You realize that you need to determine exactly why you are not reaching your goal Regardless of when you have this epiphany, You have to take a good hard look at your goal. You need to determine what's holding you back. Then you need to do something about it.
Let's say your goal is to climb Mount Everest. You've got the money. But health problems have arisen: Heart problems, diabetes, asthma. You can adjust your goal -- let's say to Mount McKinley. Or the Matterhorn.
Let's say your goal is to run for Congress. But you don't have the funding. The options: Try to spread the word without funding, try to raise funds, settle for something lower (Perhaps city council is in your grasp), or abandon the idea.
In every sense, there are 3 options: You can continue to pursue (although perhaps adjusting the goal), let it die, or kill it.
I'm in such a situation right now. At one time, I wanted to be a musician. But I had no talent for that, instead adjusting the goal to writing music and lyrics -- in hopes that one day I'd have a chance to see my works performed. But after 37 years, it seems likely that the day will not come. My hearing has vanished, the probability that I will ever hear my works performed is near zero.
I face the same choices as a writer. I finished my manuscript. It's been rejected more than a few times. I chose to try self-published. I've changed the manuscript more than once. I've changed the cover. I've changed the "blurb." While it is satisfying to see the work available, it is depressing to have no sales -- and I know how long the book has been available in one form or another. Unfortunately, I have no way to promote professionally, and I have no talent for promotion.
This leads me to my options: Do I continue to pursue the dream, do I let it die, or do I kill it? Or do I somehow manage to modify it to make it come true, in a more limited fashion?
I'm nearly 52. It's highly likely that I have fewer days ahead than behind. In fact, I suspect that 25 years is my maximum time left.
Perhaps it's time to let this part of the dream die. Or maybe I should just give it up entirely. Limited success is better than none, but right now even limited success seems unreachable.
To adjust the goal doesn't deal with the issues at hand. To let the dream die is an acknowledgment of inadequacy. To kill the dream is an admission of failure. Or maybe an admission of trying to follow a fantasy.
It seems likely that the dream is dying. Whether I attempt to revive it, let it die a lingering death, or pull the plug -- that hasn't been decided. But I need to make that Choice... AS I SEE IT.