5 Thinking Patterns That Stop You From Taking Hold Of Your Dreams

July 1, 2016 Kerry Sutton

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." ~ Nelson Mandela

Do you find yourself caught up in the moment-by-moment excitement, challenges and disappointments of your favourite artist/s on talent shows like The Voice?

Artists receive constructive criticism from their mentors for us all to see. Then they step onto the stage with half the country watching and judging; not just the talent they bring, but how they communicate, look, dress and move. Then they wait while we vote, and hope they get the opportunity to do it all again.

Are they edging closer to their dream? Or are they living their dream in the moment-by-moment experience of stepping outside their comfort zone?

They face anxieties, fears and setbacks common to anyone
LIVING a full and meaningful life.

This human need to reach your full potential has been referred to by prominent thinkers in psychology as self-actualization. Are you denying yourself full expression? If you are pushing down or pushing away your inner voice, it 'will' find another way to be heard. (click to Tweet)

Anxiety seems to be one of these ways! When you allow your fears to suppress your dreams, your potential and your world shrinks a little more each day.

Yes it is scary to give voice to your hidden and suppressed longings? Absolutely! But a self-contained life has a far greater cost. In Bronnie Ware’s bestselling book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying she writes about the most common regrets of the patients she cared for as a hospice nurse. The most common regret of all was:

I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life
others expected of me.

Ware writes. "Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made."

Lets look at some of the thinking patterns that might be getting in the way of your dreams:

Mental filtering – Noticing only what your filter allows or wants you to notice. You only see the negative aspects of a situation. The positive aspects are filtered out, leaving you with a lopsided perspective.


Catastrophizing / Predicting the future – You blow things out of proportion imagining and believing that things are a lot worse than they are. This habit makes life challenges even more difficult to cope with.


Black and White Thinking / Perfectionism / Should thinking – All or nothing. You believe something can only be good or bad, right or wrong - there are no shades of grey in between. This kind of thinking can be overly critical and lead to you to have impossible expectations of yourself and others.


Jumping to conclusions – Assuming you know what other people are thinking (mind reading) or assuming you know what is going to happen in the future (predictive thinking). These judgments or evaluations about events or yourself are based on your feelings in the moment or experiences in the past.

They think i'm doing a bad job

Comparing and despairing – You only see only the good and positive aspects in others, and compare yourself negatively against them. If you find yourself highlighting other people’s strengths and minimising your positive attributes then you have possibly lost touch with your amazing capacity for life.


What ‘gifts’ or ‘aspects of you’ are wanting / needing to be expressed?

I was chatting with a friend who has recently responded to a 10 year niggling desire to do Yoga. Maybe you have a desire to express yourself artistically, to start your own business, go to university or be a writer. Remember your dreams / capacity / gifts / callings / desires can't be compared with anyone else's. How awesome is that!

Every calling is great when greatly pursued. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

♦  Take some time to ponder and write about some of your unexpressed desires. Write without thinking too hard, just let your thoughts tumble out. It doesn’t need to make lots of sense, just let it flow.

♦  Clarify a few of these and choose one that stands out for you.

♦  Can you identify any of the unhelpful thinking patterns discussed above that has stopped you from taking action towards this unexpressed desire?

♦  What unhelpful thoughts do you have about this?

♦  What price do you pay for thinking this way?

For example:

Jane has a growing desire to take art classes.

But she keeps 'comparing' herself to her girlfriend who is an accomplished artist.

Her unhelpful thought is, "What if I'm no good"? 

The cost for Jane is feeling frustrated with herself. She may feel worried and anxious when ever she thinks about it. And she has no outlet to express and explore her creative-self.

♦  If Jane was your friend what would you say to her?

♦  We tend to have more clarity when it comes to other people. Consider for a moment what would you say to a friend who had your thought in a similar situation?

What thinking patterns are you willing to change to live a life that holds meaning and purpose for you? What sort of discomfort are you willing to tolerate? Artists on the voice risk failure, tolerate the discomfort of constant learning, even unlearning bad habits, feelings of nervousness, uncertainty...etc.

When you have a strong enough WHY you will find a HOW. ~ Unknown


Lets Talk

If you want to enjoy a more meaningful life, but are struggling to break free of unhelpful thinking habits, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.

0403 064 874


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