3 Ways to Find Opportunity in the Ruins of a Shattered Dream

Standing in front of the ruins of a broken dream can be quite a painful experience. You begin to realize that all the hard work, pain and tears you’ve invested into your dream just collapsed like an unstable house of cards. One feels overwhelmed with hopelessness when looking at all the debris and wreckage that has been left of what was once an exciting vision.

It makes you feel weak and helpless. You might even think about surrendering to the cruelty of life. The following will show you why giving up is not an option in these situations. Here’s how you can find opportunity in the ruins of a broken dream.

Everything that happens in life comes with new opportunities for us. Even during times of great challenges, new windows of opportunities are being opened. Sometimes, the most rewarding opportunities come to us when we expect them the least.

However, the difficulty lies not so much in overcoming life’s struggles, but in seeing opportunities for what they are. It takes courage to accept that a door has been finally shut and will never open again. It takes even more courage to explore a new window that has been opened for you.

But if you do have the courage to see opportunities in failure you can benefit from it greatly. And who knows, maybe you can even use the ruins of your old dream to build an even stronger foundation for a much bigger dream.

1. Embrace change

There was once a group of philosophers who regarded times of great turbulence as the igniter of an inner fire which purged a person’s impurities. These philosophers knew that every failure would set you on the road to transformation. Failure is a transformational chance for us to learn, grow and make a change for the better.

Seeing a dream breaking into pieces will push you severely to the ground. After some time has passed, however, you will realize that you have arisen out of the ashes of your shattered dream like a Phoenix. You’ll realize that this horrible experience has made you a stronger person, wiser and more knowledgeable than before.

Seeing opportunity in the ruins of a broken dream is a choice. We always can choose to see change as a daunting curse, but we can also try our very best to see the opportunities that come with it.

2. Reframe the situation

The shattering of one’s dream can be truly painful. For this very reason we are willing to give everything we can in order to avoid this from happening. But if it does happen we tend to fall into a deep mental abyss.

Even long after the dream has broken, we still continue to resent about that which could have been, instead of accepting what happened and making the best of it.

Try to see the situation from a more neutral angle. Instead of reacting overtly emotional, try to carefully analyze what it was that led to the collapse of your dream. Synthesize everything you have learned so that you can avoid similar failures in the future.

Realize that the resent of not having pursued your dreams might be even more painful than standing in front of a broken dream.

Should we stop pursuing our dreams just because there’s the possibility of failure?

3. Know how it’s not to be done

If we look at a failure from the most neutral perspective possible, we will realize that it is simply the discovery of how something cannot be accomplished. Following this approach we can begin to understand that the ruins of one’s broken dream resemble important steppingstones towards the realization of success.

One dream might have been shattered, but life will go on and you will find even more exciting dreams to pursue. For this reason, we must not allow failure from discouraging us to keep pursuing our dreams.

Remind yourself that even though you’re standing in front of the ruins of your dream, you have simply learned how that dream could not be realized. Use this knowledge as the fundament upon which you can build a strong and lasting framework for a successful future.

Steve Mueller is a blogger who strives to inspire others to stand in their own sovereignty. Subscribe at his website Planet of Success to get the best strategies and tricks to make the most of your life.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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