reframing our story
From the subtle tones of a gentle offering to a sharp rebuke, our words carry great weight and significance.
We often say, “chase your dream.” But Donte Curtis says this isn’t enough. His business is called, “Catch Your Dream.” It’s a consulting and coaching group that focuses on inspiring people through what Donte calls “cultivating the soul.” He says that everyone has passion, but recognizing what that passion is and how to translate it into action is not always a process that comes naturally or quickly.
Chasing our dream allows us an easy excuse to give up when the dream proves too elusive. But catching your dream demands seeing it through until the end.
Words have significance. Framing has significance.
In initially trying to articulate the core of his work, one word came to my mind: empowerment. But this falls short. Donte says that the term empowerment comes from a place of paternalism. It implies that power is being gifted from one who has the power to one who does not.
Donte’s work, rather, is a matter of liberation.
It’s a matter of inspiring, rather than motivating. Motivation involves the promise of a reward, something to grasp at. But inspiration is internal. The root of the word means “inflame, blow into.” Really, “to breath life into.”
This is what Donte means when he speaks of “cultivating the soul.”
It’s his passion to help highlight the passion of others. Supporting people, connecting them with each other, inspiring them, helping them discover hope… this is why he does what he does.
The absence of hope is the absence of life. Donte’s fond of the saying, “the death of hope is a hope for death.”
His work of instilling hope in others is more than simply encouragement. It’s life-giving, life-affirming, and a beckon to the possibility of fulfillment.
“What do you tell people who say they don’t know what they want to do?” I asked.
“I don’t tell them anything. I just ask them questions.” Often times it seems we under-appreciate the value of questions. We listen in order to respond and give our advice. But questions can act as clues along the journey, clues that prompt reflection and exploration of what drives us individually.
The journey of life is fraught with what Donte calls “limiting beliefs,” thoughts we convince ourselves of that preclude us from acting, from catching our dreams.
For Donte, one of these limiting beliefs was that he wasn’t qualified to start his own business, that he wouldn’t be able to live off his business, his passion. But after attending a workshop similar to the ones he now puts on, he began the process of overcoming that limiting belief.
It started with first acknowledging his belief in his limitations. “People have gotten comfortable lying to themselves… I was lying to myself. [I realized] I didn’t have integrity to myself.”
He then began debunking those limiting beliefs. His perception of his story was beginning to change. He says if you can change your story, if you can change how you perceive your story, it can reframe your situation.
Everything he wanted his business to be and do was already in his hands. He was already doing it.
We can either choose to be victims of our limiting beliefs or chose to overcome them. The way we frame our situation and the words we use to articulate it, have power.
We can end up spending our whole lives chasing something and never reach out to grab it. The choice is ours to make.