“What is required for many of us, paradoxical though it may sound, is the courage to tolerate happiness without self-sabotage.” ~ Nathaniel Branden
Whether your dream is to meditate on a mountain in an exotic location, to start a family, or to be free to travel the world, I know how frustrating it is to fall short on making it happen.
I’ve had so many ups and downs that it would put a roller coaster to shame. Many times in my life, I thought I was doing the right work, only to figure out later that I wasn’t walking on the right path.
A lot of what goes into turning your dreams into reality is not fun work. It can be tedious and boring at times, so this creates the illusion of hard work. Even though it’s actually not enough to escape the gravity of where we’re starting.
This realization came to me after asking myself, “Why haven’t I made it yet?” I got a hint when I saw this:
“Everyone knows how important it is to set goals; however, most people fail to do so because they underestimate the amount of action necessary to accomplish that goal. […] “Chances are that if you look back over your life, you’ll see that you have wildly underestimated both the actions and reasoning necessary to accomplish any endeavor to the point where it could be labeled successful.” ~ Grant Cardone
Basically, I wasn’t doing enough and set myself up for frustration. Half efforts aren’t rewarded, and neither are excuses. I had both. Have you ever spun your own wheels?
Here are some things that I discovered while working on my own dreams:
1. Not enough time
Not putting in enough time every day is one of the many ways in which you sabotage your own dreams. It’s easier to watch YouTube in the evening than it is to keep working on your dreams.
Sometimes this is an indicator that our goal might not be in alignment with what we really want. Other times it points to bad habits.
The best way to fix this is to take a hard look at what we say we want, and our actions. Do they align? If not, why?
If it’s trully what you want, then set the time aside on your calendar. Lifes busy, so it may require sacrificing something else that is less of a priority.
If it’s a bad habit which is getting in the way, then interrupt the pattern. If you want to learn the guitar but get home and start watching TV right away, delay the TV. Have the guitar set up right by the couch you sit on and play first.
You can reward yourself afterward by putting on your favorite program.
2. Lack of consistency
Lack of consistency is another way in which you sabotage your own dreams.
I’ve seen people put in herculean efforts one week, only to be sitting on the couch the next week. A week later they’re back at it making a huge effort to “Make up for it”, but life likes consistency. Some of those people happen to be me, so I know how much this will delay growth.
The people who do the best adopt lifestyles that contribute to their growth. Make it easier for yourself by removing obstacles. Want to run in the morning? Then having your running gear set out beside your bed instead of inside a cabinet will make it easier to get going.
3. Underestimating effort
It’s easy to underestimate the effort and time required to do something big. As people, we’re not very good at making long term estimates. Especially when doing something new.
Whenever you’re planning on making a breakthrough in your life, multiply the amount of time and effort you think you need. This will put the goal into perspective so we can decide on a realistic course of action.
Do some research on how long it’s taken other people in that field. Find out what they had to do to get there. This will put some light on what it might take.
In some cases, there are proven blueprints which already exist. Getting a degree, for example, is pretty well set if you follow the school’s outline.
4. Not willing to invest
Another way in which you sabotage your own dreams is the desire to have everything for nothing. This is why “freebies” online are so big.
Everyone wants something for nothing. Everyone wants the “secret” that’ll make them rich, lose weight, improve their love lives, overcome shyness, or build muscle…for free.
If we avoid investing in ourselves at all cost, how serious are we? Money doesn’t always have to be spent, but avoiding any investment in ourselves is a recipe for failure.
Whether it’s the time, money, or another sacrifice, growing into the kind of person we want to requires giving up something of ourselves to get to the next step. We can’t stay the same and expect to fulfill our dreams. Find out what you need to invest to grow into the next step.
5. Growing out of it
What we want can change over time. When that happens, if we continue to pursue our old ideal of dream life it’s going to feel empty and demotivating.
It’s important to have some introspection to know if we’re still aligned with old goals that we set out to achieve years ago.
Letting go of something that isn’t right for us anymore can be the ultimate liberation. It’s easy to keep going after something when we feel like we already put so much into it. Even if it no longer serves us.
Ask yourself, is this still who I am? Will this help me create my ideal vision of life? If not, it’s time to cut and release. Our experience will never be a total loss though. Sometimes it’s necessary to see the next step or learn what we really want.
A new experience is always just around the corner.
What is one way in which you sabotage your own dreams? And what is one step you can take today to move past it? You can share your comment in the comment section below
Eddy Baller is a confidence coach who specializes in overcoming shyness and dating skills. Contact Eddy about coaching and mentorships at [email protected]
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