Why most people don’t achieve their dreams


It’s a psychological given that our fear of loss is greater than our fear of gain. This makes perfect sense from a survival standpoint, the loss of our life was more fearful than the gain of a good meal, or shelter or even a mate. Our amygdala’s job is to keep us alive and it’s influence on our behaviour is as strong as it ever was – even though it is buried deep in our subconscious these days.

So how does that impact on our dreams, goals and ambitions?

Remember back to a time when you attained a goal, it may have been passing your driving test or getting a job you wanted – it felt great didn’t it? Now remember back to a time when you didn’t achieve your goal, maybe the object of your affection rebuffed your advances, maybe you failed your driving test or didn’t get that job you wanted – how did that feel? Pretty bad eh?

As this happens more and more during our early lives we begin to learn that striving for certain things, especially if they seem out of reach, often causes pain. Pain = possible death (from our amygdala’s perspective). So naturally, we tend to avoid it. We create a dream, it seems wonderful. We imagine our life once that dream has been realised and we can tangibly feel the joy, relief, ecstasy. If we decide to take action to attain that life we now create a situation where we will either succeed or fail. If we fail, the illusion will be shattered, we will not have that life after all and we will lose our goal.

This fear of loss sabotages us from even starting. ‘Keep the dream’ our subconscious says, like delaying checking your lottery ticket. Until you check it you may have won – once you check it you know you’ve lost! So you keep the dream – it feels good. ‘One day…’ you say to your friends, ‘I’m going to…[XYZ]’. But for most people they are just words.

So how do you get past this fear of shattering your own illusion? How do you take action towards your goals, ambitions and dreams?

By changing your Mindset. By accepting failure as part of the learning experience. By accepting that failure does not mean an end to the dream, it is simply an obstacle to get around. By switching your fear of loss to that of what you will lose by not striving for your dreams. By understanding the Thoughts=Feelings=Actions process and using it to your advantage.

If any of this sounds familiar, makes sense, interests you – take a look at my online video series which goes into it in a bit more depth. It doesn’t cost anything and when you Opt In you automatically receive the first 79 pages of my book: ‘How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time’ as my gift to you, a kind of ‘dip your toe in’ opportunity to see what other readers are raving about.

Click here to see the first video in the series before deciding to Opt In.

Hope you find it thought provoking.




PS: Try out the first 79 pages of my book: β€˜How To Change Your Life One Day At A Timeβ€˜ at no cost simply by opting in to my complimentary video training series here: (CLICK HERE)


Filed under Goals, Life changing, Relationships, Self help, Self Improvement, Success

21 responses to “Why most people don’t achieve their dreams

  1. Barbara

    Thanks – just the boost I needed while studying for my exam next week!!

  2. Hi Stu, it makes total sense to me. Thank you for the reminder that failure is just part of our growth and moving ahead. Have a wonderful Thursday!

    • Thanks Tina, I have an opportunity coming up that scares me – what if I fail? I have to go for it – that’s what prompted this post. Keep going for it and sooner or later IT will happen. πŸ™‚

  3. Forget the “pain” Stu, if your dreams are powerful enough and your will strong enough…any pain will not be noticed
    be good to yourself

  4. The journey to success includes some failure and you know, sometimes the dream is deferred…I know people who have given their all to a dream and it didn’t pan out. What to do? They moved on to the next thing and that is life too. Sometimes a new and quite different door opens for us when we’ve failed at one thing… πŸ™‚

    • Yes, being attached to the outcomes in life is the cause of suffering. We must strive to achieve our dream but be aware that it may happen differently to the way we planned. We must view the journey as being the most important aspect of any dream/goal/ambition. The Disney Corporation many years ago discovered that there was an optimal amount of queueing time that heightened the experience of fairground rides (I think it was 20 mins), they realised that anticipation was a key component of the fun. So, they engineered the wait to be 20 mins minimum where ever they could. Anticipation creates excitement, along with the adrenalin rush there is a massive sense of relief, combined they make the perfect exhilarating experience. Life is a bit like that. Thanks for your comment. πŸ™‚

  5. Exactly what I needed right now as I try to decide what to do with my current WIP manuscript πŸ™‚


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  7. Well said my friend – YES I agree that our fear of loss is greater than our fear of gain! WOW – brilliant and thank you for making me ponder this!

    Absolutely thought provoking and I just asked someone your question above – I love the way you state this and so true – I am guilty of not checking my lottery ticket number right away – keeping the dream of winning alive….

    You ROCKED on this blog post my friend!

    Living in the possibilties of life,

    • Thanks Nancy, be sure to take advantage of getting the first 79 pages of my book – FREE! Share that with your own readers too if you think they’d enjoy it. πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Stu, Great post! I like the lottery ticket metaphor. There are definitely instances when I confuse hoping as being a form of action taking. Nothing ever comes from hoping and our dreams never fall into our laps. We need to seize it by stretching out to get it.

    • Thanks Robert, stretching out to get it, superbly put. We stretch ourselves ‘out to get it’, and that is as important as the getting it – maybe more so. A muscle grows by stretching and resting, stretching and resting. I think we grow mentally and courageously in a similar fashion. We do need time to rest in between bursts of activity, otherwise we don’t give our mental or spiritual muscle time to heal. πŸ™‚

  9. Hi Stuart, I just tried to leave a comment, hope I’m not duplicating it, but here goes anyway.
    You make great points here. I also find that if I look back at my failures with wise eyes, those failures often led to good things in the long run after the initial disappointment or emotional pain.
    I very much liked your 79 page excerpt and look forward to purchasing your new book in the next few weeks. Best wishes for continued success with your new book!

    • Thanks Karen, (not duplicated!) – I’m glad you’re enjoying the start of the book, be sure to purchase from the link given at the start as it’ll be half the price of Amazon! And I totally agree with you that past failures led us where we are today and therefore are actually part of our success. Have a great day. πŸ™‚

  10. Pingback: How Changing My Goals Helps Me In Achieving Them. « My Life on the N-List

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