Barbara Sher’s Idea Party


How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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2,563 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Hi everyone,

    I’d wish to be more self-convident and to socialize with people. The obstacle is, well, that I’m socially awkward and not self-convident. At all. I’ve tried a lot. I’ve tried not to try, I’ve been practising martial arts with joy for years, I’m perfectly happy and confident around animals like horses or dogs and I have no problems training them, but as soon as it comes to interactions with people, I mostly fail. By now I can handle customers in the shop I work most of the time and I get along with my colleagues, but I haven’t got any friends, I’ve never had a relationship my entire life. I’m just extremely lonely.

    I’m not ugly. I’m not rude. I’m in my mid 20s. I’m calm, polite and friendly. I’m a good listener. By now I’ve even started to learn to do a bit small talk. But I don’t know how to get to know someone closer. I’m sure it’s because I don’t like myself and I’m displaying my lack of self-confidence, but I don’t know how to chance this. I’m invisible to others as a person. People who seem to like me like my colleagues still wouldn’t want to hang around with me in their spare time. There have literally been occasions like “step aside, I don’t want to stand next to you, but to anyone else”. (And no, I don’t smell, either.) I’m the awkward kid picked last for a team in school sports and it has continued to be like that my entire life.

    Any ideas how I could chance that?

    • Hi Steve,

      Do you have a google-account?
      If yes, come and join our online-successteam.
      Just write me an e-mail:
      I installed a webside where we can support each other to achieve our goals. We’re at the beginning, but it would be nice to have you there, too.
      I think, when you become a good friend to yourself, people will automatically treat you different and it’s cool, that you like animals.
      Maybe you need to find people who are like you. I guess, you’re not the only one who feels lonely, but when you become active, chances are your life will change to the better.

      So I would like to have you in our successteam.

    • Maybe there’s something you can help people with. Like helping elderly people use a smartphone to talk to their grandkids or walking someone’s dog.

    • Hi Steve,
      I recommend joining a rock climbing gym. Rock climbers are the most friendly and generous people because everyone’s live depends on the others. The best social years of my life were when I was a climber! And you can be a total beginner. I think it is even better to be a beginner, because you can climb with lots of different people and everyone wants to help. And your self-confidence goes way up, you get into great shape, you make lots of friends… Anyway, that is my advice! All the best!

  2. I want to move from rainy depressing Seattle to sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. My obstacles are my pets, mostly. Keeping them is not negotiable! I have 3 cats and a large bouncy dog, and a turtle, so I need a place to live when we arrive. Finding a rental that allows us, without being there, has been tough. Figuring out how to get them there is also tough! Do I drive with the dog and fly the cats? Where do I keep them while I am driving across the country? Do I fly the dog (and save on vaccinations and health certs I would need for all the cats)? Who takes care of this while I’m en route? The car is not big enough for all of us. They are all a bit needy, so I’m trying to minimize their stress. With all MY stress of moving, there’s this important bit to figure out. Help!

    • Find people who could use a free trip/holiday. I’ve driven my dog across the country doing that. I paid for the person’s plane ticket and we did a road trip holiday together with the dog. Someone who could use free plane tickets could fly with your dog and you drive with the cats or the other way round. And students looking for house-sitting jobs could hold the fort either at the new house or the old house – also while you go there to look for rental.

  3. Hey everybody,

    wish: I want to start a successroom_ideaparty with four other people. My idea is to have a private webside, where only the four members and I can have a successroom_ideaparty. There we can support each other and help us make our dreams come true. I already made the webside. 🙂

    obstacle: I don’t have four other members. :/

    If you have an idea, how I can find four other members write here or when you want to be a member, then write also here, but also an e-mail to

    I want other members who are also very seriously about their dreams and want a little group to support each other. And I want people who participate, who are also a great fan of Barbara Sher and who want to join the idea-party.

    Thank you very much!

  4. Hi Everyone,

    I have a Dream to write a book about my holistic journey battling Fibromyalgia and Bullying. I have already fibshed writing several chapters but stopped because I felt it was too raw and graphic. Some of my former coworkers where I used to work would be able to identify potentially some of the people whom bullied me on the job. I have been unemployed for three years and feel writing this would be therapeutic and help me grieve and move forward.

    In addition, I have found my purpose through this journey and my Big Audacious Goal is to raise $149,000 to fund my Pain Bootcamps throughout the Midwest, East – West Coast and Southern states. The Pain bootcamps will be therapeutic and address healing: body, mind, spirit, soul, entrepreneurship, and developing your own Pain Management Toolkit.

    I founded a not for profit and we are a 501C3 and need grants and sponsorships to make this a reality.

    I am concerned about how transparent “REAL” I should be in this book. Everything, I have written is truthful but raw and painful. Finally, since I am holistic in my approach to managing chronic pain holistically without the use of opioids. It has been difficult to find sponsors and grants to fund the bootcamp.

    • About the book part of your wish, I can recommend Barbara’s WriteSpeak program. I’ve done the teleclass part of it and it blew me away. I’ve also seen people who completed the whole thing and got their books and speaking careers going.
      Being a speaker might also help with your funding problem.

    • Hi Necie. About the book – Start by writing what you could call your first draft or your source manuscript. Write it whatever way it wants to come out. As real and transparent and truthful as possible with all the raw feelings. Yes it probably will be therapeutic. Then keep that precious document somewhere private. You don’t need to show it to anyone if you don’t want to, or only to a few trusted people. Then when you feel like it you can select and edit material from it for articles, blog posts, poems or books for public consumption. You can change the parts that might be identifiable. or maybe fictionalise it completely using the same themes but with different characters and locations etc. You’ll have everything safely recorded so you don’t forget it, but you control how much of the raw truth to reveal to other people.

    • I would continue writing the book. See Ann Lamott’s book on writing, ‘Bird By Bird’; she says don’t worry about the libel; just write; you can edit your book later. (There’s all sorts of things you can do, anonymise the people you refer to, mention in the front of the book ‘Inspired by a true story’, or ‘This is a fictional account based on real-life experiences’, etc… Change the male coworker into a motherly, feminine, no-nonsense type… All sorts of things.)

      Can you make the negative things funny? (Can the confrontations between coworkers be ridiculous on some level?…)

      Keep writing! You’ve achieved so much! Someone out there has surely had the same problem as you, and they are searching the internet for YOUR book – and it doesn’t exist yet!…..


  5. My wish is to find an online visual artists or illustrators mastermind or project group. It needs to be free so maybe something run by a non-profit. I tried starting one but I would rather someone else run it.

    I am not looking for a critique group. I just need incentive to keep working on my projects and get them finished, and help others do the same.

    I have enough projects on my drawing board to last the rest of my life: but I can’t seem to finish any of them. I know that for me, a structured environment helps a lot.

    It can be for specialized groups like women, African-Americans, or people with disabilities. But that is not necessary.

    • Hi Virginia,

      Have you considered going to and searching for visual art/creative art groups. There are lots of them on

      Many of the various groups meet monthly, or weekly.


    • Hi have you tried finding like minded people on Flickr there are some very specific art groups like for watercolor, plain air, urban sketching to name a few that I joined. Perhaps there are ones for your areas of interest too. People give feedback, I find it quite addictive and it makes me want to complete stuff so I can show it. Peoples comments are often very encouraging too!

  6. My wish is to have my own business, or at least a flexible work schedule and make my own decisions and do work I love like making art, helping others and traveling and researching and feeling inspired by all the mysteries of life.

    My obstacles. Needing steady income for Bills to pay. Large student loan debt. Trying to conform to a 9-4 type job everyday and having trouble doing the same thing day in and day out. Even though there is some variety in my job I just get bored and want to try something new.

    • If you like research and travel, some option could be to become a research assistant on a big research project or for a researcher that needs to travel. I was a research assistant once on a literature project that involved traveling to the location and it included an interesting variety of tasks as well as beautiful landscapes.
      Part-time research jobs could be something to look into in any case.

      • Do you need to be qualified to do such a thing? This sounds great!
        I’m in a similar boat, artist, student debt etc etc
        I studied fine art to a degree equivalent course but wouldn’t consider myself an intellect.

  7. This is going to sound so brown nosey, lol, but my dream is to be a success team leader! My application has been approved for my area, and now I’m working to raise the workshop fee. I seem to be making just enough to cover bills, but no extra for this investment. I guess this is as good a place as any to put this dream out there!!

  8. My wish is for a car that runs well that I can fit my babies car seat into.

    My obstacle is money, my husband works two jobs and we have rent and loans from school. Bills tend to pile up.

    • Maybe you can share the use of a car with an elderly person in the neighbourhood who can’t drive so much anymore and would appreciate a reliable driver in exchange for use of the car.

  9. Hi, dear scanner guys!:)

    I read “Refuse to Choose!” and “How to Do What You Love Without Starving to Death”, but I still have troubles organizing my life..)) I guess I’m too slow or indecisive. I really want your piece of advice and thank you very-very much in advance!

    Here are the things I like:

    1) I like to spend time with animals (especially dogs!!! also dolphins, squirrels, owls, hedgehogs; big cats are amazing too).

    I feel like if I hadn’t had any work experience right now, hadn’t known English and etc., I would have connected my job with animals. But in the current situation it would have ment that I spent so many years at university and sooo many years learning English for nothing. I know it’s stupid:) to continue doing something I don’t like just because I already lost much time. But I just really need to see all the options. Maybe I haven’t considered all of them?..

    2) Speak English with English-speakers in a relaxing manner (without overthinking every word and grammar rules). I like the sound of my voice pronouncing english words))

    3) Reading classic fiction.

    4) Aerial gymnastics.

    5) Drawing, painting.

    6) Creating something beautiful (pictures, dishes, paintings, etc.)

    7) Spending time, participating in a new activity (from clay modeling to a balloon flight), widening my comfort zone, learning something new and exciting.

    8 ) Travelling.

    9) Diversity (monotonous and routine activities are literally killing me).

    10) Meeting new positive people who lead an exciting life (although I am shy and kind of an introvert).

    11) Helping people, making their life easier, using my own experience and knowledge.

    12) Personal development.

    I believe it’s important to mention that I’m trying to change my lifestyle to more “womanly” with more creativity and freedom, less stresses and deadlines.

    I don’t like:
    – Teaching. I’m not really a teacher. It’s exhausting for me.
    – Doing work where I don’t use at least some of my favourite skills from above.
    – Office work.
    – Work a certain number of hours every day.
    – Working with people I don’t like/respect.
    – Hostile work environment.

    Could you please help me and give me a piece of advice on how I could orginize my life? I would really appreciate that!

    • English tour guide at a zoo or wildlife park or swim with the dolphins experience?
      Adventure tour guide for English speakers visiting your country or doing the same in a different country every year?
      Artist with a side gig of translation or interpreting by telephone and a lot of pets?
      Veterinarian or zoologist, studying in some foreign country where the vet school teaches in English and you can try lots of new experiences?
      International flight attendant who does animal portraits everywhere she travels?
      Owner of a dog park with a variety of activities for owners and dogs, like personal development guest speakers, singles speed dating with dogs, etc. (in combination with any of the above)?
      Reviewer of classic English-language fiction for a publishing house, evaluated which ones they should buy translation rights for?
      Member of a traveling circus (maybe in a role that uses your English language skills to book dates or arrange travel and performances, allowing you to hang out and practice with the aerial gymnasts or perhaps even perform with them?

      • Hi Anastasia I recognize myself in your story. Glad you posted. I dont know an answer.
        Hopefully the ideas of Patty inspire you. For me they are confusing since I think these are great but so far in phantasy. Are is my world to limited. And is this the magie of ideaparty. I wonder what they did for you. Happy to hear.

  10. Dear Sarah, I’m really sorry to hear about your situation… Maybe you need to put some of your plans on hold and concentrate on your health – taking little steps towards the big dream as soon as you are able to again!… If I could recommend a couple of books – aside from Barbara’s amazing books, what helped me dig myself out of a bit of a hole when I was feeling very down was “Stop Worrying, Start Living” by Dale Carnegie (free PDF available on internet. Google it) and also Martin Seligman’s “Learned Optimism” (an absolutely amazing book about understanding why we get stuck in depressive patterns of thinking, and how to start breaking out of them.) My good friend had absolutely amazing results after reading a book called “The Secret” – it is a book about visualising what you want, in order to start moving towards it and attracting the life you want. (She read it when she was at a very low point after a break up. It helped her concentrate on every great thing in her life.)

    I promise you that these books will cheer you up – and maybe make you feel a little more in control!…

    I’m rooting for you and your speedy recovery. I really, really hope you get a positive response from your GP soon.

    Best of luck!!…

    • Hi Angelique,

      Thanks very much for the reply and the kind words. It’s much appreciated. I find it amazing that someone replies and reads what I’ve written and actually makes the effort to reply. I am so used to being ignored! That was in everyday life though, this is more like the magical realms of Mr Ben, where he goes into the changing room and comes out into a whole new exciting adventure. I want to come out of my shell a bit now that I crawled into after the care that I see in people here. It starts to give back my faith in humanity when I see people rooting for other people. And so many talents and interesting people.
      Amazingly I had a letter for a referral come through, just – after a telephone consultation I had (with a different GP this time) last week when I was too ill in bed to go in. It’s taken two years for them to do it and repeated requests. There are no appointments when I rang choose and book as yet though because the waiting list is too long but at least I am in the system.

      I will have a look for the books, I think I have heard of the first one.
      I think I feel frustrated that it has gone on for a long time for me and the loss of time I find difficult so I want to catch up and make up for lost time, but you are right, I have to break it down into chunks.

      I am making lots of lists at the moment. I have to, and then I get to cross them off, however small they are!

      Thank you for the support 🙂

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