What Is Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams?

Written by Andrew Morrison

It doesn’t matter what the dream is: building a straw bale house, a tiny house, a small house, changing your job, changing a relationship, or anything else. The answer is always the same. You are. Are you achieving your dreams?

It’s so simple and yet so often can seem difficult to change or overcome. The truth is that you are always able to create the vision you dream of. Always.

hand outstretched

I would love to hear about your personal experience with this. Perhaps you have a story to share that exemplifies this point. Or maybe you don’t agree with what I’m saying, don’t understand what I mean by it, or otherwise want to share your feelings about it. Please join the conversation in the comment section below no matter how the statement about achieving your dreams has landed on you.

74 Responses

  1. Andrew, as you know I work with people who wish to overcome their limiting self beliefs using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Ho’oponopono. I have written many blog posts and articles about limiting self beliefs, lack of faith in self and how to move forward when feeling stuck. You show a wisdom and insight that has true depth. Thank you for these questions and to your readers for their open and honest responses. It is really important that we feel comfortable exploring our feelings without guilt.
    I would add that feeling stuck and not good enough can come from very deep programming from “well meaning” care givers during the formative years (<5). These programs can be very difficult to release without treatment. The good news is that anyone can learn EFT and in my humble opinion it is the best technique there is to extract negative programming and replace it with something more self affirming. Thank you for all that you do and all that you are.

  2. Hi all of you enthusiastic “doers and dreamers”.
    I decided to join in here and tell you what is stopping me having my dream of a straw bale house. All you have to do is read my website. I am now a 69 yr old single woman semi disabled (by chronic pain…and orthopaedic surgery). I’ve never known what it is to be really loved. I’ve been severly abused and taken advantage-of when I was young and vulnerable.At 40 I managed to buy an old miner’s cottage, very dilapidated but with good “bones” and, being still strong enough and determined enough, I pulled it together over the next 30 plus years and made a home for myself….the roof doesn’t leak, its shelter but it was built from timber in 1924 and when I got it for very little, it had not been cared about for many, many years and was a vacant, dump that not even the bravest builder would take on. I learnt to use power tools. I learnt to mix concrete and build rock walls. I learnt to repair floors and old furniture that other people had thrown away. Many things happened whereby I’ve ended up with really crippling pain and worse…a mortgage that looks like will be what takes my house from me. What’s stopping me making my dream of an underground/staw bale on top house? Old age, crippling pain, I live on $700 a fortnight, have no savings other than what I put away for bills. I can no longer hold my paint brushes to make paintings for sale for extra income, I have no family and nobody who cares…so would you say that these are genuine reasons for saying “I can’t”? I’ve had a hip replacement- that went well but had to wait for 3 years to have the surgery done in the public hospital here in the Queensland hospital system= no payment. Need knees done and other hip but not living in hope for that.I can see my dream but that’s about it..its a dream and would need outside intervention from a source I do not know to make it happen. The Catholic Church has not “ruined” my life, rather it prevented it from happening altogether when I was a child. I’ve spent my adulthood trying to scrape it back together. I’m not what Australians call “A WOOS”, coward, negative, whinger. I’ve got the courage and the will but without income and health and absolutely nobody to help or care…there’s very little I can do. Sometimes, Andrew, dreams remain dreams for some people and all the visualising in the universe is of no use. The Bible says “Ask and you shall receive” – I’ve done that too. You’d be surprised how many selfish people there are who will not “walk the extra mile or give their coat as well if asked for a scarf or a shirt”…but I do. I know what it means to be without so have compassion for others like me. I’ve never had a husband or a family and the Church is responsible there too. My life and my dreams and my womanhood were expunged before they had a chance. Can anyone tell me how to make my dreams come true? This is just another…perspective that people may not have considered. My website tells some of it and I’ve had some hits from the USA, so thanks for reading folks.

  3. Hi Robin. I feel sad when I read your words. I want to say something inspiring; however, I think what really is needed here is an ear to listen and some one to say they care. You may not have the physical strength, financial ability, or personal drive to do what needs to happen for your dream to come true, but I DO believe that you still have a chance of seeing it happen. Perhaps it will be simply telling your story here or in another space. If your story connects with the right person, things can happen that right now you may not see as possible. I’m not saying that a knight in shining armor should be expected to show up in the next month, but I wouldn’t stop dreaming about that happening anyway. Take whatever action you can in whatever way you believe to be fruitful. Never give up (as I can see has been your motto for a long time). I would be willing to bet that you have moved more than just me with your story. I hope that there are others nearby you who can begin to inspire your heart once again. Thank you for sharing and remember to never give up on hope.

    I also would like to direct you to Al Rodee’s comment (#47) about EFT. I have heard a lot about it, seen its effects work on friends and within me as well. I felt “weird” when I first tried it, but have to say that it is a powerful tool. You may consider checking in with him or looking into it on line.

  4. I and the people in my family are big believers in the power of positive thinking, mind-over-matter, and thinking big (with a little of that magic that Andrew Morrison refers to). Given the history of my ancestors, and even the current though much much better climate my descendants and I live in, we have to think positive and big, and find humor and laughter in the world we live in, or we’d be miserable a lot of the time. I have to admit though to being a little wary of terms like “always” and “never,” and do believe there are some who just can’t make things better for themselves, at lease not without some serious help – and that’s assuming help is forthcoming. A very very few examples would be the child soldier who dreams of being free of those who captured him and force him to fight, or the woman who dreams of living in a world where she is respected as a human being and does not live in fear of being stoned for some religious infraction, or the store owner in a city like Providence who dreams of owning his store free and clear, but who made a panic decision to “invest” with the mafia to keep from losing his store to the bank… Again, I’m a great believer in positive thought, but we of the U.S. (with the exception of children and, well, the store owner in Providence) are very fortunate to have the freedoms that, for the most part, allow for this and, assuming we don’t continue the heavy shedding of our civil liberties that began approximately 10-11 years ago, those freedoms will hopefully endure. Not everyone around the world has the freedom to do the positive big things that positive big thought inspires, and won’t till outside help is forthcoming. All that said, I’m still a huge believer in the power that comes with positive thinking and the “can do” spirit – just want to recognize those without real options.

  5. I am right there with so many of those who have posted comments on this site. I stumbled across your site after doing a google search on straw bale homes. I cannot begin to count the times I’ve sat in the bookstore or library looking through the very limited material on this type of home, and allowed myself to dream. I also believe in creative visualization. I believe all things are possible and somewhere, somehow, I stopped dreaming quite some time ago. I am returning to that place I abandoned because I know I need something, even if it is not tangible (for now, that is). I’ve seen pictures of very basic straw bale homes to the most beautiful, Tuscan style homes (that’s what I want). I say; why not dream big!

  6. Addition to #29 This just cam into my email

    If you have some extra space and would love to show Carson City to others, while meeting interesting travellers from around the world, then list your space on Airbnb and make money while doing so. Your apartment will pay for itself!
    A straw bale B&B with a valley view and Virgina City 6 miles up the canyon

    Andrew # 28 Does it not take a village to raise a child ?

  7. Andrew,

    thanks for all of the words of wisdom! You are an inspiration to me!

    One thing I would add to all of these wonderful posts is that along with finding in ourselves the desire and will for our dreams to come true is to also find others who will stay by us helping us to dream big and accomplish these dreams.

  8. The only thing that has ever stopped me from doing anything has been disappointment from previous enterprises. It’s the residu of bad experiences, things that haven’t gone quite as I had envisaged them to go. But I think I’ve solved this issue, this is my stategy: I release my expectations and go in, expecting the unexpected which is always to be expected, and do whatever it is as long as I’m having fun. Really just like a kid. As soon as I get tired or when I’m not having fun anymore I stop for the day and I start afresh the next day. Natural and stressless living, don’t get pushed around and don’t push yourself around.That’s all.

  9. Valeria # 37 Where do you live Maybe we could work together to realize your dream because it looks to me we are in the same boat with a hole in the hull and the pump is too small for the leak Jon # 36

  10. Personally it is my dream of building a healing retreat center with straw bale cottages that helps make my current life circumstances bearable. Even though I am broke and sleeping on the floor in a friend-of-a-friend’s house until I can find some steady work I hold onto my dream.

    The challenge for me is balancing being in the present moment with holding a vision for the future. Despite the misgivings of my spiritual coach I still believe we can hold an awareness of this moment while touching base with a vision of the future.

    My more immediate dream is to earn enough for a couple of nights in the local hotel. How wonderful it will be to sleep in a quiet, calm environment and in a real bed.

    Big dreams and little dreams both have their place to play as we travel through life, I believe.

  11. Hi Angela (#55). I appreciate your insight and your sharing with us. I was not originally going to respond to your comments because I wasn’t sure if I could address my perspective here without offending people. It can be hard to get words across clearly in written form. I’m going to give it a shot because after meditating on it last night, and checking in with myself again this morning, it still feels true that I want to respond.

    I understand what you are saying and I do see a clear distinction between those of us who live in areas that allow us to dream and to strive towards accomplishing those dreams, and those people who live in areas that condemn such thought or action. These distinctions exist from country to country and even town to town within seemingly “more evolved” countries. Bias, oppression and many forms of isms exist the world over. Although I dream of a day when that is no longer true, I wonder if it will ever truly change. I do what I can, for my part, to move closer to that change.

    I don’t agree that this painful way of life: living under oppression and fear, is the end-all for dreaming though. I want to first be honest that I clearly see how easy it is for me to say this from my comfortable desk in Colorado. I’m not living under fear for my life from others. Nonetheless, within all of the pain, no matter under what oppression or fear one lives, there is still the ability to be free and to dream. Several of the most inspiring people on the planet are among many examples I could draw. Nelson Mandela. The Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rubin Hurricane Carter. These men lived lives under either fear of death, complete oppression, imprisonment, and/or all three for a large portion of their lives. They did not stop dreaming and they changed the world. The one place where their freedom could never be taken from was and is within them. No one can take that away from any of us. Only we can choose to relinquish it. I know there are many others who have risen above similar oppression and I honor each and every one of them. They have within them a drive, a will, and a passion that I personally dream of. To me, that kind of resolves seems impossible within my own body, but then, wouldn’t that just be me resigning to give up on dreaming too?

    One thing I have learned over the years and that I continue to learn each day, is that I have no idea what the “right” path for life is. It may seem like living a life of comfort is the easiest and certainly one I would prefer over living in jail or under great oppression, but who am I to say what is right and from where my inner beacon will shine its brightest? I thank Spirit each and every day for those people who have risen above their oppressors and changed the world for the better. Each of us, in our own small way, is doing just that: rising up against those who would aim to hold our dreams down. It is so important that we continue to do that everyday. Even the smallest deeds, if the come from a place of inner truth and love, can change the world.

    I’ll end with two well known and incredible quotes from the Mahatma Gandhi.

    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”


    “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

  12. TO Andrew from Robin…a big TRHANKS for your words of encouragement!I will look into Al Rodee’s EFT..sounds interesting. Who would have imagined-STRAW BALE HOUSES AND LIFE-PHILOSOPHY!
    I made a real mess of my website address. Try again- Here’s my WEBSITE: http://ladyrob.yolasite.com.
    Here’s my Email:- [email protected]
    All contacts from knights in shining armour and knaves up to their elbows in it welcome!

  13. Response to Andrew Morrison:

    I am very touched by your direct question and thoughtful responses.

    I recently read “the Art of Nonconformity,” which gave me the courage to start taking my dreams very seriously. At 27, I feel like I am just now beginning the practice of clearly identifying what I want and taking steps to achieve it. It seems that this requires creative vision, resourcefulness, and will. This is a whole new way of engaging with the world for me; I personally never learned these practices through my conventional education!

    One thing I struggle with, as I cultivate this practice (as a romantic and imaginative person) is the discrepancy between my long-term vision and the reality of short-term hoops it seems I have to jump through. Sometimes I can’t discern whether these hoops are a betrayal of my vision or inevitable obstacles that I must patiently jump through. Any thoughts on how to discern between the two?


  14. Hi Rose. I find that the best way to tell if the short term hoops are in line with or against the overall life goals you hold is to stop and feel into them. What does your heart tell you? Very often, our hearts know exactly what is going on when our minds get stuck in the “shoulds” of the world. If you hear yourself saying “I should do this”, I would be sure to stop and take stock of what is really happening. The heart rarely, if ever, says “should.” The heart moves with grace and effortless poise through life. It is our minds that often get in the way. Our minds filter the world through what we think we “should” do in order to be accepted and to gain approval from friends, family, and (strangely enough) even from total strangers whom we may never see again. You can choose to move forward with the hoops even if you don’t want to if you believe doing so is in your overall best interest; however, it is important to stay aligned with your greater truth and thus you may need to “pass” on a hoop from time to time, even when that seems scary. I hope that makes sense and helps.

  15. Hi Andrew, I need some HELP and Advice.

    I am a 36 year old single Mom of a 9 yr old and expecting my 2nd child (the father lives out of the country) I lived in TX in the city and I am ready to moved somewhere of beauty and simplicity for my children, I was thinking of TAOS, NM I have managed to save up $10k my dream is to build a strawbale house for the 3 of us my life over the years have taken a turn for anger, resentment, regrets, and shame. My own mother wants nothing to do with this baby, I truly have no one I can count on, somedays it would much easier for me to keep my eyes close and don’t open them I feel sad on a daily basis and lonely always. Yet in the midst of all this pain I can still feel that “flicker” of flame that do not want to give up. Where do I begin? I am exhausted from condo living, and with a baby on the way I need peace, to mentally prepare myself to be a single mom for the 2nd time around. I yell constantly @ my nine year old and I hate the mother I’am thus far. Please help I know I said a lot, but that is just confirming the confusion of where my life is at. Thank you in advance to all of you for your advice.

  16. You are absolutely right! I am the only one who is is standing in the way of me achieving my dreams. I started a online business recently and are coached by 2 amazing people. I am reading books how to connect with people, go to leadership seminars etc. But I can’t connect with people. Probably deep in my heart I don’t believe I can. It has a lot to do with the things we think about our self. I ones read that: There has to be a thought before there is an emotion.

  17. My dream for the past 10 years has been to have a strawbale yurt. Right now I’m closer than I have ever been to realizing it. I have some resources some land right behind our property that isn’t being used. In fact, the house is condemned and the owner hasn’t been on the property for 2 years.
    What is stopping me right now, is not being able to find the owner.

  18. You might check with the city/county to see what the laws are regarding a condemned property. You may be able to claim it if the owner has abandoned it. Of course, making sure the owner has indeed abandoned it first is important as you don’t want to snatch it from under someone else. Also, make sure the property is safe as many abandoned homes have been used as meth labs in recent years, I’m sorry to say.

  19. Meme. Your message is truly heartfelt and I hear your call for help loud and clear. The best answer I can give is that the peace you seek is already inside of you. Although we as humans often believe that something outside of us has to change in order for peace to show up in our lives, that is never actually true. There are many examples of this in the world, one very well known one is the story of Nelson Mandela. He was imprisoned for years, and yet his reality was something that nobody could ever ruin, dampen down, or turn off. Instead, his passion for life and his inner center carried him through his years in jail to the presidency of his country. That is no small feat.

    Not all of us are Nelson Mandela, but we all have the ability to inspire ourselves and light our own fire. You say you hate the mother you have become. I would disagree. You hate things about HOW you mother, not you yourself as a mother. Do you love your kids? If so, then you are a good mother at heart.

    Yelling at your nine year old is a symptom of your own inner struggle and frustration. When your child does something, you can react or respond. Start teaching yourself to respond. This means taking a break/breath before you say or do anything. If you blow it an yell, be woman enough to apologize and explain what is happening for you. Be honest with your kids (keeping in mind their age and what is appropriate to share with them).

    Imagine yelling at your child and then coming to to him/her afterwards and sharing that your anger was not about them. It was actually based in your own inner sadness (I find anger almost ALWAYS hides a deeper feeling of sadness). As you share this with your child, you can heal your own sadness, and teach your kids that honesty and facing your emotions is actually a really healthy thing to do. Over time, your energy will shift and your yelling will subside. Why? Because you are facing the true cause.

    Find yourself some support in friends and/or family. If your mother is truly unwilling to be a part of a baby’s life because of decisions that you and your baby’s father have made, then perhaps she is not the one to support. I can only imagine that a new baby is not guilty of anything your mother is upset about. Perhaps she too has her own inner struggles that she is projecting onto you and your new baby. You can’t heal her. You must focus on yourself and your immediate family. Perhaps an honest conversation (be TRULY vulnerable) can help heal both relationships. Honesty and vulnerability are often the hardest things to offer, yet they are the most important ingredients to any successful and healthy relationship.

    If you truly feel like there is no one there to love you, remember that the most important love to receive is that which you offer yourself. The more you love yourself and the more you look for the bright things in life, the brighter and happier your life will become.

    Smiling for you and offering you a message of hope and love.

    Receiving it is your task. 🙂

  20. I believe. I dream big, and my dreams come true.

    When I was six years old, I begged my parents to teach me how to write (I had to wait until first grade) because I wanted to write books. In a college application that didn’t accept essays, and for which my grades and scores didn’t qualify me, I sent an essay. The director of admissions wrote me a personal letter of acceptance, and thirty-five years later, that little essay is still being published. So many people told me to forget about writing and study something practical; today I am the author of four novels, excited about writing number five.

    At the age of 28, I got sober in Alcoholics Anonymous. No one, not even me, believed it would stick, but I am still sober 23 years later. At the age of 31, having never been a good relationship, I looked across the room and saw the man I wanted to marry. We had a love that still rocks me even though he died seven years later. Living in a beat-up trailer in Alaska, with no money, we had a baby girl that people said we couldn’t afford or take care of. She is the most beautiful teenager today, and I have been able to give her wonderful things – what she gives me daily is so much more. Three months after my husband died, our son was born – a miracle. With this new life in my arms, and my four year old by my side, I survived grief and learned how to be a successful, happy single mother. Miracles appeared in the shape of friends and career opportunities.

    Like most people here, I have been building a home in my dreams – mine is in Taos, NM, a home I had to leave many years ago. I will return and build my house. There is nothing special about my dreams except that I believe in them. The great thing is to let other people know that they can believe too. Just listen to someone’s dream.

    Life is really hard. Nobody gets out of here alive. But it is so beautiful after all —

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