Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 183, Dream Stealers.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.
Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. What are you doing? What’s going on in your world? How you doing? I am recording this for you on the very last day that it’s possible for me to record without getting in trouble with my podcast producers and so here we are. Here we are, we’re getting it done. We’re getting it done. And I want to talk to you today about dreams stealers. I also want to remind you before we talk about dreams stealers which really is important, is that I have upcoming a masterclass I want to invite you to and it is called breaking through a grief plateau.
And it is just a masterclass that I decided to create because I didn’t recognize in my own life what was happening when it was happening. I didn’t recognize when I was in a grief plateau. Frankly, there wasn’t even the term, grief plateau, it’s something that I have created to describe what happened to me and what happens to many of the women that I work with inside of Mom Goes On. In fact I would say the majority of women that I work inside Mom Goes On which is that I got to a place where I was back to functioning.
And everybody was telling me I was doing so great and I was looking so good and saying all these nice things, including my therapist. And it didn’t feel so good, that didn’t feel so good. I understand why they were saying I was doing well. From their perspective I’m sure that I was but I didn’t feel good. I wasn’t loving my life. I was not back to a place where I was excited about my future and I didn’t know what to do about it. I wanted to believe it could be addressed but I really didn’t know how to address it and I just spent a decent amount of time there and I don’t want you to be stuck there.
So this masterclass will help you identify what it looks like to be in a grief plateau so that you know when you’re there. And then I just want to teach you how to break through it so that you can get back to loving your life. I want you all to love your lives. And it is very reasonably priced. Recordings will be available in case you cannot attend live.
And here is what I want to say is even if you’re not quite there yet, even if you’re in earlier more acute grief and you don’t believe you’re back to where you want to be. I still want to invite you to attend this masterclass because I want you to know what to look for. And I want you feel hopeful. I want you to feel hopeful, that you see stories of other women who have been where you are. And I know a grief plateau might sound like a strange thing to hope for.
But when you’re in early acute grief and it feels like your whole world just exploded and you can’t even imagine being ‘okay’ again. Actually it can help lift you up. And so I would like that for you. So go to coachingwithkrista.com/griefplateau and you will find all of the details there and you can sign up. Again coachingwithkrista.com/griefplateau. It is at 1.00pm Central on Thursday December 8th. And again we’re going to record it. So my hope is that you’ll come live but even if you can’t, you’ll get the recording.
Alright, I also wanted to tell you, I had the most fun last weekend with this event called Coaching on my Couch. I decided to try something I hadn’t done before and offer the opportunity to some of my Mom Goes On clients to come and coach on my couch. And surprisingly as the event drew nearer I found myself a little nervous about it, worried about would we find enough to talk about, what did I need to be presenting. Just having a very human brain experience where the brain offers me reasons I should stay in the cave or try to crawl back in it.
And I couldn’t have been more wrong about any reason to worry. It was such good evidence that most of what we worry about is absolutely, well, honestly all of what we worry about, it’s never useful to worry, it doesn’t ever help us. But most of what we worry about doesn’t even come true and it definitely didn’t. It was such a lovely event and what I found was that the coaching work that we did it didn’t require anything extra at all.
It was a great reminder that sometimes the basics are what we really need, just the ability to tell the difference between what is factual and the story that our brain is telling us about it and have someone point that out to us is a gamechanger. Because when we increase our awareness that’s when we can make changes. And so I just had so much fun. So to the women who came, thank you, loved it. It was also fun to get in a limo and go out for dinner, and feel fancy, and spoil ourselves a little bit. So love, love, love doing it.
Okay, so let’s get into the episode. I want to talk about dream stealers today. A lot of you are walking around with dream stealers and you don’t even know it. You don’t know that you have these dream stealers. We’re going to cover five of them today. There are likely many more but I want to point out five of them to you today because I see them so much and because most of your windows, and you’re moms and you’re listening to me. And you’re my people and I know what’s happening in your brain. So we’re going to cover five of them.
Alright, so dream stealers, what are they? Dream Stealers are thoughts in your mind that feel true, thoughts in your mind that when you think them, you don’t even question. They feel so true and your brain has so much evidence for them that you don’t even think to consider that the only reason they feel so true is because you’ve been thinking them. Dream stealers are stories that your brain offers you about what has happened in your life, about the fact that your person died.
Dream stealers are sentences in your mind that your brain offers you about what is possible for you. And I want to point them out because if you don’t see them as optional, if you just continue to think that they are the truth, they are factual, they are just honestly what’s happening, then you won’t be able to break free of them. And posttraumatic growth is possible for all of us. I want to be the example of that. I want to teach that to you. So let’s talk about these five dream stealers.
So number one, I don’t know who I am. Now, there are reasons that nearly every widow has this thought. You lived a life with another human, you created that life together, you identified as a wife, you identified as a couple, you were a we are now you are transitioning to an I, to seeing yourself that way. So I understand that I don’t know who I am feels like the truth, if it does for you. And I remember when it absolutely felt like the truth to me. I literally remember looking in the mirror. I’ve mentioned it so many times because it’s just that vivid in my brain.
I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, okay, I know that’s me but who is that person? I don’t know her. I remember what that was like. And I remember how awful it felt. And so it’s not about any of us doing anything wrong when we believe I don’t know who I am. It’s a very common thought that we have as widows. It makes sense why it’s there and I don’t care. I don’t care why it’s there. And I want you to stop caring. What I want you to do is to see that I don’t know who I am is a dream stealer because how we think creates how we feel.
Ask yourself, when I think I don’t know who I am, how do you feel? Probably confused, maybe scared. And how we feel fuels what we do in this world. So when you’re feeling scared or confused, what do you do? Not much if you’re like most women I know and if you’re like me, you don’t do much at all, if anything you hide, you shut down, you go back in the cave. You don’t have opportunity to learn anything about yourself when you don’t do anything new.
So I don’t know who I am even though many of us are thinking it, and even though it’s a very logical thought to have, it is a dream stealer. It will block you from figuring out what you know about yourself, from seeing what you know about yourself. It will block you from figuring out who you’re going to be next. It will block you from choosing who you want to be, it will keep you stuck. And we understand why the primitive brain loves to keep us safe in the cave, feels cozy there, you can’t get hurt there.
But if and when you’re ready to live life again and not just survive, you’re truly ready. I don’t know who I am. We don’t want to believe that one anymore. We want to see it as optional. Hey, dream stealer I see you. What do I know about who I am? How is that not true that I don’t know who I am? What do I know about myself? That’s number one.
Number two, very similar, I don’t know what I want but I remember thinking this. I remember that thought being in my brain and not knowing it was a thought. I remember believing it was just true that I don’t know what I want. It felt factual to me. So maybe it feels very factual to you. It makes sense why this thought appears. But it is a dream stealing thought because how do you feel when you think I don’t know what I want? Insecure? Do you feel doubtful? Do you feel confused? Do you feel scared?
I don’t know what I want, doesn’t help you take action. It doesn’t help you figure it out. It discounts what you actually do know. Remember the bouncer in your brain? It asks the bouncer, your reticular activating system, the filtering system in your brain. It asks your bouncer to only show you evidence that lines up with I don’t know what I want. And guess what you’ll see? Only evidence that you don’t know. We prove our thoughts true, so no more I don’t know what I want, no more. It’s not true. It’s a lie.
It’s a lie that your brain is telling you and I want you to think about it that way. I don’t want you to be mad at yourself because it’s there, but I want you to think about it as a lie, see through it. Hey brain, I see what you just did there. Hey, dream stealer thought, I don’t know what I want, how is it not true? How is that not the case? What do I know that I want? Because you know at least some of what you want. You know how you want to feel. You know especially how you don’t want to feel, you have some ideas.
And when you don’t allow yourself to keep believing the I don’t know what I want dream stealer thought, that’s when you’ll be able to access what it is that you really do want, which can be a little scary, but we’ve got to do that if we want to go forward and love life again.
Dream stealer thought number three, I’m too, fill in the blank. Any descriptive word that you use about yourself as a reason that you can’t have what you want in life is a dream stealer. I am too old time. I am too dumb. I am too inexperienced. I am too fat. I am too anything. I am too, fill in the blank is a dream stealer and I want you to start seeing it as a lie. It is a lie. Now, it will become true if you continue believing it.
If you continue to allow your brain to think it and find evidence for it, and you don’t call your brain on its BS then I’m too, fill in the blank, will be the result that you create. Let’s not do this to ourselves. I am too whatever is a dream stealer. Don’t let you brain get away with this. Okay, two more.
Number four, I just want what I had. That thought, I just want what I had. And listen, if I could tell you how many times I thought that, so many times. I understand why you might be thinking this, I thought it too. But I want you to consider what this thought creates for you. When you are spending time continuing to put your energy toward wanting what you had, it’s not getting you what you had. It’s not taking you anywhere. It’s spending your energy focused on the past which you can’t control because it’s over. So be on the lookout for I just want what I had, be on the lookout for that.
And when you’re ready and you don’t want to be stuck anymore and you want to actually love your life again, consider how giving up that dream stealing thought will help you. What if you want what’s in front of you? What if you want what you have? What if you want what you’re about to create? What if you allow yourself to want even more? And listen, if that brings up guilt for you, I hear you. I coach on it all the time, you’re not alone there either. That is not a reason to stop yourself.
But if we keep wanting what we had and spending time there instead of spending time wanting what is possible, all that energy doesn’t get used toward creating what is possible.
Number five, and man, I know you’ve heard me say this one before, because boy howdy, did I think it. Number five dream stealer, my best days are probably behind me. I thought that. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to articulate it, but it was one of my biggest, my biggest dream stealing thoughts, my biggest worries. Just be grateful for what you had, best days are probably behind you. You’re not going to find something like that again. It’s unreasonable to ask that twice in one lifetime you could have that. So we’re going to be okay but we’re probably never going to be great again.
Anything that I just said are just different ways of phrasing that same dream stealing sentence, that same dream stealing thought. And thank goodness somebody showed me how to change my thoughts. Somebody showed me how to choose new thoughts for myself, thank goodness, thank you, Brooke Castillo. If I had not learned that and I didn’t know that I could choose to believe that my best days were in front of me and do the work required for me to actually believe that in my body. Because when I thought it, it felt like an insult to my late husband by the way.
But thank goodness I learned that the brain really is highly plastic, highly malleable, we can create new neural pathways, we can choose our thinking. We are not the thoughts we think. And I could see all of these dream stealers that I have, they’re just sentences. They’re just stories in my brain, they’re just thoughts. And yes, they feel true. of course. because I’ve thought them long enough and any thought we think long enough will feel true.
The reticular activating system in my brain has been doing a marvelous job because I have a wonderful brain, it finds evidence for all of my thinking and makes my thinking feel true. And yet I don’t want these thoughts to be the ones that I focus on. I don’t want to believe these thoughts because these thoughts take me away from the life I want instead of toward it. It’s that simple. If a thought is taking you away from what you want in your life it is a dream stealer. We don’t have to believe those thoughts. And they aren’t facts.
I don’t know who I am, I don’t know what I want, or I’m too blank, fill in the blank I just want what I had, my best days are probably behind me. None of those are factual. I get it if in your bones they feel true, I get it. And also I promise you, they are only true because you continue to think them. And you can train your brain to not believe those thoughts and to believe new ones that move you toward the life that you want so that you believe your best days are in front of you. So that you believe you love your life again.
And believe it or not, nothing about you or your life needs to change for that to happen. You don’t need to change anything about yourself to think differently about yourself. You don’t need to change anything about your life to think differently about what’s possible for your life. You don’t even need to change anything about your life to have a completely different experience of it right now, other than what you think. There’s so much more power in you than you have tapped into yet. I promise you that.
There’s so much more power in me than I have tapped into yet, I’m still learning. But I promise you if any of those lies feel true to you, if any of those dream stealers are on repeat in your brain, I want it to be something you go after like a dog after a bone. You start looking for those dream stealing thoughts and you tell your brain, I see you but no. No, I don’t choose that for myself. I choose something else for myself.
I remember when I heard Brooke tell me the first time that we have such a powerful instrument in our brain and most of us haven’t even taken it out of the box. I knew she was right but I didn’t know what to do with that information. That’s what we do in Mom Goes On by the way, many other things.
But a huge part of Mom Goes On, which of course you’re all invited to apply to, is let me help you see the thoughts that feel so real, that are in the way of the life experience you want next. Because when you see them, that’s when you can change them and then I can teach you how to change them. But for now look for those thoughts, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know what I want, I am too, fill in the blank, I just want what I had and my best days are probably behind me, for starters, those thoughts, look for them.
Alright, I hope you have an amazing week. I love you. Whatever it is you’ve got going on, remind yourself, literally look in the mirror and tell yourself, I love you and you’ve got this. Say that to yourself. Alright, I love you and you’ve got this. Take care and I’ll see you next week, bye bye.
If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so you can move forward with confidence.
Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click work with me for details and the next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.