How to Expand the Size of Your DreamsFeb 26, 2021
The size of your dreams is proportionate to how much you trust yourself.
When you do what you say you’ll do, something happens inside of you. You believe yourself more. Your confidence grows. As your confidence grows, your mind and spirit expand. You ask yourself, “If I can do that, what else can I do?” Once you’ve done that thing, you grow even more. You say, “What else am I capable of?” You and your dreams expand and there’s no limit to how far you can go. Here’s how I learned this principle.
When Emily and I were newly married, I was pretty bad with money. I earned enough to provide for our family, but it was a roller coaster ride. I never knew exactly where the money was going or, often, where it would come from. We would be surprised by unexpected bills. We would transfer balances from one credit card to another. We lived in low-grade fear of ‘would we have enough this month?’ During this time, I learned about credit scores, but more importantly I learned about credibility scores.
Many people know their credit score. If we pay our bills on time and have a reasonable balance between our income and available credit, we have a healthy score. People are happy to lend us money or offer us payment plans. They trust us. When we don’t pay our bills on time or we carry a lot of debt, our score lowers. People don’t want to lend us money or offer us payment plans. They don’t trust us.
That’s the world of money. And money impacts most parts of our lives.
So what is a credibility score?
It’s the ratio between the number of things you say we’re going to do, and the things you actually do.
“I’ll do the dishes,” you might say.
If you do them, your credibility score goes up. If you don’t, your credibility score goes down. Your credibility score doesn’t care too much about the “reasons” you do or don’t do something; just like your credit score doesn’t care much about why you do or don’t pay your bills. It simply follows the action.
Our credit score (or FICO score) is tracked by three major agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Our credibility score is also tracked by three major agencies: Other People, The Universe, and Yourself.
Let’s take these credibility agencies one by one.
Your Credibility Score with Other People:
When you do what you say you’re going to do, other people believe you. When you don’t, they don’t.
What does this look like?
One morning Emily and I were out on our morning walk. It was a super snowy day and we were wearing snow suits and ski goggles. We posted a picture captioned, “Here’s us in Antarctica!” One of our friends responded, “No way! So cool.” She believed we’d gone to Antarctica. We were actually just in the park across the street from our apartment and there was a lot of snow. We had high credibility with her. She’d seen us travel to various places around the world and believed we would actually go to Antarctica. We had high credibility with her.
What does it look like to not do what you say you’ll do, and how does this effect your credibility score with others? We’ve all experienced this ourselves. Either we haven’t followed through or someone didn’t follow through with us. Growing up we said we’d practice piano, but never got around to it. Or said we’d help someone move, got distracted and didn’t show up. Or we decided we would start eating right in the New Year. A few weeks later we were back into our old habits.
Not doing what we say we’ll do erodes our credibility with others.
When we value our credit score highly, we’re careful what we say we’ll do. We don’t commit to something unless we fully plan to follow through. When you’re a person who does what you say you will do, people start to believe you. Like our friend who thought we went to Antarctica.
Here’s the interesting thing, as your credibility score rises, that effects with another credibility score agency: The Universe.
Snorkeling in Hawaii
Your Credibility Score with The Universe:
Once the universe finds out you’re a person of your word, cool stuff starts to happen. Opportunities find their way to you. The universe knows who will say yes and will follow through. The universe likes that. Call it God. Call it Law of Attraction.
We’ve found that the number of opportunities and invitations proliferate in proportion to our willingness to 1) say yes and 2) follow through. Both are crucial. We house sat two years in a row in Hawaii for a total of four months. People often say to us, “Wow. If you ever get an invitation like that and can’t do it, just let us know.” Absolutely. We will. But here’s the trick. Would you actually say yes? As much as people say they want to house sit in Hawaii, would you actually do it? The invitation is for two months, not two weeks. It likely will not line up with school holidays or your slow season at work. You’ll have to fly yourself there. Would you say yes? (In many ways covid is opening people’s minds to these kinds of opportunities, and I think that’s a good thing.)
We learned we were not the first people asked to do this house sit in Hawaii. In fact we were seventh. But we were the first ones to say yes. Every person before us had their reasons. They couldn’t get away from work. They didn’t want to take their kids out of school. They worried who would take care of their house while they were gone. They had good reasons, and therefore said no.
Maybe the previous six people didn’t actually want to house sit in Hawaii. That’s cool. Don’t feel bad if you say no. That can actually be very healthy. It can mean you’re clear on what you want. Just don’t say you want to do it, and then turn it down when the opportunity presents itself.
Trimming banana trees in Hawaii.
When you do what you say you’ll do, your credibility score goes up with others. They believe you when you say you’ll do something. And in turn, the universe believes you more as well. More opportunities come your way, more invitations, more stars align. The universe wants to clear the way for you because you are a person of action. Just like banks fall over themselves to lend money to people with high credit scores, as your credibility score rises, people and the universe will open doors for you that you never knew existed.
To boost your credibility score there are two easy solutions:
- Stop saying you want something you don’t really want.
- Say ‘yes’ when the opportunity presents itself. Or better yet, create the opportunity to do or get the thing you want.
Playing music for fun in the evening.
As a musician, I hear often. “Wow, I wish I could play piano like that.” Not true. Most people like the idea of playing an instrument, but they prefer to do other things with their time. They don’t actually want to play the piano well. If they did, they would sit down and start figuring it out. They might even find a teacher or some online videos. Rather than saying, “I wish I could play piano like that,” consider saying, “That was amazing. Thank you for the gift of your music.” Or you could say, “You inspire me. I’m going to start practicing.” Whatever you say, protect your credibility score. Either recognize it’s not a priority for you and simply appreciate someone else’s abilities (this is 1,000% valid) or do the thing you say you’ll do. Either way, your credibility score stays strong.
One of the highest compliments Emily and I received was from a close friend who texted us as our book, Seven at Sea, was coming out. She said, “You guys did it. You said you were going to write a book and you did it. You don’t just talk about it. You do stuff.”
A strong credibility score is important with others and the universe. It’s most important with yourself. You are the last and most crucial credibility agency.
Your Credibility Score with Yourself:
When you do what you say you’ll do, your credibility score rises with yourself. Why does this matter? Because the size of your dreams is proportionate to how much you trust yourself. We’ll come back to this in a second. For now, some quick examples:
I get fired up by painters who paint. Lots of people say they want to be an artist, and I love those people. But I trust painters who paint. They get out their brushes, set up a canvas and get to work. They do it consistently. I trust them and, most importantly, they trust themselves. They are not saying they want to be an artist. They act like it. They do it. And there’s a confidence that goes with that.
I feel the same way about writers who write. Entrepreneurs who run a business. Engineers who build a bridge. Parents who raise their children.
The size of our dreams is proportionate to how much we trust ourselves.
What do you want more or less of in your life?
When you do what you say you’ll do, something happens inside of you. You believe yourself more. Your confidence grows. And as your confidence grows, your mind and spirit expand. You say to yourself, “If I can do that, what else can I do?” And once you’ve done that thing, you expand even more. You ask, “What else am I capable of?” You and your dreams expand.
Your dreams are proportionate to how much you trust yourself.
The coolest part is, as your self-trust expands, so is the trust others have in you and the trust the universe has in you. Your credibility score with all three agencies rises. There is no cap to this virtuous cycle. There is no limit to how big your dreams can become.
THIS MIGHT BE HELPFUL:
- Whitney Johnson (Thinkers50) shares how this idea helped her break through barriers in her work/career as well as at home. Check it out here.
- What if you're stuck in a downward spiral or are stagnant?
It’s hard to dream big when you don’t even believe yourself.
Life is great if you’re doing all the things you say you’ll do: play a sonata on the cello, do 100 pull-ups, build a business and sell it for eight figures, host happy family gatherings every month. That’s a lovely life. But what if we’re not there yet? What if you're still sleeping in, eating too many cookies, paying the minimum on our credit card debt, and ghosting friends’ texts? Where to begin?
Acorns turn into mighty oaks.
Find one thing, a small thing, and do it consistently.
That’s why we created our free mini-course, Create Space to Dream with a Rock Solid Morning Routine. If you need a place to start, start there, with how you wake up.
If your credibility score is already in good shape, congratulations. Keep it going. What more are you capable of, knowing who you are and what you’ve already done? Precedent is a powerful propellant into your personal potential. (Points for alliteration, people?)
If you’re looking for a way to challenge yourself and see what else you’re capable of, consider our Dream Launcher course. It’s for people who are ready to get even more clear and focused and want to do something just beyond their current comfort zone. If that’s you, check it out.
Expand the size of your dreams.
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