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Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Lifestyle Design | 2 comments

10 Reasons NOT to Pursue Your Dreams

We Move Forward founder, Janeen Haliwell, pictured with Katie Milton.

We Move Forward founder, Janeen Haliwell, pictured with Katie Milton.

I’m guessing the title of this blog grabbed your attention – yes?  And, here’s why.  Our negative attention seeking ego is drawn to messaging like this.  It has a way of drowning out our kinder, gentler voice of optimism that speaks our inner truth.  Our ego is louder and more forceful because we fuel it with our attention.

My ego helped me generate this list of 10 reasons why you should NOT pursue your dreams.  I bet you that my ego and your ego come from the same school of thought and speak the same language.

  1. Who are you to think that you can live your dreams? You’re ordinary – not extraordinary.
  2. It’s few and far between, the people who actually experience living their dreams.  Don’t waste your time.  You’re not one of them.
  3. If you do pursue your dream, what happens if you fail? That will be embarrassing.
  4. Pursuing your dream is selfish.  Those around you are slogging it out – what makes you think you shouldn’t as well?
  5. ‘Flakes’ pursue their dreams with the hope they’ll come true.  Be mature, responsible and realistic in your pursuits.
  6. Be happy with what you have.  You’re better off than most people on this planet. Quit dreaming and just enjoy what you’re doing.
  7. Pursuing your dream is going to be hard work.  Do you really want to sign up for that?
  8. You’ll likely lose, not make, money at pursuing your dream.  Can you really afford that, and for how long?
  9. There are more people that fail than succeed at living their dream – just sayin’.
  10. There’s seriously something wrong with you that you can’t just be happy with what you have and where you are at in life.

Sound familiar? 

The messages are clear and convincing – if we listen.  But, what about all those people who choose not to listen to the negative chatter of their ego and go after their dreams?  What makes it possible for them to move forward in a direction that serves them?  I can speak to this, as I am someone who pursued my dream of doing something big in a small place.

My dream began with a vision to host an International Women’s Day conference on Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women, Mexico.  I typically present at conferences; I don’t organize them.  But I was compelled to pursue my dream of creating an event that would create positive change for everyone involved.  I wanted to stretch my boundaries professionally and evolve personally.  I thought I was capable of pulling off this event called “We Move Forward.”

It didn’t take long for both my internal and external critics to show-up.  After-all, who was I to think that I could do something out-of-the-ordinary?  It was turning out to be a lot of work for no financial return.  Where is the value in that?  I had a healthy career as a consultant and trainer.  Why not leave things as is, count my blessings, and stay the course?  The learning curve was bigger than I had anticipated, and mistakes were being made.  People notice and talk about mistakes.  Some comments and emails were hurtful.  Was going after my dreams really worth all the painful criticism that comes with trying? On many days, my answer to that question was “no.”

So, what 10 things propelled me forward toward living my dream? 

  1. Enjoying small successes along the way
  2. The companionship of like-hearted and minded people that show-up because of my pursuit
  3. The personal satisfaction gained from persevering rather than giving up on something that brings me, and others, joy
  4. Determination
  5. Regularly flipping my ego the bird
  6. Dialing down my inner critic’s voice and cranking up the volume of optimistic me
  7. Staying on top of my game by learning how to succeed at my pursuit
  8. Reflecting on lessons learned and making changes that matter
  9. Keeping my body, mind and soul healthy through regular exercise, eating well, and drinking red wine with friends
  10. Knowing that I truly would rather have tried and lost, than not to have tried at all
  11. It is my hope that you’ll join me in regularly flipping your ego the bird when it sets out to remind you of all the reasons why you should NOT pursue your dreams.  Go after them instead.  You are capable of extraordinary things.  The path is there, right in front of you, and it is not that difficult to navigate, as it is well worn by others that came before you, people just like you, who treaded toward their dreams.  If you hurry, you’ll catch-up to them and what a great time you will have.

 How do YOU respond to your ego when it sends you negative and unhelpful messages?

Janeen Halliwell is the Founder of We Move Forward, which is moving into its third year. Her passion is learning, especially through travel.  She works primarily with human service organizations to better people’s lives.  Janeen gives Katie Milton credit for helping her breath life into We Move Forward.  Join Janeen and Katie on sunny and warm Isla Mujeres, March 7-9, 2014.  You can connect with Janeen on Facebook and Twitter.




  1. LOVE your blog. Your writing inspires me to keep moving and to step up the pace! Thanks Katie Milton, for sharing your experiences,which help other women benefit.

    • Kathy,

      So wonderful to hear that we’re inspiring you– that’s our goal! Thank you for the kind compliments!


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