Why do people give up on their dreams? It is one of the greatest tragedies of life. Think about it. You meandered through most of your life, and suddenly you found something that turns you on, something that makes you feel alive, and you start to follow it. However, something happens, and you don’t think you can make it happen, and you give up.
You go back to the meandering life you were living and you feel sorry for yourself for every single day of your life because you gave up on something that made you feel alive.
Do you know how painful it is to give up on your dreams?
There could be a 1000 reasons why people give up on their dreams. They may sound like valid reasons to the rational mind, but all of them, after all, are poor reasons. In a world where happiness should be the purpose of life, none of those reasons would stand true. However, in the world we live in, yet, besides exceptions, happiness is the not the purpose of life for most people. Hence, people who dare to dream and go after their dreams find themselves on a lonely road, where other loners have drifted away from a society living off the curse of materialism.
If you want to stay on the course for your dreams, you need to look avoid all of these reasons, and more. For heaven’s sake, don’t give up on your dreams.
Here are 20 painful reasons people give up on their dreams:
1. It is too hard
People start on the road to their dreams and realize it is way harder than they thought it would be to follow the dream. There is tons of failure involved and one needs to keep going, in spite of the failure, while learning from the failure.
Stand-up comedy is one such dream where failure is a given and you cannot create a joke that perfectly works all the time without failing quite often. I am sure making a start-up work involves tons of failure while making a product that solves the customer problem, to marketing it, to sales and everything else that running a company involves. Even trying to become a blogger or a professional writer is a vague road, where you are only trying different stuff for years and hoping something would stick. I have been trying to get more traffic to this happiness blog for a year and I still don’t know where we are headed.
Following your dreams is hard unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth and can afford a lot of failure financially and emotionally. People give up on their dreams because it is too hard. It is not easy. You would be able to bear the pain of going through the journey only if you really love what you are doing.
On the other hand, if it wasn’t hard, anybody would do it.
2. People give up on their dreams because they run out of money
This is a simple one to understand. Following your dreams needs money. Money is the fuel of life. Money allows us to do things we want to do. It allows us to live a convenient life. It also allows us to follow our dreams.
The paradox here is that when you are following your dreams, you may not make money for a while. For example, a start-up would not make money till it finds the product-market fit. An artist would not make money till he reaches a point where he/she is so good that people are willing to pay to see his/her work. So, as someone who is on the journey, you need fuel and you need that in the bank account.
A lot of people find that fuel from different sources. People who have a supportive family depend on them till they start making money from pursuing their dreams, from their savings in case of people who take career breaks, from freelancing etc.
When the money is over, people are forced to give up on their dreams. Start-ups run out of cash and they die. Wannabe artists run out of savings and they die. Money is the fuel we need to keep going.
3. People give up because they run out of emotional bank balance
Just like money, we need to be in the right mental state emotionally to pursue our dreams. As the first point stated, it is hard, and the hardness of the journey takes a toll on the mental health.
Most of us are not raised in families where failure is accepted practice and continuous failure takes a toll on mental health. People give up because they cannot stand failure after failure, and learn the lessons that are meant to be stepping stones on the journey to their dreams.
4. People give up because nobody believes in their dreams
You just don’t need yourself only to believe in your dreams, but you also need others, especially your family members to believe in you. It gets extremely lonely if you have to run this journey by yourself.
So, if you are thinking of starting on your journey, try to get an approval from your parents, your partner, depending on your stage in life. There would be points in your journey which would be completely unforeseen and you would find yourself extremely difficult to continue if you have absolutely zero support on your journey.
Having said that, do not let that stop you. Your dreams are your happiness. Even if you must go alone, and seek external help or find external help, do everything possible to not let familial lack of support become the reason for you dropping out of your dreams.
5. People give up because they themselves don’t believe in themselves anymore
Now, this is incurable. You can’t pursue anything without self-belief. People give up on their dreams because if they face constant failure, they can’t find a way to change the outcome. A wise man said, ‘find a way or make one.’ That is the only solution there is, on the journey of following your dreams.
However, since it takes mental toughness in the face of mind-numbing obstacles, a lot of people break down, and end up giving up on their journey.
You had the belief when you started. You cannot afford to lose it.
6. When people hit a plateau, they give up
A plateau is a period of no growth or that of decline. Sometimes, in the course of their journey, there is no progress and there are no reasons why. Plateaus are frustrating because growth is the order of life, and if we stop growing as human beings, we lose control.
A lot of people give up when they hit a plateau. The important thing to understand here is that everyone has their own journey, and some journeys are slow, and some are not.
Do not let a plateau stop you.
7. People give up on their dreams because they compare their journey to that of others
There are peers everywhere. We have peers in school, colleges and in professional life. People start on the journey of their dreams believing that they would do something different. However, during the course of it they realize that their peers from schools, college or from elsewhere are living a more materialistically comfortable life, and they are losing out. They start to feel that they are missing out, and that’s a terrible thing. What they don’t realise is that they have had the opportunity to follow what their heart craves for and stop feeling grateful about it.
Not just that, people also compare their journeys with those on the same path. Someone moves fast and someone moves slowly. Not everyone starts and becomes a quick success in a year or two. You may need more time to grow, than your peers who are pursuing a similar dream.
This sort of comparison drains energy and takes the fun out of the journey, which makes people give up on their dreams.
8. People give up because of misplaced motivations
The only reason to really pursue your dreams is that you love what you are doing so much that there is nothing else you would rather do. However, a few people start on the journey with misplaced motivations, for example, making a lot of money, or fame.
Although money is fuel, and we cannot proceed without it, whenever it is placed as the destination, it leads to failure, and rightfully so.
9. People give up on their dreams because of a fixed timeline
One of the problems with life that it doesn’t quite work according to our timelines. It is even truer of dreams. Goals have a timeline but dreams don’t. You may plan to achieve a certain target by X timeline but there could be several factors because of which you can’t achieve that target because you are currently operating in the zone of uncertainty. There is no playbook here. You are trying to figure out how to make things work, and it’s not mathematical.
However, when people give a target like this to themselves, they feel quite disappointed with themselves if it’s not achieved, and end up quitting on their dreams. Only if they had put in some more time, they may have made it.
10. People quit because they don’t love the process of creation
Life, and dreams are about the journey and not the destination. If you are in the journey because you love it, because you love the process of creating what you are trying to create, you won’t quite quit. It’s extremely hard to quit because you love what you are doing.
I sometimes think why am I working so hard on this blog when at the time of writing this, I am not even getting 1000 visitors a month, I know the answer. I really think I am doing something worthwhile here, and one day, this would amount to something. Also, I love writing, and this way, I am giving the world the best I have.
In order to not give up on your dreams, you have got to love the journey. You can’t make yourself do it. Either the love is there, or it isn’t.
11. People give up because of ego
This is not an oft spoken reason. People give up on their dreams because they sometimes find that the people who are doing well in their field are either younger to them, or have been around for lesser the time, and have achieved more success than they have.
Now, they clearly need to work with these counterparts on the scene in their industry, and their ego comes in the way. Ego is a tough nut to crack. If your ego comes in the way of your dreams, you will have to choose one or the other.
If you choose ego, you would give up on what you love.
12. They don’t remind themselves why they started
When you realize what turns you on, you don’t want to quit on that. You want to quit on everything else, but not on the thing that makes you feel alive. However, as the journey gets difficult, and you face failure after failure with inconsistent results, you begin to wonder if you made the right choice in terms of direction.
At this point, it’s important to remind yourself why you started on the journey. A lot of people quit on the way because the why they started the journey with, drops out of their heart. It’s important to keep reminding yourself of why you started, so that irrespective of the obstacles, you stay on course, and not give up.
13. People quit because of rejection
On the journey of your dreams, you are bound to face tons of rejection, and it has to be seen in perspective. You do what you do because you love it, and you are getting better at it, the more you pursue it. However, some people will not like you, regardless of what you do. They will place obstacles in your way, which may have nothing to do with merit, or your performance.
If you want to proceed, you need to stop dealing with these people and cut them off your journey, and your life. They are toxic. You just have to keep doing your work, and keep looking for ways you can make your dreams come true.
14. People quit on their dreams because they don’t seek advice from successful people in their industry
They say success leaves clues, and it’s true. There must be people in your field or your industry who have already achieved what you are trying to achieve and would be willing to help you, only if you ask for advice or help. You are on a tough journey and it is important that you ask those who have already made things happen.
Not everyone would be willing to guide you, but I have realized that most people are nice, and would be willing to help. So, ask for help, advice, and guidance, whatever you need.
15. People give up on their dreams because of other pressing issues in life
It is possible when people start on the journey of their dreams, they had no encumbrances. However, life changes, and there may be other pressing issues that may take a lot of their time, which would make it difficult for them to continue pursuing their dreams.
Now, although this is true, but no matter what happens, the true self and the realization that you have had a dream doesn’t change. If you must take a break, take it, but you can always come back, and restart where you left. I guarantee you that your dreams won’t leave your heart, no matter what you do, and where you go.
16. People give up on their dreams because of a toxic environment at home
Let us face the hard truth. We don’t live in a society that allows their kids to follow their dreams. Parents are willing to spend money on dowry in many parts of the world, than on the education of their daughters. People spend money on socially acceptable degrees like medicine, law etc.
However, when their children want to follow unconventional careers like photography, dance, music, comedy, writing etc., they are not happy about it. They don’t allow their kids to follow their dreams. In some cases, the kids have no option but to leave the home to be able to pursue their dreams, or they would face a toxic environment, which would make it virtually impossible for them to pursue their dreams, and they would be forced to quit.
Get rid of the toxicity, not your dreams.
17. People give up because of self-doubt
Self-doubt is a dangerous thing. When you begin to doubt your ability to do something, you are in a precarious territory. Henry Ford said that if you think you can, or you can’t, you are right.
The reason you started was because you had the confidence in you that you would be able to make your dream come true, and you had some evidence. Don’t let that go. A lot of people quit because their self-doubt exceeds their self-confidence to achieve what they are trying to accomplish.
18. It is considered fairly okay to give up
Why do you think I am writing this piece? I am writing it so that somebody would read it and learn why others give up on their dreams, and that somebody would be inspired not to.
Now, at the same time the larger society is not like me. It is true that close to 90% of the society doesn’t have the guts to even figure out what their dreams. They are fine with the compromise life has become. In a social structure like this, it is fairly okay to give up on your dreams.
19. People lack patience
You see, patience is a flexible thing. It’s not rigid. Imagine if you could run of oxygen. How long would you be willing to wait for it?
I know the question is rhetorical. But, the only answer to it, is forever, because your life depends on it.
People give on their dreams because of lack of patience, not realizing that their life depends on it.
20. People give up on their dreams but their dreams don’t give up on them
Let us start from the beginning. Your dreams are the most important thing about your life. Even if you give up on them, they won’t give up on you. You would be reminded over and over again every day for the rest of your life that you gave up on your dreams.
Trust me, if it is not easy to pursue your dreams, it is not easy to give up on them, either.
We started by saying that all the reasons to give up on your dreams may be valid, but you should not let any of them stop you. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But, it takes character, persistence and resilience to keep going in spite of all the obstacles you face. If you would listen to me, never give up on your dreams.
Thank you for reading.
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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.