There’s a stark difference between the active pursuit of a real dream day in and day out —and having a fantasy in the future that’ll never come to life.

Now, let me explain with a dose of #RealTalk:

Most people have fantasies —thinking that ‘someday’ it’s all going to happen to them in a stroke of fortune:

A magical moment where Oprah finds them.
A magical moment where an investor shows up.
A magical moment when they’re ‘ready’ to start.

(Look at what these have in common: a reliance on an external event instead of using agency —the power of choice.)

And guess what?

Fantasies are like unicorns —they’re adorable little things but:

They stop you from showing up.
They stop you from doing the work.
They stop you from getting messy AF.
They stop you from asking for the sale.
They stop you from emotional resilience.

(Unicorns are also, uhm, not real.)

When you live in a fantasy, you never:

  • Deal with rejection, questioning, endless doubt, and wondering if you’re capable of bringing your dream to life.
  • Deal with the messy acquisition of skills, that feeling that you suck and you’re never going to get much better.
  • Deal with the passive-aggressive comments, fake people cheering you on who secretly want you to fall on your face.

(I call this the comfort zone of possibility where you go to UPW three times and never move the needle.)

The problem?

One day, the ‘fantasy’ runs out —and you realize you missed your shot:

You wasted time.
You wasted years.
You wasted energy.
You wasted growth.
You wasted progress.

Here, one becomes cynical as they look at other people’s progress and say things like “must be nice” or makes up an excuse as to why someone else created success as Lisa Nichols says:

“You make me extraordinary because it lets you off the hook.”

So, how can you tell whether you have real dreams versus fantasies?

You don’t have to sit down and analyze your life with a therapist or life coach —examine your life with ruthless honesty:

If you’re not making real progress towards your dream —you don’t have one.

Here’s an example of real dreams versus fantasies in my own life:

For years, I had a “fantasy” of becoming a writer, having a book deal and selling thousands of copies of my books.

But guess what?

I wasn’t writing.
I wasn’t publishing.
I wasn’t being rejected.
I wasn’t embracing the suck.
I wasn’t dealing with the doubt.
I wasn’t comparing myself to others.

Until one day, I had enough —the pain of untapped potential started to eat me up inside.

So, let me ask you:

Do you have a dream or a fantasy?