The 8 Core Excuses Standing Between You And Your Dreams

Core Excuses - Black and White Landscape

We all have our excuses. They feel unique to each one of us, but in reality, we all deal with the same core excuses.

Excuses are imaginary walls standing between you and your dreams.

They can keep you from writing that book, playing guitar, starting a blog, or traveling the world.

If following your passion was easy, everybody would skip right along to their goals.

The more real your excuses seem, the more you’re onto something meaningful. It’s a sign that you’re on the right path.

Now, let’s have a look at the eight core excuses.

1. I Don’t Have Time

We all have the same amount of time to work with. Some have demanding corporate jobs. Some have hungry mouths to feed. Others have all the time in the world.

But that doesn’t mean that you should let time stop you from doing what you want. So what if you only have 60 minutes per day to work on your passion?

If you don’t start now, when will you?

It’s easy to believe that if you had more time, you’d make more things happen, but reality doesn’t work like that.

You see, there’s something called Parkinson’s Law that states: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

What this means is that even if you have more time, you’ll tend to fill that time with the same amount of work.

I saw this happen in my life when I started working online full-time. I had more time on my hands, but I didn’t get more done.

If you have a job and a family, you will obviously have less time on your hands than a 20-something.

But this shouldn’t keep you from taking action. You can always find time to do what you want. It all depends on how badly you want something.

If fear keeps you from doing something, then time is a handy excuse, isn’t it?

2. What About My Family / Friends / Kids

When you embark on your path to greatness, there will always be people that will stand in opposition.

It’s not personal. They oppose you because you’re challenging their belief system. You’re showing them, through your actions, that you can follow your heart.

Often when you’re just about to start, you’ll be completely alone, because no one believes you can do it. You have to be willing to stick out the inertia of the beginning stages.

The journey may be brutal at times, but the harder it gets, the more you grow.

As you start moving towards your passion, some of your friends will naturally fall away. They just aren’t a good fit for you anymore, and that’s okay.

The only real thing you can focus on is where your heart is taking you. The rest is up to life.

3. I Don’t Know How

Making your passion a reality seems difficult, especially when you start bumping into all the technical obstacles for getting a website up, getting traffic, creating products and so on.

The good news is that there are plenty of tutorials, guides and mentors out there that are more than happy to help you out with whatever problems you may have.

In the end, all excuses are just excuses. You can easily find the information you need. You may not know how to do everything right now, but you can learn.

I didn’t know how to make money online when I started in late 2006, but I now make enough to live wherever I want.

I gradually learned how to build an online business. I had a tornado of doubts and fears whirling around in my head, but I kept learning one thing at a time, and applying what I learned.

I didn’t wake up one day knowing what to do. No one gave me a map. I had to figure things out. I had to pave my own path.

4. I Don’t Have Money

Good news. The upfront costs for setting up most online businesses are minimal. You need a reliable web host and a domain name. That will get you started.

In some cases, you may want to hire someone to help you with the technical parts. If you’re feeling frisky, you may even want to join a course or community to slice a few months off your learning curve.

The important part is taking one step at a time, even if you have no idea what the heck you’re doing.

If you’re a writer, and you don’t have money, then write for money. There’s always a way, if you’re willing to start.

5. I Don’t Know People

I didn’t know anyone when I started, but I’ve slowly gotten to know some interesting people.

It doesn’t matter who you know. If you’re following your passion, the right people will automatically be more willing to chat with you. If they aren’t, they aren’t the right people.

We’re all human beings, and we crave authentic connections. Some successful people may be busy, but you don’t have to start smooching A-listers.

Start with the people you feel like you would want to talk to if you weren’t building a business. Be authentic and have fun. That’s how you would want people to approach you, right?

6. I’m Afraid

Fear means you’re heading in the right direction. Life without fear would be like tacos without salsa.

Fear is normal when you’re doing/learning something new. Somehow, somewhere we’ve learned that we should be fearless. We forget that fear is a part of our life.

Fear is not there to be gotten rid of, but to be acknowledged. I’m not fearless. I deal with fear every day. I doubt myself just like you. But I keep moving forward. How? I’ve trained myself to focus on taking the next step, instead of getting stuck in what if movies inside my head.

Fear will be there when you start. Fear will be there when you’re successful. The key to overcoming fear is to let it be there, while putting one foot in front of the other.

7. It Won’t Work

When I started my journey, I failed horribly. I spent $8,000 on coaching and even then I failed. Even with all these mistakes, I kept going, because I knew this was what I wanted to do.

Don’t get too caught up in results in the beginning. Focus on becoming better at what you do. Put in a lot of work. If you’re a writer, write a lot. Write blog posts, write stories, write guest posts, and read as much as you can.

The better you become, the more valuable you are to others.

But you have to be willing to be bad at first. You have to be willing to fall flat on your face. And you have to be willing to pick yourself up, again and again.

It seems like we all have to go through phases of struggle, where we grow both in experience and in wisdom.

So yes, it may not work right away, but so what? Do it anyway. Let life throw whatever it wants at you, but you keep going.

8. I’m Not Good Enough

Worrying is a habit.

Success isn’t going to change that, no external circumstance will.

The proof can be seen in famous people all around the world. They have the fame, the money and the success, but most of them are still searching.

Feeling like you aren’t good enough doesn’t make it true. Remember that.

When I write books, I have moments where everything I write feels horrible. I keep writing, because I know that my thoughts are trying to deceive me. As long as I keep going, I improve, and that’s what matters.

Conclusion

It seems that when we get close to following our dreams, we stop.

There’s always an excuse that keeps us from taking the next step.

I’m not here to tell you that you should force your way through, because sometimes taking a step back is what’s needed.

I’m here to tell you to pay attention to how you hold yourself back, how you give your power away.

You can always take the next step. It doesn’t matter where, or who, you are. You can always move toward your dreams, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to imagine them.

The question is: Are you willing to take the next step, despite the seeming boulder on your path?

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Comments

  1. Unbelievably awesome as always my friend :)

    “I don’t have time” is a killer. But holy crap, how much time do we waste on useless tasks and crappy entertainment every day? I’ve been growing in productivity recently but I still haven’t reached a fraction of my potential full output, I know :)

    Andrew

    • Indeed, indeed!

      I’ve also noticed that sometimes a conscious break is necessary to recharge my batteries. During this break I do nothing but unproductivize myself, although I do end up doing productive things anyway, like learning a language.

      • Yup! :) Did you read Steve Pavlina’s article about working one week then resting the next? I think this ties into what you’re saying quite well. I’m trying out something similar to this pattern just now.

        I guess doing things like learning a language are fine because they don’t have this sense of almost stress which things that involve your security or your big, massively important life mission can have. :)

  2. Henri,

    Interesting that you wrote about this since I did today as well :). When people make the excuse that they don’t have time, that drives me crazy because it is an excuse. I’m amazed that people want their life to change, but can’t set aside even 30 mins a day to do this. Yet, if you look at their lives there are tons of things that waste time.

    One of the things we’re blessed with today is the ability to connect to lots of people who are living the lives that we want to live. Not only that, they are all their to help and want to see people succeed. It’s one of the greatest things ever. i’ve spent a small fortunate on life coaching, internet products, etc and of course I’ve failed quite a bit before I succeeded. Good stuff in this post.

    • We all have our fair share of failures before successes start coming. We need experiences and failures to calibrate our sense of reality. Once it’s accurate, we start seeing results!

  3. Hi Henri,
    Yes indeed, the excuses we can come up with are endless. The bottom line is if we are not fueled by a burning desire we will be easily derailed. People will offer all kinds of advice on how to make money, become famous etc. etc. Anybody who has ever been at the top does not know how they did it until they look back. They were marvelously obsessed with their passion and did whatever it took to get there.

    • That’s exactly what I’ve experienced. Get passionate, get obsessed and let yourself be taken where you need to be taken.

  4. Joshua Noerr says:

    Henri, I always say exactly what you did. We all have the same amount of time. We have 24 hours per day. It comes down to how are you prioritizing that time?

    When people say “I don’t have enough time” I propose to them that they “choose not to spend their time in that way.”

    Cheers on a great post

    • I realize that some people are more busy than others, but there are always ways to free up time to do what’s really important.

      Thanks for stopping by, Joshua! :)

  5. This post is kind of useful except for the part about no money .You said when you first started your blog you joined Authority Blogger , how can that help someone if they don’t have any money or very little money ? Pity you did not mention a few free or inexpensive resources to help those who may not have $8ooo to waste on training. Lack of money is not an imaginary thing. It can be very real difficulty.You obviously have never been in a situation where you or your family has very little money or have unexpectedly lost your source of income

    • Heya Rad,

      Sorry about that. I presumed that most people knew intuitively how to find good resources.

      If you want free training you can almost always find something through Google and tutorials through sites like YouTube and Tubetorial.

  6. Henri,

    It’s amazing how many of those excuses I’ve used. Once told my brain to shut up, I figured out how to utilize the tools available to me despite being 100% poor (negative hundreds of dollars in the bank) and have been chugging along ever since. I truly understand the no-money excuse and I’m living proof that you can overcome that and pursue your dreams at literally no cost.

    This article really helped me realize how far I’ve come since I started this journey. Thank you.

  7. Richard says:

    Great Post Henri!
    I just think of how many times i have used these excuses in my life over the past few years! I think prioritizing your time is probably the most important thing. Once you are dedicated enough to set aside time for things you want to do and you are passionate about – i think the results will slowly start to flow!
    Keep up the fantastic work and thank you to all the other posters as well as their words of wisdom are also very encouraging.
    Richard

    • I’ll probably keep making excuses until the day I die. It’s not something I expect to get rid of, but being aware of how your mind works does help in making those leaps into the unknown.

  8. Number Six can be solved by saying hello. They say the difference between, you and a stranger is your name. So just say hi, and now you have a friend.

  9. Henri:

    What a wonderful post to bring everything into prospective. I think most of us, if not all of us, have suffered one or all of the situations listed above.
    I think what we need to remember is we can work our way out of these problems, if we want something bad enough.

    As far as what Blogging membership you joined or the amount of money you paid for coaching, I take your point as to say “Hey, the outcome was not cool, but I endured.” And Yeah for you…..many of us would have said “I’m finished.”

    Psychology teaches us that we validate our reasons for failure, meaning we tell the story why we “didn’t “,until we feel confident that we were justified in our actions, or lack of action whatever the case maybe.

    O.K. I’ll stop now, other than to say “thanks” for the words of encouragement.

    Respect to all,

    Peggy

    • Yup, the point I wanted to make with my failures and burning $8,000 was that you may fail horribly at first, but if you keep on keeping on, you may be surprised at the results.

      Glad to see you sharing your thoughts, Peggy ;)

  10. #1 is always a pesky thought in my head. I have to remember time is the common denominator, like you said, we all have the same amount of time. What I CHOOSE to do with my time is in my control and that is what I need to foucs on not what I cannot control

  11. Henri,

    Nice post and great blog – I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your site today. I’ve, at some point and to some degree still am, experiencing and battling some of these very same excuses. Thanks for sharing..

    Mike

  12. Great post – I definitely have made/do make each and every one of these excuses to myself on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes I don’t even realize it! You definitely called me out.

  13. Good list, I think you captured the most common excuses. I also want to tell you that the picture for today’s post is awesome. It’s a cool picture and captures the essence of today’s post.

  14. I have had those excuses before. What helped me move past them is affirmations – every morning I “brainwash” myself into getting over these excuses

  15. Great post! You really cover the gamut of excuses here. They are all very real though we can’t let them prevent us from taking steps toward our goals. We can always meet people and network, learn new skills, develop our ideas further, and develop self-confidence. I really like the point about not having enough time. You are very right, no matte how much extra time I have, I will tend to fill it with some form of “work.” Thanks!

  16. Good list, and it has a lot to do with managing self doubt. It’s easier to make excuses for why you can’t try than to try hard and potentially fail.

    On that note, I really appreciate you mentioning spending $8,000 on coaching! It’s really refreshing for a blogger to admit that some ideas don’t work out, and that you won’t be an expert from the start.

  17. Very nice, and very well written. I love it-
    Just to make things interesting, I guess I should add what MY personal fear is..

    “Achieving Success”
    ….Sad right? Hahaha-

    Not only that, but my whole life has been a very interesting one. One step forward, and always two steps back. I’ve never had an actual job, I’m 21 and I still live with my mother! Sadly, I’ve been working on making internet marketing a career for 5 years. I have not even seen a single sale to this date. Also have a very big problem with discipline… >_>

    I’ll be sure to keep read up on everything you have to say- I’ve got this gut feelin’ it’ll do me some good!!

    ~Cheers!

    • Not sad at all, Kevin. The fear of achieving success is a very common one.

      Look at it this way: you’ve found a lot of ways not to make a living online, which means that you’re getting closer to making it happen.

      Keep rocking!

  18. Carolyn says:

    Wow, all those fears are mine. But, I’m going for it anyway. I love your site. Everything I read of yours hits home. I have already learned so much for you. Thank you.
    Carolyn

  19. Hi Henri,
    Great post. Thank you. I love all the comments, especially that no one is quitting in spite of the obstacles they are having along the road to where they want to be. That surely includes me!

    I just ghostwrote an ebook on well-being (my longest one so far, 37,000+ words). It was hard to keep going, but it also transformed me. It gave me so much confidence. Since I walked through that fire, I have begun to look forward to whatever fires I need to walk through on the way to where I want to be in making my chosen, cherished dream come true. I’ve never felt that, and I’m in awe and so grateful.

    I learned two things in researching the book that will help me for the rest of my life, and I’d like to share them because they might help someone else. First, scientific studies in psychology have shown that we are “happiest” at the point where we are comfortable with what we know/are doing and reaching for something new (growth) at the same time. I guess that’s why we don’t quit in spite of the discomfort.

    Second, this is from Dr. David Burns’ “The Feeling Good Handbook” — Successful people succeed because they have a mindset about obstacles that people who quit don’t share. It is that they expect obstacles, assume that they will be coming, and meet them by stepping up their determination to succeed and their activity. To them, obstacles are no reflection on their capabilities but a natural part of life. Many people who quit see successful people as having innate qualities that make them succeed and believe they themselves don’t have them. It isn’t true. The difference between people who succeed and people who don’t is a mindset, and that can be learned. Cool, huh?

    Keep em coming, Henri. Good stuff!

    Diane

    • Congrats on the progress, Diane!

      Your two nuggets of wisdom were fantastic. I especially liked the second one about mindset. It reminds me about Carol Dweck’s book on mindset, and how some people see things as fixed (talent, ability, either you win or you lose), and some people have a growth mindset (failures are learning opportunities, etc).

      It’s interesting (regarding your first point) that when we’re starting something new, we aren’t comfortable with what we know/are doing, and we’re reaching, which in turn means that the beginning stages of anything will be tough. But not tough enough that you have to give up.

  20. ‘It seems that when we get close to following our dreams, we stop.’
    Hi Henri,
    It is this phrase which resonates with me today, perhaps you could do a post of this very subject?
    It seems that I am always feeling stopped from taking action on following my heart by some inner excuse or fear. It is almost like I have to give myself permission to shine before I can breakthrough into creativity! I have also used all the same excuses. Yes, I have ‘excusitis’! I must learn to trust my inner leadings and my right to follow them.
    Thank you for a wonderful post.

    • Thanks Bev!

      It reminds me of the Hero’s Journey in mythology, stories, and movies. We start off seeing the Hero/protagonist living a regular life, then something happens (call to adventure) where his awareness expands, but he is reluctant and doubtful. A good example of this is Luke in Star Wars. He sees the hologram of Leia needing help, but he doesn’t want to go.

      Then an event happens that burns the bridges, or that changes everything. For Luke it meant coming home to a burnt farm, which made him determined to “fight evil.” I find it fascinating how closely real life resembles the Hero’s Journey.

      This doubt we run into after finding a calling is normal. The event that made me determined to move forward was me becoming sick of my excuses. I saw myself hiding from life, and I decided to take the first step.

      This cycle keeps on going. We expand our awareness, we run into doubt, we overcome, we bring back insights, and on it goes.

  21. I started my blog about 2 and a half months ago despite feeling like my writing sucked. But in reality, no one has told me that, just positive feedback (they could be just making me feel good, but that’s besides the point), and even better, I just got accepted to write for Lifehack (totally didn’t expect this). I never knew I’d made so many connections with friendly bloggers as well.

    It’s been such an awesome start of 2 months, and I can’t wait to see where this is going. Like Steve Jobs says, you can’t connect the dots moving forwards, only backwards. I’m glad I took action and started the blog and got to writing.

    Great post, Henri. I do face #6 and #8 a lot.

  22. What I’ve learned from anything in life is to stop putting off things that you want to do.

    Hey Henri, Do you get down to Australia often?

  23. We really are surrounded by excuses. It doesn’t make sense to me why it is our dreams and the passions we wish to pursue that we tend to make those excuses for.

    Time and fear seem to be the ones to stick out to me. We all pretend that we have something more important to do, that our dreams can wait for other tasks the ‘must be done’.

    I think this post can help a lot of people catch themselves making an excuse. Excuses are so common that we don’t even notice them anymore. If you can at least start to acknowledge when you’re making excuses, that is a big first step.

    • It helped me a lot when I read that we are all afraid of change, even good change because it’s all change. So, now that I know that, it’s a lot easier to “feel the fear and do it anyway” — but I still procrastinate. But my mindset is a lot better, and I don’t procrastinate for nearly as long.

  24. Another spot on post Henri. I’ve experienced most of those – some I still experience (am I good enough for instance). Einstein is attributed with saying; ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting different results’. Whilst this is true, and sometimes it ‘seems’ like we’re doing the same things – we have to discern if actually what we’re doing is ‘similar’ things persistently. That is what moves us forward. It’s a question I ask myself often. :)

  25. What a great post! Thank you for sharing.

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