How many people do you know have actually achieved their dreams?
How many people do you know have given up on their dreams?
If you know more people who have given up you’re not alone, and there are so many more who never even go for their dreams at all.
There are 3 types of dreams:
- Those that actually become a reality;
- Those that are dashed before they even get the chance to fully blossom; and
- Those that never even get to see the light of day and die inside us
Sadly, many dreams fall into the latter 2.
It’s very easy to give up. Just stop putting in effort.
It only takes a second.
Here are 5 reasons why we give up on our dreams so easily.
1) We lack clarity
We have no idea what we want or why we’re doing something. Clarity can be the hardest thing to find and it can be frustrating when all you want to do is to find your passion or do work you love when you have no clue what that looks like or what that even is.
So we wait.
We wait for our passion to fall from the sky, we wait for clarity to hit us in the face.
But unless you’ve made plans to meet up with your passion at a certain time, date and place, it’s not coming.
Clarity only comes when we know why we’re doing something. We can take all the action we want because we think this is what we’re supposed to do but if we don’t know the reason behind that action or how it connects with our values and bigger reason for doing it, we’re going to give up.
2) We’re not patient enough
Patience is a virtue, one that not many of us have, including me. We overvalue short term success over long term growth. I mean we only have today right? We’re not always guaranteed tomorrow but there is no such thing as overnight success.
Those “overnight successes” waited tables and spent the last 5 or 10 years of their lives hustling and putting in the effort. But who has time for that when the only moment we ever experience is now and we want it all now, not later.
We expect our first article to go viral, to write a best seller in a month, to have our first client within days.
We don’t have enough patience to do the work when we can’t see tangible results from our efforts. So it’s a lot easier to give it up and we can say “At least we tried” even though we only put in mediocre effort at best.
3) We don’t actually believe in ourselves
We all want to achieve our dreams. I don’t think that’s a secret but one secret we do have is that deep down, we don’t actually believe in ourselves and our ability to accomplish them. That’s why we have the same resolutions year after year. If we believed in our abilities to achieve the goals we’ve set out for ourselves, we make time for them and prioritize them over everything else.
Rather than believing there’s room for us to grow, we believe we’ve reached our peak.
Our mindset is everything when it comes to achieving our dreams. When we don’t have confidence in our abilities, we think everything we’ve done and set out to do will be a waste of time. We question if our dream is worth the effort but the truth is, we doubt ourselves and our abilities to achieve those dreams.
4) We don’t want to put in the work
In order to achieve our goals, we need to be working on them every day which means consistency is key. It’s easier to stay consistent when you have clarity, patience and belief in yourself. Consistency starts with our mindset.
I read that a habit takes 66 days to form. That’s more than 2 months. How many of us feel defeated only after a few attempts?
We live in a world of instant gratification and if we don’t see the rewards and results now, we give up, but in order to see results we need to consistently put in the work.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Rather than putting in the work and wondering if we’ll ever see the rewards, we give up. Giving up is much easier than dealing with the fear and doubt of consistently putting yourself out there and receiving nothing in return.
5) We don’t have the support system
We need support from others in order to achieve our dreams, not only to keep us going when things get tough but if we have someone who believes in us and our dreams, it means that our ideas are not totally insane.
For most people though, that support system is non-existent.
I don’t entirely understand why but when you tell people your dreams, there will always be questions or remarks that make you question yourself.
- How will you make money from that?
- Make sure you don’t quit your day job.
- There’s so many people in that business already.
- What does your husband/wife/mom/dad/2nd cousin twice removed think about that?
I don’t know if they have the best intentions and are only trying to protect you or if there’s a fear of you surpassing them in life. Either way, these people who bring you down rather than lift you up are detrimental when you’re trying to pursue your goals. If we want to protect our dreams we need to be careful who we tell our dreams to.
There’s a difference between questions that help bring clarity vs questions only to make you question yourself.
Our dreams are like a construction zone. It takes years to build up but it only takes a minute to completely demolish them.
We give up because we give in to the doubt, the impatience, the fear.
Doubt and fear are easy emotions to come by. They’re automatic responses to anything and everything and it’s easier to give in and listen to them than to fight against them.
Our dreams are worth the fight.
Or maybe they’re not.
Originally published at possiblepursuits.com on June 23, 2018.