Letting Go Of The Disappointment Of A Broken Dream

We all have aspirations of attaining our dreams and goals. Sometimes things may not always go as planned or as we had hoped for. Maybe your partner has left you and you feel heartbroken or your new business has failed after working for so many years. Experiencing a broken dream in your life can make you feel hopeless and helpless and it might feel as though it is the end.

So how do you move on from disappointments and start dreaming again?

  • The first step is to be willing to feel the disappointment and all the other negative feelings.
  • Write down all the negative and painful thoughts and feelings that are coming into your mind when you think of this past event.
  • After writing them down, ask yourself what needs to change and what you have learned from this experience.
  • This event is in the past, yet your thoughts are bringing it into your present moment which causes you pain.
  • Make a decision to let go of these negative thoughts and feelings and get support and/or counselling if you are unable to process them on your own.


This may be the hardest thing to do but it could help start the healing process. Try to accept this past experience as something that was meant to happen to help you grow. There is possibly a knowledge gap, abilities and skills that you still need to learn. Ask yourself questions such as what do you need to learn and strengthen within you to get a different result in the future?

Acceptance takes time and some days you may be coping well and other days and you may recall the event and grieve and mourn what you feel you have lost.  These thoughts and feelings are just letting you know that you have not yet completely let go and accepted what has happened. Remember that this is normal, it takes time and is all part of the healing process.

When your negative and painful thoughts arise, write them down, allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Then when you feel ready, change and re-write those thoughts and feelings from negative into positive ones. Write down what you want today and for your future. Focus on what you want. Eventually you will reach a state of full acceptance and you will start to dream again.

Invest in supportive friendship

Spend time with family and friends who will support and encourage you throughout the healing process because at times you might find that your self-esteem might have taken a knock. Friends and family will help you move forward in your life. Share your feelings and thoughts with them. Having a strong support structure lightens the load.

Remain Confident

Remember how confident and sure you were of your dream? It may be very hard but try to remain confident because your dream might have changed but your identity hasn’t changed and chances are you might have already grown through this experience and you are on your way to something even better now. Don’t let your broken dreams define your self-worth. As human beings, we have all experienced broken dreams

Switch from asking “why” to “what”

Often more than not we ask why our dreams died or why it happened to us or why we failed. This just causes us more misery. Rather look back only to see what you have learned and gained from this situation and how you can continue to move forward with your new insights and understanding.

Don’t be afraid to dream

A broken dream doesn’t mean it is the end of your life. Life is not a success only journey for any of us. This dream didn’t materialize, it’s time to move forward and create another one. You can look towards a new future and a new dream coming true!

Compiled by:

Nonkululeko Ngema (BPsych)

Nonkululeko Ngema (BPsych)

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