Monday, April 29, 2013

The Astonishing Truth About Your Potential

As my boys have grown up, they have often plied me with pleading questions such as,

"Can I have an iphone?" Followed by the refrain,

"Everyone has one."

When I have questioned my kids  as to  who "Everyone" is and suggested calling round to find out, it is often only one or two friends and not the whole grade, that they are thinking about.

At times, we have all been influenced by peers, school expectations, the media and familial relationships and dynamics, for good and for bad.

As we get into our teens and young adulthood, the social perception of what "Everyone" thinks can take on larger than life proportions that can influence us positively or negatively.

The critical voices in our heads may have great bearing on our decisions. Our self-perception can be altered, according to how much store we have set by how we think others perceive us. 

One of those inner voices might whisper......

I can't become or change careers and be an anthropologist /writer/ whale trainer because everyone will think I've gone crazy.


I have to be a doctor/lawyer/teacher because that's what everyone expects of me.

However I have realized that what we imagine everyone thinks about us and what they actually think about us are often very different. 

The "Everyone" in our minds can be a destructive or supportive influence on our self perception. 

I'll bet you can think of people who make you feel badly about yourself, are critical and negative about your weight, your plans, your partner or your career. 

 The goodies that I'm sure you can name as well, are the ones who encourage you to believe in yourself and support your goals and dreams. They  give you honest and encouraging feedback, that will help you appraise yourself in a more balanced, measured way.

Last night I had a very vivid dream that unlike most, I remember large chunks of and these pieces have been whirling around in my brain all morning.

In the dream a friend of mine, I'll call June and her young children came  to view my house with the intention of buying it. As the children ran in and out, I traipsed behind them from room to room. I found myself embarrassed as June opened each door and encountered, piles of papers on tables, clothes and wet towels on the floor and general disarray on every surface. (This description would not be so far from the truth  in some rooms in my house!

At one point June discovered a door that was partially hidden from view by an armoir. I followed her through the entrance, puzzled and unnerved that I had lived in this house for years and  had never noticed  it, never mind looked inside.

What my visitor discovered was a whole annex of rooms full of possessions I had never encountered: brightly colored scarves decorating a wall, beautiful oak furniture, and Benetton color-ordered shelves. She was charmed by its view and nooks. She marveled at the space and dappled light from the windows highlighting the film of dust on the surfaces. She removed some deritus from a counter top and found a kitchen counter attached to these new rooms, revealing a whole new living space I'd had no clue about. 

tried to make sense of this treasure trove, that had been hiding just beyond my reach.

Then, as we climbed the stairs to the second floor, June started to describe her plans, as she saw inside each space. She planned to break down walls, modernize the bathrooms, and rearrange the roles of each room. Meanwhile I was focussed on scuff marks on the paintwork, clothes water-falling out of open drawers and worn patches of carpet.

Where I saw mess she saw beauty and potential. Where I had failed to see potential she already had grand plans. Whilst I was concentrating on the tumble of objects that were out of place she was being creative with that space.

My final memory of this dream was a feeling of panic. That having been opened up to the possibilities in my home, I was about to lose it. 

I tried to reclaim it, to tell June the house was no longer for sale. 
I had a sinking feeling that I had missed all these opportunities right in front of me in my own home, because I had not been looking at them in a positive way. 

Now I am no interpreter of dreams, but this one made me sit bolt upright  and think about how, what I might be seeing and thinking, others might view  differently. My focus on the negative might dampen the possibilities for creativity and new ideas. 

One thing I can say objectively: my sons' rooms ARE a complete mess! But for all the other rooms in the house, or ideas in our heads,  a fresh set of eyes to size up what we have been looking at for a long time can bring us a new perspective.... not by a naysaying detractor, but by an honest, supportive friend, who might have a whole different take and has our best interests at heart. 

 Imagine going to a museum and looking at a Rodin sculpture or a Terracotta soldier. Imagine only viewing it from the front at a distance. In doing so you miss the opportunity to observe its fine details, look at it sideways on, or to walk behind it and see the  folds in its clothing or the flowers the artist has created behind its back.

And so it is when someone else (one of the goodies on our list)    who is not bogged down by our inner voices, is able to describe what we are seeing through their eyes. They can open up the possibilities for us and show us another viewpoint, option  or angle, that from where we are standing we ourselves are unable to see. That is what I think  my friend  June was doing, in my dream.

So how do we get this input about our projects or plans or ourselves? 

How do we find another viewpoint before what we have, disappears or goes up for sale? 

Well we may have to be brave and ask some of the goodies we know and trust, what they really think about our hair color/ career plans or bungee jumping goals. We may be surprised to find that they have great faith in us, are able to bring us comfort and encouragement and they may even want to come along for the ride! 

And as for the boys' bedrooms? Well even the goodies will tell you, the boys will just have to clean up after themselves.

Have you ever had a vivid dream, that has made you stop and think? Give me your feedback and honest perspective. You're all goodies on my list! 

Have a great week


Many thanks to you all for your support of  Brainstorm. Please help spread the blog readership by sharing this post or others to your face book page. It's very simple to do. Click on the F icon at the very bottom of this post, write a comment if you like and post the link. 
Thank you! 

 Please email me at or leave a comment on this post below. I'd love to have your feedback. 
Thank you for visiting Brainstorm. If you want to receive future posts by email please enter your address on the right hand side of this post,where it says "RECEIVE BLOG BY EMAIL."  Remember to look for the verification link from Feedburner when it comes into your inbox or hides in your spam folder.


  1. Dear Gilly,
    How do you dream? Our son asked us this question when he was a teenager, a few years ago now. I dream in colour, my husband dreams in black and white. Our son thought this was just hysterical. As my husband is older he was therefor, dreaming like the old films!
    I have since discovered that my sister dreams in words.
    How do you dream?

    1. Jo -What a great story and question! Well the dream I described here was definitely in color. I really tried to describe it as accurately as I could. It's interesting your sister dreams in words-so she has no visuals at all? I think it's always interesting when people tell me they dream in their second language or third. I wonder how others dream....I'd love to know.

  2. Gilly I am fascinated by dreams. Some of mine have come true. I'm sure I wrote a blog post one time about how I came to meet my husband.
    I think some dreams are definitely our sub-conscious minds trying to tell us something and if you think hard enough (like you did) you might figure them out.
    I often wonder about animals. My dog dreams and sounds so scared during them, I feel the need to wake him up. I just wish he could tell me what it was about.

    1. Really? Liz you dreamt about meeting your husband, before it happened? That's amazing. I don't think I read that post, but i would love to...
      I have dreamt about my Dad which has been very comforting. he looked so healthy in the dream and asked me how I was.
      Yes, pets dreaming must be a whole other subject. I wonder if any research has been done on that. Your poor dog. I hope it sounds worse to you than it feels to him.

    2. Yes, Jilly, I did dream about Ian and went looking for him (and found him eventually)....long story. Think the blog post is called Dreams can come true.

    3. i will go and read it. Thanks Liz!

  3. Your mssage was exactly what I needed this morning, Gily!
    Also, I seem to remember being sur you could be a writer, and struggling to convince you to persue your you rremember that? This piece
    As for dream interpreter, I found your insights spot on.
    Miss and love you xx K

    1. So glad it was helpful! We all need reminding and we all need our cheerleaders! Thank you for being one of mine!

  4. Wonderful, Gilly! I like to think that dreams are telling us something. I've read that they are our mind going over unfinished business that we've dealt with in the last 48 hours. Perhaps it is our own self telling us what we really feel / think when the conscious may be suppressing our deepest beliefs while we are awake. Perhaps June was really your other Gilly, who can see past the obvious and is strong and wise underneath. It is, after all, your dream coming from your mind. What we need to do is to allow our truer self to come out & play. You have wisdom within you already, Gilly. Thanks for sharing it with us! Hugs, Lynn

  5. Lynn -Thank you for your generous interpretation! I do think the dream is definitely talking about untapped potential or experiences. It is interesting to ask the question "Who/what is June representing?" and "What are the rooms and their contents symbolizing?"
    I found this site that gives an analysis of dreams where you find new rooms/ floors in the house. it seems many people have had this kind of dream:-
    Dream Symbols: New Rooms In The House
    Fascinating stuff. I always appreciate your feedback.