My father would tell me, “Baboo, keep quiet. Don’t tell people about your dreams. Show them.”
This is coming from a man who came to this country with one suitcase and earned three Master’s degrees in a second language; all before the age of 30. Is he driven—absolutely. Has he taught me about ambition, drive, and developing self-discipline—no doubt about it.
However, the most important thing my father has taught me was to not flaunt your dreams like you have already accomplished them. Instead, work hard, work steady, keep quiet, and show people your results.
After all, he is a results-driven person. As he would say to me as a little girl, “Baboo, this sounds great. I don’t want to hear about it, I want to see it.“
This sounds harsh, but the message my father has instilled in me became evidently clear when I left the corporate world to design my life on my own terms.
At first, I was nervous to tell others about my hopes for the future and dreams that had yet to become clearly defined with an ultimate end goal to reach.
What I soon found out was that when I began sharing my dreams and hopes for the future, I was stone-walled. I was met with indifference, lost friendships, hindered relationships, was criticized, and ultimately felt foolish.
Had I only known what I do now, I would go about pursuing my dreams and hopes for the future in an entirely different way.
Here are 4 reasons you should keep your goals to yourself:
1. Your Dreams are YOURS
When you’re in the first stage of getting clear on your dreams, it’s best to keep your goals to yourself. Why? Because at this point in your life, as you continue to craft and clearly define your dream, it is in its most fragile state.
You need not expose your dreams to outside opinion for support, criticism, encouragement, or indifference. Let your dream unravel deep within you and see what happens.
What you will find is that, when you’re dreaming and crafting your vision, then share your aspirations with others, they may not understand.
When people don’t understand something, they naturally want to ask questions to understand. This happens by picking apart the unknown to see what’s really going on.
Your dreams are yours and when they are at an infancy stage. Should you choose to share them with others, please do it with caution. Be more than certain that when you share your dreams, it is with a supportive, encouraging person.
Your dreams require you to invest in the power of imagination, invest in the power of entertaining the possibilities of life. You need not expose your dreams to negative and critical influences.
2. Your Dreams Are NOT Up For Negotiation
When you dream, and are dreaming big, you make a big shift from within. You entertain the possibilities in life—the “what if’s.” You harbor a mindset that sets you apart.
Most people are complacent with the life they have created for themselves, or they have resigned to their way of life, regardless if they’re happy or not.
Dreaming (and dreaming big) is something that will set you apart from the masses. People get uncomfortable when you break away from societal scripts. Because, in all reality, they may have wished, they have done the same.
You may encounter people in your life that will caution you not to journey down the path less traveled. You may be the target of harsh criticism and negative energy as you begin your journey.
Let this all strengthen you and know that this is part of the process. Therefore, you need to keep your goals to yourself.
Your dreams are yours and are simply not up for negotiation. Your life, your journey, period.
3. People Will Try To Tell You You Can’t
To expand on the point above, people will try to persuade you that you cannot do such a thing. They may tell you, your dreams are unrealistic. Worse yet, they may say your dreams will require hard work and you’re not cut for the job.
If I can be a reminder to anyone that is going through this, I want to say one thing: When people tell you, you can’t, it is only a reflection of their own capabilities.
When you go against the grain and it becomes clear in your own circle, people will try to pull you back down. To remain comfortable and predictable with everyone else. This is when you must resist.
When the noise of others’ opinions becomes so loud, it is best to take a hedgehog approach. Go within, shut out the noise, and stay put.
Keep your goals to yourself, but put in the hard work and let your ambitions manifest into reality.
4. Let Your Results Be The Proof of What’s To Come In The Future
More often than not, people will share their hopes and dreams with one another. What they wish to accomplish, create, and implement into their life. But how often do you see ambition matched with action?
What we most likely see is a majority of people who run their mouths. They speak boldly of their dreams as if they have achieved their end result already. They boast that they are onto something big, and so on.
So, what happens when nothing happens? That person looks like a fool.
I’m not suggesting that we act secretively about our dreams. Instead, I suggest that we first start off by letting our ambition be matched with our actions.
Before you tell people about what you plan on doing, just start doing it. Before you tell people about your vision, start working on it.
The thing with dreams is that they are constantly changing. The ebb and flow of how you will achieve your end-all result is something that must be nurtured with action. Like my father has always said to me:
“Baboo, don’t tell me. Show me.”
Keep your goals to yourself and only share them with those who will nurture you along your journey. It’s a sure way to remain focused and resilient in the long run.