3 Steps to Take When Your Dreams Don’t Come True
You’ve thought about your future a million times. You thought you had things planned out. You envisioned a bright future for yourself and let that spark of hope grow inside. Then, something happened and now it looks like you’re on a very different path than the one you planned. It feels like your dream was shattered. You had seen that plan in your minds eye so many times that it’s like a piece of you is missing now. How do you move forward?
Whether you are going through a difficult break up, didn’t make it into the graduate school program you wanted or have been unable to conceive a baby, the loss of a dream can be devastating. No matter how hard you try and how carefully you plan, sometimes life throws curveballs that leave you feeling lost, confused and almost like you’ve been gutted.
The good news is that things do get better. People do find peace with those curveballs and find meaning in other areas of their life. It’s possible to find a new dream, set new goals and begin moving forward again. Here are three tips that will help you begin to move forward again.
- Experience Your Emotions. People often try to hide from negative emotions or cover up disappointment. This can be a dangerous path to take and doesn’t heal the pain that’s festering deep inside. As a friend of mine says, “The only way over it is through it.” She is right. Read my post about metaphors using a beach ball and a Chinese finger trap for an explanation of the importance of letting yourself experience your emotion.
- Radically Accept that this is where you find yourself. This doesn’t mean giving up on your dream forever. Radical Acceptance doesn’t mean liking the way things are. It does mean acknowledging the reality of the moment so that you can cope and find a path forward.
- Find support as you look for a new path. Reach out to your friends. Call your parent or sibling. Cry on your spouse’s shoulder. Most people want to help. They may not have the perfect words or be able to know exactly what you are going through, but letting other people bear witness to your pain can be incredibly powerful and validating.
Counseling in Columbia, MO
Aspire Counseling is a counseling center located in the Village of Cherry Hill with caring therapists who can help you get unstuck and find a new direction. Our therapists will listen closely and help you sit with your pain and grief as you learn to accept your life as it is in this moment. Together we’ll identify your values and what can give you meaning again. We’ll walk beside you on your journey as you set a new course for your life. You don’t have to stay stuck. If you are looking for that extra support, we are here to help.