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16 Excuses that Prevent You from Going After Your Dreams

“I shouldn’t write this.”

“Nobody’s going to read it anyway. So much has been written about this topic already.”

“What if people hate my stuff?

What if they get bored to tears?”

“What business do I have teaching them something? Heck, am I even qualified to talk about this?”

These are only some of the thoughts that usually race through my head as I am writing a piece for a client.

I am trying to write a blog post, and I have written many in the past but I can’t seem to start on this time.

I am drowning in the sea of self doubt and my mind insists on bringing every single negative thought to the surface.

Negative thoughts = Excuses in disguise.

And there are plenty of them out there – plenty that will arise whenever you are doing something important, something worthwhile.

Apply for a new job. Start your own business. Change careers. Publish content. Reach out to other people. Develop a product. Write a book.

These are only some of the areas in which the lizard brain will try to get you out of whatever you want to achieve.

And this lizard brain raises its ugly head in many shapes and forms. How many are you dealing with?

#1 I am not good enough 

It doesn’t matter whether you are new or a seasoned professional, being-not-good-enough is something that is truly universal, causing anguish in all creative souls.

I actually don’t know anyone who hasn’t been a victim to this mentality, the only thing that differentiates people is how they deal with it.

Next time, when you feel worthless, make a conscious decision to ask this question … as compared to what? Also, stop comparing your work to people who are dominating your industry. Remember it has taken them many years to get where they are today. Stop saying you can’t compete with the big names – nobody’s asking you to.

Hone your skill. Do deliberate practice. Put in the hours and play up to your strengths. You can always find someone else to do the job if it falls outside your area of expertise.

#2 Everything has been said/done before 

Nothing puts a downer on your creative mood like this one. You want to create something, develop a product, start a business, and the thought floods you – nothing is new.

It isn’t, but that isn’t the point. What is new is your unique perspective, your voice and the experiences you have gone through. Only you can tell your story and present something special to the world.

There is another practical way to deal with it. So what if everything has been said or done before, not every person has seen it. Not everyone will gravitate to the shape and form in what it was delivered. Perhaps yours will resonate?

There will always be people looking for more ideas, more solutions. When will you bring yours?

#3 I am not an expert 

In this day and age, this is the biggest cop out. So you are not an expert, yet, but you can become one if you truly desire it.

Google is your one stop destination for all your information needs, offering more than what you’ll ever need. You literally have everything at your fingertips.

Then there are traditional libraries waiting to be accessed. You have online courses, and of course higher education avenues. If you are worried that you don’t have the right credentials, go on, get certified.

Just remember, you might not be an expert, but the only person who is stopping you from becoming one is – you.

#4 Nobody cares about what I do 

Well, sometimes your friends and family don’t understand what your heart desires, and that’s fine. People initially might not support your idea simply because lack of understanding or interest. It’s ok, you can’t force them. The question is: Do you care about what you do – deeply, passionately, ultimately?

You think people won’t buy what you have to offer. If you are authentic, stand for something and work with the intention to serve, they will. It might take some time, but they definitely come.

No credibility yet? Glad you asked. Start with volunteer or pro bono work. Start gathering evidence that you know what you are doing. Bring all credibility building elements to your site, it’s not that hard.

#5 I don’t know the right people

Don’t have the right connections? Then make them. Nobody starts off with knowing people in high places (most don’t). You have to earn their attention.

Connect on social media – that’s the easiest way to start.

Send personal emails telling them about how they had a positive impact on your life and how much you appreciate what they are doing. Ask if you could help. Help without asking. First only give, never ask any favors unless you have earned them. Get to know people without thinking about what they can do for you. It’s more fun that way.


#6 I don’t have anything to say/contribute 

Sometimes it is easy to think that you are not a creative person, simply because you have no ideas of your own to work with. Or you fear that the ideas you do have aren’t very good.

This is the thing – you cultivate your ideas. You develop your reading habit, you start paying attention to things happening in the world around you, you pursue your hobbies or passions and your head will be brimming with more ideas than you know what to do with.

One practical way to have access to ideas 24/7 is to start a swipe file, which is just a fancy way of saying save everything in a place with an easy access, at a later date. My favourite tool is Evernote (free) and now I don’t have this excuse anymore.

Record your own thoughts and with time you will learn to see which ones are really good, and the ones that are not. Most probably won’t be.

Remember how we established that everything has been said already? Well, here is your chance to draw inspiration form others. Everything is available for the taking and there is really no need to reinvent the wheel.

#7 I am boring. 

You can’t please everyone, so stop trying. Trying connecting with people who matter and like you for who you are. Find your people. Share your ideas with them. Upgrade yourself. Stand out by being a 2.0 version of yourself.

 #8 I don’t have a passion 

You don’t wake up one day and break into a dance of joy because you have just discovered your calling (not usually, anyway). It takes a closer look at your life, your interests, your motivations and your drives to figure out if you want to pursue something else. Instead of using this as an excuse, talk to those who are already following their dreams. Observe and learn from others. Find mentors. You do have a passion – everyone does. You just haven’t discovered it yet.

#9 I don’t have the money or the resources 

You don’t have to have the resources to succeed; you have to become resourceful to do it. If you can’t have a professionally designed website, there are many low-cost options available. No money, well get an extra side job to fund your project. Start with volunteering if you have no clients and build up your portfolio or list of testimonials. You will figure this out if you just start.

 #10 I am not lucky

How about a little challenge? Ask any highly successful person how they get to this point and listen for their answer. You will most likely hear words like hard work, persistence, determination, consistency, right mindset but you’ll never, ever, hear ..oh, it was just plain luck. You create your own luck by being at the right place at the right time. And the only way you can do that is if you are constantly putting yourself out there.


#11 It is too hard. 

It is too risky. It will take too long Too many obstacles to overcome, I know. Anything worth having was never, ever easy. There is no such thing as overnight success. You’ll never know unless you try.

#12 I don’t have the energy 

You are too tired trying to accomplish your day to day. Maybe you have taken on too much or are just engaging in activities that don’t add meaningfulness of your life? Cut back, keep only what is important and let the rest go. Schedule everything so you are not tempted to take more on. Give up the unimportant. Start saying no. Rest.

 #13 I can’t commit now 

You have a family to look after. You have too many issues to deal with. Your spouse is going through midlife crises. You don’t have a partner. Your kids are rebelling. You want kids but can’t have any … The timing is not right for you now. You just can’t commit, I get it. When can you commit? Write the date and follow through.

 #14 I tried before but I failed 

So you give up? Failure is a bit like testing; you only get to learn what works and what doesn’t. Failure won’t destroy you, if you don’t let it. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

 #15 I don’t know where to begin 

What is the first question that comes to your mind? The second, the third …? Make a list. Befriend Google. Find out everything you need to know. Haven’t done anything like this before? No problem, you’ll find out soon enough.

#16 I’ll do it tomorrow 

You said that yesterday. Start now.

Written on 5/27/2013 by Marya Jan. Want to do things a bit differently? Want to conquer your dreams through an online platform? Marya Jan is a blogging coach who shows you how it’s done. Grab her free ebook ‘9 New Rules for Blogging: Grow Your Business with Little Traffic, No Connections & Limited Hours’. Like her on Facebook. She is very friendly.
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