How to Handle a Dream Snatcher

This past weekend, I heard a nasty rumor. What happened was a friend of mine got a call about a rumor, and I was there when the call came in. Without going into detail, the rumor was that a highly successful person had been caught in an embarrassing situation, the nature of which would lead to public humiliation and personal devastation.

Sounds awful doesn’t it?

Well, you’d think so, but the person spreading the news was as giddy as a kid on Christmas Eve.

The rumor ended up fizzling out in short order, as most rumors do, but the bad taste in my mouth over this incident lingered. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get over someone experiencing such abundant joy over the whiff of a possibility that a hardworking, successful person faced certain ruin.

I think the real reason it hung with me for so long though was that deep down I know there are a lot more dream snatchers out there than I care to admit.

But it’s true.

There are people who will rejoice if I fail.

And there are people will rejoice if you fail too.

Don’t think so? Look around.

The dream snatchers are the ones trying to keep you down by:
– Telling you no one ever makes any money online.
– Calling you crazy when you voice your intent to leave your steady job.
– Listing all the people they know who’ve failed at blogging or in other self-employment endeavors.
– Sabotaging your creative time with constant interruptions and an endless river of drama.
– Pointing out all the ways your blog doesn’t measure up to the “professional” blogs.

Then, when you do experience success with your blog, the dream snatchers will try and take you down by:
– Passing on a negative comment they overheard about you or your blog.
– Dispensing steady doses of gloomy forecasts for your niche.
– Telling others success has gone to your head.
– Reminding you that other blogs in your niche still get more traffic than yours.
– Starting or spreading rumors about you.

Dream snatchers are out there all right. They’re living near you or maybe even with you. And that’s a fact of life.

So . . . how DO you handle a dream snatcher?


You recognize them. You let them own their negative energy. AND YOU KEEP WORKING!!!


Your turn. Have you encountered any dream snatchers? What’s your strategy for handling them?

I am most definitely NOT a dream snatcher, and I’d love to help you achieve your blogging dreams. Join our community by becoming a Virgin Blogger Notes subscriber.

Photo by Arts

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32 Responses to How to Handle a Dream Snatcher

  1. Trece May 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Again with the serendipity!! I just finished reading Karol's new post at Ridiculously Extraordinary and his #7 point was to hang out with inspiring people. His bonus point was to stay away from those who'd bring you down and don't believe in the work. And here you are in a similar vein!! And all of it true.

  2. virginbloggernotes May 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Don't you just love it when the same message comes from different sources so you know it's meant for you!?! Being mindful of who I spend the majority of my time with sure has made a difference in my life. While I still have a few dream snatchers in my life, I don't let them derail me anymore. Here's to boosting each other up!

  3. Dave Doolin May 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    I like this. You're really cool.

    I'll tell you what's even worse the other people snatching your dreams… snatching your own dreams away from yourself! Some people seem to have an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Thanks for stopping by WiaW. Gabe and Anna are going to cover a lot of newbie material on WiaW over the next 8 months. I'm definitely interested in your opinion on how well we handle the material.

  4. Dave Doolin May 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Trece, I'd love to have a link for this post; you have my email!

  5. virginbloggernotes May 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Oh yeah, I've been known to snatch away my own dreams a time or two myself.

    Love your site, Dave. I'm a subscriber and will do what I can to point other folks your way too.

  6. Anonymous May 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Ha! You & I are right on the same page, my friend! I wrote about the same people, except referred to them as Dream Zappers. Zappers…Snatchers…it’s all the same. :) Good to find you!

    The Smart Ass Guide To Dealing With Dream Zappers

  7. JadeDragon May 3, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Ignore those dream snatchers. 90% of success is not allowing yourself to fail.

  8. virginbloggernotes May 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Ignoring is definitely the way to go. I used to waste a lot of time and energy dealing with them and as a result wasn't doing important work.

  9. TheInfoPreneur May 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    dream snatchers should be the title of a blockbuster movie about the blogosphere! So many people waiting for you to trip.

    I love your style of writing, it's so engaging and that's coming from someone who is severely dyslexic! lol

  10. virginbloggernotes May 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    People waiting for me to trip normally don't have to wait long. I do it quite regularly :) I always get back up though!

  11. virginbloggernotes May 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    I thought your comment had gone *poof* but it was actually just my technically inept brain at work. Disqus must kick anything with a link into “moderation-land.” Someone should moderate me :)

  12. Mokibobolink May 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Wow, what a great post and so true! I don't usually deal with people like that who I know personally but I see them out there on the web. Great advice to just ignore them and do your thing. Love it.

  13. virginbloggernotes May 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    There's a lot to be said for just doing our own thing and letting others do theirs. I definitely get a lot more done when my mind stays on my own business :)

  14. John Sherry May 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Jean this is uba spot on. Whenever people want to step out of the 'norm' and forget rat race living some poor soul tries to pull them back into the despair that they live. So congratulations for flagging up raising our own flag and being aware of those who would suck the dreams from us.One other thing is to ensure that we ourselves aren't the dream snatcher or self sabotager having a defeatist attitude before we've even started. Have a positive team of friends and associates around us will help us move consistently towards our dreams even on the tough days and hard times. Great post even greater advice. Thank You.

  15. mark May 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi Jean –

    I agree with you wholeheartedly & I don't know that people with a negative motivation tend to wait until you are really successful. Anytime you are perceived to have something more than what someone else has, you run the risk of having to deal with their problems. For some reason, people do not like to suffer alone.

    TIP may be right here; dream snatchers does sound like the title of a movie about the blogosphere.

    Everyone fails sometime. The question is not who will fail or who will look bad; it is when and how will they fail and how will they handle it.

    Watch for these people, but don’t avoid them. Engage them and have them explain exactly what it is that they don’t like. Then choose to either use that to make changes to what you are doing, or use their comments as fuel to continue what you are doing with more fervor.

    Have a good day!

  16. Karen Ruby May 4, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    I think that there are a lot of dream snatchers out there, and sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We can look around and see/say the same things that others will say to us. As you say, just ignore the dream snatchers and if it's you – tell that little voice to shut up, and then take action on your dreams anyways :-)

  17. virginbloggernotes May 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    John, you are so right about watching out to make sure we aren't our own dream-snatchers. I've definitely done that to myself in the past. In the last few years I've come along ways in terms of surrounding myself with positive people, examining the sources of my beliefs, etc. Life is a lot easier when we focus on what really matters to us and when we get out of our own way :) Thanks for stopping by. You're blog is really looking good, by the way!

  18. virginbloggernotes May 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    You're right, Mark. I think it's the old, “misery loves company” way of thinking that can cause some people to start launching attacks as soon as a person makes a positive change. Sometimes they're not necessarily coming from a bad place but they just liked things the way they were and don't want to deal with change

  19. virginbloggernotes May 4, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    I'm good at talking to those voices in my head. Sometimes there's a real party going on in there :) It's funny how it works because when I get really aware of inner chatter/negative self-talk, it tends to subside on its own. If I zone out of awareness the voices can creep up on me again.

  20. Madeleine May 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Jean, Very perceptive post. And I love your writing.

    I think that this tear-'em-down mentality is rampant. So many people seem to love to build up celebrities just so they can tear them down the minute the celebs gain a bit of weight or have a medicre performance or two or make bad romantic choices. And if none of that really happens, some trashy tabloid will make it up and print it anyway. Clearly, there's a huge market for this despicable drivel.

    There've been so many sad examples of this: people with huge talent who are built up and then torn down. One of the saddest was Elvis Presley, that is the young Elvis with his great voice, great looks, and terrific work ethic. It's true that as time went on, he bore much of the blame for his downfall, but still tragic how some people seem to take such perverse pleasure in it. When his death was announced, some moron actually said, “Good career move.”

  21. virginbloggernotes May 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    Wow, I had never had that last bit about Elvis :( The hurtful things people say sometimes are unreal. You struck on something I've often thought about and that is how the tabloids and gossip shows exist because people are paying for what they sell. I love the things that celebrities create – their music, books, movies, etc., but don't understand the fascination with their private lives. I'd rather pay attention to my own life, and if it's boring or lacking in some way, work on improving that. Thanks for stopping by!

  22. Linda Gabriel July 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    FanTAStic article Jean… “How do you handle a dream snatcher?” “YOU DON’T!” Perfect.

    • Jean Sarauer August 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks, Linda. I had to live and learn to get to that point :)

  23. Clearly Composed July 31, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    My best tactic is to leave those dream snatchers out of my loop when possible. I don’t take my exciting news to them or share the big moments. I have a great team of cheerleaders around me that do a great job at building me up. I just try very hard not to let the grrry people within earshot! :)

    • Jean Sarauer August 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      I know exactly what you mean about not sharing your special moments with these types. I’ve got a couple who crawl out of the woodwork just to take potshots now and again but I’ve gotten really good at ignoring them :) You can always share your good news with me because I’m on your cheerleading squad!

    • Alan Ashwood February 26, 2011 at 4:32 am #

      I live in England. We don’t have cheerleaders.
      Could I borrow some of yours?
      Otherwise I’m surrounded by Brit cynicism (It’s a known ailment).
      Alan Ashwood recently posted..Yay! Then There Were 40! Now for the next 40

  24. The Londoneer August 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    I have a reader who occasionally leaves personal attacks on my integrity in the comments. Speaking to other London bloggers they suffer his attentions too from time to time, but he never spends much time with any of us before moving on to his next ‘victim’. I’ve learned to live with it now but the first time it happened I had my heart in my mouth – it was a very unpleasant experience…
    The Londoneer recently posted..The London Blogger Interviews – Week 2

    • Jean Sarauer August 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

      It takes all kinds to keep our world balanced, doesn’t it? Do I dare hope this troublemaker sticks to London bloggers and leaves Virgin bloggers alone??? :)

  25. 13Shadows August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I seem to have developed the nasty habit of self-sabotage.I know it’s just ‘Fear of Failure’ and the subsequent loss of a lifelong dream, but it’s definitely my worst enemy! With regard to the other type of dream-snatcher, in Ireland we often say ‘the art of begrudgery is alive and kicking’. :)

  26. Alan Ashwood February 26, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    Take my dreamsnatchers – they’re everywhere.
    I think one of the problems is that many of us are isolated. Where you can gain some support from like minded people, such as those above, often, those closest to you are ready to belittle and put down your hard work and efforts. This is especially difficult if they can’t see any quick financial returns.
    Blog hopping helps me through the negative vibes, and I’ve made some very good friends out there too.
    I hope I’m on the cusp of starting to make a little money for my efforts, but I’ll keep going anyway. This is my future – this is my family’s future.
    Besides, I want to be able to say “See – I told you I was right”, to the dreamsnatchers.
    From the Magic Forest, England :-)
    Alan Ashwood recently posted..Yay! Then There Were 40! Now for the next 40

  27. Znendrii April 27, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    So true.


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