It happens without fail: the moment you make up your mind to start moving toward your dreams or goals, you will invariably encounter resistance, setbacks, and failures on your journey.

Now, don’t freak out. These circumstances are all just a part of the process, and they will happen a time or two while you’re on your journey for bigger and better. The key to your success will depend on your ability to stay focused and not get distracted. Some of these dream distractions will include circumstances you have no control over. Other dream distractions can be self-imposed, such as making excuses.

When you have a big dream, you usually want to share it with others. Sharing a dream is often done with the expectation of the other person being fully supportive. But sometimes that’s just not the case. The thoughts and opinions of others, especially when they differ from your own, can serve as a deflator at times and steal your dream.

Sometimes the unsolicited advice from your friends and family has the tendency to distract you as well. Maybe they cautioned you about taking such a huge risk. Perhaps their words were laced with skepticism and doubt about your new venture. You start pondering their words over and over in your mind until you actually believe them yourself, and now you are second-guessing your whole dream.

Time can also be a dream distraction. People simply give up because they think it has taken far too long and their time to be great has simply passed.

Dream distractions have the power and the potential to keep your dreams from becoming a reality. Reaching your goals and desires in life takes a laser-like focus.

Distractions are the enemy of focus and can slow your progress or stop you altogether if you place your attention on them. Avoiding distractions can keep you on task and on target.

Here are five dream distractions you need to avoid.

The Distraction of Tomorrow

When you put things off until tomorrow, they usually end up on a long list that never, or rarely, gets touched. That list usually turns into regret because you never got around to doing the things that would have helped you accomplish your goals in life.

Here’s the age-old question: “Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today?”

You must use every ounce of your energy today to work toward your dreams. Act as if what you do today determines your future tomorrow. Because it does!

The Distraction of Applause

Too much applause will cause you to think that you are better than you really are. If you start to think that you no longer need improvement, you’ll eventually stop challenging yourself to grow more. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Going after the applause of people will eventually cause you to become stagnant and stale in your comfortable place of mediocrity.

Some people get so energized by the excitement that others show toward their accomplishments that they get a “big head,” and that’s not good at all. You must always keep moving, even if you’re getting great recognition, and even when your cheerleaders are no longer there to refuel and energize you.

Always remember that determination will get you to your goal and not the applause of people. Yes, it’s great to have friends and family cheering you on, but there will be many times when you find yourself on a lonely road. It’s then that you will have to be your own cheerleader and motivate yourself to keep going.

The Distraction of Comparison

Sizing yourself up to others can bring frustration and disappointment about what you don’t have, and you’ll fail to recognize what you do have. It’s natural for us to look at someone we admire or someone who is already a success at what we want to do and think that they got there without any struggles.

In truth, you have no idea what it took for them to get to where they are today. Instead of asking people about their success, ask them for their pre-success story. I’m sure it’s filled with ups and downs as well as minor and major setbacks along the way. We make the biggest mistake when we only compare ourselves with their end results and not their beginnings. This leaves us weary and defeated before we even start the journey.

Don’t waste any more time comparing yourself with another person. You don’t have time to get caught up in that web of distraction.

“The problem with comparison is that you envision the other person as better than they really are.”

The Distraction of People

Let’s face it; there are some people who are not called to go where you are going. If they are not going with you, then by all means don’t let them keep you from your destiny. Not everyone you share your dream with will be supportive. In fact, some people will be the voice of negativity and will suck the passion right out of you if you let them. They may tell you things like, “That’s impossible,” or “I tried that and it never worked.” You must understand that their skepticism could very well be a result of their life being stuck in a rut. Regardless of the naysayers, you must keep moving forward.

Usually when you share your 10x20 dream with someone who has a 3x5 dream, the conversation goes opposite of how you thought it would go. The other person is neither excited about your dream nor supportive of you going after it. It’s not that they don’t believe in you; it’s just that your dream probably exceeds their imagination and they don’t even believe it’s possible.

As you continue to move forward, some of your friends or family members may become jealous of your newfound desire and passion to excel and do more with your life. If a friend or family member is overcome with the green-eyed monster and begins to show resentment toward you, that’s when you have to realize that people are human, especially your family members and friends.

Don’t take it personally or feel threatened. And by all means don’t let the fear of losing a close relationship stop you from reaching your dream.

They may feel jealous because they see you doing what they have been too scared to do all their life. Still, don’t let this cause you to divert your focus. Stay the course, and sooner or later they will realize that they can go after their dreams as well. You just might be the trailblazer they need to get them from where they are in life to where they desire to be!

The Distraction of Failure

We are hindered by past disappointments and hurts. The very thought of failing again seems unbearable at times. You might become paralyzed in your progress if you are not completely over a past hurt.

Failure has also developed such a bad stigma. Nobody wants to fail at anything for fear of how they might look to others.

We can get so consumed meditating on our disappointments that we are totally drained of the energy needed to get back up and try again. Fear of ending up in the same boat filled with pain, hurt, and regret is the very thing that keeps you standing on the shore instead of getting back in the water and trying again. News flash: just because you failed at something doesn’t make you a failure.

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."  -Babe Ruth

If you are tired of being plagued with distractions, here is a simple tip that can help keep you focused. Tape some motivating quotes on your bathroom mirror. Yes, you have to actually do it. It doesn’t count if you just look them up online and bookmark them on your computer. Actually write them out on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror or wall where you will see it every day.

The goal is to stare at the quotes at least once a day and get them so ingrained in your mind that you will find yourself thinking about them throughout the day. These will keep you encouraged and focused on the task at hand and help guard against the awful energy drain of distractions.

The best way to avoid a distraction is to focus your attention elsewhere.

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