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All of us have hopes and dreams for the future that become part of our identity. But then reality gets in the way. Your passion may fade, or the obstacles to realising the dream may become too big to overcome. You may have feelings of regret and failure, or fear how others will judge you.
We should take comfort in knowing that being adaptable and flexible in our ambitions is just as important as being gritty and determined.
Psychologists see goal adjustment capacity as a beneficial form of 'self-regulation' or 'self-management.'
It contains two parts:
Those who are flexible and adaptable are generally happier, perform better. They often get promoted. If you are thinking of giving up your dream, it suggests you have a healthy willingness to adjust and adapt.
As you let go of your dream, you may fear you're making a mistake.
Giving up your dream will hurt, at least for a time. To drop this vision of your future-self is to drop a piece of you.
To help you move on, It helps to focus on the negative implications of your dream. If we are realistic, many of our dreams are romanticised. We may think of doctors as healing people, but their daily reality is far more mundane.
When letting go of an impossible dream, you're freeing yourself up for a potentially more rewarding project.
If you dreamed of playing professional football, you could become a coach (and still play for your local club at the weekends). Or you might find a completely different direction more appealing.
You can relieve the sense of regret you feel about giving up a dream by doing the following exercise:
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