Most people never truly go after their dreams. They look at the obstacles that stand in their way and think it’s just too much, it’s going to be too hard. Many can’t face the possibility of trying and failing. They don’t realize that failing is an essential part of succeeding.
Then there are people who have the courage, confidence, faith and optimism to go after their dreams but when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles give up.
One common reason that stops people who have decided to go after their dreams from following through is this:
-They allow real obstacles to give them a justifiable reason to fail with the comfort of being able to say “It’s not my fault.”
We don’t want to be perceived, or perceive ourselves, as quitting or giving up. So if we start to believe it might not be possible to reach our goal we may hope (sometimes subconsciously, other times not) that an insurmountable obstacle arises which will give us a justifiable reason to quit while still being able to reassure ourselves that it wasn’t our fault. We are okay with failing as long as we don’t have to take blame for it. We start looking for something or someone else to point the finger at. It’s the system. It’s society. It’s the circumstances.
I recently did a presentation for a group of middle school teachers. More so than many other professions, people go into teaching because it’s a passion. They love kids and they love being in a position where they can make a positive difference in kid’s lives. For them, going into teaching is absolutely pursuing a dream.
Make no mistake about it, teaching is a very difficult job. Let me reword that, being a good teacher is a very difficult job. Kids learn differently, have varied perspectives and an assortment of influences which effect how they look at things. There isn’t one teaching strategy that works well for all children. If that wasn’t enough there are other systemic obstacles that come with the current circumstances in the public school system.
-Standardized testing which restricts a teacher’s flexibility in how they teach.
-Classrooms which sometimes have over 40 kids per teacher.
-School years being shortened.
-Parents that have no interest in their children’s education.
These are all real and very significant obstacles teachers have to deal with. It would be understandable for them to feel overwhelmed, like their hands were tied.
I imagine that most of us have had times when we felt like this. I know I have. Recognize it when it’s happening to you. Don’t allow yourself this easy out. Ask yourself those two questions:
-Is it possible for you to succeed?
-Do you want it badly enough to do what it’s going to take to make it happen?
If you answer “yes” to both those questions then brainstorm, research, look for other options and new ways to maneuver around or trample right over the obstacles that stand in your way. Wake up and go to bed at night by recommitting to your goals. Take your focus off of the ultimate goal you are aiming for and think about smaller, short term goals. What can you do today that will make a difference? What small steps can you take that will keep you moving towards your goal. No step is too small as long as it’s in the right direction.
There will always be reasons to quit and places to point blame. It may make you feel better when you fail but you will never succeed. Winners keep fighting despite the obstacles.
Fortunately, most of the teacher’s I know love kids too much and are too passionate about teaching to ever give up.
How passionate are you about your goals? Have you ever given yourself that easy out and given up on your dreams only to regret it later?