4 Ways Chasing Dreams Drags You Down

How to say YES to yourself without suffering burnout

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'Going for it' means calculated risk, real life consequences, facing fears, and eventual disappointment.  Take the time to remember your dream is worth more than momentary burnout. Photo By Natalya Letunova

When chasing the high of making your dream come true wears off, how can you keep deflated sails from collapsing completely before being ready to fly again?

Entrepreneurship provides plenty of highs and lows. 

 So does parenting, being a student, starting a new career, opening your own business, climbing the corporate ladder, selling your own art… Deciding to chase a dream can be both exhilarating and exhausting.

When things are up and you’re soaring above blue skies hot with fiery passion, anything is possible! Then the comedown hits and the ground comes at you hard, cold and fast.

Maybe it’s the reality of a big bill being due when your funds have already been stretched beyond their limits that snatches you back to reality. Or a perhaps a program you launched crashes and burns unexpectedly.

When things are not going the way you planned or anticipated, what do you do? Just give up? 

 How you handle the ‘down’ days when everything seems to be going ‘wrong’ will ultimately determine your success.

Here are 4 ways chasing the dream may drag you down and how to pick yourself back up for another round.


There will be risk and sacrifice in involved. Like all caps RISK, life or death decisions. At least that’s how you will feel when making tough choices.

You’re going to have to make decisions that involve weighing your options and not all of them will be ideal. Going after what you really want in life requires bravery. 

 What happens if you go after your dream and it just doesn’t work out?

There is no failure only ‘data collected’. Lessons learned. Time spent eliminating what doesn’t work for you so you can move closer to what does. Process of elimination. And to get there you’re going to have to risk it.


There are real life consequences to your actions though! Like saying YES to YOU might mean saying no to someone or something else. 

 No to your current boss. No to your friends. No to your kids. No to an event at their school you really wanted to attend but it falls during an important training you’ve already paid and registered for. The consequences of missing your child’s event may result in disappointment, but that’s the sacrifice we must be willing to make.

Maybe the situation is reversed and you work a job where you never get off early enough to make it to your son’s practice.  Or you work weekends so you rarely get to spend time with your significant other or family on the holidays.  Is it worth it? 

 Are the consequences of saying YES to that job worth what you’re missing out on?


Whether it’s the fear of taking a risk that’s holding you back or an avoidance of any possible negative consequences you may have to face as a result of your decision, disappointment (yours and/or someone else’s) is just collateral damage for dream makers.

A fact you will have to come to terms with is saying YES to YOU might result in letting someone else down. You will disappoint people and at some point in the journey, you will let yourself down. That’s ok. Focus on and believe in the pay off!

Delayed Gratification

Speaking of the grand end result, you’ve got to be willing to wait for it. No one really ‘makes it’ overnight. Behind the scene of every success story is a tale of risk, sacrifice, consequences and patience.

Making your dreams come true takes time.  In an instant gratification society, it’s often not the unwillingness to work hard that hold people back, but the persistence to keep at it. Staying the course when the going gets tough and not giving up or shrinking in defeat at the first (or one hundredth) sign of difficulty will filter out the doers from the dreamers.

Developing the patience to pursue your purpose is greater (and more gratifying) than a quick and easy existence.

Life is not hard if you’re willing to sacrifice the perception that it is.

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