5 Warning Signs Your Dream is a Fantasy

Written by Boni Lonnsburry
Have you been holding onto a dream forever with a hope and a prayer that it would (eventually) come true? Well, the good news is, dreams do come true (if you know how to make them so). The bad news is, fantasies don’t. That’s right… a fantasy does not become a reality. Lets look at the dictionary definition just to be sure:

fan-ta-sy /ˈfantəsē/

Noun: The faculty or activity of imagining things that are impossible or improbable.

ChangeYourThoughtsDreamSo, yeah… if it’s a fantasy, it’s not happening. But if it is a legitimate wholehearted dream, you have a shot at bringing it into reality (and much more than a shot if you know how to go about it). But the “dream” needs to begin real enough (in your mind), to manifest.I know this one well.

I was a first class fantasizer. My fantasies of becoming rich led me to make some extremely poor financial decisions. Investments that, had I had my head on straight, I never would have made. My fantasies of finding “the one” romantically and sailing off into the sunset led me to jump too quickly into relationships that were never in a million years going to be right for me. When the “dream man” turned out to be a “fantasy in my head man” I was left heartbroken and oftentimes poorer than before I’d met him.

Fantasies are not only a cruel and ironic side-step away from a real dream, but they can be damaging, both to your finances and maybe more importantly, to your heart.

What are the warning signs?

How do you tell a real dream from a “never to be made real” fantasy? There are warning signs that will tip you off.

Your “dream” is probably a “fantasy” IF:

1. You use your “dream” as a pacifier.

You’ve seen this all your life – in others, if not yourself. People who whip out their “dream” whenever they feel sad, bad or downtrodden. It makes them feel (temporarily) like it’s just a matter of time before everything’s OK again, because they have the “dream” in their back pocket, ready to manifest at any moment. The problem is, it doesn’t manifest, ever. But it never loses its charm as a temporary “feel good” (kind of like drugs or alcohol).

2. You aren’t acting on your “dream”.

Actions solidify our dreams in a number of ways. They let your subconscious know you are serious about the dream. And they let you begin to “try out” the dream in the real world. If you aren’t taking action, you probably don’t have a true dream, but a fantasy.

3. You aren’t learning “how to” and “working towards” making your “dream” real

William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”

I believe that anything imaginable is within our ability to make real. But dreams don’t just fall into your lap. If yours aren’t becoming real there is a reason for that.

Perhaps it’s a belief that says you can’t have it or don’t deserve it. Perhaps it’s a habit of feeling like a victim or “stinkin’ thinking”. Whatever it is, you can figure out what your stumbling block is and change that.

There are internal steps to take to make every a dream a reality. If you aren’t bothering to figure out how to go about it and doing the work necessary, the universe is likely not bothering to manifest your “dream”.

4. You aren’t even sure the “dream” is yours.

Yeah, this one bites. Imagine spending your entire life hanging onto a “dream” that wasn’t even yours to begin with. What a colossal waste of time right? So what might that look like? It looks like this:

    You “dream” of starting your own company not because you have a passion for being a leader but because that’s what your father did.
    You “dream” of going back to school for a masters degree not because you love the subject matter but because your older sibling did that and gets all the glory in the family.
    You “dream” of winning the lottery so that you’ll “never have to work again” (Ahem… perhaps this is the “dream” of your adolescent self, not the adult self. The adult enjoys and finds deep meaning in his/her work.).

Of course these dreams are not wrong in and of themselves… but if they are not “your” dreams or you want them for reasons you don’t feel OK about, you probably won’t allow yourself to manifest them.

5. You aren’t moving closer to your “dream”.

Don’t get me wrong, dreams do take time to make real. But eventually, they should become real. At the very least there should be signs that they are on their way to becoming real.

What does a “sign” look like? Well, if your dream is to double your income, a sign might be:

    You receive a call from a headhunter about a position you might be qualified for.
    Your cell phone company offers a combo plan for you and your partner that saves you $20 a month in fees.
    You clean out your car and you find a $5 bill.

Oh yeah, I know what you are thinking, “Wait a minute, how can that $5 be a sign? After all, I was the one who put it there in the first place!”

And yes, maybe you were (and maybe you weren’t). It doesn’t really matter. What matters is, you didn’t think you had that 5 bucks and then you did. That is a sign. You created that in your world. And it’s no coincidence you created it at the same time you were working on your dream of abundance.

You have to look for the signs in order to see whether the universe is delivering your dream. And if you have had the same dream for a decade (or even a year) and you aren’t seeing signs of it happening you may be deluding yourself.

What if the news is bad… and your “dream” really IS a fantasy? No need to give up hope.  Be grateful you saw it when you did and get to work. Here are some steps to shift a fantasy to a dream come true:

1. Decide whether you really want it.
Just because you’ve been lugging this dream around for years doesn’t mean you should continue to. Do some soul searching to find out if it really is still your dream.

2. Commit to creating it.
There are processes to make a dream real. There are books about it. Websites dedicated to it. Determine your path and don’t let anything stop you. If it really is your dream it is worth going at it with everything you have.

3. Begin acting on it.
Show the universe you are serious about this dream. Take steps, baby steps maybe, but take regular steps towards your dream. What’s the worst that can happen? Either you change your mind (no biggie—dream a new dream), or, you don’t see the dream materialize (again, no biggie—if it doesn’t happen something is askew, figure it out and change something… remember, if you can imagine it you can create it!).

4. Look for the signs that it’s happening.
If you are thinking about your dream with positive emotion, there will be signs. And when you see them, you will strengthen your knowing that your dream is coming true and your resolve to keep up the positive vibes until it shows up fully.

5. Find some help in making it real.
There is no need to do it alone. Help is available on this planet and beyond. First, ask your unseen friends. There is a lot of assistance waiting for you to ask on the other side. Ask for help from your higher self, god, goddess, your angels, your guides. What can it hurt?

Second, find some support among your seen friends. Find a mentor, a support group, an accountability partner or a coach. Seek out assistance and allow the journey to be more fun and more fruitful.

Having a fantasy isn’t a bad thing. Heck, fantasies can be fun—as long as you’re clear on what they really are—fantasies… and that they will never become real.But if you have your heart and mind set on a life you absolutely love, you may want to leave your fantasies in the dust. Because the power to create that phenomenal life you dream of, isn’t in empty illusions, but in a solid belief and knowing that you can make them come true.

And you can.

Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Boni Lonnsburry

Boni Lonnsburry is a Master Creationist and the author of the book, “The Map: To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True”. By applying the Universal Law of Attraction to her own life she transformed poverty, loneliness and despair to abundance, love and joy. And now she can teach you to do the same. Learn more at And while you’re there, find out if you are ready to create a life you love: 7 Ways to Know if YOU Are Ready to Create a Life You Love


  • Hi Boni,
    Enjoyed reading your article and one that I think a lot of people can relate to. People can gain a lot of comfort from their dreams and aspirations because they are unhappy with the current position they find themselves in. A casing point when i used to work in an office job before I started coaching people, i would always hear people talking about their dreams of starting a business or even something as small as starting a hobby.

    However when you look at their behaviour instead of their words, you find they may be unhappy with where they are but it provides security that going for their dream might not initially bring.

    I have certain dreams that I have that I call scheduled dreams because with all dreams there are certain pre requisites that have to be present in order to go for it. These are typically competencies and they are in motion right now (some would call these process goals). In the mean time I work on other dreams.

    Take care

    • Hi Aaron,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your warm response to my post.

      I like the name “Scheduled Dreams”! And I absolutely get the concept. I use the words, Core Intentions for overall dreams that include every life category, and Immediate Intentions for the dreams that are on the front-burner so to speak.

      Yes, some dreams are so big we have to break them down into bite-sized pieces, don’t we? But even a baby-step in a bite-sized piece is still a step towards that big dream. No one ever created anything without all those teeny tiny steps.

      One of our biggest challenges, I think, is remembering the big dreams while still being focused on the little ones, and staying present, in the moment, and in joy, at the same time. Not always easy, but when you get the hang of it…tons of fun!

      Good luck with your dreams, Aaron!


  • Reading this just made me realize that a friend of mine is living a fantasy. I want to just go tell him straight in the face, but he should discover that on his own, right? I’m definitely sharing this article to him! On another note, this made me think about what I really want in life, and I think good articles should do that. So Kudos to you, Boni. You made me reflect on my dream and how much percent of that I’ve achieved so far. Thank you for a wonderful article.

    • Jorge,

      Thanks you so much! I’m really happy my words inspired you to reflect on your dream. Such an important thing to do.

      As for your friend…well, it depends, I think. If you were my friend I’d want you to talk to me about my fantasies and how I might move them to dreams. But not everyone is open to that. Sharing the article is a good start, I agree. And then maybe start a conversation about your own experience with fantasies and dreams…and if it feels right, approach the subject of his (if he doesn’t go there himself).

      As always, your own life and the way you live it is the best way to help others. Not only do you give him a stellar example (hopefully), but as you raise your vibration others around you can’t help but raise theirs.

      Thanks again for commenting, Jorge.


  • Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your kind words. I couldn’t agree more… It IS critical to really think through “having” the things we “think” we want. So often people “think” they want something because they did as a child, or adolescent, or someone they know, or know of, has it. Or even that society as a whole holds that “thing” in high regard. But when it comes down to it, “the adult us” doesn’t really want it after all.

    And yes, we need to also determine what the consequences of that “thing” would be…and if we don’t like them, we can change the consequences by changing our expectations, or beliefs. Or, on the other hand, decide maybe this “thing” wouldn’t be as fun as we thought it would, after all.

    There are many “proving grounds” for dreams…the challenge is, using them!

    I will have to learn more about the Well-Formed Outcome, Chris. I have a feeling I’ll love it!

    Kind regards,

  • Hi Boni,

    I really appreciate your article. I think the topic is something that is relevant to all of us. One of the aspects of this article that I like is the section on turning a fantasy into a dream. And I think the first step is to *really* decide if that fantasy is something that you really want to become real. I’m a NLP practitioner, so I’m very fond of the Well-Formed Outcome technique for doing so. But, regardless of how one goes about it, I agree it is very important – critical even – that one must go through a process of understanding precisely what they want to have happen, and what the outcomes (good and bad) are of the dream coming true. A lot of dreams seem awesome, which is why we call them dreams. But the laws of the universe dictate that actions have consequences. Once the vision and the consequences are fully understood, then the dream becomes more real. At least to me…

    Thanks again.

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