Image Credit | The Mark Consulting

You may think that sharing your dreams is the first step to successfully achieving them. You’ll have more motivation and people will be able to hold you accountable if you don’t commit to your goals. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. It actually turns out that you are less likely to turn your ideas into reality if you share them.

Here are a few things that happen when you reveal your dreams, to illustrate why truly successful people never do this – and why you shouldn’t either:

1. You’ll lose your motivation

Wanting something, and wanting something enough to work hard for it, are two very different things. If you are going to pursue your dream, you will need to spend a lot of time building up your motivation and getting yourself into the right frame of mind.

But sharing your dream could undo all of that hard work. This is because we gain a boost from sharing our ideas that actually makes us feel that we have started to achieve them. It tricks us mentally into thinking that we are doing well, when in fact we haven’t made a single step in the right direction.

There’s something very beguiling about sharing your dream – it’s almost addictive. But make no mistake, it doesn’t help at all with actually achieving it. Maintain your motivation and work on your dream in secret.

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” – Og Mandin

2. You’ll be dissuaded

When you share your dreams, you open yourself up to objections and arguments. People who mean the best for you might start to tell you that it’s not possible for you to achieve the things that you are dreaming of.

They might raise reasons why you shouldn’t even try. The unfortunate thing is that what they say will get into your head. In the end, you might find yourself thinking that they are right, and that you should not try to pursue your dreams after all.

This would be a huge shame, and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t even try. If you don’t tell people what your dream is, then they can never come up with objections to stop you in your tracks. You will be better able to move forward when it doesn’t seem as though there are a million stumbling blocks in your way!

“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” – Margaret Heffernan

3. You’ll have your ideas stolen

If you share your ideas with people who might also be able to achieve them, then you are taking a big risk. Let’s say that you are a developer with an idea of starting your own company and creating the next big game app.

You tell someone you know all about the details and how you think it will work. You start working on your dream, and after a year of hard work, you are almost ready. That’s when you hear that the app you are designing has already hit the market. Your friend stole the idea exactly as you described it to them and is now making money from it, and you will never be able to!

This could happen with any kind of dream. Successful artists and innovators know to keep their latest projects to themselves until they are ready to share the finished product and gain investors. That’s the smartest way to protect your dream.

If you want to be able to achieve your dream, you are better off keeping it close to your chest. You can find all of the motivation that you need to keep going within yourself – and you can hold yourself accountable, too. Don’t rely on others to help you achieve your dreams!

What are your experiences of telling someone else your dreams? Please leave your thoughts below!


  1. Thanks for the unexpected advice, James! This reminds me of the talk given by Derek Sivers on the same concept. There is actually a body of research suggesting that you are less likely to achieve a goal if you share it with others. You’ve provided some unique additional points as well. Thank you. 🙂

  2. This article is very appropriate and is something that I don’t believe many ambitious people talk about or even realize. It seems so easy to get caught up with our own ideas and feel such an excitement that we might feel a need to share them and blurt them out without realizing the potential consequences. Great work, James! 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating.

  3. I agree. More is at stake by not sharing and getting feedback in the early research stage. Better to fail fast and early than long and drawn out. Or better get that great early input that makes all the difference in leading you on the path to success.

  4. Thank you for your article. Although you make some interesting arguments perhaps related to protecting patentable product ideas my personal experience particularly related to career success is the exact opposite. First off, I think ideas are cheap, meaning most people don’t have the passion or determination to follow through with your ideas so don’t necessarily be concerned about sharing them. Stealing your cool app idea is a huge undertaking notwithstanding securing the funding, tech and marketing… good luck. Second, getting constructive or for that matter destructive feedback can help you fine tune your plan and sharpen you focus. Welcome the Devils advocate… embrace diverse points of view… better now than in 3 years later after mortgaging your home and now your in the Shark Tank with Mr Wonderful. Entrepreneurs and business people that truly want to ascend will have thick skin and will be fully self aware. If you can be easily dissuaded or taken off track then perhaps before you start pursuing your dreams you should do some introspection on your purpose and intention in life. Once a person has truly discovered themself it is very tall task to shake their resolve. Be gritty, be determined, be purposeful and most importantly feel confident to pressure-test your ideas and intentions.


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