When it comes to achievement, the only way to get it is with a healthy dose of luck. However, good luck still needs something to bestow its fortune on. If you are a dreamer, there are certain missteps you need to avoid to ensure your dreams come true. This is important for lifelong ambitions and short-term goals. Being passive about them won’t make them come true at all either. The great American poet Langston Hughes said, Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly. Knowing the wrong thing to avoid will help your dreams stay alive.
1. Letting your disappointments win
Every dream will meet shortfalls. As the cliché goes, you have to fail to succeed. Sometimes that isn’t a profound failure that comes with a life lesson. Sometimes it’s simple logistical shortcomings. For example, you’ve landed a dream job in a prestigious Fortune 500 company but the US State Department refuses to issue you a visa. Or you wrote a novel with bestselling potential, and landed a renowned agent but the book failed in the submission stage. Don’t despair and give up. When you’re halfway there and get stopped by something outside your control, exercise patience, try again, or pivot.
You don’t have to believe that everything happens for a reason. Getting denied a final step doesn’t dampen what you can accomplish. Keep believing in yourself then find solutions. This can mean reapplying for permits, waiting for a short while then resubmitting, or getting a different agent. Look at what you can do practically then get to work.
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2. Living in denial
It can be easy to reject the truth and live in a make-believe world. This is a defence mechanism where you end up refusing to face facts. It could be that your dream is going out of reach and you need to change things. For example, if your dream is to become an entrepreneur and you keep haemorrhaging money, you may need to take a break. When you live too long in denial, you can make poor decisions that end up costing you more than you’ve already lost. When you get too caught up in your dream you could end up gambling or turning to a shylock to get money.
Sometimes you may also need to take a break. If your dream isn’t making progress, take time off the work to reflect and see if you need to try again. If you keep pushing yourself you could burnout or end up with poor mental health. 5 Ways To Stay Positive When Things Aren’t Going Well
3. Holding on to the past
This is especially common for people who achieve their dreams beforehand. When you decide to move on or try a hand at a new project to grow your career, things can go sideways. In that situation, it can be easy to get caught up in the good old days and fail to work to get back on track.
You can also get caught up in the past, before your pursuit starts in earnest and start considering giving up. In addition, one major mistake to avoid is to constantly remember how things went downhill. This could be a failed job interview, or a sale falling through because of an error in judgement. Getting caught up in what you did creates an avoidance response where you no longer want to take risks or try. While it is necessary to reflect, it’s not ok to punish yourself.
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This is a killer mistake. It leads to missed deadlines, failing to meet metrics, and not taking care of yourself. Procrastination is complicated. It can be an avoidance response or a poor habit. It’s understandable to be afraid of failure and start procrastinating. In addition, procrastination can also be a sign of poor mental health or other conditions like ADHD. If you find yourself constantly putting off work, think about why you’re doing it.
Is it because you are struggling to focus? Are you unable to concentrate when you could before? Do you find yourself gravitating towards work that has nothing to do with your dream? Knowing why you’re procrastinating will help you find a strategy to beat it. Don’t try to force yourself to work. You’ll end up not working anyway and feel worse about yourself, creating a cycle of depressive thoughts, self-doubt, or self-hate.
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5. Setting too many goals
Your dream is important and requires your focus. But it doesn’t mean you need to set too many goals to get where you need to be. For example, if you want to become a big-time photographer, you tack on multiple goals to get that goal. You decide you want to get thousands of followers for your Instagram, you want to buy a very expensive camera, you want to travel to a special destination that’s unreachable and expensive, you want to be hired by a famous person… all within a year.
Many of these goals rely on power outside your own. You need to give them time to mature when you set them in motion. Putting a deadline on them is setting yourself up for frustration or will make you cut corners to ensure you meet your arbitrary deadline. Setting too many goals also makes it difficult to prioritize. If you do too little for too much, this works against achieving your dream. Try to set a few goals or choose one major part of your dream to focus on.
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6. Selling yourself short
The problem with being a dreamer is that you are someone who has to live with your head in the clouds. You could be a 16-year-old player who hopes to play in the English Premier League one day. When “realistic people” hear about your dream, they’ll constantly remind you about how impossible it is. But you already know how difficult it is to achieve it. That’s why it’s a dream. Don’t let naysayers get you down. If you remain true to your craft and get yourself out there, you may not get to play in the EPL but could still get a lucrative football career. Another cliché to remember in these circumstances, if you aim for the stars, you’ll land on the moon.
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7. Forgetting realism
It’s important to give room to your most lofty dreams. But it’s also important to remain grounded. You don’t have to set realistic dreams. You don’t have to say that you’ll only try out for local productions and never audition at the national theatre. But you also can’t only try out for what’s unrealistic to accomplish. Unless there’s a broad stroke of luck, it’s unlikely that you’ll get your dreams to come true by trying once. You can start small and then eventually build up to a place where you can get noticed by the big wigs that can finally make it happen.
If you want to own a high-end restaurant but you’re starting from nothing, start small. Open a food delivery business, or set up a food truck. Use the money from this to work towards opening the restaurant. Incremental steps will also give you a lot more life experience by the time you take a shot at your main dream.
8. Remaining negative
One industry where rejection happens all the time is publishing. Nearly every famous author shares an absurd number of rejections from editors until they finally sell their manuscript which ends up becoming the best-selling book of all time. If these authors had let the rejections get to them the world wouldn’t have their books. Stories as famous as Frankenstein, Animal Farm, and Lord of The Rings were initially rejected by publishers and some weren’t original successes.
It’s hard to tell the progression of your dream but you can’t get bogged down in negativity. Others will judge you and make you feel like you’re wasting your time. Don’t listen.
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You and your peers may all have dreams but you won’t all achieve them at the same time. If you see your friends making it but you aren’t don’t let it get you down. Don’t measure success by how far you have made it compared to your friends. This can ruin your motivation and make you focus on the wrong thing. You can also become envious of your friends and this can ruin your relationships. Relying on other people’s opinions to know where to direct your energy can damage your ambitions.
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10. Foregoing rest
Don’t forget to rest and care about your physical health. If you forget your body you can jeopardise your physical and mental health and delay achieving your dreams. Remembering to take care of yourself helps you focus better on your work. Are You Still Tired Even After Taking Time Off? You Are Not Getting All The 7 Types Of Rest That You Need To Fully Recharge
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