The Weird Reasons You May Be Ignoring Your Dreams

Filed in Your Purpose as a Writer by on September 30, 2014 • views: 734

Mirror reflectionIt’s hard to imagine that the only person
standing in the way of our success in life is ourselves.

That’s just too much responsibility!

Even harder to imagine that we might actually get something out of avoiding what we most want to do in life. Is it possible?

What We Get in Return for Ignoring Our Dreams

Weird, how human psychology works. Let’s take Bob as an example. He believes that if only he could somehow find the cash to open his own furniture shop, he would be happy.

He believes with his whole heart and soul that building furniture is his purpose, his one true calling in life. Yet at the same time, he’s become very attached to the suffering he experiences while he’s not going after his dream.

How can this be? Let’s follow the story a little further.

No Risk of Failure

As long as Bob’s dream of owning a furniture shop remains a dream, he doesn’t have to risk failure. His dream can remain perfect and untarnished in his mind, a hidden world where he creates beautiful dressers, chairs, tables, and cabinets for adoring customers and pulls in loads of cash that he spends on his wife and kids—much to their great appreciation, of course.

Maintaining this perfect imaginary world means that Bob’s dream will never become reality, but it also means that he can keep his dream untarnished by reality. In other words, safe. And sometimes that feels more comfortable than the risk of actually giving it a try.

Preserving the Vision of Perfection

By failing to take real action on his dream, Bob can also retain his vision of himself as the perfect furniture-store owner and operator. If he really tried it, he might find that he’s not so good at the business of running a store, or that he lacks organizational skills.

Bob may not have the confidence to face these things about himself, so he finds it easier to avoid the possibility that he may not be able to do everything as perfectly as he imagines.

The Comfort of the Group

Another payoff for Bob—he gets to commiserate with others just like him. He can hang out with his buddies on the construction site and bemoan all the difficulties of life.

If it weren’t for the bureaucrats in Washington raising taxes all the time, maybe he could afford to start his own business. If it weren’t for his thoughtless boss, maybe he’d have more time off to actually come up with a business plan. If it weren’t for all the demands of family life, maybe he’d have some time to put some ideas together.

Commiserating with others gives us a sense of belonging. If Bob were to actually step away from the crowd and follow his dreams, he would stand out from his buddies, and that would feel just a little too lonely.

Woe is Me

There’s one more potential payoff—that of the suffering dreamer. For some reason, we humans tend to be attracted to suffering. Maybe it seems easier, or more noble to us, to suffer than to feel pleasure.

Easier to suffer a boring, dead-end job than to take the risk of starting a new business. Easier to suffer the endless whisperings of the inner voice than to actually try doing what it says.

Easier to imagine a better life than to actually try to live it.

We can toil away day by day, pay our bills, and take care of our families, and feel noble in our sacrifices. Of course there’s nothing wrong with sacrifice, but why can’t we just as easily imagine our lives becoming grand experiences of joy?

The Need for Action

We know it’s possible. We’ve seen others do it. We all know someone who pursues his real purpose in life, and how happy and energetic he is in that pursuit. We’ve seen how people like him can inspire others. So why can’t we imagine that for ourselves?

Maybe we like to feel different. Maybe we like to feel special somehow—special in what we don’t have.

“Well, that may be nice for her, but that will never work for someone like me.” In other words, I’m just too different.

If you haven’t gone after your dreams of late, take a good, hard look at your own reasons for avoiding them. What are the payoffs? What are you getting out of your inaction?

Then ask yourself—is it worth it?

© Duey | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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