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How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream

Green road sign with words dreams next exit illustrating the role of learning to dream again when you are afraid to dream.

Table of Contents

One of life’s most stuck feelings is when you are afraid to dream. We’ve all been in that incredibly scary place. You don’t like where you are but can’t get motivated to think or dream of something else. It’s a struggle when you are just…tired of yourself. But being afraid to dream of you and your life being different is a challenging space to live.

This feeling often follows a big disappointment. Something didn’t work out the way you planned. Ouch! That hurts, and no one blames you for being bummed. We also don’t shame you for being hesitant to try again. Your brain must ask, “What if I allow myself to dream, plan, try, and it doesn’t work out yet another time? Then what?

That’s an honest question. So, let’s go with an honest answer. When you are afraid to dream, something has happened that sucked. Everything in you doesn’t like that feeling and wants to avoid it. But when you are so afraid to dream, scared to try again, you are giving yourself a life sentence to stay right where you are. Unraveling The Truth: 8 Big and Common Myths About Motivation

Woman with illustration of mental chaos behind her and around her head illustrating when you're afraid to dream what may be happening.

Right where you are must not be okay with you, or you wouldn’t be reading this. The motivation is already there if you feel a call to do something differently. Something spoke to you and said, “I don’t know what I thought life would look like, but this isn’t it.” Maybe the voice inside you says, “I don’t know who I thought I would be at this point in my life, but this isn’t it.” There is your motivation. Now, you just have to get past the fear of failing. That is what is happening when you are afraid to dream. 

This is a place of unfriendly and often unkind self-talk. It all comes from a thought, and again, a thought can change. So, let’s see if we can get you out of this motivation/dream debacle the same way you got into it. We will do it one step at a time. 

Woman pulling head into sweatshirt illustrating hiding when you're afraid to dream.

How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream-Step #1
Ask Yourself, “What Am I Afraid Of?”

The big bad wolf in step #1 is…FEAR. We all have it, but the fact is that most of our fears are not valid. What are you afraid of? Usually, the first fear is of failure. What if you allow yourself to get motivated and excited by a dream, and it doesn’t work out? How human of you.

Congratulations, you are feeling what everyone feels at some point. It’s where you’re standing right now, and you’re ok. (really, you are). It might not be fun or pretty, but it didn’t kill you. So isn’t it worth the risk to do better and be better if the worst thing that can happen is something that has already happened?

The second fear when you are afraid to dream is a fear of disappointment. Yep, the Big D. None of us like it. But again, you have been disappointed before, and a tiger didn’t eat you. Eventually, you got up and stopped looking for tigers. It’s a nice line for a movie to say, “I just can’t try again!” (in your best drama/trauma/anguished voice) But it’s not true. If you are still breathing, you can dream, try again, and succeed.

Are you afraid of losing something or being embarrassed if you fail? Again, you are human. But we have always loved the quote:

“There is a freedom waiting for you on the breeze of the sky. WHAT IF I FALL? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” Erin Hanson

How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream-Step #2
Ask Yourself, “Has Anyone Else Ever Done Anything Like This?”

We have yet to learn what your story is. We don’t know how it started or where it went wonky. But we do know this. You’re not the only one to feel this way. So allow yourself to get inspired by the motivation of others who kept trying. A good rule of thumb is not to judge anyone’s life by the chapter you came in on. Without a doubt, there are people in your life who you think won the “good life lottery.” Never failed; just woke up with an extraordinary life one day. Unraveling The Truth: 8 Big and Common Myths About Motivation

We want to tell ourselves that other people are just luckier than we are. But we’ve never known anyone (with a life that anyone else would want) who didn’t to dream, not get it right, find motivation (when they were afraid to dream), and try again. So YEH YOU!!!! You’re halfway there.

Start watching biographies and documentaries about people that you admire. Start asking people about their journey. Pick the people living that life you are afraid to dream about right now. Ask them how they felt. Ask them how they got to the other side of that fire. It might cost you the price of a cup of coffee, but most people love to share their stories about how they got where they are.

How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream-Step #3
List All The Ways This Dream Could Make Your Life Better.

There is only one reason to desire anything. It’s because you believe it will improve your life or make you better. Usually, it’s both. This makes for one of the best tools to get motivated when you are afraid to dream. If you WERE willing to dream, try, risk failing, and it worked, how would your life be better? Start that list right now. Remind yourself of the desire to call this dream in the first place.

Woman sitting at a desk illustrating the feeling of failure when you're afraid to dream.

How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream-Step #4
List The Ways You Might Regret Not Even Trying.

After you get done with that list, start another one. What will you regret if you give up, stay where you are, and give in to your fear? What will you feel like when you look back and know you gave up on dreaming? This leads to giving up on trying. Once you give up trying, you will understand a whole other level of feeling stuck. “You ain’t no quitter,” so don’t talk like you are. Don’t even think like you are. You aren’t.

So try it on like a pair of jeans at the mall. What will you miss if you settle for where you are and never find the motivation to dream? When you are afraid to dream, you are afraid to try. Where you are may not be fun, but is that really where you want to land? Unraveling The Truth: 8 Big and Common Myths About Motivation

Woman with hand on her heart and the other hand open.

How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream-Step #5
Believe In What You Say You Believe In.

Everyone believes in something. Everyone has a belief that helps move them through the challenges of life. As part of humanity, we all need to move forward, even if we don’t know which direction forward is. So whatever you say you believe in, call it, use it, believe in it. Call what gives you hope and faith in something better being available to you.

Little girl imagining flying illustrating the importance of imagination when you're afraid to dream.

How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream-Step #6
Allow Yourself To Dream So You Can Allow Yourself To Try.

One of our favorite writers is Richard Bach. (Illusions, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Bridge Across Forever) A favorite quote from him is, “You are never given a dream without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” When you are afraid to dream, you are also afraid to try. When you are afraid to make your life better inside or outside, you are very, very, very stuck.

Want to get unstuck? Get back to dreaming. It doesn’t have to be planning or even knowing how. Think of it more like playing. “I wonder what would happen if I tried this…..” “Wouldn’t it be cool if this happened?” Before you know it, you will be dreaming. Dreams create inspiration, and inspiration creates motivation. It’s also a lovely tincture for fear. You can be very inspired and very afraid at the same time. If it’s anything worth having, you can almost count on it. But don’t let it stop you.

Woman dancing with butterflies surrounding her with words avoid boredom and dream big, you got this.

When You Are Afraid To Dream, Your Life Is Gonna Get Very Boring.

Most humans can handle fear, but boredom wears us down to an empty feeling of…nothing. We bet that you aren’t afraid to dream. You dream every day whether you mean to or not. You fear action that doesn’t work out as you hoped. You aren’t afraid to dream. You are afraid to fail.

So Let’s Do Something Different.

What matters to you? What do you hope to experience? What do you wish to be and do? Don’t know? What if you did? Dream about that? Maybe you have no ideas and no plans. Perhaps you don’t know what step one is. No worries. It’s not time yet. How do you want to feel? What do you care about? How you spend your days is how you live your life. Start there. Then, keep trying on those proverbial jeans till something feels…right.

Now allow yourself to think, “What if….” Again, it’s like trying on jeans at the mall. Leave it on the hanger in the fitting room if it doesn’t fit. But allow yourself to dream, to play, and to wonder. This will motivate you to dream some more, and that dream will motivate you to try. “But what if I fall? Oh, but darling, what if you fly?” You’ve Got This!

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Pixi-Pebbles For When You Are Afraid To Dream Again… 

Pixi-Pebbles are songs, quotes, videos, interviews, movie references, and books that we each personally pick for you.

We’ve used these little Pixi-Pebbles to move ourselves from a feeling we’re not enjoying very much…to a feeling that helps us discover our vision of intention, awareness, and direction.

They lead us to hope, possibilities, and a fire under our butt to live life by design instead of default.

In our blog, How To Get Motivated When You Are Afraid To Dream, here is a Pixi-Pebble that came to mind…

Just a little inspiration to get you from here to there…

If you hang around us long enough, you’ll know that Wayne Dyer is one of our favorite teachers. Today’s Pixi Pebble is a Wayne Dyer talk all about inspiring you to dream when you are afraid to dream again. Click here to take a listen and find your inspiration to dream again… 

Meet Nikki:

Nikki has a way of making almost anything meaningful, interesting, and fun. She loves cats, believes you can learn a lot about yourself by shooting hoops in the park, and has a mad love affair with trees. As a Certified Neuro-linguistic Programming Practitioner, Intentional Living Mentor, Reiki Master, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, she understands how to help others create change and has a talent for making you enjoy doing it.

Enchanted perspectives creator Nikki and Jennifer sitting against tree

Meet Jennifer:

Jennifer is a woman who definitely lives life by design. As an Artist, Certified Holistic Life Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Studies Mentor, and Certified EFT Practitioner, she helps others find their unique, magical, and authentic selves. She loves art, music, nature, travel and believes everyone can dance. Jennifer is a compassionate teacher that enjoys inspiring others to find their own creativity, intuition, and passion for life.
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