Life change affects dreams of the future

Whether we realise it or not, we all hold dreams about the shape of our future. These dreams can encompass many things:

  • the work that we do
  • the relationships that we want to enjoy
  • the lifestyle we want to live
  • the possessions that we seek to own
  • the places we would like to visit
  • the achievements we would like to make

and much more.

 By and large, it is a helpful to have such dreams.

They can:

  • Provide a sense of purpose and motivate us to act.
  • Challenge us to grow and expand our skills, ability, knowledge, experience.
  • Call us to make a difference to the world, to somehow make things better for someone – be that for many or for few.
  • Help give our lives meaning, building on our values and beliefs, and as such help us to put the downturns of life into perspective.

Without dreams, life would be an endless repetition of monotonous and meaningless activity.

Dreams change over time.

You may have noticed that your current dreams are not quite the same as the ones you held at earlier stages of your life.

Over time life experiences reshape and refine our aspirations for the future. Sometimes they allow our dreams to expand beyond the reality we have known. In other instances, they shrink our dreams to fit the constraints of our current situation.

Often dreams morph so gradually that we don’t even notice how they are changing.

And then there are those singular life events that radically alter the direction of our future.

Dreams can be shattered.

Our dreams are built on assumptions that certain aspects of our world are stable. And then the unexpected happens:

  • Someone you always thought would be there is gone.
  • The opportunity you have been working towards disappears.
  • A traumatic event occurs that changes your world.
  • Your body stops working the way it used to.
  • You acquire an unanticipated responsibility.
  • You find yourself trapped in a situation that is not where you intended to be.

In such cases the assumptions are challenged, which then ripples out to cast into doubt, and sometimes completely erase, the future that we have envisioned for ourselves.

This can be incredibly painful.

Reconstructing dreams takes time.

Sifting through the remains of shattered dreams and rebuilding a new picture of the future is a process.

Your values and beliefs may all come into question as you wrestle with where you find yourself and what this means for you going forward. You may experience a lack of direction for a while and a depletion of energy to get things done.

And it will probably hurt. A lot.

Why? Because you have invested yourself in a particular picture of the future and losing that picture can feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself.

Don’t worry, though. Given enough time, new dreams will emerge.


If your dreams have been suddenly shattered and you are finding yourself at a loss, it might be a good idea to talk to a professional. Cynosure Support Services offers counselling to support people who are going through a dream reconstruction process. Contact us to make an appointment!