer their full support.

Here’s a scenario: let’s say you have an idea for a new finance management app.

  • Dream Killer Scenario: You share the idea with your manager, Mark. Instead of supporting you, Mark dismisses it, citing too many existing projects and market saturation. He quickly changes the subject.
  • Dream Builder Scenario: You discuss the idea with a senior developer, John. He asks detailed questions and expresses curiosity. After your pitch, John supports your idea and proposes to discuss it in their next team meeting for potential prototyping. In this case, John acts as a dream builder, offering his full support.

Communicate your needs

Dream builders aren’t mind readers, and not everyone knows how to be a dream builder by default. If you need someone’s support and encouragement, don’t be afraid to communicate your needs explicitly. Let your friends and colleagues know that you value their support and would appreciate their enthusiasm as you pursue your dreams.

Here are some phrases to keep in your back pocket:

  • “I really value your opinion, and I could use your support on this new project I’m working on. Could we sit down and discuss it sometime?”
  • “I’ve got this idea that I’m really passionate about, and your enthusiasm and perspective would mean a lot to me. Could we brainstorm together?”
  • “I have an ambitious goal, and I’m going to need some help to achieve it. Your support and encouragement would make a huge difference. Would you be open to providing feedback and thoughts on my plan?”
  • “This is a dream I’m chasing, and I would appreciate your belief in me. Could you help me navigate the obstacles that might come up?”

Seek out diversity

While dream builders are essential for building your confidence and providing unwavering support, it’s also important to seek out diverse perspectives. Dream killers can help you identify blind spots in your ideas, challenge your assumptions, and push you to refine them. With a variety of viewpoints, you’ll develop a more well-rounded and robust approach to achieving your goals.

How to Deal with Difficult People at Work

Do you have a difficult boss? Colleague? Client? Learn how to transform your difficult relationship.
I’ll show you my science-based approach to building a strong, productive relationship with even the most difficult people.

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