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5 Dream Killers Keeping You From the Life You Could Have There is no barrier to success in the world as hard to overcome as our own doubts and fears.

By Tor Constantino Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Everybody has dreams.

Whether it's a couple who dreams of one day being parents, a bench scientist who dreams of finding a cure for cancer or a minimum-wage worker who dreams of one day becoming an independent entrepreneur- -- we all have dreams.

While there are many external obstacles that dreamers and entrepreneurs have to overcome, the truth is that many dreams don't even make that far.

Many dreams die at our own hands.

1. Fear

The most obvious dream killer is fear in its manifold forms. Obvious fears that undermine our dreams and goals are fears of failure, loss and rejection.

Less commonly recognized fears include fear of success, higher expectations and increased responsibilities. Fear of positive outcomes can kill a dream just as efficiently as the fear of negative results.

While no single action can guarantee you'll conquer every fear, the first step toward overcoming any fear is identifying and acknowledging that it's there. Once you know what the specific fear is, it's easier to address it.

Related: Why You Should Pursue Your Dream Even If Nobody Encourages You

2. Insecurity

Closely linked to fear is the dream killer of insecurity, which tends to be an issue of negative perceptions.

Insecurity is often associated with an internal, negative perception regarding your own personal inability. Insecurity also manifests itself via perceptions of instability regarding external circumstances or conditions. The combined perceptions of inability and instability feed the dream killer of insecurity.

As with fear, awareness is the first step toward overcoming insecurity.

3. Uncertainty

While negative perceptions are dream killers, the only thing worse than negativity or outright bad news is the specter of uncertainty.

We've seen that play out right before our eyes this week via Wall Street and financial markets around the world.

The problem with uncertainty is that it usually results in indecision, which is a definitive dream killer.

Related: 3 Dirty Little Habits That Will Kill Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

4. Inertia

Decisions always precede actions. That' why decisions play such a critical part of making your dreams become realities. Without decisions, and their resultant actions, dreams will only remain dreams and will never become real. That's why understanding inertia is critically important when it comes to dream fulfillment.

According to Sir Isaac Newton's law of inertia, physical objects in motion tend to stay in motion, while objects at rest tend to stay at rest. That basically means that things want to stay the way they are, nothing wants to happen on its own.

This applies to people as well. While a lot of people put stock in the "law of attraction" where the universe brings things to you, the reality is that the law of intentional action to chase down your dreams has a much stronger track record.

But you have to fight against your own stationary inertia in the pursuit of your dream. Your dream won't become a reality on its own.

5. Your past

This final dream killer might be the toughest to manage because it's based on the experiences that made you who you are. Whether it's personal pain, disappointments or failures, those past hurts are often buried so deep in our psyches that we're not aware of our own self-sabotaging behaviors and dream-destroying habits.

If you've overcome the first four dream killers on this list but still fall short of your dreams, it might be a good idea to speak with a counselor or mental health expert to help you address the issues in your past that may be holding you back.

While many empiricists dismiss the power of dreams, an argument can be made that every advance of humanity was born in a dream. And while dreams may or may not be unique to humans, it's a certainty that we're the only species that can choose to kill or not to kill our own dreams.

Related: Pushes People to Bring Their Dreams to Life?

Tor Constantino

Former Journalist, Current PR Guy (wielding an MBA)

Tor Constantino is a former journalist, consultant and current corporate comms executive with an MBA degree and 25+ years of experience. His writing has appeared across the web on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune and Yahoo!. Tor's views are his own and do not reflect those of his current employer.

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