A lot of people think a dream needs to be large in scale, make an impact in this world but that’s bullshit. Dreams are personal, similar to art in the way we conceptualise an idea we feel personally connected to then look at ways to express it in the real world.
What most frequently holds us back from seeing them in the real world is ourselves…and only ourselves. Thankfully we live in societies of abundance and overcoming ourselves is an easier task than we might have previously thought.
To get the ball rolling, we will take a look at 4 common reasons holding us back followed by 4 solutions.
- External Expectations
We often drop our dreams because we make them based on others expectations; this is like asking a young graffiti artist to express him or herself with a violin. At first we might not know we want to be a graffiti artist and we might spend a large portion of our lives trying to play the violin like our family, media, religion, boss, government and friends expected us to. At some point further down the line however we will realise that the life we lived was not the life we wanted to live and in fact it was the life someone else wanted.Solution
Understanding what really makes us tick is our responsibility and something we and only we can explore. It takes courage to explore new areas of our lives, especially if the people we love and respect expect us to do otherwise. What we must try to remember is that nobody can tell us which “paintbrush” works better than our own curiosity. The sooner we can discover this for ourselves the sooner we can start exploring our own dream (More on finding the courage to live a life true ourselves here).
The sheer magnitude and difficulty of the dreams we mount on our shoulders are often completely overwhelming to the point that we burnout trying or don’t even want to look at it. As a result we prefer to keep our minds busy doing the predictable things whilst leaving the massive, un-edited dusty slab of ‘dream’ sitting in the basement of our unconscious.Solution
Everything is possible we just need to look at keeping it real and finding the next logical step. A good dream is realistic enough so that we can personally accomplish it in the near future. Break the dream up into bite sized pieces and visit it weekly, once we achieve a piece of the dream it inspires us to attempt the next piece.
”Self-sufficiency appears to be a worthy goal, but it’s now impossible if you want to actually get anything done. All our productivity, leverage and insight comes from being part of a community, not apart from it. The goal, I think, is to figure out how to become more dependent, not less.”- Seth Godin. Isn’t it interesting when our boss expects us to have an assignment on their desk by 5pm we stay back late, we cancel social occasions with friends and do almost all that we can to get it in on time? All our hardwork is simply helping our boss’s dream become a reality. Why can’t we have that same energy and determination with our own dreams? Normally it has something to do with how easy it is to let ourselves down vs. how difficult it is to let someone else down.Solution
We can bypass this self-defeating human trait by utilizing the power of positive peer pressure. By joining a group of motivated people who are also interested in personal development we can leverage the motivation and self-belief of accountability to achieve higher heights. The dream machine is one of the many groups that utilize the power of positive peer pressure to get what we want from life.
- Fear of Failure
Things might not go as planned… in fact, things will definitely not go as planned! It’s easy to get burnt once then beat ourselves up to the point we scare ourselves from trying again.Solution
Each element of our dream that didn’t go to plan must be seen as a legendary opportunity to improve our next dream. If something goes wrong we should document it, discuss it with someone who’s done it before or with a support group.The people who have become top of their game were not born that way, they got to the top by becoming masters of their own failures. Learning how to manage and learn from our mistakes is detrimental to becoming a successful dream maker.
Following our dreams takes time, effort, focus, dedication and curiosity amongst many other things but as we begin to take control of our dreams we strengthen an invigorating feeling of life like no other. Hopefully these reasons and solutions help unlock the ability to continue the quest to live the life true to ourselves.