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10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Up on Your Dream

Dont Give Up

“Commitment in the face of conflict produces character.” ~Unknown

We all face obstacles in pursuing our goals, whether they’re professional or personal.

We think we’re on the right track but realize we’ve chosen the wrong approach. We’re enthusiastic and hard-working, but our support system disintegrates when we need them the most. We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding.

Tenacious as we may be, we all have our breaking points—that moment when the potential rewards stop justifying the effort. Usually, that’s the hump that separates your best shot and your best reality.

Before you throw in the towel and go back to something safe and far less taxing, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with—and has anything changed?

You had a good reason for committing to this plan. Maybe you visualized a financially free future once you started this new business, or you realized you’d live longer and healthier if you lost forty pounds.

Odds are, you still want those things as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could have them because your attempts have yet to yield results. Now you have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be worth it in the end?

2. Have you been operating with too much information?

With so much information at our fingertips on the good ole World Wide Web, it’s easy to overwhelm yourself with more knowledge than you can apply. You read e-books and blogs, participate in teleconferences and coaching sessions, and join user forums to talk about getting things done.

One of two things happen as a result: you spend more time planning to act then acting, or you devote minimal energy to multiple plans instead of committing to one solid approach. Instead of drowning in all the data, why not narrow it down and start again from a less overwhelming space?

3. Did you set a smart goal? SMART goals are:

  • Specific—you know exactly what your world will look like when you achieve this goal.
  • Measurable—you have a specific plan to mark your progress as you go.
  • Attainable—you have the attitude and aptitude to make your goal reality.
  • Realistic—you’re willing and able to do the required work.
  • Time-bound—you’ve set a concrete timeframe for completion to create a sense of urgency.

If you didn’t set a SMART goal, you may have set yourself up for failure. How can you possibly make something happen if you don’t know exactly what you want, or didn’t really believe you could do it? Are you really willing to walk away when you didn’t give yourself every opportunity to succeed?

4. What’s the worst that will happen if you keep going and don’t reach your goal?

Often when I want to turn around it’s because I’m afraid of failing—afraid other people will be disappointed in me or judge me, or afraid I’ll have wasted my time. In all reality, no one ever judges us like we judge ourselves, and we always grow and learn through the process of striving, regardless of what we attain.

If you don’t keep going, you’ll never know how far you could have gone and you’ll miss out on being the person you’d become through the effort itself. If you do keep going, well, it’s like this quote: “Shoot for the moon, for even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”

5. Are you afraid of succeeding?

One of my biggest problems is that I don’t like responsibility. There are many things I’d like to do, but I resist because I don’t want the power to impact, hurt, or disappoint other people. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have dreams. It’s just that I’m just scared of what achieving them will entail.

If you can relate to this feeling, perhaps you’ll respond well to the mantra I’ve been repeating: great power comes with great responsibility, but it also brings great rewards. If you play it safe you won’t hurt or disappoint anyone, but you also won’t help or inspire anyone. And equally important, you won’t help or inspire yourself.

6. Are you acting on impulse or emotion instead of thinking things through?

Sometimes our emotions give us hints about what we want and what we should do, but other times they’re just responses to stress, and maybe even indications we’re on the right track. If you act in that moment of intense emotion—be it anger, fear, or frustration—you may regret it once the wave has passed.

So sit back. Take note of what you’re feeling. Feel it fully, without judging it or yourself. Then act when you’ve gotten to the other side. At least then you’ll know you made your decision in a moment of peace and clarity.

7. Would you enjoy giving a loved one the honest explanation for why you gave up?

And I mean honest.

Would you like telling your daughter, “I stopped trying to quit smoking because cigarettes are more important to me than having more golden years to spend with you?”

Would it be fun to tell your mother “I decided not to go to school because I’d rather spend all my time with my boyfriend of three months then prepare for a career that will ensure I won’t end up jobless and homeless?”

If you lay out it out like this, odds are you’ll realize you had a really good reason for doing this difficult thing, and no matter how challenging the process is, it’s worth plowing ahead.

8. Would your life be better if you gave up on this goal?

This may not sound motivational, but sometimes giving up is actually good thing. Perhaps you set a completely unrealistic goal and its pursuit is filling you with a constant set of inadequacy and anxiety. Or maybe the goal isn’t in yours or your family’s best interest, and it’s better to get out before you invest so much time it’s near impossible to walk away.

You could easily use this as a justification to delude yourself, so think about it carefully. Is this goal really a good thing, when you weigh all the consequences of its fulfillment?

9. How much have you already put in?

A concept studied in social psychology called “the sunk cost principle” indicates the more we’ve invested in something, the less likely we are to prematurely walk away.

How invested are you? How much money and time have you devoted? How many sacrifices have you made? Are you really willing to chalk it all up as a loss because you’re not feeling confident in your abilities?

10. What would you tell someone else if they were in your shoes?

Would you tell your best friend to throw in the towel because she can’t possibly reach her goal? Or would you practice your finest motivational speech and help her see what you see in her potential? Unless you’re secretly a frenemy who hopes she fails in life odds are you’d push her to be her best—so why not push yourself?

It may sound kind of cheesy, but you need to be your own best friend. You, more than anyone in this world, deserve your belief and motivation.

If you’ve gone through all these questions and still feel resolute about the decision to give up, you have my blessing to abandon your goal. (Bet you feel so relieved!)

If you don’t—if there’s some lingering doubt—keep working toward that dream that fills you with passion.

Take a different approach if you need to. Enlist new assistance. Scale back your time commitment to something you can more easily maintain. But whatever you do, don’t give yourself a reason to one day utter the words, “I quit because I was scared.”

Photo by Lel4nd Francisco

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) & co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you get unstuck & change your life. She's now seeking stories to include in her next book, 365 Tiny Love Challenges by Tiny Buddha. Click here to share your story! For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook.

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  • http://twitter.com/mikeisonthenets Michael Wong

    Awesome article, Lori! As per usual, speaking to right where I am in the world at this moment. :)

  • http://twitter.com/TSIPhotography Samantha Spears

    This is a great article, I will be sharing it with friends, colleagues, and family.

  • Brian

    A very good read. Thank you.

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  • http://ghalibana.blogspot.com/ Ganesh Dhamodkar

    Hey, liked your explanation of SMART goals.

  • Gergorian

    Hmm, timing couldn't have been better. Did you write this one for me? (-; I've been struggling last couple weeks if I am doing the right thing, but now I think if I DON'T stick with my original plan and keep pushing then I'll never reach what my life can ultimately become.
    Nose back to the grindstone and pushing through a bit more… keep 'em coming!
    Gergorian

  • http://rockonova.com Rocky | R O C K O N O V A.COM

    1. Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with—and has anything changed?

    9. How much have you already put in?

    Those are definitely my two favorite questions of the bunch. Reminding ourselves why we started has always been effective for me.

  • mona

    i love it :) its makes me think – - to continue my ventures (a week ago i decided to give up) accidentally i read this :) awwww … thank you!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Thanks Michael! I'm so glad you found this helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Excellent! I love knowing my writing makes a difference. I hope they find it useful, as well.

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Thank you for reading. =)

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Yup, just for you Greg. ;) I'm glad you're putting your nose back to the grindstone. I think we regret what we don't do in life more than the things we do. Best of luck moving forward!

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Me, too. I tend to rationalize when things get harder that maybe I didn't really want something. I find it really helpful to remember my initial passion and tap back into it by thinking about all the work I've done so far.

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    I hope you decided not to give up…you're most welcome!

  • http://netjunky.com/ Jonathan Karon

    Lori, Excellent points and a very good set of questions to bring some logic to a process that rarely has much logic. I think it's important, though, to realize that sometimes abandoning a dream is far better for yourself, your family, and your future. I have stuck with dream projects for too long on a few occasions and put myself and people around me through far more discomfort than a rational analysis of the situation would accept. Sometimes recognizing when a dream IS out of reach and letting go is the hardest decision of all.

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Hi Jonathan. I completely agree with you there. I think number 8 is a very important step. Sometimes, despite all the time and effort you've put in, moving on is the bravest and smartest choice.

  • nancyadler

    Spectacular article, Lori! Thank you so much for your insightful writing. ~ Nancy :-)

  • http://www.silvercordcafe.com/ Jeremy

    This was a really great read! Thank you ;)

  • 14D

    Really great article!! Especially at a time when people are questioning their careers/employment or in my case my lack of employment.
    I'm even more motivated to keep trying!!
    THX!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Thank you right back. I appreciate your kind feedback!

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    You're most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    That's awesome! I know the feeling of wanting to give up. Maintaining my motivation has always been challenging, as I'm sure it is for many others–particularly now. I think we can do amazing things if we push through that discomfort. Best of luck moving forward!

  • 14sanity

    Really great article!! Especially at a time when people are questioning their careers/employment or in my case my lack of employment.
    I'm even more motivated to keep trying!!
    THX!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you right back. I appreciate your kind feedback!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You're most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That's awesome! I know the feeling of wanting to give up. Maintaining my motivation has always been challenging, as I'm sure it is for many others–particularly now. I think we can do amazing things if we push through that discomfort. Best of luck moving forward!

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  • jfdevinejr

    Before conceding your dreams..stop. Remember why they were there to in the first place. “To thine own self be true”

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  • oregon_beach_girl

    I agreed with most of this blog entry except for one thing. Not sure the “boyfriend” analogy is a good one to use. Sounds like a rather slanted opinion you've expressed there. First off, not all relationships are flings…and maybe it's better to work through it anyway. Better to have loved and lost and than never loved at all. A person can pick up college at any time in their lives. I personally didn't start university until I was out of high school 10 years. Also, sometimes a boyfriend of three months can become the HUSBAND, the love of a lifetime…and let's face it, holding onto nothing but a so-called career won't keep you warm at night. In fact, there are many lonely and homeless women who don't have a man or a career. Besides, there are plenty of women for whom all they want to do is be a wife and mother. That is THEIR dream… and what's so wrong with that? Why shoot that dream down because of some misguided feminist notion?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there~

    Thank you for your comment. You make a valid point, and I appreciate that you added it. College isn't for everyone, and sometimes three months can turn into a lifetime.

    I took the liberty of assuming for most people, it would be an impulsive, and eventually regrettable decision to change their life path for the sake of spending more time with a new significant other, when it doesn't really need to be an if/or proposition. But as you've stated, this isn't universally true.

    I am a huge proponent of love, balance, and individual choice. Every dream is valuable, whether it's to go to start a business, travel the world, or have a family. I think in the end, it's about being honest with ourselves. Knowing when we're taking the easy road because it's what we want, and when we're doing it because it's safe.

    Lori

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  • NOLADarling

    I really need this check list right now. Thanks.

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  • http://www.verysimplewisdom.com VSW

    I am starting a new project: verysimplewisdom.com! Thank you for the SMART list so that I can assess my project! Wish me luck!

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  • avon

    Ii agree

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  • Anonymous

    I decided not to go to school because I did spend time with my fella of seven months.

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  • Amarie417

    Ah! This could not have come at a more perfect moment!!!

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  • http://www.genericsmed.com/buy-cheap-generic-cialis-tadalafil-p-1.html Generic Cialis

    Great tips on love

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  • http://www.largepot.net/large-pot/how-to-build-a-still/ large cooking pot

    That’s
    the great article! I just pass ‘n read it, two thumbs up! ;)

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  • Didosasa

    OKAY u did just an awesome article it u said what is really need to be said but my problem i think is more difficult i hate working hard i dont know if i hate or not but sometimes when i work i dont find it that hard and i tell myself soo its easy but then again i failed to stick with it ive tried alot but i hate hardworking i dont know or maybe im lazy i wish i could find the answer  i wrote this because iv only got like 3 or 4 months andi m gonna do  the exam that will make my future i just cant handle that good felling of hard working this long time (excuse me for my english im egyptian )

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Didosasa. Perhaps it’s not that your lazy, but just that you haven’t yet found something that you want to work hard for. Could that be it?

  • glenn

    I was going to give up on my application to a post graduate degree in oxford until I saw this. I realised I couldn’t give a satisfactory answer to any of the questions stated….

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this helped Glenn!

  • Imaniceperson35

     Im glad I just read this I have 2 High Schools recruiting me for basketball but I was scared to play because I was acting on impulse and I saw the section on it took it in and started thinking now im a starter for my Varsity High School team and im only a sophomore 

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s great! Congratulations! =)

  • Guest

    This is all great and good but what if all you have are pipe dreams?

  • Lukey10

    Just read this after been thinking about quitting Acting. I graduated 4 years ago and have since written/produced and released my own play and Film. However the unstable nature of the job means i am now financially struggling and living beyond my means. Teaching seems to be something I am good at and get satisfaction from so am thinking of doing a PGCE and moving into Teaching which will provide me with a stable income and home etc. It means giving up my Acting. The dilemma Im having at the moment is to take the step. I feel afraid of people thinking I have Failed at it and therefore thrown in the towel. But at the moment my   brain is telling me that getting a teaching job will provide stability financially and lead to the choices of travelling and teaching abroad etc. Any thoughts, please do throw my way!

  • Schalkus

    awesome just awesome , it think that my life just spun back into the right direction

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this helped! =)

  • Angiefromvancouver

    I’m grateful I found this article today. I like how you explained SMART goals. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! I’m glad this helped! =)

  • Ohio2onesix

    wow! no way im giving up on my t-shirt business now. Very very helpful! thankyou!

  • Guest

    Hi Lori,

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I am a 30 something actor who’s had some success in the business in my hometown in the theatre. I’ve recently begun making the transition into film and television and even landed a guest spot on a television series last month. (2 days’ work) My issue is finances. Even though I have been in the theatre for the past 12 years, it doesnt pay alot. In this business there are none the trappings of security (ie. medical/dental insurance,etc.) Ive never owned a home or a vehicle, and because I am single, I do not have a double income to help out with bills and such. I am now seriously considering leaving the business. I am passionate about my dream, and have received enough positive feedback that lets me know I actually have a chance at achieving my goal. However, I am now so very frustrated with the struggling. I have another passion, which is deejaying. I’m actually pretty good at it and I’ve gigged few times successfully. I think I’d be happier doing that to be honest, but I don’t have the money to purchase the gear I’d need to get the business going (I used other people’s equipment for the few gigs Ive done already). I really identify with “We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding”

    I am very likely to succeed, but I don’t have the funding to move forward in either passion. As we speak, I do not have money for my rent, which is due in 8 days. My union fees are due, and I can’t pay those either. I’m so tired of the stress of this kind of life. The working once in a blue moon, the waiting, always waiting. I’ve wanted to have children and be married for as long as I can remember, but it hasnt happened, largely because I’ve put everything on the backburner to pursue acting, which hasnt even panned out the way I’d hoped for by now.

    Would it be reasonable for me to quit? I know I’ve invested so much time and money, but I don’t want to waste even more time all for nothing and miss out on the important things in life. Should I switch gears now and try to make up for lost time before its too late? Especially in the biological clock department, lol! I’m at my wits end and any advice would be so very appreciated. Thank you.

  • Guest

    I just wanted to add that I have tried doing other part-time work, I’m not a lazy person at all. but every time I do that I end up in a scheduling conflict with an acting audition/job. iI tried dipping out of work to go audition, but that didnt work out either. eventually my agent gave me an ultimatum, saying that I either make myself 100% available during the day for tv/film auditions, or she would not be able to represent me any longer. This is why the deejaying would be so ideal, as it is at night mostly, but as I said I can’t afford the equipment right now. So this had me between a rock and a hard place: Not able to work during the day to make up for lack of acting income, yet not able to make enough from the acting to sustain myself properly.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I can understand why you’d feel conflicted! On the one hand, you’ve invested so much time into this dream. On the other hand, there are no guarantees, and there are other things you want to do with your life.

    It’s tough to offer advice for this kind of thing, because it’s really a matter of following your own instincts.

    Would it be possible to continue pursuing acting, but to also make some time for the other things you want? Could you take on a part-time job that provides insurance and some additional security, while acting on the side of that?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I didn’t see this comment before. Have you ever done the waiter/bartender thing? I live in Los Angeles, so I meet a lot of actors who do that! Also, you may want to consider promotional marketing if you’ve never done that before. I used to do nighttime promotions. They’re flexible hours and they pay pretty well. (Just thinking of some ideas to generate additional income so you could buy some DJ equipment!)

  • lucy

    I have already given up on my dreams, I was studying saxophone and aiming to make a career in it, but I was too scared and decided I was not talented enough. Now a few years on other people that were studying with me have gone on to make careers out of it, and maybe they will not be able to live off it forever, but at least they are having a go at it. And many of those people were not as good at saxophone as me. Instead I decided to go on to study medicine because I figured if I could throw myself into something else I wouldn’t have time to dwell on my failure. Now I just live life in a kind of haze, and if I ever do let me guard down and think about what I really want, all I do is cry uncontrollably.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so sorry Lucy. I can tell this has left a huge void in you. Do you still play saxophone, even if not professionally? And one more question: Would you consider changing directions, seeing as your feelings and intuition are telling you something isn’t right?

  • lucy

    Thanks for your response :) I am only a few months away from finishing my medical degree so I have decided to stick through it to the end, but after I finish I hope to transition back to a music career. I haven’t been playing much lately because I always thought it was everything or nothing. Either I am the best saxophonist I can possibly be and playing at a professionally level, or not playing at all. I think now I am becoming a bit more accepting of the fact that life does not need to be that way, so the idea of having a day job whilst being an amateur musician on the side is something I would consider.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I know that “all or nothing” mindset well. I think sometimes doing something on the side is a good way to keep that passion alive and also open yourself up to potential opportunities. Congrats on approaching the end of school. You must be excited to be almost finished!

  • Faiy

    Everything is jst confusing and my heart jst drops wen I think about it. My dream is to b an actress and nothin else but it seems like it will NEVER come true. I hav acne and no money and the only good thing is that I’m 16 in performing arts. Deep in my heart it’s like I know, but everything looks like it’ll never happen. I dnt wanna give up but I am scared to fail and hav my parents who aren’t wit this already say, “c u guys, look at your older sister to wanted to become a use less actress.” sometimes it’s like God doesn’t hear me

  • Anonymous

    There is no such thing as “dreams”, only demands and expectations we place on reality. Human beings are stupid.

  • Charleechafiare

    I understand completely. you NEVER give up on your dreams.. EVER you tell yourself everyday that it will happen for you. god puts people on this earth for diffrent purposes. he makes no mistakes. sometimes it gets discouraging. but thyas normal for anything worth fighting for. acne is temporary and not a handicap. (michael jackson. had acne) you keep your head up and remember to think positive and you will NOT fail. I am 21 and I have always dreamt of being a singer. I am good. I write and all, sometimes I feel srupid like I should just give up. (get real) then i try to picture my life without it and……I always dram a blank. this IS for me. amd that IS for you. whether u were going to college or hollywood. its scary but NEVERR give up on yourself your sooooo young. you’ll regret it if you dont sweat cry and scream for it first! ..hope this helps -char-lee

  • nina

    Thank you for this! I graduated from drama school last year and have a degree in perorming arts. Thinking over what you wrote Im really not sure if acting us for me. Its just alk that Ive ever wanted to do since I was 15 (Im 22 now)..,I was so sure for so long that this is what I wanted to do but the reality of it is really difficult. The waiting round…the way you have to really push yourslf out of your comfort zone constantly when you are working on a project. I was just part of a project where I hated it. I didnt want to get up on the floor to work scenes, I was terrified. Im starting to think Im not brave enough. Do you think I should explore doing something else??? Teaching maybe??,…I feel like this unstable lifestyle will just drive me crazy and I wwont even feel satisfied by it..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean Nina. That’s how I felt about pursuing acting professionally. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to the question if you should pursue something else. When you think about doing something else for a living, do you feel a sense of expansion or excitement? If so, that’s probably a good sign you want to do that!

  • Guest

    One of the best written articles on Tiny Buddha! It comes from a very realistic and inspiring place, hitting every nail on the head. 

    I’ve been “stuck” trying to figure out what to do next for my career. This makes me feel more confident in my decision. Sure, it may not take me straight from A to B, but it’s something I’m working towards. 

    Thanks for sharing, Lori. 

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • karen

    No saaaaaabes cuanto necesitaba un post como este! Increible , me sentí muy identificada! Siento que no soy la única loca en el mundo ahora jajaja Muy bello! Muchas graciaaas :) ( Escribí en español porque supongo que puedes entender )

  • b.m.

    thanks. mine is waaaay unrealistic and things but i have thought it out. and thought of way to achieve this. i thought of ways to work up. if i could pull it off it would make lots of money and such but it is very unrealistic. but someday i might try to pull this off. its one of a kind

  • shruti

    I was thinking of giving up my graduate admission to CMU. It seems time and my scores are against me. I could’t give a satisfactory answer to most questions. But i have had so many experiences with dreams not coming true that it alone is a reason to give up. Maybe I dream too high.

  • Tiffany

    It’s funny; I’m giving up my dream because my parents highly disagree with me pursuing a music career. I mean, it is not within the entertainment industry or anything; I just hope to become a music teacher with the piano skills I have at the moment. It is the worst feeling because I KNOW I’m going to regret not attending the music college that I have already made into, and the thought of declining itself makes me fall into a boundless depression. I feel it is me against everyone else, and I can’t do it anymore. I mean, I feel so weak doing this, to give up something I Iong to pursue and what holds me back already are my parents.

  • lore

    I was about to give up on my dream now.. Since I was 5 years old, I dreamed of becoming one of those artists or animators inside a big company like Pixar, Dreamworks and etc and had drawn for the whole entire life, had worked so hard like every morning until midnight, I always draw and had won a lot of competitions (mostly 1st places and always on the top 2 or 3) but sadly, my parents doesn’t see how important it is for me and haven’t even saw me receiving those awards and prizes ever since! (honest!) I’m always alone on stage, giving address’s to other people I do not know of. I told them that I will take a degree in animation after I graduate in High school but they were so disappointed and pursued me to take other courses and they couldn’t support me. Here I am right now, I cannot draw very often like before, doing the things they want, but there is always inside me, like a burning fire to NEVER GIVE UP and find ways to head for my career life even if it takes blood and sweat but,

    I have a terrible sickness, a serious one.. (getting worse each year) and it might be impossible for me to reach my dreams. I might be gone early than my dreams. My parents told me I can’t reach it because I am weak. (which is true, I have a weak body since birth (lung disease and heart problems)). They told me “i’m running after impossible things, premature, childish”. But it’s my dream since I was 5! And I will not be silenced if I haven’t reached it. Before I die, I must reach it.

    Despite of lack support from my family, bad health condition
    still, I DIDN’T GAVE UP and NEVER will. But mostly I’m in the frequent of “going to give up for the sake of my health point” which saddens me quite a lot but didn’t discourages me to stop drawing..

  • lore

    Thank you so much for posting this by the way. :D Really motivated me to go on :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I am so inspired by you’d commitment to do what you love! I think it’s unfortunate your parents haven’t supported and encouraged you, especially considering your amazing strength and conviction. I have a feeling you’ll make that dream come true someday!

  • arnold

    do it . DO IT NOWWWW

  • Goddoesnotexist

    Im thinking about quitting even after reading this. Im a graphic artist have my own website (that I designed) & a business faceboook page but Im only making about $60 a week. People say Im too talented & I shouldn’t give up but I realized money makes the world go round so Im gonna start doing some illegal things just to make money. Do I want to? no but I need the money & my prayers go unanswered so I don’t believe in God anymore. So all I can say is this didn’t help me at all I hope it helps others. I had a dream of being a rap star lmao @ that dream but this one I thought would of been more realistic & I love doing it but I dont have enough customers to keep doing it & Ive been working in dead end jobs since I was 14 years old Im 33 now. I use to cut hair as a barber for more than 12 years but I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. This is all I want to do make graphics but I think I was just born to be a failure cause my whole life I failed at everything.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry to hear about your disappointments with work. I can see why you’re frustrated, but I don’t believe for a second you were born to be a failure. Sometimes it just takes time to find what you love and then find a way to earn a living off of it. That was certainly the case for me.

    I hope you don’t start doing illegal things, as then you’ll really limit your choices in life.

    Are you doing work outside your own business, or trying to get freelance work in graphic design?

    Lori

  • Guitarman

    After reading some of the comments on here I will let you know somethings about my recent admission that I have made to give up on my dream. For the last 20 years I have lived breathed and slept music (I am 31 now!! ) I got into playing in bands in my early teens as a guitar player just for fun and over the years after my exams did a degree in music in a music university as I had decided that I would like a career in Music. I played in bands for years in my 20′s all the shitty clubs and bars thinking that it would be all worth something and it would work out in the end. I got to see a lot of the world through touring over the years , even though it wasn’t great money and followed my dream to the brink, the band managed to land a recording contract with a reasonable budget to a label. To cut to the end of this story after a sizable budget had been spent touring and on trying to promote an album to get radio plays and TV slots which after the album didn’t sell well and it was less than what mainstream sales would regard as successful. I felt like a massive failure after all that hard work ( 17 years actually). Although I look back and I had the time of my life and got to meet some awesome people , I didn’t earn any real money from it. I decided to leave my band dream even though I did have some success behind as It made me very depressed towards the end and was affecting me in a bad way. Now I am very happy working teaching music to kids and I am pursuing a career in writing music for TV and Film in my spare time.

    My moral of the story for everyone I guess is that sometimes the things you want that you burn yourself out to achieve although you may see as failure can turn into a path to something your even happier doing :)

  • Robert

    I was gonna give up playing the lottery, but when I saw this, I said what’s a cupple of dollars ones a week, on a hey…you’ll never know dream of becoming a over night millionaire

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Now that’s something I didn’t consider in writing this post, since I was thinking more about goals we work toward in life. But if you get enjoyment from playing the lottery, it’s within the realm of what you can afford, and it’s not negatively impacting your life in any way, I see no reason to completely give it up. =)

  • Megan Costello

    Thank you for this. It made me think things through more.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • elisabeth

    I live in Asia where I started out as an English teacher, which is comfortable and mildly satisfying, but less than stimulating. So I took my life savings and entered a Master’s degree program so that i might eventually have a real career in a field I love, that makes a real contribution to my host country. Now lots of schools and companies want me as an English teacher, and it would be nice to be getting a steady paycheck again. I was rejected for a full-time position from the organization where I interned (and would work for free if money weren’t an issue, that’s how much I loved it and believed in their work). It’s going to take another year or two (and more money) to get the language skills I need to work for a company, and the temptation to give up and just go back to English teaching is huge. I don’t want to have wasted 3 years of my life and nearly 30,000 in tuition and lost wages, but I’m already 30 and watching everyone I know get a nice house, retirement funds, insurance, and have kids and all the things you’re supposed to have at 30 that show you’re… I don’t know, responsible. An adult. I feel like such a loser and that my boat has sailed. Who the hell was I to think I can be something more?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean Elisabeth. I’m 33, and I sometimes feel “behind” other people because I haven’t yet bought a house or started a family. But I know I wouldn’t be as satisfied if I didn’t take the time to discover and work toward what I really want to do (I didn’t start writing until 27). Also, I likely would have been less of a mother if I hadn’t given myself time to find myself and my place in the world. So let me ask you this: If you knew that two years from now, you’d be doing something you’re passionate about, would you be happy to that you devoted more time and money to do it? If you weren’t worried about what other people are doing, would you feel differently about this decision?

  • Justme28

    Really needed these questions so THANK YOU for putting them here to guide people

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • Rhonda Adorno

    Great perspective shifter. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • Inside Looking Out

    I appreciate your article, and there is great insight in these things, but I have to say that when I was reading it there were a few things that I have read that I know is advice that may work for some people, and although I have heard some
    of this advice many times, it is only now that I realize why it hasn’t worked for me. It’s great that it works for others, but this is what I struggle with:

    “Odds are you still want those things as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could have them because your attempts have yet to yield results. Now you have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be worth it in the end?”

    Do you mean the discomfort of not believing in yourself or the discomfort of repeat failures, or maybe both? Pushing through the discomfort can seem counter-intuitive because it doesn’t really strike me that most people pursue or have ambition to pursue something they don’t believe in. I have also observed, as I know have some others, that society tries to promote an idea that you can switch beliefs on and off like a switch. How can you do this without lying to yourself if you have the presence of mind that this is what you are doing? If the question is to keep pushing through after repeat failures in hope of a better turnout in the end, I suppose that the aforementioned conflict of disbelief must be dealt with, and how can you attempt to succeed again without having the belief? Ultimately, I see a compounding problem here that is its own parasite and its own host; the failures created disbelief in oneself, and the disbelief hinders the ambition to be pursuant in future endeavours.

    “In all reality, no one ever judges us like we judge ourselves; and we always grow and learn through the process of striving, regardless of what we attain.”

    Before I read to the end of that paragraph, I would like to note that I immediately thought of the “shoot for the moon” adage as soon as I started to read this paragraph. But I have to say that I have also heard the sayings that we judge ourselves the hardest, that we are our own toughest critics. I used to believe that, considering I grew up feeling inadequate and had neglectful—very neglectful parents. My opinion was always that of inadequacy and disbelief in myself so it was easy to believe anyone else who thought that way. I figured my parents just saw in me what I saw in myself, and not the other way around. However, when I got older I noticed that I don’t believe much in that I was ever my worst judge anymore, and that I question whether we really “in reality” are the hardest judges of ourselves.

    What I see when I look at the outside world is everyone pointing fingers at someone else, never at themselves. I see narcissism everywhere I look, self-absorption in almost every activity performed by anyone, a general thoughtlessness and lack of consideration as people stroll through life with an alarmingly narcoleptic existence, deteriorating into their own virtual worlds of social media and fake friends and technology. They are in their own bubbles. When I see them come out of it, I hear all sorts of trash about nothing that ever matters. Stupid, petty little things that are of no macrocosmic concern. Usually it’s about other people. Perhaps we judge ourselves so harshly because the world teaches us that they actually do judge you? “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.” Maybe that’s the reality and it isn’t in your head.

    Sometimes I come home and I feel like I’m actually going crazy, that there is something wrong with me because I fail to participate in this type of common hate. Maybe I’d have friends if I started badmouthing and gossiping. Other people go home and it doesn’t bother them. Why is this considered normal? Even this morning when I was in class, about 60% of the conversations people had were about other people, putting this person and that person down. This is after a 2-week break. These same people are nice to those people’s faces when they are present. Maybe I might still believe that no one judges us the way we judge ourselves if I could be a fly on the wall and know what isn’t said when I’m not around. He who brings carries.

    This negative thinking that you can’t succeed doesn’t come from within you. That’s total BS. You can’t be your own worst critic because no tree in the woods taught you this, no family pet, no material possession. We judge ourselves this harshly because we are taught this. If you don’t believe me, look at children in the playground and ask them what they want to be when they grow up. They’ll eagerly tell you as they run around like they are invincible because their future isn’t beaten out of them by everyone who will eventually tell them that they can’t do this and they can’t do that. They believe they can be whatever they can be because they haven’t learned those limitations yet.

    Most of the time when we provoke criticism it’s upon failing or falling short of someone else’s expectation of us, at the very least; it’s hardly ever provoked by just doing something right or how to keep on the right track by continuing to do what we did do right. This is negative reinforcement expecting to see positive results. This is a world that only cares what it can get from you. That’s pretty crass and extremely ignorant. This happens on almost every job you get, and it even happens in the classroom. Employers have an attitude that the petty check they pay you should be incentive enough, yet countless studies prove that there is a significant increase of performance and quality of work in a place that has more morale than that. It’s also shown in copious amounts of studies how stress, fear, and anxiety impede your work performance (like there need be any study in that). So when a boss comes down on you, why are you expected to improve? It’s proven already that it just does the opposite and it makes people passive-aggressively rebel. These behaviours aren’t motivational, and saying that they are would be just as stupid as saying that kids who are bullied were found to have the most self-esteem at school. We are not these inorganic machines that you put a token in and the job just gets done. A real machine never cares if you kick it and say, “Stupid machine.” And we are not all the same, as most of us force ourselves to believe just to function as a cog in the big machine. We are emotional creatures and I can’t believe how primitive society still is that they have to pretend they are robotic instead of accept what they are and what they need rather than suppressing it. Everyone knows it’s harder to give a compliment than to criticize, at least in western culture. So in reality, it’s the outside that the problem comes from.

    If the problem came from within, and you do it to yourself, why then do most homeless people happen to come from abusive, neglectful, alcoholic/drug using parents? Why do almost all of them have bad parents in common then? And then when someone on the street says they gotta get their act together like it’s that easy, they were not only told at home they fall short (or made to feel that way), now they’re blamed by other people for their circumstances on the outside. So who the worst critic is might get muddled down into semantics, but I don’t think you can become your own worst judge without someone already worse than you making you have a disbelieve in yourself (before you’re at the age to know you shouldn’t listen to them). When you get old enough to realize what they have done, much of the time the damage has already been done, and instilling that belief you lack in yourself you won’t find anywhere, except for maybe in yourself, once again, which isn’t easy unless you’re a truly extraordinary person.

    At any rate, I know I didn’t mention much about my dreams, but the truth is that rather than try and fail, I didn’t try at all. I, too, have been told that I was talented, but that always seemed to come secondary to the belief that I was wasting my time and that my dreams were silly and foolish, first starting at home and then as I got older it was being reinforced daily by the outside world. Thanks for the article, nonetheless, and it’s appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    Thanks for taking the time to write! There’s a lot here, so I’m going to break it down and respond to your questions:

    “Do you mean the discomfort of not believing in yourself or the discomfort of repeat failures, or maybe both?”

    I mean whatever the discomfort is for us individually. It could, and likely does, include lots of different things.

    “I suppose that the aforementioned conflict of disbelief must be dealt with, and how can you attempt to succeed again without having the belief?”

    I think we ultimately change beliefs by amassing proof to support the opposite one. When it comes to our beliefs about what we can do, a great way to do that is to keep taking tiny steps when we’re tempted to paralyze ourselves with fear and self-analysis. As we move forward and make progress, even if it’s slow, we slowly start changing our beliefs about what’s possible for us.

    “Perhaps we judge ourselves so harshly because the world teaches us that they actually do judge you?”

    I think others do judge, in much the same way we do–but we often see more judgment because that’s what we’re looking for (proof that the world is a kind, uncaring place). Of course, it makes sense someone would look for this if they grew up in a highly judgmental environment. It’s a defense mechanism–one I know all too well!

    “Maybe I might still believe that no one judges us the way we judge ourselves if I could be a fly on the wall and know what isn’t said when I’m not around.”

    In my experience, when people talk about others in the way you described, it’s because they’re projecting their own self-judgment onto other people. We all have our own insecurities, and it’s a lot easier to talk about other people than it is to face them.

    “We judge ourselves this harshly because we are taught this.”

    I do believe this–that we often learn to judge ourselves by watching the people around us. But that doesn’t change that only we can change our own thoughts.

    “So in reality, it’s the outside that the problem comes from.”

    I get what you’re saying in this section. There are some serious shortcomings in the way we operate as a whole. A therapist once told me we can’t change other people; we can only change how we respond to them. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. There will always be problems outside of us. We can add to those problems with self-victimizing thoughts, or we can do our best to empower ourselves within an imperfect world. It’s certainly not easy, and I’m no expert. But I know I can either be part of the problem or I can take responsibility for being part of the solution.

    “why then do most homeless people happen to come from abusive, neglectful, alcoholic/drug using parents? Why do almost all of them have bad parents in common then?”

    Because abusive parenting predisposes someone to self-abuse. It puts someone at a significant disadvantage, but the beautiful thing about the human spirit is that we all have the potential to grow beyond what we learned. We may never do a complete 180, but it is possible to heal and thrive, even if you grew up believing little in your worth or potential.

    “At any rate, I know I didn’t mention much about my dreams, but the truth is that rather than try and fail, I didn’t try at all.”

    I understand this instinct. This is exactly how I felt when I moved to NYC wanting to be a Broadway star and then did nothing but drink, smoke, and isolate myself for the first year and a half. What helped me in the beginning was to stop thinking so much about pursuing my dreams and focus more on the everyday experience of living with less pain and more joy. Until I could get through a day without thinking of myself as worthless, I couldn’t dedicate myself to something that I believed to be worthy.

    You’re most welcome for the article. I would love to know what your dreams are, if you feeling like sharing them!

  • Michael

    I have a dream to become a singer & an artist…though I have the voice,commitment,will power,I do not have my parents support at all..and after high school I wanted shift my entire time to music..it’s basically my food & water…but there was constant pressure from my parents to stop pursuing music..& do something they consider useful..they took away all my hope..I was almost on the verge of losing the battle..but then I read your article & asked myself all these questions..& I just realized my dream is worth pursuing & fighting..I am gonna show them that even my dream is as important as what they think is a PERFECT career…I am gonna show them I am not gonna give up with out a fight….
    All thanks to you maam for writing such a inspirational article..which gave me hope which I lost…thank u very much maam…

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome Michael. I’m so glad you’re not going to give up on your dream! It’s been said we tend to regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did. I’m sure one day you’ll look back and be happy you made this choice!

  • Michael junior

    I had a dream like many people to become a singer..I was willing to do anything..go to any extent to make my dream a reality..I practiced hours together..I gave up everything I loved..I sacrificed whatever I had my time,my energy,to this dream of mine..my parents were not a great fan of what I was doing with my time,they thought I will be wasting my life following an impossible dream..they think the world revolves around doctors & engineers..& they had this mindset that if I go in these fields I would succeed..but I wanted to make a difference & I wanted to prove them wrong..I knew I would never know i didnt try..I started to work more hard to make my
    dream real..but whenever I took a step forward I was pulled 3 steps back with some or the other hurdle..I was losing this war ..my parents were winnin..I lost all hope..but then there was just one point where I decided to give up..but it wasn’t easy after all the work & sweat I had put..it was really sad to give up with out fighting further..then I came across this article I kinda asked all your questions to myself..& realised something..I am not a coward I am not going to give up in the fear of hurdles or failure..& my life would never be better if I would give up this dream..& I would never forgive myself..someday in future I wouldn’t want to look back and think “WHAT IF”..I trust in myself & my dream..
    & the only reason I got my will power back is because of this wonderful article..I THANK YOU from the bottom if my heart Lori..I reaply don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t read this article..
    & someday if I succeed I wI’ll surely dedicate to u .cause believe it or not you will be the reason for my success..thank u for this great article & hope many other people like me can find help..keep up the great work Lori..THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome Michael. I’m so inspired by your recommitment to your dream! =)

  • Michael junior

    Thank you Lori for taking your time to reply me..It really means a lot..

  • Michael junior

    Hey man we have a same name with similar problem…looks like we are on the same page bro…& miss Lori is right man u don’t want to be regretting your decisions later on…I say go for it..
    All the best buddy

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    It’s my pleasure. I’d love to hear how things go for you as you move forward!

  • Michael junior

    Sure..love to..

  • Taha

    I did give up on my dream 3 years ago. I wanted to be an actor. I went to acting school and tried to get into the industry. I struggled so much with the lack of opportunities and i felt insecure about the way i looked. I left acting and found a “proper” job, bought a car, finished a degree in global politics (i know what was i thinking?!) and then things went downhill from there. I lost my job and just when i thought my life had ended, a film opportunity popped up in my life. Literally fell down from the sky. Now i am back in the industry and making my way up. Looking back now i realised that taking that break was actually good for me. I developed into a stronger person and I know exactly what i want right now. Don’t get me wrong i still get doubts every now and then but I always think of that time and it makes me realise that if something is meant to be and if you are truly passionate, all your dreams will come true :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s wonderful that you’re back in the industry. Congrats on the film opportunity!

  • Alex

    Thank you for sharing, we only ever hear the super success stories in this society and rarely of those who gave their best and had to readjust and adapt.

  • Rose

    Reading this after giving up going to arts school to study acting to re-sit my exams and study psychology is making me re-think my decision and I honestly feel scared :/ but what I told myself was that I would study psychology but acting will still be a part of my life, just not the spotlight of it. Still scared I made the wrong choice..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Rose,

    There’s another post on the site you may want to check out:

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/when-you-fear-making-the-wrong-decision/

    It breaks down the fear of making the “wrong” decision. I hope this helps!

    Lori

  • jarko

    Is there really a second chance sometimes? After 10 years finally happened but fear of failure made me lose it. The biggest pain for me now is that maybe I could have offered a better future for my son….Is it possible to overcome this?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Jarko,

    What is it that you’re looking for a second chance with? What finally happened?

    Lori

  • jarko

    Well, long story, I will make it short, I finally got my working visa for US, arrived there, after a shot while for not finding a job (now I didn’t stop to apply for one) something stopped me to continue, I think I realized that maybe I wasn’t ready for this, I could’t find a way to figure it out, maybe lack of patience (I was planning to bring my family there also) and finally came back to my home and job. Maybe no. 8 from your post is true for me.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Do you mean that your life was better for giving up on the goal? If so, and you felt you weren’t ready for it, then it sounds like you made the right decision for you!

  • Taking a break as a musician

    This is an interesting article and it was interesting to see the comments also. I too decided to take a back seat on my music career. When others see me play the guitar they would say I have the potential and skills to be a profesional musician (i graduated from one of the best music schools) but something has changed dramatically after 3 years of trying to ‘make it’. The importance of money has taken over and I realize that the things I have to sacrifice for in order to be a full time musician was far too great. I am 28 and have been working as an ‘employee’ for almost 2 years. It’s apparent that I enjoy the music life much more, it is much more rewarding but I barely made any money as a ‘musician’.

    For me personally, I would like to leave the worries of money behind and so I started working towards a life free of financial barriers. I sometimes question myself when I see friends striking milestones on their music careers. I also see friends who haven’t gotten very far but are still sticking with it.

    Others might say that I have wasted my talents, skills and potential but in the end, I just want my freedom (financial freedom). Anyone else in the same boat as I am?

  • NefertitisChild

    I’m young and I have a lot before me. I’ve been going out with this guy, we both think that we’re literally soul mates and I love him very much. The thing is, I’ve always dreamed of being an archeologist, living in Africa and helping out in poor African villages as a teacher(the Red Cross could help or other similar organizations) or even being there and participating in their everyday lives . I dream about Egypt and Arabia. I think that if those dreams of traveling to archeological sites and being one of the most known archeologists would come true, then I would literally cry from joy. What I want to do in the future is travel the world in search of my inner self and the beauty of our lives. It’s just… In order to make these dreams come true I have been studying really hard and now I have a chance to go to one of the top schools in my state. I want to go there with all my heart, but my boyfriend wants me to stay with him. He also said that my dreams are childish and unrealistic, when I know that I can make them come true! I love him very much don’t get me wrong, I even thought about taking him with me, but… he wants to stay close to home. I know we’re young and all, but it hurts knowing that my parents and friends support me while he doesn’t. I would do anything for him, so maybe I should give up my dreams? I’m very fragile and I hate giving up on things or people… It’s the 21st century, so if I went to a school 30/40 min from home it wouldn’t be such a big deal, especially if I came back for every weekend, holiday etc. I’m just so confused, depressed and my head hurts from over thinking. This post and all these comments ignited some hope in me, thank you all :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this was helpful to you! In reading your comment, my heart ached for you, because I can imagine it’s confusing to have these dreams and to know that someone you love so much isn’t supporting or encouraging you. it’s always much easier to form opinions as an outsider, so I realize this is far more easily said than done–but you deserve to go after whatever it is you want to do in life, and anyone who doesn’t encourage you is selling you short and not really considering your wants and needs.

    In my experience, when we want something–when something means a lot to us–but we give it up to please someone we love, we eventually become resentful. And at that point, it can end up ruining the relationship after it already ruined the dream. So my advice to you, if you’re able to take it, is to really think about how you envision your future. And then ask yourself: Would you ever tell your boyfriend HIS dreams are childlike and unrealistic? Perhaps this will help you decide what’s really the best choice for you.

  • Paige

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon this, but god bless you for making this insight available to the world. I am a 23-year-old, struggling artist in New York City with the whole gamut of distresses: student loan debt, waitressing jobs, nannying jobs, rent to be paid, $112 Metrocard to be bought, anxiety, and exhaustion. I have dedicated my entire life to pursuing a career in dance and am SO on the verge of tossing in the towel for a corporate job with good benefits. After sobbing on the phone with my Mom back in the Midwest tonight, I decided to go back to this bookmarked page I had and type out an answer to each of these questions as if it were an interview. My answer came to me clear as day. I want to give you a big hug right now, but all I can say from my little apartment in Manhattan is…thank you. Thank you.

  • NefertitisChild

    Thank you so much for this :) I realized that maybe pleasing myself from time to time isn’t so bad and anyway I live for my dreams.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m happy to help. =)

  • Laura

    Hi. OK, my dream is a bit different, but still a dream, I have always dreamed of living in California, for atleast 20 years. I have been waiting for my daughter to graduate high school first. She has 2 years. I am VERY sad to know that she doesn’t want to go to CA. She wants to stay in the Midwest, eastern side of the US. I am unsure if I can actually go thru with moving so far away. I don’t know that I would feel “whole” without her. So, do I spend all my savings and go somewhere with no job or friends? OR stay where I have a great job and lots of security and settle down with a home here? It makes me sad to think “this is it”, this would be my life. But I cry thinking about being so far from my daughter. I know kids go off to college all the time, but I just can’t do it! I am unsure if I will feel more empty if I move away or if I stay here and give up on that idea. I will be about 40 when she graduates, so its not really like I can just find a career. I do not have a degree.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Laura,

    I can definitely understand the conflict about leaving your daughter. What do you envision yourself doing when you get to California? And have you spent any time there already? It might be help to write a list of your top 5 values (you can find a long list here: http://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm) and then look at each option and see which best honors those values.

    That’s something that’s helped me as I’ve made decisions, because it’s allowed me to gauge where and how I would feel most fulfilled. I hope this helps a little!

    Lori

  • fahim

    First of all, thank you for writing this, Lori. I read this and I think I know the answers to a lot of these questions.

    I’m on the verge of halting my acting career. I studied it in college, and got myself into debt–which gave me a panic attack senior year–yet I persisted because I still felt I had something meaningful to offer as an actor. Now, 2 years after graduation, it’s no longer adding up. I’m no longer seeing a “SMART” image of myself doing it 10 years from now. It doesn’t feel sustainable, even though I still enjoy the art and practice of being a stage and film performer, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done. But it no longer feels grounded in reality. And so, I’m having a hard time letting it go…

    I guess it’s easy to “give up” on something. I could name 100 things I’m not good at. But I think you have to go from a positive place–”okay, I can’t act. But whatever else it is that I choose to do, I hope it gives me the same joy and satisfaction that I had for acting (or whatever other passion you chose to pursue).”

    I’m trying to figure what that is now. It seems that most of us here have creative and artistic passions driving us, and I hope that we always have outlets for our unique gifts, even if they are not our sole source of income or they manifest themselves in different ways.

  • Gael

    Glad that you didn’t give up on your dreams.:)) when i was a kid i also wanted to be an animator ,i really love creating characters and portraits but as time goes by i stopped my passion, because my parents believed that i’ll never have a great future with that degree and i got scared. I pursued another degree which i really dont like because im not actually enjoying it. I tried to explain to them but they just dont unddrstand me so i have no choicd but to continue that degree. Now i regret that i didnt fighht for what i really wanted. I already gave up my passion. Drawing means a lot to me because when im making portraits and characters i feel so happy that its okay for me to spend my whole time working on it. Drawing is already part of my life that giving it up was kinda tough for me. The one thing that i learned is keep fighting your dreams because if you wont you’ll regret it and you’ll say to your self ” i wish i listened to what i want.” This is what i feel right now if only i could turn back time, i’ll correct my mistake.

  • mohamed

    This has help me so much ..
    I’m a medical student , I love to be a doctor ,, but I think it’s too long journey and I start feeling weak after my first year , because I didn’t achieve what I want to …I started to think about giving it up , and it took too much time from me …but now everything come clear I can’t give up my dream just because I’m nit confident in myself ..thank u

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Mohamed! I’m guessing it’s likely toughest in the first year. I think it’s awesome that you’re going to keep moving forward toward your dream!

  • mohamed

    Yeah I will keep moving ,, but I don’t know why I just can’t but all my strength in it , I keep wasting my time in stupid stuffs (like an ex meet me daily and ruined the whole day ) ,, I have tried anything to concentrate but it’s not working …
    Anyway I will just try to do my best in it ..thank u again

  • TheMilesAdams

    I’ve considered giving up so many times. I’m trying to be a professional golfer. Not only do I want to be on the PGA Tour, but I want to be one the best in the world. I dropped out of college to pursue my dreams. I sacrifice everything. I wake up at 4 am everyday without fail. I workout and workout hard. I work at a gym as a personal trainer for money but its just a J.O.B. (just over broke). My career is a professional golfer. I am 20 years old. If I am not working than I am out at the course. I only sleep 6 hours on average, I hardly hangout with friends, and if I’m not on the course than I’m studying golf and listening to motivational speeches (Kai Greene, Eric Thomas,…). I try to be the best person that I can be because if I can’t do something as simple as washing dishes correctly, how can I be expected to be the best in the world. I want to be an inspiration to others one day. I want children to look to me and see limitless possibilities. I am moving to Florida at the end of this year which is obviously a huge risk. Now, where I am having trouble is that I haven’t seen the success that I envision and that I work for and pray upon. I want to succeed as bad as I want to breath and I’m willing to do anything to get there. But I don’t have anything to show for what I put into this dream. I know I’m improving but it’s like my life is becoming a succession of little failures. I tell myself that all of this will be worth it, and I try to ignore the option of giving up and accepting a 9 to 5 job. But I am literally willing to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be. I’m good at golf. I’m great. But when I don’t win or get to where I need to be I ask myself; what are these people doing that I am apparently not doing. Now I’ve been playing since I was two years old. I was better than most be cause of my early start but I broke my hand in my hi school days and basically quit for a year thn never had the motivation to be better than average. I played in college and got serious but it wasn’t near the ambition that I have now. So for the last 6 months I’ve given it everything that I have. I guess I’m just frustrated because I don’t know when it will come. I don’t know when I will be able to look back and say that all these heartaches and failures and sacrifices are worth it. I’m rambling and crying at this point but as always, I’ll press on with the hopes that whoever reads this will be able to one day say that I read a post by Miles Adams, that professional golfer years ago and look where he is now. #OneDay

  • Anna

    I can relate! I have been dancing my whole life and am pursuing it in a major city now, but lately I have been developing outside interests (film, politics, acting)wondering if it would be easier to pursue one of those. Yet a part of me feels like its shouting that I need to see this dream through. Eventhough its hard. Inside I know its something I have to do or I will regret it the rest of my life. Its a complete struggle, but I have to trust it will be worth it. I hope it will be for you too!

  • Fact

    we are all told that we are ineligible to carry on or start some at point during our careers or lives, about what we love or are passionate about. Some of us are told when we are in our initial stages of careers/ lives, some in the middle, and some in the latter.

    a wise man once said “its really surprising how little we know about the things in our lives/ careers we love the most”.

    sorry about this.

  • R123

    I had a dream of going to UCLA. Almost my whole family (that is of age) has a degree from UCLA. I have pretty much given up on that dream. I feel like I could never do it. I get good enough grades, but if I get my hopes up and then I don’t get accepted, I will feel like a loser. I always doubt myself … I don’t know what to do :(

  • Bruce Edwards

    I don’t want that feeling. I am trying hard to focus on my music career and try to balance a normal life too. I work in it and God blessed with a job where I only work like 2-3 days a week for a 40 HR pay and I have all this time for my music. Keep in mind I been entertaining people and Makin music since I was 2, but I notice people whacker than me think I’m dope but, people better than me or have been around great musicians think I whack. It so frustrating and it makes me Want give up. But I can’t and I won’t. I think I just need a break. I’m 27 Btw.

  • Maxi

    I always dreamt about being a model-actor. And I’ll never stop. I’m 18 this year. I’m fat, but i work out 4 days a week, swim 2 days a week. Someday I wanna be able to look at people in the eye and say, ” if i could do it, you definitely can.” I’m from the small city of Singapore.

  • Music

    I compose music and composed this piece, over the years I have had a lot of family problems and issues, I wont go into the details would rather not but lets say my parents have not been healthy ones. one died years ago when I was a child and the other is very sick now. My dream had been music for many years and for a while I did give up due to depression and many other factors,but these last few months I have started to try again. So even if you decide to give up for a while if you have other issues to sort out, you can always come back to your dream later when you are feeling better and more in control of your emotions, there is no law to state that you have to stop at a certain age or time. If you have a talent, whether you decide to leave it alone for a year or several, you can always come back to it when things are better in your life, because you see, your talent is a part of you, it will always be there. and it does not matter if others believe in you or not, the important thing is, you have to believe in yourself! and have guts and determination. and also strength to cope with the many things in life in-between that may burden you, be it health, or work or family issues etc. Once you give up, you close all the doors to opportunity. So what if others dont believe in you. Yes its hard if they dont, but dont be burdened by their negative opinions. if its something you truly want, go for it. A lot of people are very fickle in this world, they dont believe you can make it, and when you do everyone wants to be your friend. I am still trying and yes at times I think, oh well, then I think ok, I will keep on trying its my dream. regardless. I have done some real gutsy things that I dont want to post here, but my friends have said, you did what! OMG. So far nothing has prevailed, but the one thing is, I did this and others probably didnt. So if you can, always try to go one better on your dream. Contacts are very important so try getting in touch with the people that represent what you want to do. You never know. I hope this has helped anyone here.

  • george

    Hey, I’m studying medicine ( still in the second year) . I’ve always loved to be a doctor and have a lot of money u know … Now I have what I dreamt in , but i don’t know what’s happenning with me lately .. I feel like this field isn’t for me .. I really like graphic design stuffs , and i feel i would like to transfer , even though it’s a very difficult step u know … I don’t know what i want anymore …!! I dreamt of medicine , and now i don’t want it … !!

  • hav2sing

    Really Really helpful for me right now. Today. Particularly the ‘Afraid of Success’ question with the follow up explanation. I’ve avoided, successfully, real responsibility for lots of reasons, not equating it with success on that “Ah-HA!” level, when you finally understand something, as opposed to just ‘knowing’ it. Thank you for that. To Eat, Sleep, Live and Pursue passion and talent takes Persistence, something I’ve known since college, but really have allowed the “I want it all” mentality to dilute the dream.

  • ashy

    im doin this speech on how ta be a millionaire im affraid everyone will laugh at me!!!!!!!!!can u give me some infice

  • Indunil

    i have built a company and an online service application…i already have one customer.. this company is not losing single penny…but it’s been 1 year and i’m still trying to get my 2nd customer…kind of frustrated.. ..thought of giving up.. then i read this .. for none of these questions i have a good answer….let me hold on some more time…. Thanks Lori.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. Congrats in advance on your second customer. =)

  • Indunil

    will let you know once i get there… :)

  • Widy

    Thank you. I found my answer here. I’ve been pondering over and over whether to chase after my own dream or chase after my girl. I think now I should be able to give myself a proper answer. Thank you so much!

  • Marcus Copeland

    I was on the verge of giving up… Life Changing Post!

  • Marcus Copeland

    I was on the verge of giving up… Life Changing Post!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad it helped! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad it helped! =)

  • Lulu012

    what i’m thinking of giving up really isn’t a passion (I honestly don’t really stay passionate about things long term) but more of a career I’m interested in. I’ve dealt with mental health issues for awhile and made a quick decision to pursue my current studies at the time. It’s 2 years later with about 2 more years to go and I’m thinking of quitting because I realize I don’t believe in myself, have zero self confidence (in general) and that my mental health issues seem to be this wall I’m always running into. I’m constantly mentally overwhelmed.

    This is also a program that you have to be fairly exceptional (it’s competitive) to really get to the end and I’m messing up all over the place. I’m worried about wasting more time and money on this and I’m thinking of taking a break (while doing other work), focusing on getting help for my personal and mental health issues and going back to this sometime in the future. Annoyingly, I go through cycles of feeling capable and then mentally falling apart and screwing up badly so I’m constantly flip-flopping about what to do. I wish inspirational quotes were enough.

    Through all this though, I have this feeling in my gut that this is good for me and I should continue and I am someone that has quit things throughout my life. But I also have to face the reality of where I am mentally and if I’ll be able to succeed at this long term. And yes I failed the A & R in the SMART goal portion. I just have no clue what to do.

  • neev

    are u a milliniore?

  • neev

    Hi Lori please help me with my situation..I am from India..from
    childhood onwards my dream was to settled in foreign countries..then i
    met a guy in college..from him i quit my plan to do MS and stayed here
    in india ..now we both got job in india..but my dream was to go to foreign and settle there to have better life..but my bf doesnt like to go there..he wants to stay here only..all my friends and cousins are settling in foriegn and enjoying there.. i feel jealous many times..i hv options to go but am not going only bcoz of him..its my dream to go there..he too knows that but i dont know if he wil take me there or not..wt i hv to do? how to let go of my dream .,,thinking of that dream and staying here is being quite difficult for me..wt do u suggest

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Neev~

    I’m sorry to hear about the situation you’re in. This is a tough one, because it sounds like it comes down to a choice: stay with your current significant other, or leave to fulfill your dream of living elsewhere.

    No one can tell you which choice is right for you. It really comes down to which feels like the bigger priority to you. Maybe it will help to picture yourself 20 years down the road. Will you be happier for knowing he’s still in your life, or for living somewhere else you’d rather be?

    I hope this helps a little!

    Lori

  • neev

    Hi Lori thanks for responding..
    I may regret later if I leave him..but bcoz of my dream not getting fulfilled i am showing all my frustration on him….he said to me that he wil surely take me foreign but it might take some time…till then plz give some guidance how to control my anger /emotions..this is ruining my relationship for sure,,,,and how to stop being jealous of others..
    thanks in advance

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Have you tried meditation? It’s the best way I know to release difficult emotions, as it allows you to find mental stillness. You may want to check out one of these posts:

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/mindfulness-peace-blog/5-meditation-myths-and-the-benefits-of-starting-today/

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/8-ways-to-make-meditation-easy-and-fun/

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-meditate-at-any-time-without-meditating/

    I hope this helps!

    Lori

  • Ying. Y

    Just wanted to wish you all the best! From a fellow Singaporean.

  • Kain Akai

    I did give up a very unrealistic dream that I did not even want to achieve. like I was just imagining it but i did not really want it. also it putted some unnecessary pressure & stress on me to achieve it.
    The fact that I gave it up does not mean I may not try to go to the real side of it. as long as I am sure of myself from the inside I will achieve whatever I want.
    it’s all about what we want.
    btw read 7 habits of highly effective people,Steven R Covey.
    life changing, if you are not sure go to youtube and see his videos it may convince you.
    to sum up my exp, I just want everyone to be honest& clear with themselves. I want them to satisfy their happiness in their present life by living their moments to its fullest & to look for future happiness by working effectively toward a goal.

  • Kain Akai

    thank you for the post.

  • Caramel

    The article that just pop out of my facebook feed in the right moment.I am actually going through lots of depression lately but this gives me a hopes up. Thank you very much and keep it up. ^.^

  • Abracadabra

    How to put this bluntly?

    I spent three years believing I was the soulmate of a successful man and that if I just held out and waited, the Universe would bring us together (because he and I both work in an industry in which you can’t simply “walk up to” the other person and bring yourself and them together, yourself). The dream paid off absolutely nothing.

    I considered giving up. Each time, “signs from the Universe” would appear strongly warning me not to give up, to hold on, and that one day this person and I would meet indeed and bring happiness to each other. Each time, I believed these signs and held on. Still, no meeting came.

    Finally, a series of accidents, wounds and betrayals occurred in my personal life and I am still recovering from them. Tired, exhausted, pale, I have no more strength to hold on to the dream of this person. I need that energy for me. Besides, during the worst of the pain, I realized though I was born heterosexual, I dislike male-female relationships and cannot function in them… and that I will need to join the small but growing community of Declared Lesbians. It was here I realized the dream of this man no longer fit my reality and I was waiting for nothing.

    Literally nothing.

    This morning, looking at the clock, I took some deep breaths, and I said, “At 8:00 A.M., when the second hand reaches 12, release your dream of meeting and loving this person.” I felt tears in my eyes as I sucked in some more breaths to strengthen myself and stoke courage. It hurt to release a three-year dream. But I did it. And oddly, in the moments after, I feel relief, like a heavy chain fell from my neck.

    This is a beautiful essay, but at times, we really must let go of the dream.

  • Shameme Adams

    NEVER give up on your dream sweetie. One of mine (among many)! but this one is special is to finally have my surgery in MANHATTAN!!, New York. I have a severely twisted back (Scoliosis) that the British people have allowed to deteriorate and now my only hope is there. I contacted a Doctor there and with no money, contacts or influence got over to see him and now am just raising the money to have my surgery…..and get my dream-a straight back!. You sound amazing and if you ever want to say hi (having lots of friends is a dream too)! :) my Twitter is @ShamemeAdams!. All the best with your dancing!!. x

  • Dannielle

    Lori this article is inspiring to say the least but im just having a hard time trying to really find myself. Ive tried to hold a job from the beginning and it never seems to work, i tried to ace schooling and it always ended in C’s. I mean i guess what im saying is that i gave up, on everything…. i feel like if i continue to go for my dream of being a vet tech, all ill do is fail like i have done my whole life, from relationships to work, from self insecurities about weight to following and pursuing my goals. Im a strong 23 year old woman, i know it in my heart but i just cant seem to find my motivation. i feel so… broken. Im scared to disappoint my family and boyfriend anymore than i already have, as well as being terrified to disappoint myself….again. No one seems to understand how im feeling so i have no one supporting me on the good, when i have striven for it, instead the criticize and ridicule me on my short comings and my failures. i just want a way to believe in myself again, a way to know that being in a dead end job isnt the best and safest option. sorry… just wanted to try and vent.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through, Dannielle. I know how hard it is to stay the course when you don’t have a strong support system. I was happy to read that you know you’re a strong woman. That tells me that deep down, you do believe in yourself–you’re just having a tough time right now.

    Perhaps it will help to look at everything that’s happened as something that needed to happen to help you learn and grow. And maybe, in some way, these people who are criticizing you can help you learn to be less critical with yourself. When you hear the voice in your head sounding like them, you can remind yourself that you deserve kindness and compassion–and then give to yourself what they’re not giving you.

    You may also want to make a list of everything you’ve done that you’re proud of. I know you think all you’ve done is fail, but odds are you’re not seeing the full picture. I’m sure there are lots of things, even if they’re small, that you’re proud of. If you can jot some of them down, it may help you feel better about yourself when you start feeling disappointed–and that will make it much easier to find motivation.

    These posts may help with that, as well.

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-keep-yourself-motivated-when-youre-not-feeling-it/
    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/motivate-yourself-without-pushing-yourself-tips-for-self-compassion/
    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/secret-staying-motivated-motivating-people/
    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/stay-motivated-to-make-lasting-changes-with-these-5-simple-steps/

    You are in my thoughts…

    Lori

  • jjrico

    I took some time out from a career in IT to pursue some musical ambitions and worked really hard at it the past few years. I have become pretty good but ended up living in a country that doesn’t really appreciate what i am doing. They are just that way. I have been performing with my partner who sings and when we play together people congratulate her on her voice but virtually 100% of the time try to make it as obvious as possible that i dont exist. Now i dont want to play any more as all my hard work means nothing, it is especially hard as a good voice – which in this case wasn’t earnt with hard work – is more important than dedication and skill.

  • jjrico

    Absolutely. You have to question why one wants to be a musician. As you get older the things you want from being a successful musician you can get in other ways. If you like playing music for the sake of it then you can always do that.

  • Nana Owusu Djan

    Sometimes the stories that begins on a sad note always have a happy
    ending (He who laughs last, last best) I always told myself that one day
    i can become the passion in me. If you don’t believe in your dreams,
    who else will. Imagine growing up in one of the poorest west african
    countries, with poor parents and not even enough food to feed the family
    to talk of school. I had to move to the city to sleep on Abandon
    wrecked buildings and become a shoe shine in order to take me to senior
    high school. In all that, i could draw, paint and use the computer
    without any training. becoming the passion in you takes sacrifice,
    perseverance, and with a lil bit of encouragement each day, God will
    lift you up in the right time. Now I work as a graphics artist for the
    bigest Paint company in my country. Though I am not where i want to be
    yet, I am so glad i am not where i used to be either. Dont forget, I
    have had no formal education in Computer graphics/web designing but what
    i can do now amazes even the Degree holders in the same field. What i
    saw was a fire burning in me and i had to pursue it, Believe me, A
    degree plus my passion would be an unquenchable fire of destiny. If you
    feel it within you, it is because God deposited it in there. No matter
    what, talent is what makes the world beautiful. My name is Nana Djan.
    lets chat more on Facebook.

  • wonderkeyz .
  • wonderkeyz .

    so what is your answer? are you sticking with it?

  • bwub

    i have given up…

  • Louisa

    I keep giving up when I’m 99% of the way there because I’m scared of being famous. I love my work and I’m very very good at what I do, but HATE the way I look. The thought of having my disgusting face on TV or magazines for other people to see makes me feel physically sick. I will probably wait until I am 40+ years old and less likely to be judged on my appearance and then try to go public with my work. Until then I’ll just keep adding to my collection. Either that or find a model who is willing to pretend to be me!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Louisa,

    What is it that you do for work? And just a question that came to mind: are there any famous people who you admire a great deal but don’t consider physically attractive? (I’m sure you know where I’m going with this…)

    Lori

  • deep6644

    I am from India I have a dream since my childhood,,to persue MS and settle in foreign,,but when I was in 12th standard I felt love for one guy and we are still together(10yrs) He doesnt want to go to foreign so I didtn went for MS…recently our marrriage has been fixed but my dream is still not filfulled <,i am feeling most unlucky person in this world..I told my partner that I want to go to foreign lets go and settle there..he is saying if u wil not go there wll your life end why are u so stubborn on going there,,unless you act being so stubborn and acting as if there is no life unless u go there I wil not take you there..
    Its the only dream i ever had and he is not allowing me to fulfill my dreams which is making me more depressed,,its effecting out relationship also,,i am not happy right now.
    what shal i do,,how to let go of my dreams and live happily,,please help

  • deep6644

    I am from India I have a dream since my childhood,,to persue MS and
    settle in foreign,,but when I was in 12th standard I felt love for one
    guy and we are still together(10yrs) He doesnt want to go to foreign so I
    didtn went for MS…recently our marrriage has been fixed but my dream
    is still not filfulled <,i am feeling most unlucky person in this
    world..I told my partner that I want to go to foreign lets go and settle
    there..he is saying if u wil not go there wll your life end why are u
    so stubborn on going there,,unless you act being so stubborn and acting
    as if there is no life unless u go there I wil not take you there….
    Its
    the only dream i ever had and he is not allowing me to fulfill my
    dreams which is making me more depressed,,its effecting out relationship
    also,,i am not happy right now.
    what shal i do,,how to let go of my dreams and live happily,,please help

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. It sounds like you have a tough choice to make: your dream, or the man you love.

    I can understand why you’d be frustrated about him seemingly not supporting you, but I can also understand why he’d be hesitant to uproot his life and move to a foreign country. So I suppose the question you need to answer for yourself is: which dream is a higher priority for you, the dream of a life with him, or the dream of the life he doesn’t want to be part of?

    Incidentally, you may also want to share your story in the Tiny Buddha forums to gain insight and advice from the community. It’s a really loving, supportive space!

    It’s free to join here:

    http://tinybuddha.com/register

    Then you can access the forums here:

    http://tinybuddha.com/forums

    I hope this helps! You are in my thoughts…

    Lori

  • Johnson H.

    Great article. Loved it

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it ! :)

  • shreeya

    I am a Singer/Songwriter from England.

    I once thought about giving up my dream. I thought I would never be played on the radio, or sing at a concert with thousands watching. I have done both, but it has come at a price.

    When pursuing your dream, if its a dream that involves a level of “fame” either within the industry you are pursuing to be a part of, or tv/internet fame, be prepared for a long road of setbacks, heartbreak, hard work and the most common feeling of them all…depression.

    Depression is a massive part of pursuing a dream. Im in no way famous, or making a lot of money. However, I am happy that I have succeeded in my ultimate dream which was to have a job Singing and Songwriting. I was depressed for years, because when you are going for that precious goal, it seems like the world is against you, or telling you NO. Telling you that happiness is one 9-5 away. I sat in a call centre for 2 years, it sucked the life out of me.

    I kept my head down, worked hard, and at 30 years old, I received a phone call, from Universal Music.

    Im guessing some musicians will want the know how of how it happened. I will explain briefly. I worked the “back door” way of entering the music business. Its when you make a song so generic, so commercial, so run of the mill, that the radio has no other choice but to play the song. Im not a marketable artist, Im not 5ft tall with blonde shiny hair, perfect teeth and huge breats. Im a shy woman who loves to sing. My dream came at 30, making pop songs, getting them songs to every radio station, any way possible (BBC INTRODUCING was the radio that picked me up) and the rest is history.

    Nicki Minaj is a fantastic example of success through patience, hard work, dedication, AND NEVER GIVING UP. She was 30 years old when a artist by the name of Puff Daddy signed her. Who now, is one of the biggest names in the industry.

    My brother is a games artist, he has worked on Metal Gear Solid and Deadspace 2. He also pursued, and finally got his dream.

    DO.NOT.GIVE.UP.

    (Please be aware, I got a job at a call centre to pay my way through general life. I would in no way encourage ANYBODY to stop working a routine paying job. It creates comfort, relaxation, a social life and also helps to achieve your goal by allowing you to purchase things you need for your goal)

    Shreeya :)

    ” If nobody dreamed, nobody would dream “

  • All inspiration no motivation

    Thank you Lori for this article. I have danced for 13 years and I have recently given it up because It just got too stressful and I enjoyed only the performance. I had been sick a few years ago before i quit and I got frustrated with everything as I wasn’t at my peak. I’ve always have been hard on myself and I expect more in no matter what I do , at school if you had to come up with 10 slides for a presentation i would do 20 with video clips included. I’ve started drama and i’m finding Im having the same problems as I did with dance. The self doubt, no motivation to practice. I do have that all or nothing attitude, I want to leave my mark on the world. I want to look back on my life like looking down everest.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I also have all-or-nothing thinking at times and I’m quite a perfectionist, so I understand and can relate! I hope you’re able to find joy in dancing again, as it sounds like it’s been a great passion of yours.

  • MG

    This is my third time switching majors. I >know< that my passion has always been animals. I am aiming for a degree where I can make a better life for them but I am barely in my first course and I am already failing it! This is my first time in a new city on my own. Apart that I am very homesick, I work and go to school. I am living a completely new life. It has been very difficult for me and I wonder if I made the right choice? I couldn't stopped crying last night because I saw how me switching majors backed me up in college. I also cried because I saw all the difficult courses I needed to take in the near future and it honestly frightened me. If I am failing this course, who knows how I will be when I get to the advance level? I feel overwhelmed and scared of failing. But if I give up now, I know I will regret later on. And this post helped me ease some tension. Thanks for that :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this helped, MG. I know how tough it is when you’re starting a whole new life and feeling overwhelmed and lonely. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s contributed to your struggles with this course. It’s not easy to handle so many new things at once.

    If this is what you love, then it sounds to me that you made the right choice. At the very least, you’ve given yourself a huge opportunity for growth and learning. That may sound like a cliche, but going through something like this really does strengthen you and help you discover who you are and what’s important to you. I have a feeling that one way or another, you will look back and feel you got a lot from this experience!

  • Devarshi Bhojak

    its really supporting thanks for sharing

  • Mark

    A business I was trying to run crashed and burned about 3 years ago, leaving me owing a lot of money. I either wanted to work contract work and pay my way through 2-3 more degrees at university, or run my own business and do the same. However, doing contract work was obviously the path I should have taken. I ended up trying to pay back what I owe through contract work, which was somewhat successful…I’m almost there.

    However, my last contract ended in September 2013 and I just thought I could keep it going, but I have not earned any money since then…I am now officially flat broke and living with family through charity. I go to the food back once a week, which is not a good idea because the food bank only supplies supplementary food…I’m trying to live solely on that. Suffice it to say I’m not getting the nutrition I need to survive.

    My goal was to work myself into project management, and I’m almost there…I just need one more job to make it. I am waiting to hear from a possible 12 opportunities but responses are taking forever. I’m at a loss now…the bank is calling frequently to see where my payments are, and I have been borrowing a little money from friends to keep gas in my car and pay my phone bill so I can still call potential employers.

    My family is non-existent…they never really cared about anyone anyway so that’s not a surprise and I’m not looking for sympathy.

    I’m just at a loss now what I should be doing. If I take a really low paying job anywhere I will be broke every month paying down what I owe for at least the next 2 years…and that’s no way to live either. I don’t want to file for bankruptcy if I don’t have to as that can be pretty devastating too.

    My initial dream was to get into more of the decision making part of my field and I have done that…now I’m looking to make the next step, but now the jobs seem to have dried up too. One can make a pretty lucrative living from this type of contract work if the contracts kept coming, but I can see that this isn’t going to be the case. However, even working once every 2 years once one has eliminated all debt would be feasible.

    So here I am striving forward with my dream…scouring the job market, networking, and trying to survive with zero income, a negative bank balance almost no food. I get periodic calls for work…but so far nothing has manifested.

    I’m still positive that something will come along soon…but it is definitely a mental and emotional struggle…I can see why so many people suffer worse than me.

    How does one remain optimistic, positive and driving forward? I am still positive, but it is definitely taking its toll, and family is not helping emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically. In fact, the opposite is true, and I cannot leave my current situation until I can generate some revenue to afford a move. Any suggestions?

  • thekins

    What about if you’re dream is to be a mom but you can’t get pregnant after 2 years of trying. I don’t know how long to try before I realize its not going to happen and come to terms with it.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been dealing with. I can only imagine how stressful this has been for you. Is adoption something you’ve considered?

  • Lina

    But I’m scared to death. Scared to fail, to disappoint not everyone around me, but mostly myself. I’m scared that I can’t handle it. I’m almost too scared to try.

    And still, a feeling linger, a feeling of extremly strong desire to make it reality. A desire to prove to everybody, including myself, than I can do better. That I can put everything I’ve been through behind me, and push forward and make something even greater. And somewhere, deep, deep inside, is a small feeling that says that I know I can make it.

    But I’m still scared to death.

    (gonna take some time and read your comments, maybe I can learn something from them :) )

  • AC

    I know I’m a late commenter, but I’m on your same path buddy: Aspirations of being a professional animator. It’s rough to find the motivation to keep going indeed.

  • kavin paker

    I have a feeling you’ll make that dream come true someday!
    watch this free

  • kavin paker

    Thanks for being vulnerable. Ian Filippini

  • Bridgitt Lee

    I feel I’m about to give up because of my learning disability, special needs, and depression. I kind of thought it would be cool to be a lifeguard because I love swimming, and that I’d like to teach fitness classes, because everything else I’ve tried has been too hard, and made me suicidal. In my life, I have been severely depressed, misdiagnosed, have had no friends, have seen my grandmother get cancer twice, my mother be hospitalized for nervous breakdowns multiple times, had my father come out as a cross dresser, been pushed through the system even when I’ve begged for help, and have not been able to get a license. I also am riding a bike now, and going to a gym to swim/run/zumba/bike/row etc. My mother is completely destitute, has cancer, and I feel I can’t take care of myself. I can’t even get medication. I also have bed, binge eat disorder and I hate that I’ve had to give up everything because it gets too hard. No one has ever helped my mom besaides my grandmother. If that’s not enough, I’ve been a victim of molestation, and verbal, psycholgogical abuse, and trauma.

  • kavin paker

    me to stop drawing..
    SEO

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Bridgitt,

    I’m sorry for my slow response–and I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through. I can only imagine how tough it’s been to cope with all these challenges and tragedies.

    Are you in therapy, or have you been in therapy before? Is there anyone in your life who is there for you emotionally? And how are you doing today?

    Thinking of you,
    Lori

  • nanaxkyo

    I know I’m a late commenter but I really need some advices right now. I’m 25 years old and currently pursuing my degree in social sciences. I know I’m a bit late, no, its too late actually, because all my classmates age was 20, 21 and here I am, a lot older than them, although I know it well that there is no limit in studying, I just can’t help from worrying about my future. Actually, I grew up in a broken family and that was one of the reasons why I don’t have much self confidence. All these years I only saw failure in myself. I’ve been struggling all these years to be a successful person and yet until now, I was far from it. Since I was little I dreamed of going to Japan and study there. I was actually thinking to live there. I know I may sound pathetic and unreasonable, but it was that dream that makes me alive until now. I really want to study there but I really don’t know how and maybe I can’t because of my bad result. I’m trying my best in studying but the result was still disappointed me. I’m having my final exam right now but I was really lack of motivations. I’m afraid of being a loser again. I know i shouldn’t give up on my dream but sometimes it was really hard to keep on track when you know what awaits you at the end of the road.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I understand how hard it is to stay committed, especially when you’re struggling with self-confidence issues from your past. And I also understand that feeling of being behind.

    But let me ask you this: if you don’t pursue your dream now because you fear it may be too late, how do you imagine you’ll feel five years from now? Would you rather that in five years you’re doing what you love because you pushed past the fear of being “too late”?

    I know it’s tough to keep going when your confidence is low, but if you keep going, it will help you build confidence and realize that you’re not a failure.

    You don’t sound pathetic and unreasonable. You sound like someone who has hopes, dreams, and fears–like all of us! Next time you start thinking self-defeating thoughts, ask yourself what you’d say to your best friend if she were in your shoes. Perhaps that will motivate you to keep moving forward and doing your best, even if you don’t know yet how everything will work out.

    If you keep going, you will figure it out as you go–and with each step into the unknown, you’ll feel better about yourself and what you can do.

    I hope this helps. You are in my thoughts!

    Lori

  • Wily

    Thank You lori. This post cleared up alot of doubts i had in myself. From here on out it’s NON STOP TO THE TOP! I wish You great health, wealth & time to enjoy them.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! Thanks so much, and I wish you the same. =)

  • Abe6772

    Does this count for college grads as well?

  • brr

    wat advice do u have for someone who actually quit and is now depressed…has been for 7 mnths…cant move on??? wish i had read this post earier

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. If you were to look at your depression as a teacher, what would you think your depression is here to teach you? That you want to go back to what you quit? That you need a new sense of purpose and direction? Even though you can’t go back and change your decision from seven months ago, you can make a new decision now, and the first step is ascertaining what you really want.

  • Rishi Nigam

    I was just abt to give up on something… U saved me… Thank you…

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! =)

  • Hollis Bush

    Following a passion even if you fail is better than ending up in a job where you’d be stuck working from pay check to pay check. Failure comes with the territory of anything you do, so do something that’s worth your time and effort to where when you fail you can get back up and start all over again. I heard a sang that goes if you put in a hundred percent and fail get back up and put a hundred percent in again. So if your going to out a hundred percent into anything put it into something you love, the worse thing you can ever do is chase a job you have no desire for.