1. It is not actually your dream, but someone else’s dream. You are inspired by the energy of such a dream and have thought to make it your own, but if you are honest with yourself, you are not willing to put in the work to achieve such a dream.
I see this with writers all the time. They want to publish a book. But they don’t want to do the work of first becoming a writer with excellent skills. Or, they have developed excellent writing skills, but they don’t want to do the work of building a platform and selling their eventual book. Better for everyone involved if the dream is deferred (an exception might be the choice to self-publish, so you don’t let yourself and a publisher down).
2. You don’t have the skills to make it happen successfully. I dream, for instance, of owning a Poets and Writers House. But I have to put in some time understanding how to manage such a business first. Choice: defer the dream. At least for a while.
3. It’s more fun to have the dream than to live the dream. Sometimes I think I’d like to own a little cottage on wheels and travel the United States doing one Mischief Café after another. Being that I am a person who seriously values rootedness, it is questionable whether living the dream would be as much fun as having the dream. Besides that, I first created the Mischief Café as something other people could take up and enjoy.
4. The timing isn’t right. Maybe you have other obligations, many of which, if you admit it, actually make you quite happy. What’s wrong, then, with deferring your dream? Nothing at all. Defer it.
5. You haven’t tested the dream. Perhaps you’ve heard about someone doing something you think you want to do (live off the grid, for instance). Have you even planted a garden and learned how to preserve your fruits and vegetables? Have you visited someone who is living off the grid? What are their challenges in doing so? Okay, it’s not like you were going to go to South America tomorrow, but it’s okay to defer the dream until you’ve put it to the test with one small foray after another.