RELATIONSHIPS: Dream Killers | Great Health Guide


‘Dream Killers’ written by Dr Matthew Anderson and published in Great Health Guide (August 2017). Have you ever had someone tell you that your dreams are good enough? You could perhaps be suffering from self-doubt. These two phenomenon are dream killers and they can be internal or external ones. External dream killers are people who sabotage your hopes and dreams by not giving you the support you need to achieve your dreams. They may present themselves in the form of family or friends. In the first of a two-part series, relationship counsellor Dr Matthew Anderson identifies what and who external dream killers are and how to approach them.  
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written by Dr Matthew Anderson

What is a dream?

Your highest hope, biggest challenge, best possible outcome for your work, relationship and/or life.

There are two kinds of dream-killers. The internal killers and the external killers.  Both of them are dangerous to your aliveness and your consciousness.

Part 1: External Dream Killers

These are usually people who care about you, at least to some degree. Sometimes they can actually be parents or spouses and often they are our friends. They say they ‘want the best for you’ but they all share the following characteristics.

    1. They support and encourage your fears. They often validate your fears by directly or indirectly telling you that you are not capable of overcoming the obstacles or dangers between you and your dreams.

    2. They support your smallness. They seldom demand or expect you to rise to your highest possibility or potential. They seem happiest with you when you are playing it safe and small.

    3. They live small, unconscious lives and never challenge themselves to wake up or grow.

    4. When you share your dreams with them, they have simple or silly reactions.

    5. They are unable or unwilling to see and encourage you to explore and share what is special and valuable in you.

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Look to your right…

Take a look at all your relationships and identify the dream killers. Then do everything you can to set physical and/or emotional boundaries with them.  Do not allow them to influence your decision making. Do not allow them to give you their repeated opinions about your future, your potential or your life options.

If you are married to a dream killer, you will need to confront your spouse about this problem. If you make no progress then you will do best to go for marriage counseling. Dream killing can ruin or end a marriage if it is not attended to.

If your parents are dream killers, then you will have to find ways to avoid dream related subjects or confront them and demand that they refrain from any judgmental comments about your potential and options. Do not avoid dealing with this one even though it may be extremely difficult for you. Parental influence is powerful and life shaping even if you are an adult.


  1. Make a list of all the External Dream Killers in your life. Be honest with yourself.

  2. Decide how to confront or avoid each person on the list above. This is a crucial part of realizing your dreams. It can be difficult but the payoffs are significant. The costs of not doing this step are devastating.

  3. Once you have identified and dealt with your dream killers then you need to replace them.

Replace them with one or more individuals who see your gifts and encourage you to live into and up to them. We all need cheerleaders. Go find yours. They are out there and they will be happy to celebrate you and your dreams.

In my following article, I will discuss Part 2: Internal Dream Killers.

Author of this article:
Dr Matthew Anderson, Doctor of Ministry specializes in counselling. He has extensive training and experience in Gestalt and Jungian Psychology and has helped many people successfully navigate relationship issues. Dr Anderson has a best-selling book, ‘The Resurrection of Romance’ and he may be contacted via his website.

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Author Kathryn Dodd

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