When our tongue betrays our feet – about sabotaging our dreams and goals


When I was about 18 years old, I read a sentence in a small book filled with wisdom and quotations from all over the world that I have never forgotten.

A bridled tongue makes the head wise.

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When we get excited about something, we want to talk about it. Maybe we want to apply for a place at a university, go on a backpacking trip to Tibet, or take the leap into self-employment. These decisions are groundbreaking for our future. If we are serious about it, we should let this thought grow inside us before we spit it out too soon. Otherwise, the following may happen:

  1. There are always dozens of arguments against our decision, usually from people who care about us, for example, our parents. They wish only for the best and for us to have a more effortless and carefree life than they had. That is natural and lovely. But the easiest is not always what is also best for us. We can talk about it confidently when we are sure we won’t let ourselves be diverted from our path because most arguments we already had brought before ourselves and successfully disproved them.
  2. Talking about our dreams gives us the deceptive feeling of already being in the middle of the process. In talking, we become euphoric and picture ourselves passing the aptitude test for college, standing in the Himalayan mountains, or driving our first Porsche. The feeling that we are already on our way creeps in. But that is simply not the case. We haven’t actively done anything yet to fulfill our dream. The journey does not begin until we have sat at our desks to prepare for the test, apply for the visa, or draw up a concrete business plan.

The tricky thing about talking about our dreams is that we load ourselves with unnecessary weight before we even take the first step. The arguments our parents brought up might sound reasonable and logical and now get stuck in our heads. The first doubts arise. Or our friend, to whom we have described our plan so emotionally, now regularly asks how things are going with our planning. Without realizing it, we suddenly have to justify ourselves, and our motivation fades away.

Therefore, let’s mature our dreams long enough in silence before we destroy them by trying to articulate them too soon.