stop making excuses

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.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I relate most to numbers three and five. I’m a fairly practical person, so money is always a consideration and it makes no sense to do something like start a PhD at age 50 with an eight-year-old daughter.

    • http://storiesmadepowerful.com/ Arlen Miller

      Won’t get any younger. :) As the ninety-something lady said on why she was taking a Spanish class. Life is a one-time shot!

      • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

        Life is a one time shot. So true.

    • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

      I’m a practical person too so I try to spend money wisely. Sometimes when you look at a decision closely, it might not make much sense to do it.

  • http://mconception.com/ Rainer Proksch

    Most of us fear to take the first towards the achievement of our dreams. But we must realize the fact that all the successful people have faced all the problems before achieve their success.

    • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

      You’re right. The first big step towards a dream is often the hardest. But to be successful, you have to take it. Any problems you’ve faced have usually been taken on and overcome by others.

  • Adam Clarke

    Absolutely love its closing line, “Time goes by quickly when you’re waiting for the perfect moment.”

    I cannot express how many times I have tried and proven true this statement.

    • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

      I’m glad you like that line. I think it rings true for anyone who has waited too long for the perfect moment.

  • http://storiesmadepowerful.com/ Arlen Miller

    If someone doesn’t question you or think you’re wild or nuts, you may not be taking enough risk. I certainly wouldn’t trade all my experiences traveling to China, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, India, Nepal, and Canada.

    • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

      When I traveled to Asia, I had a lot of people tell me I was nuts too. But I too wouldn’t trade all those experiences for anything.

  • http://www.nateanglin.com/ Anwell Steve

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. I believe most of us tend to make excuses, but what’s true is that it’s more on priorities and procrastination There’s no excuse when you prioritize what you really want, thus, procrastination pulls as back to something that we want to reach. Do what ever you want and remove all the worries and anxieties that hinders your dreams. Take a risk. If you fail learn from it, if you succeed then go for it.

    • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

      Sometimes what we need to do is just take a risk and do it despite all the worries. It’s surprising how often those worries never happen.

      • http://www.nateanglin.com/ Anwell Steve

        You’re pretty right Steve. :)

  • Julia

    Hey Steve, you are right about most fears being in your head. I have been self-employed for about half a year now, but dreaming of it for years. When I look back now, I realize that everything that prevented me from starting my own business was in my head. Now I’ve overcome most of these obstacles, by helping myself (I do energy work) and getting the support I needed from others. It’s unbelievable how we can stand in our own way!! I’m so glad I took that first step, and then the next, and the next… Julia

  • Matt S. Law

    Benjamin Franklin: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

    http://mattslaw.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.suzieqsolutions.com/ Suzanne Jones

    ‘It’s easier to get around this excuse by taking a different viewpoint.’ I think this is key. Once we reframe things we see them in a completely different light, thus creating solutions. One thing I have found also about fears is…are they actually yours or are they adopted from someone else? Sometimes when it is recognized that in fact they are someone else’s, that once debilitating fear immediately drops away.
    Great post :)

  • Courtney Wilson

    Self sabotage is such a destructive thing. I struggle every day with it.
    http://lifecoachingadvice.com

  • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

    Good post Steve. I don’t need myself to tell me how not to do something. I can not do things very well:)

    I need to figure out how to make it happen. How to achieve something in spite of the obstacles. If you wait for all the conditions to be perfect, we might just be starting very late or be dead. lol Thanks for the reminder to get me going today!

  • Josh Emmanuel

    Great post! I like the idea of acting NOW! There’s never a perfect time – ya just gotta start! Action can kill a lot of that fear!

    -Josh

  • http://rpsmiles.com/category/latest-news Del Mar Dentist

    I completely agree to you most specially about the financing problem. Thank you for posting this. Do you have any posts that boosts motivation in achieving their dreams?

  • http://www.relaxfocusenjoy.com/ relaxfocusenjoy

    We always have excuses that could stop us from reaching our dreams. But these excuses are just a product of being a “negative thinker”. Change this and start practicing a positive attitude. With the right motivation and focus your dreams will be within your reach.