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"But Elmer, how do find your dream job when you can't dream?"

I've heard of similar types of questions, but this particular question came up while I was leading an FPU class earlier this year.  It was difficult for me to understand how someone "can't dream".  What happened in their life that caused them to think like this?  Was it family obligations?  Was it the career choice they feel are stuck in?  What caused this inability to sit down and think about a dream job?

So, my 48day.net friends, here are my questions to you: Have you ever been in this situation where you couldn't dream up the perfect job for you? If you have, why do you think that happened? Finally, how did you get out of it and started to dream again?



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Elmer, I am currently in this position. I can dream and see where I want to be in 5 years but I cannot see what job that should get me there. For me personally there are so many things that are blocking me from seeing it. Struggles in my relationship with my spouse has caused a huge block. Also feeling like I am not good enough to get to where I want to be. Fear that if I choose something that I enjoy doing that I will once again fall flat on my face and putting my family in a worse financial position than before. Or that a month or two into doing something I will find that I either hate doing it or that it just doesn't fit right.  Just when I get worked through one of these issues another one rears it's ugly head again. 

 That's just some of it :)

Wow, Tamara... thank you so much for being so open with your life in this discussion.  I can so why it could be so hard for you dream (or at times feel guilty for ever dreaming at all).  Marriage and finances are a huge thing in your situation and it may even seem that these things are competing against your dream.  So I agree that those issues are things to address.

I'm curious though...my question to you is which fear are most afraid of: The fear of failure or the fear of never trying at all?


I fear failure more.

Tamara, I too have that same fear as well.  The feeling of losing sucks. However, one of Dan Miller podcast changed my perspective on the view of failure.  When Dan Miller sets his goal every year he sets it at a point where it's a 50/50 chance of him of ever achieving that goal.  Now you may be asking yourself, "Why would someone ever set a goal so high?"  Dan sets his goal pretty high so that even if he reaches 60-75% of his goal, he still wins!  He would never reach those goals each year if he hadn't set a goal or that dream.  In other words, he doesn't see any un-reached goals as failure.  He sees it as a challenge with favorable results regardless of the outcome.

I hope this helps in your view of failure.  Dan's perspective definitely changed mind.  If you have time, I suggest you take Dan's Eagle Intensive program.  This may help you see possibilities again.

Do you think these suggestions would help you?

I had a bit of this for awhile.  Much of mine had to deal with fear of failure and fear of breaking out of what was expected of me.  I put so much time, money and effort into my current career choice that I was given a lot of questions and confusion when I discussed I wanted to spend some of my time on other, nonrelated, things.  And even though I've finally landed on something I want to try I'm still getting a lot of confused stares when I try to market it.  I think I just had to get past the point where I worried about what others thought, and instead focused on what would make me happiest in the long run. 

Thanks for sharing, Lesley.  Sometimes we focus too much energy into one thing we forget that the "non-related" things requires some of our attention.  In other words, people forget that we are multi-dimensional beings that have needs in other areas of our lives as well, just as you shared.  I'm sure you get people looking at you with a weird stare saying, "You're into that, too?"  I'm glad you overcame the fear of what people think about you do and focused on things that provides enlightenment and joy in your life.  Good job, Lesley!

What are you doing now that people give confused stares when you market it?

I would have to say I'm currently in this situation.  After spending most of my life working in an industry that I happened to be good at (even though I didn't love it), I was let go in the economic downturn.  I immediately went to a job that I just knew was my dream job. Unfortunately that dream ended 4 weeks ago when it became apparent it was not the dream job I thought it would be.  I have no idea what my dream is now.  I feel emotionally drained and pressure to get a job of any kind to pay bills. I know the things I do well, but don't have a dream job in my sights.  The DISC personality test confirmed what I pretty much knew, but I'm not feeling the passion for much of anything right now.  

Thanks for being so open in this discussion, Wayne.  I have met with a lot of people who were "let go" in the past 4 years.  I just met with a man who worked with IBM executive for 25 years, loved his job, and was "let go" as well.  He has been looking for a job for the past two years and couldn't find a job that fit his particular skills or position.  He also forgot to dream.

Would you say that you are in the same situation?  And...why did you think your dream job wasn't what you thought it would be?

Elmer I would have to agree I'm in the same position as the IBM guy. Very briefly, I graduated college with a Music degree, tried teaching school but didn't like it. I wanted to go to Nashville and try to make it in the music business, but due to the fear of failure and people telling me I was nuts I didn't go. I went to work for Southwestern Bell (now AT&T) and was very good at installing/designing equipment. Next thing you know I'm there 25.5 years, then let go in 2009. My other love is fitness, I've always lifted weights, did bodybuilding and powerlifting. A friend was opening a new gym and suggested I work for him as a trainer. I found out training myself is much different from training other people. I quit in April when I could tell it was not working. This along with some family stuff has drained me, and I can't say I have any kind of a dream or a dream job.

Hi Wayne,

I can see why you drained.  It seems with every opportunity that came your way came to an abrupt end... some dreams you didn't even pursue because you were too afraid of failure and people telling me your nuts.  That can be rough, eh?

I would like you to consider changing your perspective with this parable I learned from John Maxwell.  

John Maxwell does a great example of showing a shift in perspectives.  He tells a story of an engaged couple prior to being married coming in for pre-marital counseling.  The couple can't stay apart.  They are always touching, expressing terms of endearment to each other, staring at each other, giggling...do you know what I mean?

However, fast forward 1 year later.  Take the same couple and they come into the office for couples counseling.  They are barking at each other.  The husband does not open the door for his wife.  They talk about his inequities in the relationships and vice-versa.... do you know what I mean?

So why the change in the relationship?  It's the same couple, the same counselor, but what do you think has changed?

I have been in that situation also. Part of my problem came from the fact that  I didn't think I was creative enough and most things I could think of fell into one of 3 categories. 1. I didn't Know how to start a business I was interested in.2, I didn't have enough money to start one that did interest me,or 3. I didn't like the idea although it would be a good business. There have always been some possibilities and I have wrestled with indecision. I have also learned that sometimes there are possibilities I didn't know existed. I recommend You listen to the 48 days podcast. They not only give new ideas but are inspirational. I have recently read the Book "Crush It" by Gary Vaynerchuk. He gives a realsitic way of earning money with your passion although it is by different forms of blogging on the Internet. His video show blog is on www.winetvlibrary.com


I will definitely check out "Crush It." I've went through the 48 Days Podcasts and they were very good, verybhelpful. Right now I'm struggling with finding my passion. I know what I love to do, but I don't see anyway to make a living doing that now. I need a job to bring in some money, but those are hard to find too. I would give anything if I could get a clear picture of what it is I am supposed to do. I feel like I'm treading water.


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