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  • Sarah Dionne, MSW, LICSW

We Have All Had Dreams of Success

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

What happened to the passions and goals of your youth?


Why are you envious of others even if your own life seems just fine? There is only one true source of envy. Am I presumptive to make such an absolute statement? I don’t believe so.


The one true source of envy is the failure to actualize the self by denying its vision for fulfillment.


All of us have dreams. We have places to go, things to do, careers to pursue and so forth. We have deep desires that are born in our childhood and dreamed of in adolescents. Yet, the vast consciousness of our world is, unfortunately, one of deprivation and lack. There is a disbelief in dreams, identifying them as silly or impossibilities. There is a leveling mechanism at work carried forward by those that have not achieved fulfillment. Often, usually unconsciously, they rigidly “encourage” others to let go of their dreams and accept the mundane.

If one lets go of the dream and finds one's self in a place far, far away from it, envy can bubble to the surface

Parents do this, coaches, friends and so forth, “acting isn’t going to be consistent, you should keep your job and go to the community college like your uncle”, “social work is thankless and you’ll live in poverty, what about finance or business?”, “you shouldn’t go to Europe by yourself, and it’s too much money, spend your money on something more responsible”. Of course I could go on for pages… sound familiar?


If one lets go of the dream and finds one's self in a place far, far away from it, envy can bubble to the surface. The envy is directed at those that took risks, followed dreams and succeeded regardless of the dominant consciousness. This overwhelming feeling can lead to resentment and unhappiness.


A quick side note, what do I mean by the dominant consciousness? What I’m referring to is the pervasive and shared energetic belief in the USA which is, “life is arduous and we need to fight for what we can get”… which isn’t much.

why bother trying to change the course of his life? Why pursue something that is thought to be the impossible?

Envy is truly a difficult experience to live with. It can create both psychological and physical pain even leading to illness. It’s subsequent experience, resentment, can generate destructive choices from gossiping or overspending to addiction or suicidal behaviors. Does this sound extreme? In my practice it is a frequent occurrence, yet, usually the sufferer is in a state of denial. After all, he has been told his entire life that what he truly wants is unattainable… so why bother trying to change the course of his life? Why pursue something that is thought to be the impossible?


To acknowledge the foundation of his envy may be a difficult one to face. Regret may flood forward as denial fades away. Anger towards those who discouraged him may create a state of disillusionment. These two experiences are usually avoided intensely. However, it is my job to encourage him to release denial and face regrets or disillusionment with compassion. This is usually a gradual process of upheaval, which must be allowed to unfold at its own pace.

Focusing on our lack makes it impossible to have vision for our potential

There is only one source of envy. Yet I can hear the questions arising; what about envy of another’s beauty? Or envy of those born with silver spoons in their mouths? Or envy of those living in safer places or having more privilege? In response to such questions I first want to acknowledge that I do not underestimate the pain and hardship that some such circumstances can create. I also do not come from a world of privilege filled with pansies and unicorns jumping over rainbows. Life can be down right hard. My life has been hard. I’ve experienced some terrible things and endured nearly unbearable psychological pain.


My question is… why are you envious? Envy comes from focusing on what we do not have, therefore, neglecting to actualize fulfillment. Focusing on our lack makes it impossible to have vision for our potential. Becoming fixated on the lack of perceived beauty, money, environmental or racial privilege means that all you will see is lack. Overcome by the darkness of lack you will look out at the bright light of someone who was able to step out of the darkness to see and achieve their potential… and you experience envy.


There is only one source of envy. Are you envious? If you are that’s okay. It’s simply a messenger begging your attention. It’s simply saying you have more potential than you ever believed possible and it is waiting to be actualized.


If you are able to view envy as a messenger and, perhaps, even a gift of emotional guidance, you will be far more likely to make the needed changes in order to seek your own fulfillment.

inspiration can be fit into the busiest of lives!

It may also be that you’re not sure what your heart is beckoning for. It may have been many years since it was allowed to dream. If this is the case, where to start? How to reawaken your passions?


A jumping off point that I suggest is inspiring yourself! Read every book or watch every documentary you can find about those people who lived in the darkness and stepped into the light, people who had dreams and refused to give up until they were born into reality. There are many such stories available. When I watch documentaries (which is quite often!) I watch them in segments when I have time, inspiration can be fit into the busiest of lives!


It’s time to put your ear to the ground and listen. Your life, the one you dreamed of so many years ago, is waiting for you.


In my next article I will address some challenges we face while attempting to actualize our dreams, such as confidence and self esteem.



Sarah is a psychotherapist and life coach. She specializes in anxiety, body image, eating disorders, and trauma. If you're interested in working with Sarah, contact her for a free consultation.




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