How to Avoid the Starry-Eyed Mentality With Your Dreams

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “starry-eyed” is: regarding an object or a prospect in an overly favorable light; characterized by dreamy, impracticable, or utopian thinking; having a tendency to be guided more by ideals than reality.

One might familiarize this with being a dreamer, idealistic, sentimental, or unrealistic. The opposite might be what one calls a realist.

Now, being idealistic is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a virtue. The dreamer type is often more pleasing to be around than someone who never dreams.

Avoiding the starry-eyed mentality is not an attempt to be pessimistic or to let go of dreams. Starry-eyed is too far down the path of daydreaming; it’s not in balance with idealistic and realistic, which both one should be.

When you become starry-eyed, you lose sight of reality. You’re not grounded, secure, and often times at the mercy of whims and changes in the wind. There are often consequences to that. Keep in mind and practice these steps to avoid it.

1. Always have a (more practical) plan B.

For every big, amazing plan you come up with, always have a back-up plan that is more more practical, sensible, and achievable.

Put your energy and effort towards Plan A, but give some percent to Plan B so you’re not left in the dust if Plan A falls through.

After all, things happen and everything can change, so be prepared and don’t put all you have into one straight shot direction lest you want the possibility of being heavily disappointed.

2. Let go of the things outside your control.

Oftentimes the starry-eyed-ness happens because we assume everything is within our control and therefore, nothing could go wrong.

There are hundreds of things outside of our control that can affect our plans. Accept and let go and focus on what you can control.

3. Learn your boundaries.

You have limits, and it’s wise to learn them before you dive headfirst into an opportunity that might be just a little out of your league.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be in your league eventually, but progress must be done gently and timely.

A downfall of being too starry-eyed is wanting everything to be done right now, and since that’s not possible it can lead to discontentment and depression. Pace yourself, and be patient.

4. Be flexible.

Keep an open mind for the future. Your starry-eyed plans may not play out the way you want them to, so don’t set anything in stone.

Keep ideas in the back of your mind for those times when circumstances slide a little off course. It can be easy to focus on one single future of your dreams, but that’s not practical.

5. Stay grounded in the day-by-day.

Being starry-eyed can cause you to innocently forget about the unavoidable responsibilities that require your attention.

A way to keep yourself grounded in reality is to take the time to handle these day-by-day responsibilities and establish daily productive habits like exercising or working on a project. Your dream needs attention, but so does your life right now.


It’s been said that too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing.

Being idealistic is good, but don’t be so idealistic that you forget that life isn’t a fairy-tale and it does require some grounded thick skin.

Image: iStock

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