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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jon

5 Thoughts That Kill Your Dreams

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

'The dreams of the broken are mightier than the wishes of the dead.' -- Dodinsky

What keeps you from following your dreams?

There are several healthy reasons you shouldn’t follow some dreams, but what keeps you from following the good things you are interested in?

Here are five reasons why I believe people give up on their dreams:

1. Disappointment. When people get hurt, they tend to recoil from the pain. They do this because subconsciously we all know that endless pain equals death. They pull back from what disappointed them and resolve never to feel that emotion again.

They say to themselves, “That felt awful and I never want to experience that again.” This thinking causes us stop trying because it’s easier to not try than to try and fail.

2. Fear. Fear is a self-imposed prison. Fear freezes you and causes you to ignore your dreams. People bury their dreams because they fear what might become true.

Generally the more we don’t understand something, the more we avoid it. Try to gain a better understanding of what causes you fear, not for the purpose of controlling what you don’t understand, but for the purposes of managing the fear.

3. Guilt. Guilt drains you of enormous amounts of energy. Unhealthy guilt places an emphasis on the wrong thing:

Unhealthy guilt says, “I am a mistake.”

Healthy guilt says, “I made a mistake.”

You cannot feel guilty and confident at the same time. Guilt drives people to do things out of a sense of unhealthy compulsion rather than a sense of sincere commitment. Take a trip to the movie theater, take a trip to the grocery store, but don’t take a guilt trip.

4. Bitterness. Bitterness is a type of emotional rust. It's corrosive. It will consume you. You cannot get on with the future when you’re constantly focused on past hurts. We can all remember hurtful things that people have said. Some of these things were said 10, 20, maybe even 30 years ago!

It's time to move on.

It's time to let go.

Bitterness is an emotional anchor dragging you down – let it go. Choose to look past these hurtful memories. Stop rehearsing past hurts in your mind and it will free you to pursue a better future.

5. Rejection. Rejection causes immense pain. It hurts us at the deepest levels of our being. It tells us there are people in the world that don’t want us. Rejection can freeze you in your current wounded state because of the hurt caused by past rejection.

Push through this hurt by “reframing” the thought in terms that more accurately reflects reality. Example: “A few people may reject me, but there are many others who accept and love me.”

We may not achieve all our dreams, but that shouldn’t keep us from trying to attain some of them!

How do we achieve our dreams? Step 1: Make a plan.

That will get you moving in the right direction. Planning is the difference between success and failure. Once you have a plan, see it through until one of two things happens: the plan falls apart or you succeed.

If the plan falls apart get up, dust yourself off, examine why it fell apart, and revisit Step 1.

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