4 Deadly Mistakes You Must Avoid When Pursuing Your Dreams

By Henri Junttila on 12 March 2010 (Updated 10 March 2011) 8 comments

In my last post I wrote about how you can find your passion, but today I want to focus on the mistakes people make while going after their dreams. If you can identify with any of these mistakes, you might want to get it corrected as fast as possible. It will help you get back on track to moving towards making your dreams a reality instead of moving away from them.

We often get stuck in arbitrary things. We make excuses. We try to find shortcuts, and we try to do all these things that in the end only prevent us from reaching our goals. If you're really serious about pursuing your dreams and making them real, then you may want to read on...

1. Stopping at Uncomfortable

When you start something new, it will be scary. If you are serious about finding, following, and making your passion(s) and dream(s) a reality, you will have to deal with fear. You will have to accept that being uncomfortable means growing as a human being and making progress towards your goals.

I'm not talking about being physically uncomfortable, such as sitting on your leg until it falls asleep. I am talking about being emotionally uncomfortable. Being afraid to take the next step because you don't know what lies behind the next turn. Your journey will be unique, so you will have to learn how to deal with this yourself.

Look at it as driving a car: you know your destination (most times), but you can't see beyond the next bend. You still know where you're going, but you just can't see it.

2. Looking for Shortcuts

A lot of people are looking for shortcuts. They are looking for that one thing that will make them catapult to the front of the line and eliminate years off their learning curve. I'm sorry to say this, but it doesn't work that way. If you want to create your dream life and live out your passion(s), you will first have to find your passion and then take action to make it happen. (If you love gardening and want to teach other people how to do it, for example, that's excellent, and you can make a living doing that if you really want to.)

Remember, there's always room for those that are willing to go the extra mile. Stop looking for shortcuts and start using what you have. There are no magic bullets out there that will do it all for you. You will have to learn. You will have to work hard and you will have to make mistakes and learn from them.

3. Waiting for Perfection

I'm so guilty of this one. I used to be the worst perfectionist. I still am to a certain degree, but I'm more aware of it now. I am able to let things be imperfect without going crazy.

You don't have to wait for the stars to align or for someone to give you permission to go after your dreams. Most people blame their circumstances for not allowing them to make their dreams a reality. This is a big mistake. If you want to live your dream life, do what you love and change the world, you will have to take matters into your own hands and make a change.

You can always start somewhere. Don't worry about not knowing what to do. All you have to learn is what to do next. (Maybe you need to start a blog. Do a simple Google search for that, and you'll find plenty of tutorials. Maybe you will even fail at blogging and learn that you like something else instead.) It's all a part of the process. Successful people didn't become successful overnight, although that is what it usually looks like. They often failed over and over again until they found what worked for them.

4. Failing to Listen to Your Heart

Your heart knows things. Your mind...not so much. Your mind worries, it analyzes, it judges, and it does all those things that can easily take over your life. Now, I'm not saying that the mind is bad, it's just a tool, but it has become a bad thing in most people's lives because it has taken over. Many refer to this as the Ego, the Id or whatever you like to call it.

Your heart, on the other hand, will let you know when you're on the right path. You will feel good when you're following your passion. You will feel awesome when you're heading in the right direction, and you will feel blissed out when you realize that you have a whole guidance system inside of you that is perfect for you. (But remember, you also have to understand your emotions, because your heart may be trying to tell you something and you may be blocking it with fear or a surface emotion.)

If you want to pursue your dreams, start by finding your passion, then thinking about how you can make it real, and then taking action. It's really that simple. If you want to slow yourself down, then go ahead and pick one of the deadly mistakes above.

But know this: you are here for a reason. You are here to have a positive impact on this planet. You know that thing that you feel in your heart that you've always wanted to do? I'm here to tell you that you can do it, if you really want to. So what are you waiting for?

This is a guest post by Henri Junttila, a freelance blogger, who also writes about self improvement ideas for conscious people on his blog. Read more by Henri at The Wake Up Cloud:

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Guest's picture
Lanie

Thank you for sharing your wisdom! This post came at a perfect time for me, yesterday I decided to start a new business and was feeling a little daunted by the prospect. Thank you for the encouragement, I'm going to print your post and hang it by my desk for a reminder!

Guest's picture
Steven

Hopefully I'll join you as a small business owner soon.

Guest's picture

I quit my current job back in January (still finishing up and training my replacement) and signed on officially with my new job. I am SO scared! I've never been in a sales role and the new job is 100% commission. *gulp* Talk about uncomfortable!!! But I'm pushing forward and trying not to let the fear paralyze me. :)

Guest's picture
Len

It would have been nice to have concrete examples (stories of real people) of each of the failings, or even made-up examples; story-telling almost always works better than abstraction when dealing with wisdom. Your message remains good despite this, though. Thanks.

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wildgift

The ego is the "self".

The super ego is the intellect that tries to control the ego, telling it what is wrong and right.

The id is the "child" or the primitive instincts and urges.

The ego tries to keep the id satisfied. The super-ego criticizes and creates anxiety.

I prefer Maslow's thinking. :)

Guest's picture

This is a fantastic post and somewhat of a reality check as well, I have found that just because something is your passion doesnt mean that the road to achieving your dreams will be smooth, in fact, the job of passion is to keep you going when the road gets rough, you will quickly discover if something is a true passion for you when you are faced with obstacles, if you scale the obstacles then you are truly passionate, if you give up at the hurdle then maybe it was never a passion. Achieving yourr dreams will take hard work and determination and like you rightly said there are no shortcuts to success. Great post!

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Abby

Really loved this article. Sometimes all of these ideas are in the back of your mind, but they get lost in everything else that's going on. When you really take the time to think mindfully about your dreams and goals you become aware of their importance, which makes you realize what actions you need to take in order to accomplish them. I especially like how you said listen to your heart, because as I recently discovered, when you're truly happy it radiates throughout everything you do. Thanks for bringing my goals back to my attention today!

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Pat S

Great point about not stopping when uncomfortable. If you do, you'll never be able to capture the rich rewards that life has to offer.
Pat S.