5 Excuses that Stop You From Reaching Your Dream

The moment you set your mind to pursue a big dream is magical.  It energizes you and excites you.

But as you start to make plans, things fall apart.  What looked great in your head doesn’t look as good on paper.

The thoughts that once filled your head with enthusiasm and motivation are gone.  Now all you have are worries and doubts.  You start to wonder if you should even pursue your dream at all.

Does this scenario sound familiar?  If it does, you’re not alone.

Thinking about worries and doubts can be demotivating and cause you to stop pursuing your dreams even before you get started.

But what if all you’re telling yourself are just excuses that aren’t based in reality?

We’ve all held ourselves back because of an excuse.  I’m no exception.

When I was younger, I wanted to travel abroad.  But each time I thought about it, I came up with a long list of reasons why it would be impossible.

How would I get around?  Wouldn’t it be too expensive?  Isn’t it dangerous?

Years passed before I finally took the leap.  I pushed past those excuses and bought a plane ticket to Southeast Asia.

Once I did it, I could see how those excuses had been holding me back all that time.  I could finally see that they weren’t legitimate obstacles; it was all in my head.

The truth is that every big dream can be knocked down and dismissed away by an excuse or two.  The key is to recognize when excuses are popping up so they don’t prevent you from living the life you want.

Here are some common excuses that will hold you back from your dreams:

1. There isn’t enough time

There are only 24 hours in a day.  That will never change.  So if you have a lot of things filling up that time, it can seem like an impossible obstacle to overcome.

But sometimes finding time is about re-prioritization.  Are there any activities you would be willing to give up?  Is there something you’re doing that someone else could just as easily do?

These are the kind of questions you need to be asking.

Making time to pursue your dream should be made a high priority.  When something really matters, you have to make time for it.

2. I’m too afraid

There are all kinds of fear.  You might be afraid of making mistakes, failing, being inadequate or just fear the unknown.  Any one of these can pop up and derail your path to your dream.

It’s important to recognize and deal with fear as it arises.  It’s natural to be a little scared of big decisions.

But remember that most fears are emotional, not logical.

Before I went traveling, many people said they were afraid of being assaulted or involved in a terrorist attack.

But the real biggest danger of traveling is being involved in a car accident.  It injures or kills more travelers a year than anything else.  Yet it’s also the travel fear people never mention.

Ask yourself if there is really something behind your fear.  It might not be as scary as you think.

3. I don’t have enough money

There might be a legitimate argument to make when it comes to financing your dream.  But look closer before dismissing your dream for this reason.

Often there are low-cost solutions that you might have never considered before.  Consider how much you actually need.  Put costs down on paper.

And remember, even if money is a problem, it doesn’t mean it isn’t insurmountable.  There are often ways to save a little on the side to fund your dreams.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

4. It’s not possible for me to do it

Sometimes your dream can seem unrealistic.  You might have high goals with huge obstacles that seem insurmountable.

The problem with seeing something as impossible is that people often confuse it with being simply difficult.  What you want to do might seem so hard that you don’t think that you could ever do it.

It’s not that it’s impossible.  It’s that you don’t think it’s possible for you.

It’s easier to get around this excuse by taking a different viewpoint.  Focus on why you’re able to do something, not on why you can’t.  It gets you off that “impossible mindset” and on to something more constructive.

5. Now isn’t the right time to start

The unfortunate truth about life is that there is never a perfect time to do anything.  There are always conditions, personal situations or environmental factors for not doing it.

Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it anyway.

There are countless examples of people achieving big goals in the worst circumstances.  For example, the owners of HP and Revlon are big companies now, but started up in the 1930s when the country’s worst economic crisis hit.

If you wait for all the conditions to be perfect, you’ll always be waiting.  Before you know it, years have gone by and you haven’t taken a single step to make it happen.

Time goes by quickly when you’re waiting for the perfect moment.

Steve is the writer behind Do Something Cool where he blogs about travel, motivation, personal growth and adventure.  He’s always looking for ways to make life more interesting.  Get tips on living life to the fullest through his Facebook fan page and Twitter.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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