Successful individuals have learned to maximize their chances of success.

This includes spending their time with like-minded people who encourage them. And avoiding dream stealers.

Because no matter how independent, how determined you are, others will influence you in subtle ways.

Want a mediocre life? Feel free to spend time with anyone.

Want to live the dream (whatever it means to you)? Then you want to be a bit more selective.

Dream stealers: meaning

Put simply, dream stealers are people who make it harder to achieve your dreams. Some dream stealers try to discourage you on purpose, while others are simply people who are not meant for you, or who don’t share your same dreams.

The following is a list of seven potential dream stealers you want to avoid before they interfere with your goals and projects.

Keep in mind, your own feelings and intuition will usually let you know if someone is a dream stealer before you figure it out rationally.

Trust your gut and don’t spend too much time with those who give off negative energy.

Types of dream stealers

1. Negative people

One of the greatest indicators of happiness is our own thoughts and what we choose to focus on.

If you tend to focus on the good, that usually results in better thoughts, feelings, and actions. Do the opposite, and you get the opposite result.

Unfortunately, negativity is contagious, so by spending too much time with people with a negative attitude, you are likely to pick up from them.

Never be afraid to avoid negative people and all those who give off negative vibes because, again, they can affect your thoughts subconsciously.

Your dreams are a priority and you simply can’t afford to spend time with those who prevent you from going after your dreams.

Surround yourself with positive people and ignore cynical pessimists at all costs — they are dream stealers.

2. Control freaks

Every situation in life comes with a certain level of uncertainty, and human beings will respond to that according to their attitude and personality.

Some people tend to accept, or even be motivated by, uncertainty and/or unknowns.

Other people prefer to always gather as much information as possible so they can somehow control the outcome of what they do (or at least think they will).

But then there’s those who take it way further — control freaks.

And in the worst case scenario, their unhealthy way of dealing with the external world will lead them to try and control people as well.

Control freaks are unable to deal with anything that doesn’t match their own ideas; it makes them too anxious, and threatens their already fragile self-confidence.

Therefore they’ll criticize you, judge you, or try to change you whenever they’ll notice something they dislike or that’s not “right”.

This may include your dreams, and your path toward those dreams.

3. Past versions of yourself

Are you the kind of person you used to be ten years ago? The answer is probably a clear no, and that’s probably a good thing.

Although each of us has a unique personality and path in life, as we walk along that path we are supposed to grow and evolve.

And depending on which phase of our life we find ourselves in, there will be types of people that resonate with us, and types of people we are supposed to avoid or ignore.

So whenever you encounter past versions of yourself, or people who remind you of your past or old friends, you need to ask yourself whether they’re the right fit for you now.

What may have worked ten years ago doesn’t necessarily work today, and that applies to the people you spend time with, too.

And if you are actively trying to forget the past and move on, then chances are that anything that reminds you of your past, or the past version of yourself, isn’t beneficial to you anyway.

Remember: your dreams are all about the future, not the past. It’s perfectly fine to move on, to become a new person.

4. Jealous people

Once you set big goals and work toward them, results are basically inevitable.

And even if you haven’t yet reached tangible results, you’ve probably changed as a person.

The bigger your dreams, the bigger you need to become in order to be the type of person that aligns with those dreams.

So as you change, people around you will notice that. They’ll notice your enthusiasm, your determination, your confidence.

Guess who hates that? Those who are envious. Those who lack priorities and dreams and think it’s everyone else’s fault.

The fourth type of dream stealer is anyone who is jealous and anyone who will come up with the most absurd reasons as to why you don’t deserve what you have.

That’s the issue with jealous people — they are rarely honest with themselves, and attribute their lack of success to others. Because it’s easier.

5. Wrong friends

I have already written an entire article about fake friends, but that’s not necessarily what I’m referring to here.

I mean, fake friends and toxic friends are the absolute worst. But dream stealers could simply be friends who are not meant for you.

You’ve probably heard it already: you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.

True? False? I’d say in general it’s true. Human beings tend to model other human beings. It’s just the way we were programmed.

Think of when someone that’s seated next to you changes their posture, and you change yours as well, subconsciously. I’m sure it’s happened to you many times.

And posture is just an example. It applies to everything — your dreams, your attitude, your outlook on life. The people you surround yourself with influence you.

The wrong friends — friends who don’t align with your dreams, who kill your motivation — are dream stealers.

6. Naysayers

Whenever we work toward a certain dream, big or small, it’s relatively easy to lose motivation.

Our energy and willpower are very limited, and there’s always that little voice inside us telling us we can’t, shouldn’t, or won’t do it. And it’s not always possible to silence that voice.

We do, however, have the option to avoid naysayers — those who belittle our achievements and tell us to be cautious and never do anything great in life.

Sometimes they do that out of jealousy, and sometimes they are genuinely trying to protect us from some kind of risk that probably only exists in their own head.

But whatever the case, their toxic words have the power to influence our actions, which is why I encourage you to avoid anyone who hinders your growth and success (consciously or subconsciously).

Naysayers typically focus their attention on average people and average results (or their own), and tend to assume that the whole world is a reflection of that.

So if you’re after big goals and dreams, they’ll probably try to discourage you.

By the way, the word “average” is key here. And it leads us to the last type of dream stealer…

7. Average people

I’m being brutally honest here. There is nothing wrong with being average, but you can’t let average influence you. You can’t base any of your dreams on those who are average.

Think: statistically, the average business will fail within five to ten years, or it won’t be a very successful business anyway.

Now, imagine if every (aspiring) entrepreneur let those numbers define their chances of success. It’d be a disaster.

Whatever your dream is, it’s probably not what the average person is going after, so you can’t even compare yourself to them. You are not average.

And when you interact with average people (again, no negative connotation here) you should never let their life define yours.

If you have a dream, know that sometimes it’ll be a bit lonely on your way there. Know that you’ll feel misunderstood, know that some will label you as “the crazy one”.

Keep your dreams to yourself

Being a private person and not sharing everything with everyone has advantages, in general.

But it’s especially important if you have big goals and dreams, and are serious about protecting your energy.

That’s what I encourage you to do — keep your dreams to yourself unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re talking to someone who “gets it”, who you’re comfortable sharing your dreams with.

If you let everyone know about your dreams, although it can keep you accountable, it can also work against you.

Some people will ask why, some just won’t understand. And it’s okay. It’s not their fault by any means.

It’s just that your dreams are… yours. They are not anyone else’s. And you don’t need anyone’s approval to pursue them.

Good luck!