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5 Terrible Excuses For Why People Let Their Dreams Go

5 Terrible Excuses For Why People Let Their Dreams Go

Everyone has dreams and aspirations, and yet most of us in life will never see them through. Perhaps it’s due to being afraid of failure, unprecedented circumstances, or even death. And the ones who do achieve their dreams? Most are often left unfulfilled, wandering aimlessly and confused — why?

Because dreams are meant to be dreams, they’re supposed to be unattainable. That’s why they’re dreams, right?

Wrong.

Here are 5 terrible excuses for letting your dreams go.

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1. You think you’re not good enough.

Yes, everyone has that little voice in their head screaming that they’re pathetic, a failure, and worthless. Sometimes, you believe you’ve created the best thing that’s ever been on earth, and the next day you are wondering how in the world you managed to create such a piece of dirt.

Well, there are many things that science has told us about that little voice. For one, it was originally used as a means of comfort and security. Yes, I know, that voice that calls you ugly and worthless was intended to be helpful, not harmful. And it’s not like you can tie it up, put some tape on its mouth, and throw it in the corner. But let’s face it, that voice is one of the best things we can have. It will tell us over and over when something isn’t good enough, and that’s us.

We know our limits, and so do our minds. So, the next time you hear that little old brain of yours telling you that your piece of art/literature/acting/athletics is terrible, think of it as a way of your brain saying this: I can do better, I know I can. I can succeed in my dreams.

2. You say you “don’t have enough time.”

I’m going to say this once: dreams are meant to be taken and worked on. And if you don’t have enough time for something you’re passionate about, then you truly never were that passionate about it.

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Successful people make time, and if you’re one of those people who are constantly on Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr, grab a stopwatch and start counting the minutes. When you decide that you’re going to sit down and watch TV, start counting the minutes. A recent study from The Telegraph shows us that the average person spends an hour and forty minutes on social media each day — and you still say you have no time?

If you truly have no time, no time in the world to do what you love, drop what you don’t like and start doing what you love. Yes, you might make a little less money, you might not be able to go to the gym, you might not be able to do certain things you like, but you will be able to do the thing you love and pursue your dream. You have one life, so what do you have to lose to go after a dream? Nothing.

3. Your peers think otherwise.

Hey, Jenny, heard you want to be a writer. Good luck with that — you can’t write, and becoming a successful author is, like, super hard, so come party instead.”

Everyone has that one person who will stop at nothing to put down their dreams, their aspirations. These people believe that in life, you have to be a realist. Being an artist doesn’t pay bills, neither does being a writer. What pays bills is working a 9-to-5 job that you might hate, and for what? A nice car, a nice house, a nice job, some status? But what about that dream? What about that dream to be a writer, to publish work?

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You know, I can tell you something, something that’s a fact. If you worked a 9-to-5 job and died tomorrow, what would happen? Someone would come and take your place, people would mourn, and that would be it. Your life as a blip in the earth’s existence. Forgotten. However, if you go out there in that big world and attempt to make something of your dream, you will be more successful than any other millenial who worked all day in a job they despised. Whether it’s being a dancer, being an athlete, being a writer — you have the chance of never being forgotten. The chance of your name to be written on a great piece of work, in a record book, in an amazing play. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So go for it.

To quote Alan watts: What would you do, if money was no object?

Do it.

4. You say, “I’m not quite ready yet.”

It takes a lot of courage to chase a dream. That becomes more evident when you sacrifice family time, your lifestyle, your hobbies, your finances, and even risk losing everything. Now, I’m not saying go out and quit your job, burn your bridges, destroy your foundations. What I am saying is to rediscover that passion, that eternal flame that is within all of us to chase our dreams, because you only have one life.

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With every day that passes, you are the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again. Time will run from you, and I hear a lot of, “I’m not quite ready yet” or “I’m too young, I don’t have enough experience.” That is bologna. I will say this time and time again: you don’t wait for opportunity, you create your opportunity. You build your bridges, and I’ll be damned if there is a path that leads to success that is covered in debris, fallen down and broken — you’d better get ready to clear it. Because you are ready. You will make yourself ready.

5. You lie to yourself.

Being honest to yourself is one of the hardest things to do in life. People do not like disappointments, and when you are striving to be successful, you always hear the words, “I’m doing my best,” “I work my butt off,” and “I’m always busy.”

People like to proclaim self-greatness. But it’s always good to understand you aren’t the best — yet. I’ll give you an example. My dream is to become a writer, and when I was younger, I used to claim that I didn’t read books because I thought all the stories were pointless and I didn’t like the way other writers wrote. Well, I was lying to myself, and had convinced myself of this lie. The reality was that I believed I wrote the best and had the talent to be the greatest — I still do, but in a much humbler way. I stepped back and told myself that I am nothing but dirt right now. That in order for me to grow, I must learn from the best. I picked up many novels by Stephen King. I don’t like his novels greatly — some I love, most I like. But he is argueably the most popular and well-known writer there is. I stopped seeing myself as someone who can contribute to the world of literature, and starting seeing myself in my true form: as an apprentice, learning on his own through self-education.

So, stop with the excuses and go out there and change the world.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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