Am I trying too hard too little?

So I heard about lucid dreaming about a year ago and it immediately fascinated me; I’ve always found dreams and the power of the mind so interesting, so I was super excited that such a thing as conscious dreaming existed.

Now I’m the kind of person who, when I get interested in something, I get really excited about it. For about a month I wrote in my dream journal every day (I have pretty good dream recall, usually 3-5 dreams a night if I set the intention), tried all the common methods countless times each, and spent hours reading lucid dreaming websites (it’s just so interesting!). But even after all of this work, I didn’t have a single lucid dream. Not one. I read a couple places it takes like 3-21 days to have your first lucid dream if you truly put your mind to it. Oh, and I put my mind to it. I thought I wouldn’t have too difficult of a time because of how vivid my dreams normally are, how often I remember them, and my being a fairly creative person. I was frustrated, but I kept trying. I’ve read a couple places that trying too hard can actually prevent lucid dreams. Could my intense excitement be making my hard work futile?

Although I can get very passionate about things, my ambitions seem to be sporadic. And so, unfortunately, after about a month I lost interest with my fruitless attempts at lucid dreaming and turned to other interesting facets of life. But of course, a few months later that motivation to lucid dream picked up again. And I’ve been going through this cycle for about a year. I know that things like lucid dreaming require persistence and regular effort, and I want to give it my all. But sometimes I just lose interest. Am I not trying hard enough? Does anyone have strategies for keeping consistent practice with lucid dreaming even when interest dies down a bit?

So yeah, sorry for the long post, but I’d really appreciate any help on this. Am I trying to hard or too little? And what can I do to actually keep these lucidity habits for long periods of time?


I was working on and off with lucid dreaming the exactly same way you did for almost two years, and then all of a sudden I could get them at least once a week on a regular basis fairly easily.
It depends a lot on how used you are to being aware and analyze your current situation in general, and trust me, right now you have a much higher potential to become lucid than before you started out a year ago.

It’s very important that you allow it to take some time, because it’s completely normal for lucid dreams to take a couple or several months of consistent practice.
It’s also important that you actually have something to look forward to in your lucid dreams - the lucid dreaming state itself isn’t really anything your mind can get a hold of, you need to have a concrete plan so you have something to feel excited about.
Try to discover any oddities in your dreams and ask yourself why you didn’t realize you were dreaming at that point, and decide for yourself that you will try to realize you are dreaming the next time you fall asleep.
Try to practice your prospective memory skills in real life, so you can easily remember to do random things in the future - for example, you could decide that you will look at your wristwatch or whatever the next time you leave the house, or anything you want, as long as it lets you practice your future memory skills.
This will make it much easier to remember to recognize the dreamstate the next time you tell yourself that you will do so.
This is known as the MILD technique, by the way.

I highly recommend that you check out this video series as well - the teacher, Tim Post, has a very humble and professional attitude to lucid dreaming and knows exactly what he is talking about, so those videos will give you a lot of good advice.

A few things I can think of: try to have FUN with your “normal” dreams. That will help get avoid too much frustration from not getting lucid and help DR. I’ve had ND’s that were many times more increadible than many of my LD’s. Another thing is meditation, check out video 6 (I think) from the (great) series Laurelindo linked above :wink:

If you’ve been trying for so long and still haven’t completely given up you’re doing great :wink: Keep at it and you will be rewarded! We have the rest of our lives to master it, right? :happy:

When I first started LDing I found it very easy and simple getting lucid by just getting the habit of doing RC’s in. I’m still using this method and I’m quite sure you’ll find that it’s by far the easiest way to get lucid. I know it doesn’t “feel right” for everybody and it might not work out for you doing RC’s but there’s atleast one method out there for everyone.

I’ll link you my favourite “beginners guide” in hope that you havn’t read it yet and that you’ll find it interesting!

Thanks for the reply, guys :smile: I guess one big problem I’ve had is a dream journal. I’ll put a lot of effort into it for a month or so, but then after that I just grow tired of it and stop. Sitting in bed detailing every dream takes a long time! (Especially when I remember a lot.) I know most people struggle with this, but are there any strategies you use to keep at it?

Wow I just noticed my typo in the topic name. Should be “Am I trying too hard or too little.”

My own tendencies mirror yours. Lately, I’ve been too preoccupied with my waking life to have much energy for my dreams these days.

Remember that the actual definition of a LD is simply that you are aware that you are dreaming. It does presume that you will then have control over the dream. Though I certainly desire LDs that are vivid and where I am able to control events, I do at least have LDs with a low level of awareness. These are dreams where I do nothing more than acknowledge that I am dreaming but then do nothing about it. They aren’t as inspiring perhaps as the highly vivid dreams that other people talk about but they are LDs nonetheless. If any of your dreams were similar in that respect then maybe that can relieve some of the anxiety you carry about having any LDs.

As for the journaling…maybe you should reevaluate your purpose of writing everything down. If your purpose is simply secondary to LDs (all you want is to establish the importance of remembering dreams, in your SC) then consider writing only brief descriptions. Write keywords and whatever details you think will be enough to spark your memory when you want to remember it. If the writing is its own ends (that you enjoy rereading all the details and being able to reflect, analyze and wonder about its meanings) then you have my sympathy. For I have no recommendations on how to save time. All I can do is suggested that you wake up earlier so you have time to write everything–that you set aside time in your day to write–or that you choose to detail only the one dream that seems most important or interesting.

Though perhaps I am not the best person to offer advice given my lack of current practice and efforts. Take what I say with a grain of salt.

/me clicks on Hedmalm’s link and starts reading

So last night I had a fairly detailed dream, but something interesting happened. I was in a city talking to this merchant guy. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I mentioned that he was just a part of “my feelings” or something like that. I don’t actually recall knowing I was dreaming; I just remember saying that to the guy, maybe as some kind of joke. But then again, it’s a pretty blurry memory, and I don’t remember all the details. I don’t think I was lucid, but… Any thoughts?