“I Don’t Have A Dream”: How We May Have Lost Our Dreams & Where to Find Them

We know that if we want to “make it” we are going to have to hustle. Tons of great advice in the form of books, articles, podcasts, you name it, is out there to help us achieve our dreams. Our internet search bars quickly lead us to useful “how to” pages. As we pursue lives of fulfilment, whether that be through entrepreneurship, personal growth and inspiration, or general strategies for high achievement, our internet ads become littered with information on these topics. Much of the information is even free! Imagine that!

Over the course of years I’ve taken advantage of this access to information and inspiration. I’m ready to hustle! I’ve come to understand the importance of a solid daily routine, including setting my alarm for the same time early each morning. But when that alarm goes off, I often find myself wondering,

“What exactly am I getting up for?”

“What exactly am I pursuing, directing my energy toward?”

Inevitably, the lack of a clear vision has me hitting the snooze button. There are some great resources for tackling this issue. Gaining clarity when it comes to a vision for our lives is possible!

But, I’ve come up against a tiny (but giant) problem. Once I think I might have it all figured out, and I’m so excited to get started, I think,

“What if my loved ones are upset by what I’m trying to achieve?”

“What if my dreams are an inconvenience to them?”

Though a variety of insecurities may arise, I imagine these concerns are not typical for most dream-seekers. But for those of us who have a history with co-dependency, such concerns may stop us from even letting ourselves think about pursuing what really brings us joy.

In fact, it may be easier for us to throw ourselves into somone else’s dream, rather than to clearly recognize our own.

This odd phenomenon became clear to me when discussing the future with a friend the other day and they asked me, “What do you want?” I struggled to answer in any meaningful way. My immediate response was to rattle off reasons for doing things I think I should, or because it would make the most sense. Maybe some part of me was also afraid of what they would think. Most importantly, I legitimately did not feel that I had a solid answer.

I don’t know what I want. I don’t have a dream.

I refuse to believe this is the truth. Bullsh** questions like the two listed above caused me to bury myself away so that someone else can shine. This is false humility. If you think this is a good quality, think again.

The world needs you – the real you. Not the you trying to be someone else.

It’s suffocating and exhausting to live that way. I found myself feeling as though I was working hard, burning myself out, and simply spinning my tires while getting nowhere. Perhaps this wasn’t really true. But this feeling reflected subconscious knowledge that I was not moving toward what would bring my own heart a sense of fulfillment.

If you are struggling with this as I have, I’m certain there is a way forward. I have found journaling to be a wonderful tool for honest self-analysis. Here are some prompts which might be useful in discovering who we really want to be; What we really like and what we want to do:

  1. When I find myself with spare time, what do I usually find myself doing that brings me joy?
  2. When not occupied by work, tasks, distractions, where do I find my mind drifts off to? What do I daydream about?
  3. What is the feeling I seek to live in? What gives me this feeling?

Writing a journal, or even sharing your answers with a trusted friend can be so freeing, and super helpful when seeking clarity about your dreams. This is one practical step we can take to move forward. We can find greater clarity, and we can get it together.

Photo credit: unsplash-logoCody Black