4 Reasons Why You Don't Pursue Your Dream (and What to Do About Them)
Rhoda had always wanted to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, the art in the Louvre and the palaces. It was one of the major things on her bucket list. However, she never took any steps to make it come true and it was a longing that she never satisfied. She was content for it to remain a dream and it unfortunately remained an unrealized goal.
Do you have an important dream that you want to achieve? It could be to quit smoking, lose weight, learn to play the guitar, run a 10K, or build a business. Daydreaming about it and not taking any action won't bring it into reality. Fantasizing may be fulfilling in the moment, but it will leave you feeling empty when it isn't achieved.
There are many reasons why you may procrastinate and not pursue your dreams. Here are some of the main ones, and what you can do about them.
1. Your dream takes you out of your comfort zone. Your goal means that so much in your life would change that you're afraid to get started. If you make these massive shifts too quickly, it would upset your world and you'd probably sabotage your own efforts. For instance, almost 70% of lottery winners go broke within a few years of winning. The windfall takes them too far out of what they're used to.
To overcome this obstacle, establish a long range plan. Create steps that are comfortable for you to take. For instance, if you want to start eating better, don't overhaul your diet in a week. Start by including more salads. When that gets familiar, eliminate sugar. Work on one piece at a time until you feel comfortable with it, and then add the next step.
2. You're stuck in planning mode. Planning feels like you're making progress, but it simply delays taking action. I knew an artist who bought brushes, canvas, and paints, but never used them. Gathering the tools triggered the pleasure circuits in her brain. By not painting, she avoided the anxiety of facing a blank canvas. So she got her reward by simply thinking about what she'd do one day.
Preparation is an important part of any goal. But beware of staying in this place too long or you'll never realize your dream. Pull together a list of things you need, such as tools, knowledge, skills and tasks to complete. Then begin to follow through on them. As you mark the elements off your to-do list, you'll get a sense of satisfaction.
3. Your dream is not immediate enough. The fulfillment of your dream is too far in the future or too overwhelming. For instance, if you want to lose 50 pounds, you could feel like it's too difficult. You know it's going to take a significant shift in your behaviors and you won't see the final result quickly. So you procrastinate on taking action.
You have to fight through inertia to get started. To combat this, instead of focusing on the 50 pounds, take it in 5 pound increments. You can handle losing 5 pounds. When you set that as your goal, you'll get that sense of fulfillment, and a job well done, when you see the outcome. With any long range goal, create mini-goals that you can accomplish each week. The brain likes to complete things, and bestows a sense of gratification when you do.
4. You don't have enough motivation. The benefits of your dream aren't strong or clear enough for you to pursue. For instance, you may want to be healthier and fitter, but your desire isn't powerful enough for you to change your habits or your routine. So you just keep putting it off.
You can build your enthusiasm for your dream by surrounding yourself with things concerning it. If you want to create, spend time in an art store, a museum, gallery or take a class. To start an exercise program, read articles and books about the benefits you'll achieve. Immerse yourself in the reasons why you want your goal. The energy will grow until you get started.
The solution to each one of these reasons is to start working towards your dream. It doesn't matter how small the step, as long as you're moving toward your dream. The brain likes to accomplish things. And achieving small goals is every bit as satisfying to the brain as big goals. Don't procrastinate any longer. The sooner you begin to work toward your dream, the sooner you'll reap the joy of the results.
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
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