5 Common Reasons People Give Up their Dreams


“Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.” – Kahil Gibran 

Remember those exciting plans you had as a child to be a rock star, an astronaut, or a professional athlete? What ever happened to all of those dreams?

I know, I know, life got in the way and you had to get real about what you were going to do. Excuses started growing and doubts started festering. You let go of your dreams and they slowly floated away to become a distant memory.

Maybe you stopped dreaming altogether because you were supposed to get practical and be responsible. You gave up on the possibility that you could have the life you desire, whatever that may have been for you.

Why? What got in the way of living a fulfilling, free, and passionate life? It was probably a combination of these five obstacles. Take note of why you misplaced your dreams. This is the first step to starting to dream again!

1. My dream isn’t practical

Practically isn’t a bad thing. I think many times in life we need to be practical. We don’t want to live with complete reckless abandon. The problem with practicality however, is that it’s a cookie cutter way to live most of the time. Many people choose practicality over passion and purpose. They end up giving up what they love to do because it seems “irresponsible”!

I have done this numerous times with music and drumming. I start playing in a band, and when things get serious the band falls by the wayside and I move toward the practical next step. Hence why I have two graduate degrees; it seemed like the practical thing to do.

Is that the best reason to make a decision though? It’s your choice. Will you choose joy and passion or practicality? (There is probably a happy medium in there somewhere)

“Dreams or illusions, call them what you will, They lift us from the commonplace of life to better things.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

2. People won’t understand my dream

Your dream is personal, that is why it was given to you. You can’t expect other people to really understand what it means to you or how it makes you feel. Nor can you expect people to necessarily support it. There will be people who encourage you and people who doubt you.

Take the advice of a dreamer like Dr. Suess and realize that, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” There is a point where we must stop asking permission to follow our bliss and just do it! If it makes you feel good, don’t worry about what other people say. We all have a dream for a reason; we are meant to follow it!

“By trying, you may fail others. By not, you fail yourself.” – Unknown

3. I’m not clear how it will happen

I think uncertainty has always been a deterring major factor in my life. It goes back to practicality. If there isn’t a clear plan and blueprint for how to do something it’s easy to brush it off as a pie-in-the-sky dream that’s too difficult. Sometimes we know what needs to done but we will rarely know exactly how it will happen.

There are so many possibilities, and one quality of a dreamer or visionary is a willingness to see possibilities or potential where no one else does. A little bit of crazy actually makes life pretty interesting!

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon seem inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve

4. My dream isn’t safe and secure

I’m sure there are many people out there who would take a big leap to make their desires a reality but they have too much to risk. They have a mortgage and family, or they have a retirement plan that they don’t want to jeopardize. This is certainly a common reality.

When it comes down to it, reaching for our dream doesn’t have to completely risk our sense of security though. There are calculated risks we can take. It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. There is most likely a way you can work toward your dream while maintaining the safety you currently possess. Get creative!

5. I’m too old, too young, etc.

There are countless limiting beliefs that can get in the way of you going for your dreams. You may believe you’re too old, too young, too ugly, not experienced enough or talented enough.

Whatever your limiting belief might be, realize that there is an example out there of someone in a very similar situation who pushed through these negative beliefs or circumstances to make their dreams a reality. Don’t let life get you down! Don’t get jaded! It’s never too late or too soon to start taking steps toward what you desire.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Where would we be without dreamers?

Dreams aren’t crazy; they are the realm of all great and amazing figures in history. Dreams are what allow us to really live a full and meaningful life!

We need dreamers to inspire the world! And you need dreams to live an inspired life! You have to dare to dream in this world! Yes you! When was the last time you were willing to dream? I’m not referring to dreams outside of the realm of possibility. I’m referring to the dreams that you know could be a reality and that set your heart on fire; the things that have always excited you!

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

Don’t settle for a quiet life of desperation! Don’t let one of these five reasons keep you from reclaiming what you’re meant to pursue!