Dreams: What Do Inadequacy Dreams Mean?

Photographer: Javier Bano

First of all, what do we mean by inadequacy dreams?  An inadequacy dream would be one in which you dream that you are either:

  • too fat
  • too thin
  • too old
  • too young
  • too unattractive
  • too sick
  • too forgetful
  • not smart enough
  • not tall enough
  • too tall
  • overqualified
  • under qualified
  • and on and on and on!

Basically, any dream in which you disappoint yourself, scare yourself, or fail to meet your expectations is an inadequacy dream.

Here’s a recent inadequacy dream submitted for analysis: Dreaming About Forgetting

I am a 52 year old mother of 2 boys (one’s 12 and the other is 21).  I had a dream a week ago that has stayed with me and is just very upsetting.  I dreamed that I was holding a baby girl and that she was my baby.  She was crying and had a fever.  So I took her to what appeared to be a doctor’s office.  The nurse working at the window asked me my name and I told her.  She asked what was wrong with my baby and I told her that she had a fever, didn’t seem to feel well and was crying a lot.  Then the nurse asked me my baby’s name and I couldn’t remember it.

I felt SO frustrated and scared in the dream (and when I woke up and ever since).  I was trying so hard to remember the name and kept thinking, “How can you forget the name of your own baby?”

Most of the time dreams don’t stay with me.  I usually remember them for a day or two but this one won’t leave my mind.  I keep feeling how frustrated and scared I was.

Now I’m scared that this means I’m losing my memory or that I might have problems with Alzheimer’s or something.  I’m just really in a bad place right now because of this dream.  Please help me sort this out so I can get rid of this feeling.  Thank you.

P.S.  Oh, by the way, this is strange – but somehow I know that the baby’s name was Victoria. It came to me just as I was waking up from the dream.



First of all, relax and throw out any left over fears and anxieties!   Very often dreaming about forgetting things is simply a sign that we need to slow down and start paying more attention to things.   It’s possible that you recently forgot something or almost forgot something and the frustration of that incident carried over into your dream.

Forgetting things is a very common thing – it happens to people of all ages, young and old.  It isn’t a sign of losing your memory or even of getting old – most of the time it’s simply a sign that you’re too busy or that you aren’t paying as much attention to details as possible.  Sometimes, in our work and at home, we get kind of lazy and don’t pay as much attention to details.  This leads to forgotten cellphones, keys, and sunglasses!

Most people just laugh at the situation – but a certain age group (between about 35 and 55) almost panics.  We tend to think, “Dear, God, please don’t let me be losing my mind!!!”  We don’t just hit the panic button, we jump on it.

Yet, if we pause and take a deep breath, we’ll remember that forgetting things happen at all ages.  After all, what about the time we forgot our school lunch, the time we forgot the dates for the history exam (!!!), the time we forgot to take the right notebook to class – etc, etc, etc.  If we would be reasonable, we’d realize that forgetting things isn’t anything new!

I do a lot of research and reading for another one of my websites, Out of Bounds.  It’s all about mental fitness, sharpening your mind, improving your memory, and just staying sharp.  I always recommend challenging the mind to keep it on it’s proverbial toes. Doing a lot of the recommended tips given on Out of Bounds will help you to not only stay sharp – it’ll give you confidence.

Right now, I’d say that a recent event (something small – like forgetting your keys…) has sort of smacked your confidence around – hence the dream.  Unfortunately, the dream only compounded the problem!

Rest assured that I’m certain the frustrating feelings will subside right away.

Other Inadequacy Dreams

If you’ve had inadequacy dreams,  realize that they stem from a particular insecurity.  If you dream that you are overweight, for example, you either…

  1. Have been feeling like you need to lose weight.
  2. Have a deep-seeded fear of becoming overweight.

Another interpretation for this type of dream – if you’re certain that you have no insecurities whatsoever – is that you “emotionally feel” whatever inadequacy is portrayed in the dream.  For example, if you dream you are incredibly ugly – yet don’t feel at all unattractive, you could have recently acted “ugly” and have guilt over your actions.

If you dream that you are overweight – yet you know you are a perfect size – you may feel like you’re “carrying too much weight” at the office, at school, or at home.

Finally, don’t ever let a mere dream shake your confidence or your swagger.  Dream Prophesy is all about USING your dreams as self help and self improvement vessels.  It’s the whole reason I put the website up in the first place!  We can take our dreams and use them as springboards to improving our lives.  If you dream of a particular inadequacy – put a little extra effort into chasing away the insecurities and watch your confidence soar!

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