Do you have ever a dream that makes you sit up in bed? Last night was it for me.
I’m unclear of our location or what we were doing, but I specifically remember Joey (my 7-year old) being with me. All I know is that I could hear the “whooshing” noise coming closer and closer. Before I knew it, there was a bald Eagle sitting next to us. I remember Joey and I being really calm and the Eagle didn’t stay long before it flew out the window I opened.
It was midnight and I was wide awake.
I did what everyone does when they have a strange stream. I go to the Google.
When you search “dreams about birds” you get 36,400,000 results in 0.40 seconds.
36 million results.
According to www.dreammoods.com:
“seeing an eagle in your dream symbolizes nobility, pride, fierceness, freedom, superiority, courage and powerful intellectual ability. It also represents self-renewal and your connection with your spirituality. You will struggle fiercely and courageously to realize your highest ambitions and greatest desires. “
It all made sense when I read that. We’re launching leadership programs in March, so most (almost all) of my time is prepping, tweaking curriculum, adding material, creating agendas, making sure that the work we do will inspire the participants in our classes. I was feeling particularly proud yesterday of the work that I’ve been doing.
It wasn’t always this way for me.
I used to doubt.
Wait to be told.
Doubt some more.
Know it wasn’t good enough.
A defining moment in changing that mindset was when I read Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. I have this quote sitting next to me at my desk.
“Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval. Most perfectionists grew up being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule following, people pleasing, appearance, sports). Somewhere along the way, they adopted this dangerous and debilitating belief system: “I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect.” Healthy striving is self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused: What will they think? Perfectionism is a hustle.”
It literally changed my life. I started drafting an e-mail to my colleague telling her that we needed to meet for breakfast the next morning. We refer to this conversation as the “switch-flipping conversation”.
Because reading that quote, a light went on for me: the only person holding myself back from doing my work was me.
No one else.
So, I started getting out of my own way. I started believing that the people who I love and respect in my work actually don’t have all the answers, still make mistakes and still doubt themselves sometimes. How freaking refreshing is that?!?
Moral of the story: Don’t wait for an eagle to show up in your dream to believe in yourself and do your right work.
But when the Eagle does show up?
You better believe that you’re flying in the right direction.