5 Hard Truths About the Heartbreaking Fantasies We Tell Ourselves


Angel Chernoff

We stress ourselves out… because of fantasies.

We procrastinate to the point of failure… because of fantasies.

We get angry with others, with ourselves, and with the world at large… because of fantasies.

We miss out on many of life’s most beautiful and peaceful moments… because of fantasies.

We – yes, all of us – break our own hearts far too often because of the fantasies we tell ourselves. That might seem hard to believe at first, so let’s look at some common examples…

  • When we wake up and immediately start fantasizing and worrying about all the things we have to do, we aren’t really doing anything but adding stress to an otherwise pleasant morning.
  • When we fear the potential of failure, and we procrastinate in response to our fear, our fearful fantasies force us to miss great opportunities for success.
  • When someone upsets us, this is often because they aren’t behaving according to our fantasy of how they “should” behave. The frustration, then, stems not from their behavior but from how their behavior differs from our fantasy.
  • When we think about making a healthy change in our lives (like getting in shape), we are initially inspired by the fantasy of what life will feel like while we’re getting healthier, but… that’s not reality. So when the reality of working hard to exercise and eat right surfaces, and it doesn’t match up with our inspiring fantasy, we give up.
  • When we move through our days, our minds are stuck fantasizing about other times and places, and so we miss the pleasant surprises and simple pleasures surrounding us.
  • And the list goes on…

Of course, sometimes we get out of our own heads long enough to focus on the present and make the best of it, but it’s NOT often enough. And we need to be reminded of this reality…

Hard Truths Worth Remembering

Our course students come to us almost every day with questions and concerns that ultimately pertain to the disparity between their fantasies and the realities they’re faced with. And while their personal circumstances tend to vary, the hard truths they’re struggling to accept always overlap. Truths like…

  1. When you are lost in worry, it is easy to mistake your worries for reality, instead of recognizing that they are just fantasies.
  2. If you avoid action because you’re stuck fantasizing about the possibility of failure, you guarantee failure. And the truth is we all fail. But the greater truth is that no single failure ever defines us.
  3. It’s impossible to know what the future will bring. So your best bet for living is to make the best and most positive use of the present, by focusing on it and attending to it with care and confidence.
  4. You will end up very disappointed if you expect people will always do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.
  5. Good things don’t come to those who patiently wait. Good things come to those who are patient… while working hard for what they want most in life.

And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track.


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