The 14 Reasons Why People Fail to Achieve Their Dreams

why people fail to achieve dreams

Why do people fail to achieve their dreams?  If you’re reading this article, you probably have some goals and dreams that you want to achieve.  So, I’m going to cover the top 14 reasons why people fail to achieve their dreams.  Be on the lookout for these, so that they don’t stop you from achieving your goals and dreams.

Tony Robbins says that 80% of your success is down to your psychology and mindset. Only 20% is down to the actual action that you take.  Think about your specific goals.  Perhaps you want to lose weight, become fit, improve a sport, develop a business or improve your career.  Whatever it is, 80% of your success in achieving these goals is down to your mindset, your beliefs and your sense of identity as a successful person that can make it happen.

Sometimes, you need to know what you’re doing wrong in order to correct it. To help you, I’m going to identify the top 14 reasons why people fail to achieve their dreams.

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1. Not willing to do the work

The first reason why people fail to achieve their dreams is that they don’t want to put in the work required. Doing the work to be successful is non-negotiable. It’s true that some people are more gifted, so can achieve the same goal as you with less effort. However, anyone that achieved lasting success has put in a great deal of effort.

Success can be a lonely road as you work hard often by yourself.  Remember that you will be rewarded in public for the thousands of hours that you practice in private. Think about virtuoso musicians or Olympic athletes.  How many thousands of hours have they spent practicing and training to master their craft?

If doing the work is challenging for you, then I believe it comes down to not having a clear enough ‘why’. You need to be desperate to change or inspired to change. Both are okay. Sometimes focusing on what you don’t want and the pain of that will give you the motivation to change. This will help you overcome laziness or procrastination. Create a vision, a why that really motivates you and gives you the fuel to put in the effort required.

2. Having a Negative Attitude

Do you continually focus on what’s not working for you, what’s going wrong or what you don’t want?  If you do, then however hard you look, you’re probably going to find the things that are not working.   The good news is that when you focus on what you want, you will start to notice what is working.

No experience is good or bad, it’s just the meaning you give it. The only meaning anything has is the meaning that you give it. How powerful is that?

When a life situation or event makes you feel disappointed, frustrated or angry, just remember that you can change the meaning that you give to that life situation or event.

If you are the type of person that is often a little negative, don’t worry, this is something you can work on. This is where affirmations and visualizations can really help. You can become more positive.  You may just need to work a little harder on developing a positive attitude.

This is an important reason why people fail to achieve their dreams, so taking the time to develop a positive attitude and mindset is vital.

3. Lack of Compelling Reasons

You’ve got to have a compelling ‘why’ and strong reasons for achieving your goal or dream.  They have to be your reasons.  They can’t be your parents, partner or a friend’s reasons.

As mentioned earlier, these reasons can be positive or negative. In the case of starting a business, a positive reason could be “I want to be my own boss”.  A negative reason could be “I no longer want to answer to a boss”. The key here is to find reasons that motivate you to take action.

Start by writing out at least 20 reasons why it’s a must for you to achieve this goal or dream. Then focus on these reasons every day for a couple of minutes. Notice how you feel after doing this.

4. Lack of Belief, Confidence, and Certainty

This could be a lack of belief, confidence, and certainty in yourself, or in the process to achieve your goal. Imagine you are following a series of steps to build muscle or lose weight.  If you believe that the steps are going to work, you’ll be more likely to take action, which greatly increases your chances of hitting the goal.  If you don’t believe that the diet or exercise program is going to work, then you are unlikely to take sufficient action to reach your goal.  It’s like you’ve got one foot in and one foot out.

Instead, you need to have faith. Faith is believing in something when there is no reason to believe it. It’s about having faith in the process and faith in yourself. Reading stories of other people that have achieved the success you are after is a great way to develop greater faith.

Find positive role models in your life. People that are more successful than you. Learn from them and get inspired by their achievements.

5. Lack of Patience

A lack of patience normally occurs when you focus too much on getting a fast immediate change, rather than a long-term sustainable change.  The truth is that successful people don’t become successful overnight. There are lots of courses and products offering immediate changes and these may work for a few people. However, if you read about the most successful people in the world, they will tell you that it took many years to get to where they are now.

The most successful people focus on what they want to become, as well as the external tangible things that signify success to them.

6. No Goals or Clear Outcomes

Imagine a pilot with a vague idea of where he was going. It wouldn’t be a great experience. You wouldn’t feel confident that you would reach your destination.  The same goes with goals. It’s essential to have SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-related. I also recommend a mixture of process and outcome goals.

A process goal is completely within your control. Examples include going to the gym three times a week or spending 10 hours a week studying towards your exams.

An outcome goal is not completely within your control.  Examples include I want to lose 3 kilos this month, or I’m going to get 3 new clients this week.

It’s important that you set outcome goals, as these will be more motivating and meaningful than process goals.  Then set process goals to give you the steps to maximize your chances of achieving these outcome goals.

7. Crazy or Unrealistic Expectations

A sure-fire way why people fail to achieve their dreams is by having crazy or unrealistic expectations of success. Ones that are not backed up with a plan.  Whilst it’s good to stretch yourself when setting goals, it’s important to be realistic as well.

The place for crazy, audacious goals is five or more years in the future.  These goals get you excited and become part of your vision.  However, you want to back up this vision with SMART goals that will feel good when achieved.

8. Don’t Invest in Training or Continuous Learning

It’s wonderful to make use of free resources, such as this article and video. Think of each free resource as a single piece of the puzzle.  Investing in courses, coaches or mentors will give you the step by step process to solve the puzzle. All the pieces are in a logical order so that you can solve the puzzle quickly.  You know that all the pieces are there.  Nothing is missing.

If you want a step by step process to lose weight, start a business, get better at a sport or something else, then invest in training from people that have already achieved the goal that you desire. You also learn from their mistakes, so you’re not reinventing the wheel. Your time is valuable, and it’s worth investing some money to save you time further down the road.

My initial training provided me with a qualification to become a clinical hypnotherapist.  However, when I started seeing clients, I soon realized that I needed to continue my training and have since invested in several courses to improve my knowledge and skills.

Don’t be one of those people that fail to achieve their dreams by not investing in training and continuous learning.

9. Don’t listen to advice from successful people

Some people fail to achieve their dreams because they have too strong an ego. They’re too proud and believe they know it all. It’s a false sense of confidence. If you relate to this, then I encourage you to go from becoming a know it all to a learn it all.  Avoid saying, “I know that.” This statement closes your mind to any new ideas. Be willing to listen and learn from others, to take on their ideas, especially if these people are where you want to be.

10. Hang out with the wrong people.

It can be hard to achieve a specific goal or dream if you don’t hang around with people that already have what you want. If you want to be in great shape and have a wonderful body, then hang around with bodybuilders and fitness experts. If you want to be healthy, then spend time with healthy people.

It’s still good to spend time with family and friends.  However, find a way to mingle with people that can help you achieve your goals as well.

11. Shiny Object Syndrome

This is someone that excitedly buys a new program or a new course, thinking that it will be the answer to all their problems. They’re halfway through this program when something else comes along that they also believe will solve all their problems.  They buy this program and then something else comes along. Can you relate to this?

A few courses later, you have all this information, but nothing to show for it.  It’s easy to get into information overload and a feeling of overwhelm as you try to figure out which bit of information to apply first.  This is a common reason why people fail to achieve their dreams.

Resist shiny object syndrome. Instead stick to one or two programs that will really help you, one or two coaches or mentors. Play full out with these programs, coaches or mentors. Take them as far as you can and only move to something else when you have already mastered what you are learning right now.

12. Can’t deal with Failure or Adversity

Most successful people fail their way to success. Anyone that has been massively successful has failed, experienced setbacks, faced adversity and had many challenges along the way. It’s all part of the process. The biggest decisions in my life happened when things were going badly. You rarely make life-changing decisions when things are going well. It just doesn’t work that way!

Understand that failure is to be expected and that it is a good thing.  Failure is simply feedback. View failures as opportunities to learn.

I also recommend that you don’t focus on something that failed for any longer than you need to. It should be just enough to learn from it.

13. Fear of Rejection

Fear of Rejection is a crucial reason why people fail to achieve their dreams. This usually comes from caring too much about what other people think. There will always be people that will doubt you, be overly negative or try to hold you back. You’ll also find people that just don’t like you.

Unfortunately, this does not go away as you become more successful. It actually gets worse!  The more successful you become, the more people will know about you, admire you and some of them will not like you.

There will always be some people that will try to bring you down because it makes them feel good. Knowing this really helps you deal with these people in a more positive and resourceful way.

Also when you notice someone trying to bring you down, ask yourself if they have the life that you want? If the answer is no, then don’t worry about them. You dictate who you are and no one else.

14. They Give Up

The final reason why people fail to achieve their dreams is that they give up. Reasons for giving up include its too much work, takes too much time, I don’t think I can do this or it’s not worth the effort.

The problem is that when you give up, there will be a part of you that never quite feels satisfied and fulfilled. You’ve had a glimpse of a better life.  You’ll ask yourself questions such as “What if I had stuck it out?” If someone else in your life does stick it out and gets the results that you wanted, how will you feel then?

If things are going badly or you’re in a plateau, then a change of direction can be useful. It’s important to be flexible, whilst never giving up on your goal and dream.

So these are the 14 reasons why people fail to achieve their dreams.  If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below.  I would love to hear what you think!   Please also click on the stars below to rate this post or share it with a friend or on social media.

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Thank you for reading this article.  Hope you are having a wonderful day!




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3 replies
  1. Igwe Jude nnabuike says:

    Well,I feel so enlightened by this article of great wisdom.I love every bit of will really help me to correct my mistakes in my career. Thanks

  2. Paul Thomas says:

    Thanks for your wonderful feedback. I’m so glad this article helped you!

  3. Nelson says:

    Wow i enjoyed this write up, especially at this challenging moments i am going through in my political ambitions. But i believe my dream is ordained by the almighty God and there is no turning back no matter the persecutions from my government.

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