Tyler Kurbat casting dreams, not killing them.

Dream Killers: How to Ensure Your Project Never Takes Flight

7 fatal factors that inhibit creativity creativity and construction

Aspirations are incredibly diverse. From wanting to play professional sports to launching a business, completing a marathon to becoming a parent, dreams are big and bold and everywhere. But on the grand scheme of things, many never see the day of light because of a series of constant and predictable dream killers.

Sometimes the dream killers exist purely in our minds. Others are circumstantial and accompany a season of life. And some are negative people who, intentional or not, strangle the hopes of hopeful.

It’s my goal to call these by name in an effort to illustrate just how foreseeable and actionable they truly are. If you can spot them, you can deflect them. And if you deflect them, you can see those dreams through.


It’s a question of whether or not your dream is worth it. This will decide whether you’re prepared to put in the hours to make it happen, and rest assured it’s going to take much more time than you originally planned. These are the moments you’ll have to devote to the cause in spite of, or balanced with everything else in life. We’re talking about salvaging moments for progress that used to go to Facebook. We’re talking about sunrise hours that bleed into twilight. Midnight oil.


A bit of healthy skepticism is okay. It keeps you from going in too naive. But doubt is a killer. You have to believe in your capacity to succeed even when, especially when, things get tough. You have to believe in a fruition outside of your immediate circumstance. When the world says no, you say watch me.

The scary thing is that doubt burrows within. Though the influences may be external, doubt infects an individual and begins to inform every outward action. We’re all human, so moments of doubt will come and go, but your dreams are counting on you tossing doubt to the wayside in the name of progress.


A focused dream is an arrow. It needs only to sent.

Distraction dismantles that arrow entirely, shifting focus to this or that eventually removing the target altogether. And distractions don’t need to be large to be fatal.


Poor feedback and harsh criticism cuts deep to the heart of a dream. How quickly we cast aside our dreams when someone we respect claims them petty or self-indulgent. Or worse, we halt our progress on account of an outsider saying the same. As a recipient of feedback, try to distill the information into actionable truth and subjective opinion. Chances are, clunky as it may seem, most criticism has a hint of truth. A mature dream seeker has the ability to cast aside hurtful tones and leverage constructive criticism for personal growth.

On the flip, if you find yourself a giver of discouragement, ask yourself if the words you’re about to speak build or break. Do they empower or constrain? Uncontrolled, you may become the face of a dream killer.


Who or what stands in the way? Do not cower in light of their magnitude. Rise to the occasion and learn in defeat. Celebrate victory for only a moment and then transfer that energy into finding the next challenge.


This comes in many forms. Outright rejection is easiest to spot (like when someone straight up tells you no), but there’s also the subterranean rejection of a soft launch that doesn’t gain traction or an audience that just doesn’t bite.

When the world says not today, you say someday.


An expert has to have the humility to begin. A professional was once a rookie. You get the point. You have to be confident enough to get past the awkward learning curve if you ever expect to take flight. And if you’re lucky enough to soar, you better believe you’ll hit your plateau fast if you stop being human enough to learn. Yes, pride keeps the beginner from starting, but it also prevents the talented from getting stronger. Ego is full of blindsides, so kick your pride to the curb.

Read more stories of hope, redemption and reinvention by Tyler Kurbat here.