5 Provocative Reasons You Put Off Your Biggest Dreams

The reason you put off your biggest dreams might be because you’re:

  • Afraid
  • Fear Failure
  • Lack funds
  • Uncertain of the goal
  • Resist change

But, you are doing yourself a big disservice.  When you put off your biggest dreams, you resign yourself to living a life you don’t want.  You sabotage confidence in yourself, and this can make you unhappy.  Although the reason you put off your biggest dream may seem too big for you to overcome, there is a way to challenge it.

I want you to imagine the biggest, grandest thing you want to accomplish and then consider why you haven’t done it yet?

If you’re like most people, you probably have plenty of excuses. You might even have some good ones. After all, there’s never enough time or money or help to do things. Or is there? What if the only real thing getting in the way of your big ideas were you?

It’s time to stop making excuses. Today is the day you build your confidence and take action on your Big Goals. Let’s explore the 5 reasons and consider how you can overcome their limitations.

woman sitting on chair shuddering in fear

Fear can stop anyone in their tracks

I’m Afraid

A reason you put off your biggest dreams could be down to fear.  You’ll never be able to get rid of fear completely. Instead, you should make it your ally.

Typically, when you feel afraid, it’s because you don’t think you’re prepared in some way for what you’re doing. Perhaps you don’t believe you have the skills you need and the prospect of accomplishing your dream leaves you feeling overwhelmed.

When we’re afraid we tend to look at the big picture and see a massive gap in our knowledge.  You’re like a rabbit in the headlights, there’s just too much to look at so you remain frozen with inactivity.

The more scared you feel the scarier things become.  But action helps reduce fear and if you break it down into small steps it becomes easier.

Picture yourself reaching your dream, whatever it is. Imagine the worst-case scenario and then come up with a backup plan. Ask yourself: what are the facts? Am I making assumptions? What’s the best thing that can happen? Who can I call for help?

The first small step you could take to overcome your fear could be as simple as

  • Grab a book
  • Take a course
  • Find a mentor

Do what you can to fix the hole in your knowledge and you’ll be right back at work in no time.

I read an interesting article on fear in Psychology Today which looked at the fear of losing your health.  The approach the author took is a good example of how we can learn to deal with fear.

What If I Fail?

The fear of failure can be a real show-stopper and you are not alone if you use this as a reason to put off your biggest dreams.  But, there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. After all, making mistakes is how we learn, grow and build all sorts of important qualities like persistence and resilience.

Mistakes are not the end of everything.  You are human and mistakes will be made. Think about the times you learned something or changed to a better direction as the result of an error.

Truly, failure is nothing to be scared of.  Not when you think of it as an opportunity to learn something new. If you’re worried about how you’ll look, should you fail, then that is a different matter. Remind yourself how few people are actually watching. Other people are more concerned about what is going on in their lives than to watch everything that you do.  And for any that do? Ask yourself, do their opinions matter?

Discover whose opinions should really matter in my article Whose Opinion Really Matters And Why It Should

woman putting money in piggy bank money as a reason you put off your biggest dreams

Budget for your dreams

I Don’t Have The Money

Before you say you don’t have the money as a reason you put off your biggest dreams ask yourself, Are you sure? The funny thing is, we tend to find the money for the things we want to do. Maybe it’s time to sit down and reassess your finances. Just where do you spend your money each month? Is there something you could give up to create a small fund for your project?

Review your current finances and once you have allocated money for the essential monthly bills, consider what your disposable income is and where you can make cut-backs.  Putting money aside to invest in yourself and to realise your dream is far more important.

Why Am I Doing This?

A reason you put off your biggest dreams may be down to uncertainty about the goal.  Often, it’s easier to hold back simply because you don’t know where you’re going.

To drop this excuse, reassess the goal. Make it concrete and measurable in some way. Be as specific as possible so you know exactly what you’re doing and why.

The why is important.  When you know the reason for why you want something, it acts as an internal motivator and driving force.  Often we set goals without considering why we want to achieve them.  Then when the goal fails we wonder what went wrong, and look at external factors to blame.  A why keeps you focused and builds discipline.  There is a purpose to what you are doing and actions become easier to take as you understand what it is you are ultimately working towards.

Time for change chalked on a road a reason you put off your biggest dreams

Change is not easy, take baby steps

I Don’t Like Change

Let’s face it; change is hard. The status quo is much easier to maintain than it is to go out and try something new, especially when it’s going to shift the balance in your life and create a new dynamic. But nothing good ever happens if you stay in your comfort zone.

Don’t hold yourself back because you’re uncertain about whether you’ll like what’s coming next. If you do, you will miss out on the opportunities that might arise.  You could talk your concerns over with a trusted friend, sometimes another person’s perspective can help you see the change in a positive light.

Next steps when read good things happen when you ask for what you want

If you have put off your biggest dream, get to the reason as to why.  Consider the 5 points above and identify which reason is your blockage – it could be more than one.

Take a moment and write on a piece of paper the dream you want to achieve.

Take 30 minutes and write down everything that you feel is holding you back.

After 30 minutes, review what you have written.

Identify the reason you put off your biggest dream and write down one action you can take immediately to move you forwards.  Your chosen action does not need to be big, but one small step you can take right now. 

For Example:

If This Is You

Try This


Identify what knowledge you are lacking.  You could look up a relevant training course or find a book


Write down a list of all the things you have successfully achieved.  If you have succeeded in other areas.  You can put the risk of failure into perspective.  After all, you do have a track record of success!

How likely is failure going to happen?  Writing the fear down and seeing it in black and white can reduce the impact of it.

No Money

Review your recent spending habits and put a budget together identifying where you could make savings and commit to use those savings to invest in yourself and your dream


Think about why you want to achieve your dream.  What will it mean to you, your family.  Will it give you greater freedom?  Provide security?  Allow you to spend time doing what you love?


Talk to someone about your feelings around change, rephrase the change from a negative to a positive – think about what you could achieve if you tiptoed just beyond your comfort zone.  Implement one small change at a time and don’t be overwhelmed by thoughts that everything has to change at once.

Don’t let these 5 reasons put you off your biggest dreams.  You mustn’t stand in your own way.  This is the time to take a deep breath and plunge forward just to see what happens next!

You might just surprise yourself!

As an additional resource, you might find it useful to read my article on negative self-talk – 5 Quick Ways To Stop Negative Self-Talk.

About the author Alison

A qualified UK based coach with 30 years of experience in personal development.

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