Who Stands Between You and Your Dreams?

I have been thinking a great deal about my friend Adam (not his real name) who died several years ago at a relatively young age. He comes to mind nearly every time I observe someone who is not pursuing her/his dreams. Adam wanted to study law after college, but his parents had other plans for him and he followed their dream instead of his own. Unlike some people who fall in love with their profession even if it was not their first choice, Adam never did. And he was never happy with his life.

In recent conversations with several acquaintances, it has surprised me to notice how many reference a dream they have put “on hold” while they fulfill their current and more pressing responsibilities. These energetic people have exciting plans for some point in the future when they believe they will be free to pursue them. In Adam’s case, the choice was a major one made long ago. But how many of us are making choices NOW to do things we “should” do rather than something we are thrilled to do?

Here are a few questions I suggest we consider over the coming days…
… Is fear of failing standing between me and my dream?
… Have I put my dream/dreams “on hold” to live the life others expect me to live?
… Is there someone in my life who feels threatened by my dream?
… With whom can I discuss my dream, and can I count on that person to encourage me in pursuing it?

Whatever our answers, we have much to gain by exploring the reasons we sometimes (or often) choose to delay our chance for happiness.

p.s. As I was writing this post, I came I came across this delightful interview with Michelle Nkamankeng, a 7-year old author from Johannesburg, South Africa. I plan to embrace her sage advice: “Always follow your dreams.”

12 Responses to Who Stands Between You and Your Dreams?

  1. Author October 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    May absolutely NOTHING stop me from pursuing my dreams! May the people in my life encourage my dreams. May I never, ever be afraid to dream and share my dreams with others. May I support and encourage the dreams of others. May my dream be to see others’ dreams come true.

    • sharon October 18, 2016 at 6:09 am #

      This is a beautiful and powerful declaration, Author. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and for inspiring us to pursue our dreams and to support and encourage others in pursuing theirs.

      With many thanks and a big hug,

      Sharon

  2. Priscilla Algava October 17, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    I love you Sharon

    • sharon October 17, 2016 at 10:15 am #

      And I love YOU, Priscilla. Thank you so very much!

      Sharon

  3. RAMONA October 17, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    TRY NOT TO BE RETIRED OR ON YOUR DEATH BED, WISHING YOU HAD MORE TIME TO DO SOMETHING ”YOU” REALLY LOVE AND ENJOY !
    TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED AND YOUR HEALTH IS NOT PROMISED.
    LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHERSAL
    YOU CAN’T TAKE THE STUFF WITH YOU
    THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND THE PLACES/MEMORIES WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH AND WARM YOUR SOUL/HEART
    THE THINGS YOU DO EVERY DAY, ARE YOUR LIFE……….

    • sharon October 17, 2016 at 10:21 am #

      Ramona, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for reminding us that “tomorrow is not promised and your health is not promised.” You remind us that NOW is a perfect time to pursue our dreams.

      With many thanks and a big hug,

      Sharon

  4. Claudia Schmidt October 17, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    Hi Sharon,
    A lovely and though provoking post, as always. One of my most burning dreams has always been to travel globally at least once each year. Unfortunately my husband doesn’t like global travel. Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t go on any global trips because I knew it wasn’t something we could do together and it would cause all sorts of annoyance on his part if I pressed him to go. Now, I go on overseas trips with friends who also love to travel, as often as I can squeeze in the time. He’s not too thrilled about it, but I just let him know that it’s not up for discussion, my life is my life. I’m planning one to Amsterdam this spring. No more putting things “on hold” for me, I’ve learned all too well that life is short and the time to live your dreams is now.
    Many hugs,
    Claudia

    • sharon October 17, 2016 at 10:18 am #

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences, Claudia, and for the “how” of pursing our dreams even when (or perhaps especially when) someone we love has a different point-of-view. I LOVE your comment that “the time to live your dreams is now.”

      With many thanks and a big hug,

      Sharon

  5. Virginie October 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    As always a pleasure to read your post, Sharon. I think what stands first between you and your dream is ignorance: ignorance of your own feelings, ignorance you have a dream, or the right to have a dream/dreams. Then come fear and the guilt: fear/guilt of disappointing loved ones, fear/guilt of seeing their “pain”, making them suffer. And then fear to fail and the “I have to”…. A big one. What if… it is a journey that can take long.

    When I moved to the US, I was reading Facebook posts from my mum and her friends on how hard it will be for her not to see us and knowing we will be so far. There was a sense of hidden/not expressed guilt of making people suffer so much. I emailed her and I acknowledge how hard it must have been for her not to see us and shedding a new light on this: we are making one of our dreams come true and it is fabulous to live the life you want. I remember concluding by: how many people can say that?

    • sharon October 17, 2016 at 6:01 am #

      Virginie, thanks so very much for taking the time to share these thoughts and experiences with us. You make many important points, and I am especially taken by your comments about fear and guilt, two feelings that we so often allow to paralyze us when faced with bug decisions. You are courageous and you inspire us!

      With many thanks and a big hug,

      Sharon

  6. Jess October 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    In response to your question re what stands between me and my dreams, I would say that it is I. More specifically, my experiences in singing, etc. have opened to me the idea that I am my most severe critic. Permitting this to happen is my own doing. Once I learned this or admitted it to myself, I made some progress in moving on in fulfilling my dreams.

    • sharon October 16, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      Thank you very much for sharing your experiences and insights, Jess. How true for many of us that we are our own “most severe critic.” Your candor helps us all.

      With many thanks and a big hug,

      Sharon

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