23 May How Do You Know When It’s Time to Give Up on a Dream?
How do you know when it’s time to give up on a dream? How long should you keep pursuing a dream if you’re not seeing any progress?
As kids, we were encouraged to DREAM BIG. Our parents told us we could be whatever we wanted to be when we grew up.
I remember spending countless hours fantasizing about what my adult life would be like. I created all sorts of dreams about what my future career, husband, kids, and house would be like.
Being a naive, eternal optimist in my youth, I believed that all dreams were possible…as long as you never give up on your dreams, they’ll become a reality.
I grew up. The older I got, the more people would tell me my dreams were “unrealistic” and probably wouldn’t ever happen.
…I started to believe this was true…
I started to doubt that “anything was possible”. I began to think that maybe I should be more practical…not dream so big.
Nah. That’s dumb and boring.
I couldn’t force myself to say goodbye to all my vivid fantasies of the amazing life I was going to live. My dreams were just to yummy and delicious to give up on!
So, I stayed a dreamer, with my head in the clouds, as I started exploring what my professional career would look like.
Over the past 17 years, I’ve had many aspirations: Music teacher. Journalist. Police Officer. FBI Criminal Profiler. Lawyer. Psychotherapist. Professor. Awesome-Rockstar-Badass Famous Writer.
Some dreams I ended up crossing off my list after testing them out and realizing they just weren’t my cup of tea.
Music teacher? I like performing. But teaching others how to do it? Not so much.
Being a cop sucked…I did it…and it was so depressing.
Lawyer might have been ok…if I’d gotten accepted to law school (which I didn’t).
But the last three aspirations on my list have always stuck…
Psychotherapist. Professor. Awesome-Rockstar-Badass Famous Writer.
Here’s a truth smack: Sometimes, it takes a long-ass time to make your dreams a reality.
I worked at a dozen different jobs before my dream of becoming a psychotherapist became a reality. When I was down in the trenches working as a new social worker, I thought I’d never make it to the glorious land of private practice.
I felt like I’d be stuck working on-call, third shift, never getting Christmas Day off jobs FOREVER! But I just kept showing up everyday, working toward my end goal, and praying every step of the way I wouldn’t lose my mind before getting there.
And I made it…after working in mental health for 9 years, I started my own psychotherapy practice. I was so glad I never gave up on my dream.
On to the next dream…
WHEN IT’S TIME TO GIVE UP ON A DREAM
I’ve always loved teaching so being a professor ranked high on my professional bucket list. Imagine my delight when an adjunct professor position became available at the local college. Woot Woot!
This was my chance…I was soooo ready to walk into the classroom and inspire young minds to go out into the world and do great things! Yes! Finally!
DENIED! I didn’t even get an interview. The door was shut…and would be for a VERY long time.
I kept watching for job postings, eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to apply. I watched for 3 years…
I got to wondering: How do you know when it’s time to give up on a dream?
Maybe the Universe was trying to tell me that being a professor just wasn’t meant to be.
But you know me…eternal optimist. Head-in-the-clouds dreamer.
I didn’t give up on my dream.
Here’s what else I didn’t do:
- I didn’t dwell on the fact that my dream wasn’t becoming a reality when I wanted it to
- I didn’t think of myself as a failure because I didn’t get the job I wanted
- I didn’t sit around waiting for my dream to come true
- I didn’t doubt my ability to teach college
- I didn’t get angry at the college or blame anyone because I didn’t get what I wanted
Instead, I stayed focused on always growing, learning, and becoming the best I could be…at every stage of my life and in all the work I did. I kept my dream tucked in my shirt pocket, close to my heart.
And you won’t believe what happened….
Almost 6 years after I applied for that professor position at the college, they called me out of the blue one day and offered me an adjunct professor position on the spot.
No interviewing. No competing. The job was mine if I wanted it.
Hot damn…I was so glad I never gave up on my dream.
I grabbed hold of the opportunity and did a happy dance the first day I walked into class.
And even though I haven’t yet checked the box on my final ambition of being an Awesome-Rockstar-Badass Famous Writer, I’m still working at it and I’ll NEVER GIVE UP on my dream…no matter how long it takes for the miracle to happen.
LESSON OF TRUTH: Just because things aren’t happening when you think they should doesn’t mean they won’t happen at all.
Everything has it’s perfect time and place. The Universe is always working FOR you and is ready to give you everything you seek.
DREAM BIG. Make your dreams known…send them out to the Universe.
And then show up everyday…keep trying…and never give up on your dreams.
You just never know when the miracle will happen.
You’re 80% more likely to reach your goals and live your dreams if you write them down.
To help set yourself up for the greatest success in making your dreams a reality, download this FREE DREAM VISIONING WORKSHEET.
Nicole Iacovoni is a psychotherapist, writer, wealth coach, and spiritual guide on a mission to teach working moms how to harness the power of their minds to create wealthy lives. Join the Kicking Ass Creating Wealth Private Facebook Group and kickstart your wealth creation journey!