6 Excuses That Hold You Back From Success (and What to Do About Them)

Think about the craziest dream you’ve ever had.

No, I’m not talking about the “dream” that comes to you when you sleep. I’m talking about the dream that keeps you from sleep; the one that, in a perfect world, can be achieved with zero effort.

Then, list the things that keep you from achieving that dream.

If you’re like most people, your list would be roughly as long as the Nile River. Also, most of the items would follow a pattern similar to the ones below:

“It’s Too (Blank)”

“Too Hard.” “Too Unrealistic.” “Too Simple.”

Do you often use these phrases to describe your dreams? Because I’ve got news for you: The more you tell yourself that something isn’t possible, the more likely that “something” will be impossible.

Luckily, it works the other way around, too. If you believe, with every fiber of your being, that something is doable, you’ll always find a way to do it.

“I’m Not (Blank) Enough”

When you say your dream is “too (blank),” you’re pinning the blame on your dream. When you say you’re “not (blank) enough,” you’re pinning the blame on yourself.

Stop it.

Stop blaming yourself for not being rich/smart/beautiful enough. Stop blaming yourself for things out of your control. Stop blaming yourself, when you could be doing something more productive with your time.

You’re better than that. You’re better than someone who chooses to wallow in self-pity, instead of taking a deep breath and shouting, “Okay, let’s do this!” Because you CAN do it! 

“I Don’t Have (Blank)”

It’s always about not having something, isn’t it? Not enough money, not enough time, not enough talent.

Well, why not make the effort to chase after those things you don’t have? For example, if you feel like you don’t have enough skills to do your job, you can always find ways to further your education. To start your journey, you need to ask yourself what your goals are and what is needed to achieve it.

Better yet, why not forget about what you don’t have, focus on what you do have, and work from there? You always have the chance to start a new journey, you just have to ask yourself what your goals are and what is needed to achieve them – then go after them!

“It’s Not My Fault That I’m (Blank)”

Refusing to blame yourself, however, is not the same as refusing to take responsibility for anything.

Acknowledge your faults, yes. But don’t use those faults as excuses for not achieving anything. Find a way to work around them, or take a leaf from the books of the world’s most famous people who achieved success despite their disabilities.

“I Screwed up Before; I’m Going to Screw up Again”

There’s nothing you can do about what happened before. But there’s much you can do about what’s yet to happen. Let it go.

If you can’t let go, do this little exercise: Write down every detail of your previous screw-up. Then, file it away in a drawer, or crumple it up and toss it into the trash bin. You’ll feel a lot better, trust me.

“I’ll Do This Some Other Time”

So, you finally want to do somethi- wait a minute. What do you mean, you’re only going to do it tomorrow?

You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. If you don’t find a way to do it now, what makes you think tomorrow will be any different?

Now What?

Stop dilly-dallying. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Or stay in your comfort zone, and spend the rest of your life wondering “What if?” Either choice is fine, actually; choose to do what will fulfill you. All I can say is, the option that takes you out of your comfort zone is the more exciting option.


Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and blogger sharing advice on self-improvement, career development, and everything in-between. Follow her for more inspiration @SarahLandrum


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.

One Response to 6 Excuses That Hold You Back From Success (and What to Do About Them)

  1. Akash says:

    ya it will be a important 6 excuses that hold you back, Great i like the style of your writing in this blog keep sharing more.

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