The Biggest Obstacle to Living Your Dreams

I thought I’d change things up a little here. I’m working on this really exciting ebook right now that’s a step by step guide for making your dreams a reality. It’s going to be really awesome, but I need your help.

So I want to ask you:

What’s the biggest obstacle for you, in making your dreams a reality?

Post your answer in the comments. And if you’d like, I’ll try to give you some advice on how to help you remove those roadblocks. If you want a response from me, just say so in your comment. I may not be able to respond to everyone, but I’ll do my best.

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90 Comments on "The Biggest Obstacle to Living Your Dreams"

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For me, my biggest obstacle is my college loans. I just graduated a few months ago and I have about $40K in debt which I need to pay off before I can even consider taking a severe pay-cut and traveling the world/ working from home. I know I could probably pay those off quicker if I lived with my parents and saved up any money that didn’t go towards rent, food, and gas, but in truth, if I can’t be living my dream at the moment, I’d like to enjoy the time I do have right now. Any advice for… Read more »

My mind.

emdoozie | Michael Anderson
Knowing what that dream is, and time. I have found that it takes time, exposure, and experiences to understand what it is you’re truly passionate about and destined to do. When you do figure that out it’s all about devoting time to that dream and taking action towards bringing it into reality. When your treading water in a full time job while trying to follow your dreams time is number 1 issue, unless of course you have enough saved to quit your job. Where their is a will and a belief there is a way, so I say stay focused… Read more »
apricot tea.



Great question.

1) Reprogramming: achieving (or even working towards!) your dreams often flies in the face of whatever everyone has told you/is telling you about what you *should* be doing (which is most often: “sacrifice initiative for security!”). People have set aside their own dreams get extremely agitated when they see someone else who refuses to give up, and they do their best to discourage that person.

And on a related note:

2) Discipline: Not the “getting up at 5 AM” kind of discipline, but maintaining the discipline to constantly be an iconoclast or contrarian.


I think the obstacles are all to do with the way people think: they don’t really believe that they can achieve their dreams, they don’t feel they even deserve them and they don’t have the faith to persevere when the going gets tough.
No need to reply…just my ten cents worth!

I’ll cheat – I have two. Probably neither are very original. And sure, I’d love some advice! 1. Lack of focus. There are a gazillion things that interest me, but I feel like I am a perpetual dabbler. Jack of all trades, master of none sort. Anytime I find something I love, I feel like there are a million people offering some similar service, and fear I could never break out. 2. The usual fear of not being able to pay the bills, or more importantly, have health insurance. I don’t have any dependents, but I’m still hesitant to take… Read more »
Parents – I wish I had 40 hours to work on my site. I feel like I have wasted my time these past few months running after something that i have no clue. I’m a chronic dreamer, but I’m finally transitioning into being more productive. I’m really trying to cut out all the junk in my life and using my time as wisely as possible. I’m hoping my site is successful before I get a real job so that I can show my parents what I’m capable of. I really don’t want to go into the 9-5 grind. So, any… Read more »

My biggest obstacle is me. In order to manifest my dreams, I need to discover my mental blocks to achieving what I want.



Currently my biggest fear is that my business won’t make enough money to pay the bills before we run out of savings, and then I don’t know what I’ll do. I fear that I’ll have to put my dreams on hold and get a soul-sucking job to pay the bills, and whittle out little bits of time for my dreams.

Sometimes my biggest fear is different, but it’s always fear.

Thanks for asking, thanks for helping, and thanks for writing. I appreciate what you write here.

For me, my biggest obstacle is quelling the critics. Right now, I live with my parents and although I’ve gone to ITT Tech for almost 2 years and a private university for one year, they think that I can’t make money from the internet. They want me to get a “real” job or they’ll kick me out when I can’t pay for rent. I’ve been trying to expose my blog as much as I can in order to make a living from it so that I can move out without worrying about a job or offline critics. I’m beginning to… Read more »
Dereck Coatney
Great idea. Hope the e-book goes well. For me it was my past. By the time I figured out what I loved my life was barreling in a direction set in motion long before I had matured intellectually. The next step has been a bit like turning the Titanic on a dime, while it was sinking. Daunting, really. This week is the best week of my adult life, you know? Damn it, I got it turned around. Be back in school in 50 days. Looking back, here’s what would have made things easier: financial maturity taught to me at a… Read more »

the BIGGEST obstacle.. well.. the fact that I was downsized 3 weeks ago has put a few impediments in the way, plus the mortgage, 2 kids.. putting food on the table.. and outstanding debts.. BUT we’ll get through this and be better off in the end.

Jacqueline Parks

Figuring out how to pay the bills (even after keeping those bills to a minimum) in a nonstressful way while I develop healthier more fulfilling ways to earn a living.


1) focus – i want to do a million things all at once and as a resuly nothing gets finished. I need to learn how to do ONE project almost exclusively so i can get my novel finished, then my screenplay, and hopefully be able to make some or all of my income from my writing.

2) negative self-talk

3) motivation – like, i want to be fit, but getting to the exercise part is sooooo challenging…

4)being able to say “no” to people who suck up my time. very hard, again, but something i’m trying to work on

James NomadRip


Exactly what Pace said above. Verbatim.

John C

Mine is a combination of taking it too seriously, or not taking it seriously enough. Sometimes I feel foolish when contemplating it, but other times I take it so seriously that I become frozen


Social Anxiety Disorder. I have trouble interacting with other people, so it makes things in life really hard. Striving for my dreams is extremely challenging, because not only do I have big challenges to face, I have little annoying fears of normal everyday situations.


Motivation. I start everything pretty good and than I lose my motivation. It’s so frustrating. One reason for this is the time.


My biggest obstacle is :

1) I don’t stick to one thing for too long.. Like been there done that and I move on.. I really hate that in me.

2) Consistency: I have what it takes to be on top, but once I am there it is like bah thats all and I cool down and i loose that position.

3) also same prob as jess


I’m in agreement with Michael:

“treading water in a full time job while trying to follow your dreams; time is number 1”

I’ve got the dream and the motivation that has me taking action towards my dream every day, but I also have the cushy 9-5 that pays the bills but takes valuable time. Perhaps I’m in need of a little more guts to be able to pull the plug on passion-less job :P

A lot of things pop into my mind: lack of courage, lack of belief that I can do it, need for stability, security, my comfort zone. But really when I dig a bit deeper, it’s mainly fear of finding out that either * I don’t want what I thought I wanted (and yes, I still hear the eternal question from my youth: ‘are you sure this is what you want?’) or * I’m no good at what I’m desperate to do Not sure which of the two is worse – and yes, I’d definitely be interested to know your thoughts… Read more »
I’ve tried to do this drill before. Or I have done this drill before. Usually I can figure out the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. But I never seem to find a ‘why’ that really works. I’ve read that the juice comes from the ‘why’. I usually end up with a ‘why’ that crumble when it meets the reality. I believe that if I had a good ‘how to find the WHY’ exercise it would really make a difference. But I want a exercise that is focused on doing rather than thinking. I think that a good test to wether you… Read more »
Chris (from Lifestyle Project)

1) Financing
2) Cultural conditioning to have a ‘proper career’
3) Need to find my passion
4) Fear?

Good luck with your eBook!


Knowing where to start and what steps I can do NOW.

Martin Wildam

I could focus on living my dreams if I would have plenty of money and plenty of time.

But as I have to work to pay the bills and as I have a family at home the spare time for living any dream is somewhere at zero.

Hence I have to govern my dreams. And then reviewing them I would not call it something like “dream” – it remains a realistic view looking at the opportunities that show up.

Or in other words: On the way to happiness dreams are the biggest obstacle. And happiness is more important than living dreams.

Aspiring chic

Motivation and Fear


I think professionally speaking, that the main problem to trail the path of my dream is don’t having money to support it by the time I am not yet making money with my dream. I mean, how can I left my today’s job and grab on my dream without money to live by the time of transition?

And now, with this world crisis, it is showing to be more difficult than before.

It is sad…

Jennie Mustafa-Julock

Pace has it right – fear. Fear of failing, fear of the unknown, fear of succeeding and then not being able to keep it up.

My other challenge is getting distracted from my big dreams by the daily grind. I’m open to suggestions!

(I love your blog, by the way!)


The biggest obstacle we face is no doubt, us.

Personal Development Blogger

I agree with Ariel, the mind really is a big obstacle. My biggest obstacle to live my dreams is that I have no idea what my dreams are any more. I guess all the brain-washing from parents, school etc – and my brain’s constant fight for attention – is blocking my heart on a fundamental level. It’s not that I don’t allow myself to go for my dreams, or let myself think about what I really want, it’s more like that I have no access at all to my dreams and feelings anymore. I know what I like, but not… Read more »

A wife, three kids, two cars, and a mortgage.

“I wish I were either rich enough or poor enough to do a lot of things that are impossible in my present comfortable circumstances.”
~Don Herold

Hi there. I have never had any dreams or goals what so ever before, but I have finally set up a goal in life which I want to achieve as soon as possible. I want to become a successful business man, the only problem I have is the financial part. Im not sure I want to take loans since im against loans, I just want to earn enough money myself to get started. The only problem is that I dont know how to earn money except from working, which will take a long time before i reach the ammount of… Read more »

1. positive self-reinforcement.

2. blocking out negative energy.

3. keeping your bigger picture in mind, consistently, and even if you are distracted, being able to return to the grounding thoughts that keep you motivated.

4. daily routine, bills, work, kids, etc. finding time?

5. tangibility – I sometimes have great ideas for my future, yet they are so hard to grasp because they do not yet exist and seem so abstract, that I loose perception.


Biggest obstacle… keeping better track of all the *little* purchases that nickel and dime me to death each month.

Brainwashing & fear. My parents drummed into my head that I was worthless & stupid, and even though I knew I wasn’t stupid, the worthless part is deeply rooted. I don’t deserve dreams or goals. Dreams & goals are for elite, rich, priveleged people who can afford to fail. Working class schlubs like me are supposed to keep our heads down & just grub out a living. Here I am, in my mid-50s, and all my life I’ve just done whatever came my way in order to make ends meet. Now I have children to support, and I don’t resent… Read more »

I’m going to say that my biggest obstacle to achieving a particular dream or two is the fear of not measuring up. I come from a family of high achievers and I believe I have been a high achiever. I focus, work hard, and have been successful. But there are some dreams I have not pursued because in the end it is really the fear of not measuring up.


financial security.
my husband wants to open his own business but is hesitant to take the plunge because he has a wife and three kids depending on him.

Michael Moniz

Fear is mine.

Sometimes I spend so much time looking and planning for the future I forget I have to live for the present. I am scared of all the what ifs which hold me still and doesn’t allow me to take action.

A friend helped me out a lot by telling me that fear stands for:


This helps me to frame fear and work through and create action towards more dreams!


Money, and knowing how to make it – sustainably.



Chris Edgar

The biggest emotional block I’ve worked with has been a sense that people don’t want to be bothered hearing about my various projects, and just want to be left alone. In more lucid moments I’ve seen that I’m projecting my own reluctance to listen to others’ business plans on other people, and that really what this calls for is developing more tolerance within myself for listening to and appreciating people’s ideas. Best, Chris


My biggest obstacle is me. Many times I know exactly what I should do to achieve my dreams, but as soon as I begin (or even think of beginning), I get distracted or start to feel abnormally exhausted. Just the thought of it makes me tired. And so I stop. When I read your question, I didn’t for one moment delude myself into thinking that I was being held back by anything but myself. So yah, I’d welcome your thoughts on this.

Good luck with the book. It sounds like a good one.


Trusting myself.


My biggest obstacles:
1.) lack of trust (whether the whole concept of achieving goals by thinking and feeling positive is true – or mere ideology)
2.) laziness or lack of discipline. Whenever I DID concentrate on my goals it has always been successful. Despite all that, most of the times I end up being sloppy. I really don’t know if this is a “mental block” behind it, it COULD be only lethargy. (Which might be a late stage of demotivation).
I’d love to hear your comments!

I think for me it could be trying too hard and not believing in myself enough. The difference between my dreams of making my ideas into a profitable business and the profits is a huge gap. Still at it and keep coming back to it. Hope to “get out of my own way” any day now and watch me soar! I love that you are putting this out to your readers. I was thinking about doing something very similar the other day, and wondered if anyone ever did that. Case in point: while I was wondering, you were doing! I… Read more »

not really knowing what my dreams are.


[…] currently doing a series on “Making your dreams become reality” , and in his latest post, he  asks the question “What is the greatest obstacle to success?”.  In this post, […]


Hi Jonathan, all the best with the book.This is a question I’ve recently answered with a reasonable amount of understanding. So instead of writing a comment here, I decided to write a slightly detailed post about it here:

Llama Chris

My biggest obstacle? I don’t know what to do, or how to do it.

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