Why People Fail To Achieve Their Dreams

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/30/2014 | 10:30 AM EDT

How fear and failure go hand in hand

The unfortunate thing about life is that not everyone will live out their dreams. Some will climb the ladder of life, while others will regrettably be left behind.

Those who fail to achieve their life goals don’t do not because they didn’t have anyone who believed in them, nor will it be because they failed by not trying. In fact, most people who fail to have a fulfilling career and life do so because of one thing: fear.

The key to a successful life is following your passions. No matter what some people try to convince themselves, we’re all equipped with gifts and talents just waiting to be tapped into. The problem, however, is that while some manage to go after their aspirations, others stand along the wasteside never knowing what it’s like to “do what you love.”

Fear is a fictitious defense mechanism orchestrated by our psyche that often tries to convince us that what we desire is too lofty of a goal or that we are incapable of making it a reality. But the truth is, we all can have triumphant careers if we simply stay the course.


During a TED Talk, Canadian professor Larry Smith lectures a room full of students on “Why you will fail to have a great career.” In his intro he preferences how excuses are the foremost reason why many will have a dream and decide not to do it.

“You’re too lazy to do it, it’s too hard, you’re afraid if you look for your passion you won’t find it, you’ll look like an idiot, so then you make excuses about why you’re not going to look for your passion,” Smith says.

During the lecture, Smith makes a distinction between having an “interest” and having a “passion,” pointing out that passion is your “greatest love,” while an interest is simply that, an interest. He adds that even some who find their passion will still fail because they won’t pursue it.

Those who both find and go after their passion are the ones who will essentially “live the dream.” Far too often people strive to be a JAY Z or Bill Gates, but won’t make that first step in making it happen. As Oprah often says, in order to achieve the dream you must find the highest expression of yourself, the highest expression of your talent.

It should be a crime to not follow your passion; it deprives you of living the life you were destined to live. No one wants to wake up one day and realize that they wasted years of missed opportunities. Don’t allow procrastination, fear or excuses to stand between you and your destiny. Don’t simply follow your dreams...chase them. You owe it to yourself.

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