There are multiple reasons (and excuses) for why women end up neglecting their dreams. 2

from book Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals

Imagine what the world would be like if every woman pursued what she really wanted without worrying about getting judged or being plagued by self-doubts. Chances are, if just 5 percent of the women in the world were to fearlessly follow their desires, it would be an entirely different and altogether better world.
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, far too many women are neglecting what they want – and there’s a number of reasons why.
For starters, it’s human nature to crave attention and care about what other people think. If you’ve spent any time with children, you know that, as toddlers, they all begin to realize that certain behaviors result in adults paying attention to them. These attention-grabbing behaviors become habitual, and we carry them into adulthood in different ways.
Some children will realize that if they behave as though they’re feeling sick, adults will be kind and take care of them. This can easily turn into hypochondriacal behavior later in life. Likewise, many children realize that if they achieve certain things, they’ll get showered with praise. This can turn into an adult becoming a workaholic overachiever. So, whether we’re conscious of it or not, our actions are often predicated on how others will respond.

Compounding our already troublesome desire for attention and concern over what other people think is the fact that young girls are often raised to believe that their value is solely based on whether they’ll make a good wife or mom. As a result, women are developing behaviors that aren’t based on achieving personal goals, but on pleasing other people.
To put it another way: boys are being raised to pursue their dreams, while girls are raised to pursue what they believe is expected of them.

So, to break free of these deeply-rooted barriers that stop you from being true to yourself, you need to stop focusing on meeting someone else’s expectations. Recognize that it’s okay if one woman’s dream looks completely different than someone else’s, and stop making excuses for why you’re not going after what you really want in life.
As the author sees it, there are quite a few common excuses for why women are afraid to follow their heart’s desires. In the blinks ahead, we’ll tear down these excuses and replace them with empowering behaviors and skills that will get you on track to setting goals and fearlessly pursuing them.