GA Anderson writes about mystical and psychological symbol interpretations and how to apply them to your dreams.
What Does It Mean When You Dream You Are Falling?
Many people experience dreams about falling, so you are not alone. This does not mean your dream isn't an important message from your subconscious.
Although this is one of the most frequently experienced dreams, it doesn't always mean the same thing for everyone: It is the context of the falling that determines the dream's unique and special meaning for you.
How you fall in a dream matters for its interpretation.
- Is it a quick fall or a slow-motion fall?
- Are you falling from a standing position or off of something taller?
- Are you falling into something unknown (like water, clouds, or a dark abyss) or into something you can see?
- Were you pushed or was it an accident?
- What was your emotional response to falling? Were you terrified, embarrassed, confused, or ...?
- How did the fall end ... or did you wake up before you landed?
These questions are about the context of your dream, and it is their answers that will decode the meaning of your dream as it applies specifically to you.
Possible Interpretations of What a Falling Dream Means
- You're just falling asleep. Sometimes, falling asleep triggers your mind to imagine that you're actually falling through space. This usually results in something called a hypnic jerk where the dreamer jumps and wakes themself up again.
- You're feeling vulnerable. In your interpersonal relationships, at work, or health-wise, you may be feeling unsteady and unsafe.
- You're having control issues. Perhaps you are trying too hard to control things that are out of your control, or maybe you are overwhelmed with the desire for more control over chaotic life events.
- You feel lost or disconnected. Maybe you lack connection or feel like you have nothing or no one to hold on to.
- Fear of the unknown; insecure feelings about the future. If you're plummeting like a stone into a dark abyss, that may be a sign that you're afraid of what's to come.
- Disintegration. You might feel like your life is falling apart, that your future is crumbling, or you're headed toward annihilation.
- Loss. It might be a sign of your concerns about losing status, losing your reputation, losing approval, or losing a relationship. It may be triggered by a recent loss of some kind.
- Depression. You're falling down, down, down into deep, dark hole. It's a metaphor for becoming depressed.
- Needing help. You reach out for assistance, but all you feel is empty air.
- Freedom. Not all dreams about falling are negative. Sometimes, the fall is neutral or even pleasant. You may dive, hover, or free-float without fear.
The One Thing Dream Interpreters Agree On
There is no one way to interpret a dream about falling. However, there is one common interpretation shared by all dream analysts—that dreaming about falling is always connected to something you are experiencing in your waking life.
The emotions you feel in your dream are a clue to that waking-life meaning. Fear or terror, embarrassment or humiliation, or even expectancy, can all indicate your real inner feelings about whatever it is in your life that is coming out in your dream.
How to Understand Your Dream
Traditional dream symbol meanings and interpretations are always general because they have to be. Without looking at the unique details of a specific dream, there can't be a specific meaning decoded for yours.
That is why the context and circumstances of your dream are so important to understanding it.
Think about the whole picture of your dream. Was it so bad you thought you were falling to your death ... or were you just falling off of a chair? Did you feel terror ... or embarrassment? Did your fall end or did your dream end before you landed?
Keep these questions in mind as you read through these interpretations to decode what your dream means. And most importantly, keep in mind that your dream is really a subconscious message from yourself. Deep down, you know the answer, you just have to uncover your understanding.
The Most Common Dreams of Falling
- Falling into an abyss or from a great height
- Falling out of something (an airplane) or off of something (like a building)
- Tripping or losing your balance
- Being pushed
- Losing your grip
How Are You Falling in Your Dream?
Falling Into a Deep Hole or From a Great Height
Both are about fear, but the abyss indicates an unknown and the great height indicates a known ending. Although the fear of the abyss is a mortal fear (a fear of dying or being killed), that doesn't mean that you will die—it just indicates the strength of the fear.
The fear of falling from a great height could be just an anticipatory fear, a fear of what will happen at the end. This could be related to an ongoing life event of which you are unsure of the turnout—an ending you are expecting, but not sure of.
Examples are falling ...
- from a cliff's edge into a pit or dark valley
- from the sky at night (a deep hole) or during daylight (a great height)
- from a tall building
- into a dark ocean
- from an airplane
- off a tower
- from a mountain top
Falling Out or Off of Something
From falling out of a moving car to falling off a chair (or even off an animal you were riding), this inner message represents an unexpected event in your waking life. You thought things were fine and were shocked to find out they weren't. Or maybe you were expecting one result and something completely different happened.
Like all dream symbols, what this one means is highly dependent on the other parts of your dream. Ask yourself:
- What you were falling from or out of, and what might that thing represent to you? For example, if you fell off your desk at work, the dream is likely connected to your job situation.
- How did you land? Did you land and roll (and roll, and roll) or did you land on your feet? The landing likely represents your subconscious predictions of how your fear will affect your life.
- Was the fall more of an embarrassment than an injury? This is great information for you to use to interpret your dream's meaning. Maybe there was (or you are anticipating) an embarrassing moment in your personal life, or perhaps a jarring and unexpected event in your work life?
Looking at these questions will help you find the meaning of your dream by prompting you to consider your subconscious reactions to events that are happening in your waking life. Compare the "big picture" of your dream to recent events in your life. You subconscious fills your dream with clues, you just have to notice what they are.
Common Dreams of Falling Off or Out of Something
Examples are falling off of...
- a chair (or something you are sitting on)
- a swing
- a horse (or other animal)
Or falling out of...
- the sky
- a car or train
- a tree
These dreams usually indicate a less serious concern, but still something jarring and out-of-the-ordinary. You inner message might be more about embarrassment than hurt, or it might be a message that you will soon recover from it.
Falling out of something in your dream could be pointing to feelings of loss of control, or losing your grip on something. Think of those events in your life that you are struggling to control. Is a work task proving more difficult than you thought, or is a personal relationship going differently than you wanted or expected?
Is the Falling Endless? Do You Never Land?
Most dream interpreters agree that if your falling never ends, or if you wake up before it ends, it indicates a life situation that you feel helpless to control. Not only do you not know how it will end, you feel you have no control over the outcome.
Tripping or Losing Your Balance in a Dream
This dream is almost always about loss of control. It indicates you may feel you were in control but somehow stumbled and aren't handling things so well now. If the tripping or losing your balance is not triggered by anything outside of you, this is probably a message that the source of the problem lies within you.
In your dream, what did you trip over, or what were you doing when you lost your balance? The context and details will guide you to understanding if your dream is about something in your personal or your work life.
Also important is whether you fell or recovered. Did you trip and just embarrassingly recover, or did you fall down? Did you regain your balance? These answers could help you understand more about your subconscious fears.
If there was a positive resolution, your dream may be telling you that things will be okay, that this is not a major thing. You will (or have) recover without any serious consequences.
What If You Dream of Being Pushed?
This dream is often about betrayal. Dreaming that you are falling because you were pushed is a clear message that you have feelings that someone has betrayed you...or will.
Personally, this could relate to a relationship change that has been forced upon you, or professionally, it could represent your feelings about the actions of a co-worker or a new task assignment. In both cases, you are holding feelings that it (whatever the "it" is) is not your fault, but someone else has forced you into it.
Compare your dream to recent life events: Does something stand out?
What If You Fell Because You Lost Your Grip?
You were trying to hold on, but you couldn't. In your dream you just didn't have the strength. Whatever it was—a building ledge, a cliff's edge, a rope, or even another's hand—your strength gave out, your grip slipped, and you fell.
All of these symbolizations show that your inner self doesn't feel strong enough to deal with the problem. You just have to look at the context of your dream for clues to what the problem is.
One sure interpretation, regardless of the life event it relates to, is that you feel you need more support. Either from circumstances, (such as needing more time or information), or from friends, a relationship partner or co-workers.
Is there something in your waking life that fits that description? If so, look to the other parts of your dream to confirm you are on the right path to understanding.
The Real Meaning of Your Dream Depends on You
When dreamers speak with many interpreters to discuss all the parts of their dream surrounding the falling, these interpretations are usually consistent, but you can't just pick one off the page and be sure it is the one meaning of your dream.
It is up to you—either by yourself, or with an interpreter—to look at all aspects of your dream. More than just knowing what you were falling from, it is important to know if and how you landed, how you felt while you were falling, and whether you felt the falling was because of something you did or something out of your control.
Feel free to add your comments about your dream about falling.
Tripping and Falling: Two Most Common Dreams
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2019 ga anderson
What Was Your Dream About? Join the Conversation Below
Jayson on August 17, 2020:
I dreamt i was falling and landed on my feet. What does that mean?
Letisha nan on June 24, 2020:
I always dream when am in the forest.. Different times at the same place.. Who can help me the meaning
Suraj on October 15, 2019:
Actually in my dream I was walking on a floor kinda watered it's slippery I can feel that but after 2-3 steps I slip down on the ground and somebody lifts me up and I just walk out of there this is actually first part