What Women Need to Stop Saying After We Share Our Dreams

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wow! this week has been super exciting to say the least! it’s been incredibly inspiring to hear what people’s big dreams are and that they are finding The Map to Dreaming Big helpful with the starting point.

remember that The Map is totally free to download and then my husband and i walk you through filling out the map while using examples from our next big dream. our dream is to be the youngest couple to speak on all seven continents (including antarctica-eeeeek!)

if you’re interested, we will be putting on live events online from each location around the world to help you start your dream, maintain momentum and then accomplish your own big dream! the price goes up next week and be sure you’re subscribed to my mailing list because a discount code will be sent out this afternoon at 3pm PDT (smart people on the list also got the announcement before anyone else last week!)

do you have any idea how hard it is to find a satellite service that will work in antarctica?! it is but we’ve got one!

speaking from personal experience, (because that is the best experience i know) dreaming big comes about 93% easier to my husband than to me. it’s taken a lot of work on my mind these past few years to get it unstuck from the place of “this is how the world works and how your life looks so just accept it.”

i started noticing that when i told people about my big dreams or my goals for this year, i would almost always follow up with “…i know, it’s totally crazy!” or “yeah…i don’t know if it will happen because it’s nuts but we’ll see!” my husband actually pointed this out to me and asked why i did that.

my response to him was “well…because it is totally crazy.” upon further reflection on why i always said that or had some follow up, i got down to the core of it. i wanted to be the first one to call it crazy to beat the other person to the punch, because i figured they would be thinking that anyway. i wasn’t feeling fully confident in my abilities to carry out what i was saying. i was afraid that person i was telling wouldn’t think i was capable either so i wanted to cut myself down before they had the chance to.

What women need to stop saying after we share our dreams

there are a few things wrong with this situation. first, my own self-confidence and capabilities need to be beefed up. i do this by making my “once impossible list” and it needs to be referenced more often. second, it needs to matter less to me what other people think i’m capable of or not. i need to stop relying on other people’s approval or disapproval of what i’m doing or setting out to accomplish. that’s between me and my mind and not many other people.

i’ve started paying attention to how other people, specifically women speak about their goals and dreams. i don’t want to make a generalized statement regarding all women because that’s certainly not the case, but i have noticed more women adding this ‘caveat’ more frequently than men when talking about their accomplishments, goals or dreams. this is what women need to stop saying after we share our dreams!

we need to stop doing this! even if we don’t know exactly how we are going to accomplish something or we aren’t feeling that confident on a particular day, we need to stop undermining our abilities.

start paying attention to how you speak about your goals and even past accomplishments. own them because you are amazing. let’s also agree to help encourage other women to cut that out of their language when we hear it!

you could say “it’s not that crazy! you can totally do that and i’m excited to see it all come together.”

or even “when you say your idea is crazy, you are discounting yourself and your capabilities. own it because you will rock it!”

while it’s super important that we surround ourselves by people who believe in us and lift us up, it’s even more important that we believe in ourselves the most.

What women need to stop saying after we share our dreamsquestions:
1) have you done this recently about a goal or a dream?
2) do you find it easy or hard to allow your mind to dream of big things?
3) let’s lighten things up…how do you feel about the easter candy selection out right now?


  1. Shelby

    March 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I find I do this with so much more than just my ambition. For some reason I can feel it when I even say things like “I’m unsure about children,” or “I don’t like those shoes.” I always feel like I have to rush in to anticipate the other persons thoughts and feelings about what I think or feel. Why do we do this?! We do we de-value ourselves so much?!

    You are totally right about spending more time lifting other women around us up, and encouraging instead of tearing down, and competing!
    Shelby recently posted…Four on Friday?

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      oh good points, shelby! i definitely do with those two examples too. i have no idea WHY we do this but it was really shocking to pull this to my attention and be like ‘what the hell! i can say and feel whatever i want without having to justify how someone may feel about it!’

      thanks for your comment because i need to pay attention to this in other areas of my life too!

  2. Audrey

    March 27, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Welp, I’m probably guilty of this under your last post 😉 I usually say things to discredit or doubt my idea BEFORE I even share the idea. So silly of me!

    As far as Easter candy goes… I really don’t like chocolate or peeps or jelly beans. Weird right? I just like Twix or Snickers with a little egg on the wrapper to make them Easter-y… Hahaha!
    Audrey recently posted…Say It Out Loud

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      hah, i’m guilty of it as of yesterday afternoon so it’s all about forward progress, isn’t it audrey 🙂 oh saying things to myself to discount or discredit myself happens about 389042x more often then my verbal self too but let’s agree to get better at it.

      the snickers and reeses shaped likes eggs are my FAVORITE! i totally don’t like peeps or jelly beans either but i’d share my twix and snickers with you 🙂

  3. Sam

    March 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Wow Chelsea!!! This really hit home! “Believing in ourselves is more important than what others believe about us”
    I completely agree with Audrey, I normally have doubts before I even say out loud my “crazy plan”. (Or plan*s*)
    I find it very hard to think of going forward with dreams because of either time, money (the main hurdle considering we are on one income), or fear of failure or judgment. So silly of me like its middle school all over again. Ugh…
    And Easter candy, I have a major sweet tooth for chocolate.So I’m not allowed to go down that aisle in the store. 🙂
    Congrats on the “Speach in every Continent”!!

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      i have a lot of those same doubts before i say anything out loud too, sam and it’s hard, isn’t it??

      it is hard to feel like we are back in middle school with fearing judgement or failure. i think we can acknowledge it and try to talk to ourselves and believe in ourselves more!

      mmmm i’m the biggest fan of chocolate too YUM. thanks for the congrats-we are excited (and i’m working on not discounting what we are attempting!)
      chelsea recently posted…What Women Need to Stop Saying After We Share Our Dreams

  4. Paula Howley

    March 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    1) have you done this recently about a goal or a dream?
    2) do you find it easy or hard to allow your mind to dream of big things?
    3) let’s lighten things up…how do you feel about the easter candy selection out right now?

    I don’t think so…I’ve taken to announcing my goals publicly so I will be accountable. I believe that anything is possible- I really do. I didn’t always but this has come with age and experience.
    I’ve always been a big dreamer- I remember once back in the day, I was a huge fan of this feminist columnist Michelle Landsberg who wrote for the Toronto Star. I always wanted to meet her and as the Chair of the Exotic Dancers’ Alliance of Ontario planning a fundraiser, I not only met her but was interviewed by her. I’ve just always seen that actions make things happen.
    Another great example- my daughter just published her first book through her home school group. yesrerday we went to visit a friend of mine at a Strong Start program where moms/dads and their under 5 kids hang out at the school to get to know each other, how to play etc.
    While we were there Meg was showing her book to all the parents and WHILE I was chatting with my friend, this lady there who is a DJ offered to do a free fundraiser for Meg to write more books!
    so Meg is off and running. I told her she has to organize it herself and I will help.
    she is NOT afraid to dream big and I want to show her NOW that anything is possible when you go for it. I am excited for her.
    and now candy. YUCK. I had 3 red velvet cookies on Wednesday night and they were SO FREAKIN’ GOOD but I felt like absolute CRAP after eating them- so much so that even the thought of candy is making my stomach churn.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Head Start Public Speaking For Kids- Persuasion! Week 20 (and Paula’s parents stop by!)

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      i am SO happy to hear that with age and experience you know fully believe anything is possible, paula! that is realllly encouraging to hear and gives me lots of hope 🙂

      “i’ve always seen that actions make things happen.” you’re amazing.

      meg is so lucky to have you as a mom (and i know you feel you’re lucky to be her mom) because she’s so great to get that guidance from such a young age! already an author and now learning how to put together an event! ahhh i have chills!

      whoa…red velvet cookies. daaaamn. those sound dangerously good!

  5. Amanda Wood

    March 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I’m so guilty of doing this. I’m working on it though, for myself and for lifting others up.

    And Cadbury Mini Eggs are my FAV!
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Conversations with…

    • chelsea

      March 30, 2015 at 8:05 am

      happy to hear you’re working on it amanda and lifting others up too! *high fives* 🙂

      mmmm now i need to go try the mini cadbury eggs, everything is cuter when it’s mini!

  6. Rachel G

    March 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I went back to look at your previously-impossible list–I really like the idea of making a list like that! I think in general it does tend to much easier to be a cheerleader for others, but not for ourselves.
    Rachel G recently posted…Being Stared At

    • chelsea

      March 30, 2015 at 8:06 am

      thanks for taking a gander at the previously impossible list, rachel! it was hugely beneficial to see and to remember “oh yeah…that was really hard but i did it!”

      it’s waaaay easier for me too to be a cheerleader for others than me

  7. Christina

    March 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Such a relatable topic to discuss, Chelsea! I’ve noticed I’ve been doing this when I talk about where I work with people I don’t see on a regular basis (for example, when I visit my hometown and see my childhood vocal lessons teacher). I have a masters but work retail. I have a habit of assuming that others will think less of me for working retail…like I’m not living up to my potential. So when someone asks me where I’m working I usually end up saying “unfortunately, I’m still working retail,” or phrasing response in a negative way. In reality I’ve found that no one bats an eyelash when I say I work retail. Those anxieties and judgments are only in my head. I’ve recently become aware of this bad habit, so I try to catch myself before those negative modifiers come out. Working retail is not ideal, but it’s not permanent. Your last sentence is on point.

    I am a huge dreamer! I’ve got a lot of creative energy so I’m constantly coming up with ideas.

    • chelsea

      March 30, 2015 at 8:14 am

      that’s an excellent example, christina! thanks for sharing that and it’s amazing how we totally put those judgments out there but they rarely are reality.

      love to hear that you’re a huge dreamer and can come up with new ideas constantly! definitely working to get my creative energy flowing better so i shall channel you 🙂

      • Christina

        March 31, 2015 at 8:31 am

        Perhaps we should be one another’s spirit animals? 😛

        • chelsea

          March 31, 2015 at 2:13 pm

          haha YES!

  8. Christine

    March 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    All the yes to this post! You OWN those dreams, girl!

    • chelsea

      March 30, 2015 at 8:14 am

      woohoo! i’m owning them more and more each day, christine!

  9. Amanda

    March 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Us ladies definitely tend to apologize or even marginalize ourselves, including our dreams. We probably feel bad for not simply sticking to “what’s expected,” whatever that is. You’re right, we need to stop! Without dreams, there’d be no innovation, right?
    Amanda recently posted…Taste Test Time for the Kitties

    • chelsea

      March 30, 2015 at 8:15 am

      well said amanda! no dreams=no innovation and we women are super smart and change the world so we need to stop marginalize ourselves!

  10. Robyn Petrik

    March 28, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve definitely said these kinds of things! While I have recently accomplished my big dream of working for myself, there’s still plenty of other dreams I think of as too ambitious or too crazy or too ‘that could never be me.’ It’s a really hard thought process to break, but it’s so important to encourage yourself, and everyone around you who’s caught in this mindset too.
    Robyn Petrik recently posted…Link Loving

    • chelsea

      March 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

      that’s SO fantastic to hear you’re recently started working for yourself, robyn…hello BIG dreamer and doer! congratulations! it is a hard process to break while you’re going after other things but thankfully it’s possible when we practice it with ourselves and with each other!

  11. Sunny

    March 30, 2015 at 8:20 am

    This totally hit me hard…I have always found it easier to say sth like that after telling someone about my plan, to leave a back door to retreat in case anything goes wrong. But your words make me feel quite “guilty” for doing that. I joined Toastmasters to be more confident and to see what I am really capable of, to see whether I can be what I never dared to think about before, and leaving a back door wide open is not helpful.
    To be honest I still find dreaming big difficult. Ever since I was a kid I have been a “good kid”, and very often “good kids” in China is very limited in dreams because their life has been planned too well by parents. I still do not know for sure what is my biggest dream in the world, but I do want to live everyday of my life without regrets. Hopefully I will start this life from closing the back door. Your article is really encouraging, and thx a lot for it!

  12. Lori Lavender Luz

    March 30, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    This is great advice. I can think of a time or two when I’ve wanted to beat someone to the punch. It was probably my own insecurities and not their assessment of my dream showing up.
    Lori Lavender Luz recently posted…Withholding Information from Adopted Kids

    • chelsea

      March 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      thanks for your comment lori and yup, usually it’s our own selves isn’t it!

  13. Melissa Camacho

    March 31, 2015 at 5:52 am

    you know I never knew this was something I did but I totally do it. one of my dreams is to go back to school and I caught myself saying “but I’m not sure it’d work out”. even though I know in my heart that I’m smart and I would do well in school. it’s a funny thing
    Melissa Camacho recently posted…Training Made Easy with Orijen Treats

    • chelsea

      March 31, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      i never really realized it either until my husband called it out either melissa! i think going back to school is a fantastic dream for you (not that it matters what i think 🙂 ) because you are absolutely smart enough and would do a kickass job!

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