We all have that voice in our head that tells us we can’t do something.
Or if we can, we have to do it better.
There’s always something wrong.
There’s always something to worry about.
Things are never good enough.
In this article we’ll look at 22 different lies that voice tells us, and how those lies are holding you back from doing the work you feel called to do.
1. I’m not an expert
You don’t have to be the best in order to teach.
You have to know more than the person you’re teaching, but the pressure you’re putting on yourself to “be better” is unnecessary.
Allow yourself to be both the student and the teacher. You don’t have to know it all.
2. What I know feels too ordinary
It feels ordinary because you know it. It’s completely counter-intuitive.
Focus on helping people and solving problems. Get out of your own head and out in the world.
What I know feels ordinary, but I do it anyway, and people appreciate it. The same will most likely happen to you, but you have to be willing to push your comfort zone and try.
3. I will look silly
You may look silly if you fail, but how silly will you feel if at the end of your life you look back in regret?
The voice in your head will try to keep you where you are. It tells you that you will look silly if you take action, but you already feel silly for being stuck.
You have nothing to lose.
4. What if it doesn’t work out?
If it doesn’t work out, you keep going.
You will make mistakes, but you will also learn.
The faster you can fail, while also learning from the experience, the higher your chances of being successful.
5. It takes too long
It takes the time it takes.
Either you commit to doing it, or you don’t.
Everything worthwhile takes what seems like too long, which is why you go after something that you enjoy doing right now.
6. I’m not a writer, podcaster or good in front of the camera
Everyone starts at step one.
Be okay with the fact that you aren’t where you want to be yet, then keep putting in the work, because that’s the only way you’ll get better.
To become great at something, you have to be willing to put in a lot of work.
7. I don’t know where to start
What do you want to accomplish?
What is the next smallest step you need to take to get closer to that goal?
Start there. Forget perfection and focus on gradual improvement. If you want to build a lifestyle business, grab my report.
8. I have an accent
Everyone has that one thing that holds them back.
For me, it’s my Scandinavian accent. It held me back from doing audio for a long time, but I do it anyway, because I feel called to share what I know.
Listen to your inner calling, instead of giving in to the negative voice.
9. I can’t afford it
You can start an online business for under $100.
If you truly want to do this, you will find the money to start.
It’s not that you can’t afford to start an online business, it’s that you choose not to do it, and that’s fine, but don’t pretend that something is stopping you.
10. I don’t have time
Again, same thing.
Yes, you may have kids. I have a kid, too. I’ve had to adapt since Vincent was born, but I don’t let it stop me from doing the work.
You get a lot of things done each day, so prioritize building a business that sustains you. If you don’t, at least own up to the decision that you choose not to do it right now.
11. I have to quit my job
You don’t have to do anything other than what you’re doing right now. Any reason that keeps you waiting for something is a lie. You can start now.
Use what you have and do your best. Nothing else is required.
12. I don’t have any connections
Most people don’t.
The connections come once you start. When you are ready to fully commit to making this work, everything else will fall into place.
You do not have to figure it out before you start. If you try, you will drive yourself crazy, so just start.
13. I’m an introvert
So am I.
I do what I can with what I have, and so should you. There are introverts out there making a living doing something they enjoy.
That means you can do it, too.
14. I’m just plain freaking out
And that’s good, because you’re pushing your boundaries.
But you’re freaking out because you’re trying to solve this mystery in your head, and it’s too big to fit in your head.
Sit down, and figure out what you want to accomplish. Then come up with the next smallest step you need to take. Break things down and stop the madness.
15. I’ve already tried and it didn’t work
So you’re just going to give up?
How do you feel about that decision? Do you really want to give up, or deep down, do you feel like you can do this if you keep going?
Really listen to the answer and see what it is. Maybe you’ve had enough, but maybe, just maybe, you want to keep going. Whatever the decision, own it.
16. I’m too old/young
Are you beginning to see how ridiculous these excuses are?
In the end, you can come up with as many of these excuses as you wish, and they will keep coming up even when you begin tasting success.
The bottom line is that there’s nothing outside of you that can make a difference until you make a difference inside.
17. I don’t have an original idea
Good, because you don’t need one.
Look at what other people are doing, then do it better, or do it differently.
Don’t worry about having an original idea, worry about taking action. Ideas are worthless without execution. Even an average idea can go a long way with proper execution.
18. I don’t know what I want to do
You will never be absolutely clear on what you want to do, and if you are, you’ll soon enter the fog again. Life is full of ups and downs.
If you want more clarity, use these 25 questions to find and follow your passion. But don’t wait for anything. Start. Embrace uncertainty.
19. I’m not ready
And you probably never will be.
You have to be willing to start before you’re ready.
When you take that first step, you’ll find that the next step becomes clear, and that’s how you build your passion-based online business.
20. When I find my passion things will be easier
Wrong. It will get harder.
When you go after something meaningful, you will be even more afraid of failing.
Stop waiting for anything. Waiting is one of the big themes in people’s lives. Think about how you can start today, then start.
21. I have to think about it
Of course you do.
And what happens when you think about it? Nothing.
Uncover your next step and then TAKE ACTION, whether you’re ready or not.
22. <Enter favorite excuse here>
And finally, even after we’ve covered some of the most common lies we tell ourselves, you can still come up with more if you want to.
The truth of the matter is that rarely will things be perfect. The stars will never align. The red carpet will never be rolled out before you.
You have to be willing to start, and when you do, the universe will move with you.
If you’re ready to take action, the next step is to find your niche.
And if you haven’t already, sign up to the newsletter below and grab your copy of the free special report.
Did I miss any lies above? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Great article and so true, there are always excuses but you just have to get out there and make things happen for yourself.
Easier said than done, but that’s what needs to happen in most cases.
Good stuff, Hayley 🙂
Sorina Dascalu says
I’m not an expert in most of the niches where I make website, I never feel like I’m ready, I have an accent and I never have enough time. But I’m transforming all these from excuses to challenges.
Awesome article Henri!
That sounds like a great idea! Turning excuses into challenges. Why not?
Have you noticed a huge impact in productivity and has it worked out well so far?
Sorina Dascalu says
Yes, that helped me improve my productivity. But the accent thing doesn’t go away as easy as I thought 🙂
This is the first time I am commenting even though I have been reading your blog for some time. This article is spot on and I had to laugh because I have used more of these excuses than I care to tell you, but no more!
Glad to see you in the comments, Kim.
It’s funny how these excuses (or lies) can sneak up on us. In the end, we have to make the choice and take responsibility for that choice. Not put it off and make excuses.
Sergio Felix says
As somebody said, “either you have results or excuses”.
Really awesome article Henri, I am guilty of plenty of these but it’s been a while I don’t feel guilty of any of those anymore.
It’s awesome to have you as a blogging friend my man and that I can still learn so much from your past experiences.
Keep up with the outstanding work, take care and have a great start of week! 😉
Thanks Sergio 🙂
Lovin’ the new design Henri! At first I wasn’t crazy about it but the more time I’ve spent on your site here, the more I like it.
Excuses rot your mind. Chances challenge your mind. If you don’t challenge your mind and do something, you’re doing yourself a great disservice that only hurts you in the end.
Great article as always Henri!
I tend to be the same with redesigns of the websites I visit.
At first I don’t like the change at all, but after a while, I really start liking it.
I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that we as humans aren’t exactly keen on things changing.
Thank you for this article—hits me to the core! Lols! I especially like this phrase: The faster you can fail, while also learning from the experience, the higher your chances of being successful.
Henri, I thought you might like this. I can’t remember where I read it, and I quote “children make excuses, adults make changes.” I can’t add a lot to this, you have outlined in detail many of the excuses we always hear.
I have tried writing ebooks and selling them on the internet, but have not had much luck. I believe that writing and selling ebooks is the right thing for me, but struggling with the list problem etc.
It’s definitely not easy. I’ve had many flops myself before I started seeing results.
All you can do is keep on going until you succeed.
Lori Stalter says
#22. Everybody’s website looks so much more professional than mine with better content!
I’m getting better with that. Well, okay, no. I’ve found it easier to stay off other sites in my niche and research my content from books, life experiences, workshops, etc.
That whole, go study what your competition is doing, tactic isn’t my cup of tea. Besides, why do I want to mimic what somebody else is already doing?
I’m loving all the technical stuff I’m learning. Either I’ll be successful one day or I’ll beat alzheimers by keeping my mind active. Either one works for me. ;-D
Comparing yourself to others is a big one. Everyone does it. I know I do it all the time.
Sounds like you’re heading down the right path there. No alzheimers needed 😉
What a relieving post to find, Henri! I am starting a handmade jewelry business, and I am absolutely scared that my customers won’t be satisfied because the jewelry will tarnish or break. I want to make really good, long-lasting jewelry that they’ll feel like they got their money’s worth on. I know I buy quality materials and have good technique. I’ve got to just get on it and make some sales and if the jewelry comes back, then I’ll learn from it. Thanks for the encouragement!
Exactly. Do your best, see what happens, and tweak. It’s the only way.
Tom Southern says
You’ve got some great cures here for favourite excuses. My own excuse is that I have no experience to illustrate what I want to say, but want to start blogging. Any cures for this?
Yes. The cure is to just start.
Don’t worry too much. Start your blog and start writing. See what happens. You’ll be surprised 🙂
Tom Southern says
Thanks Henri. That’s an encouraging cure that I think will suit my adventurous streak :).