Dreams Deferred: 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Chasing After Your Dreams

I believe so many of us have dreams that have fell by the waste side or were taken and reinvented by someone else. We even have dreams that we never even attempt to go after because it seems unattainable. This happens so many more times than it should and I’m here to share some of the mistakes I made, in hopes that you won’t do the same.

Whether we have identified with it or not we all have dreams. Not so much the kind that see in our sleep, but more so the kind that we causally sleep on. It wasn’t until recently that I was inspired and encouraged to actually go after mine. As I’ve mentioned writing has been a passion of mine for quite some time. Only those closest to me knew about it because I was so self-conscious about my writing. I would read books by my favorite authors and think, “I’m way out of my league and I will never be this good”. Even in the midst of my self doubt, I still had a passion for writing.

I finally decided I’m just going to write whatever comes to mind, just to get at least one of the ideas out of my head. After getting feedback from family and friends I finally decided to start a blog. That was 3-5 years later. Now you may question why such the huge time gap? I made so many mistakes along the way that it took me until now to finally get back on my feet. I wanted to be consistent and confident. I’ve gained confidence but my consistency is still questionable. The next question is what mistakes could I have made, that would set me back that much? I’m going to list my top mistakes below:

1.) sharing the vision before it’s clear

 

This had to be one of the biggest mistakes I made. It’s so easy to get excited about a vision you have had into your future. I know for me I get all these ideas in my head and I recently started jotting them down. It was always so much easier at first to repeat them to someone who may understand or even share a common interest. There more I shared, the more idas started to flow and it seemed like I was getting the entire picture when in fact I wasn’t.

I was setting someone else up to take those same ideas and expand on them to make them their own. Of course when you’re caught up in the moment and your excited for what’s ahead, you don’t see it coming. It’s not always intentional. The best thing to do is to continue brainstorming and forming new concepts. What you’re doing 100 other people may be doing, but the way you present it makes the difference. Until you get the full picture, don’t mistakenly start creating a new one for someone else.

2.) Jumping ahead to get to the finish line

 

Now I’m sure at some point we have all experienced this. Sometimes I still rush ahead and have to slow myself back down. It’s always good to look towards the future and began planning ahead. What we have to understand is that some parts of the future take time. It’s not always the next day or week, sometimes it’s the next year or two. I made a post on Instagram once that mentioned people being stagnant because they have finished the task before then and learned the lesson.

Jumping ahead before time can cause you to miss out on some vital information and steps whether big or small. What you are learning now may not benefit you in that moment because it’s meant for the future. Skipping over what you think you know, or seems pointless could very well be what you need to get you over that next threshold. Take the time you need to do it right. You always want quality over quantity. Sure you want to say I made this happen in X amount of days but you could very well lose it all in the same amount of time if you don’t prepare properly.

 

3.) Ignoring signs and instruction

 

Often you may get advice or signs that you aren’t making the right moves or it isn’t the right time. I know firsthand how annoying it can be when you’re motivated and mentally ready to move forward. It can all seem rather distracting and as if people don’t believe you can’t get it done. Sometimes these are signs and you should pay attention to them. There is nothing worse than forcing something that isn’t meant for you at the moment.

My sister told me when I was purchasing my first vehicle that, “if it’s for you to have it, the process will run smoothly. If you have to force it or scrape up extra funding, extra people or jump through loopholes to get it then it’s not the right time”. She was right. I waited so long to get that car and straightened out my credit, saved and the process ran smoothly. I got so many denials and signs prior to that purchase and I constantly blamed on everyone else but me. I ignored the signs. The moment I actually took the advice and saw the signs. It made planning and preparing a lot easier. Don’t make it harder than it should be. You shouldn’t stop going after it but don’t take that extra step without seeing through it clearly.

 

4.) Doubting the progress because of the lengthy process

 

This is a DAILY struggle. It will not go away, you will just find easier ways to deal with it. I can tell you now when you’re creating something for yourself the doubt grows stronger. Especially when it’s not growing as quickly as you’d like or producing the results you want. Doubt is a sign of fear. The bigger it gets the more intimidating and far fetched your dream seems. This is because it seems so much further away and out of reach. Everything can’t have a specific timeline. Success comes in doses. It can be all at once and overwhelming or it can be a slow and steady process which makes it frustrating.

It’s hard to see where you know you should be and then look at how much further you have to go. I can recall with school stopping MANY times before I hit my degree. The classes got harder and as I took one step forward I had ten more ahead and the closer I got the more obstacles I had along the way. Make a habit to stop looking at the path and just focus on completing each task. Reward yourself along the way. Every time I get one like or one new follower I feel accomplished. Set smaller goals to lead up to the big ones. This gives you something to be proud of and to shift your attention. Be patient with the process, the progress takes time.

 

5.) Delaying your process because of “timing”

 

I know so many of us are busy. We have families, jobs, school, obligations, and it can be overwhelming. It’s so easy to put off a task that doesn’t seem to need immediate attention. I do it all the time and pay for at the end. It’s called procrastination and I could practically be the spokesperson. To be honest if you live a busy life and you’re waiting for a free moment, you will never find the time. If I can squeeze in a nap I’m taking it so my time is always spent. The only way to have time is to make it. Just as you schedule an appointment on your calendar or planner, the same has to be done for yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour a day, schedule it and actually do it!

So often I tell myself I will start Monday. Something about starting on a Monday sounded so reassuring. Monday would come and go and do would my time, my opportunity to put my dreams into action. You can start by making a list of goals, then break those down into steps. Use that hour a day to work on that goal. You can spend as much of as little time as possible as long as some time is spent. We all make time for those things that matter to us, so if you’re dreams are of any importance to you make them a priority. Don’t wait for the time, make the time.

 

6.) Forgetting to properly plan and prepare

 

A huge mistake is not properly planning and preparing to make these dreams work. How will you know what to do? How do you keep up with the next step? How do you balance out the thoughts and ideas in your head? You MUST plan and prepare. This isn’t just an optional step to make you feel like an organized adult, it’s the most important step towards being successful. Steps are ordered. As mentioned jumping ahead or even backtracking can be a sign that you didn’t learn the lesson it complete the task at hand. This is mainly do to improper planning. You’re not prepared for what’s ahead of you haven’t ordered your steps.

It’s easy to forget to write things down. Most of my ideas come to me randomly and mostly at night. If I don’t write them down in that moment it’s as good as gone the next day. I’ve come up with catchy quotes and good concepts for books but couldn’t tell you half of them because I didn’t write it down. Nothing is going to magically happen. Even if you feel you know the steps and you know the process, you can get overwhelmed if you’re not organized. Think about when you schedule a doctors appointment. You plan ahead to get an early appointment, sometimes even months in advance. This is so you’re not delaying your process and stuck waiting and postponing other affairs to tend to this one thing that could’ve been completed if planned properly. Consider this before it’s too late.

 

7.) Giving up and listening to others

This journey to success is tough. It can bring out the good and even the bad in you if you let it. I started my journey in writing over5 years ago. The vision was given to me and after making all the previously listed mistakes, I finally gave up on trying. I didn’t feel it was good enough and honestly sometimes I still feel that way. I had no idea what I was doing, I was scared of criticism and even more terrified of failure. I didn’t give it a good run before throwing in the towel.

I can recall sharing my ideas to a guy I was seeing and considered a friend and he told me it was foolish and too many people were already doing it. Hearing it from him was in my mind confirmation to let go and honestly the words were hurtful. That more than any of the mistakes, setbacks, or fear of failure, cut me deep. I lost interest in trying and missed out on wonderful opportunities along the way. It hurts most when it comes from an opinion you strongly value. None of that stopped the ideas from glowing or the sleepless nights. I honestly thought that by diminishing the idea of being successful, I would also be getting rid of the passion as well. I looked for other areas to explore, but everything led me back to writing. Even in the midst of giving up, the urge and that passion never went away.

Learn from my mistakes and even from some of your past mistakes. Keep that dream alive and go after it until you achieve it! Once you reach your goals set even higher ones, expand on them. As long as you have the passion, the endless possibilities will follow.

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