If you want to move forward in life, stop making these 8 excuses

Ever notice how we often hold ourselves back with a bunch of “I can’t” or “I’ll try later” statements?

Yep, those are excuses.

They might feel like a safety net, but in reality, they’re barriers keeping us from our goals.

In this article, we’re calling out the top 8 excuses we all use from time to time.

By recognizing them, we can start pushing past them.

Ready to drop the excuses and get moving?

Let’s get started. 

Excuse #1: “I Don’t Have Enough Time”

Ah, the classic time excuse. It’s perhaps the most common one we all reach for.

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to say, “I’m too busy” or “There’s just not enough hours in the day.”

But here’s the thing: we all have the same 24 hours. It’s how we use them that counts.

It’s not always about having time, but about making time. Prioritize what truly matters.

Whether it’s pursuing a passion, spending time with loved ones, or working towards a dream, if it’s essential, you’ll find a way.

Tip: Start with a simple time audit. For a few days, track where your time goes.

You might be surprised to find pockets of wasted minutes or hours that could be redirected towards something more meaningful.

Remember, every minute you spend making an excuse is a minute not spent making progress. Choose wisely!

Excuse #2: “I’m Not Talented Enough”

This one hits close to home for me. I remember back in school when I wanted to join the school band.

The haunting thought was, “What if I’m not as good as the others?”

Spoiler alert: I wasn’t—at first. But here’s what I learned: talent is a blend of innate ability and, more importantly, practice and perseverance.

We often look at people at the peak of their professions—artists, athletes, writers—and think, “Wow, they’re just naturally talented.”

But behind every effortless performance is a mountain of hard work, failures, and relentless practice.

Believing you lack talent is underselling yourself. Every expert was once a beginner.

And if there’s something you’re passionate about, diving in and giving it your best shot is half the battle.

Tip: Instead of saying, “I’m not talented enough,” try telling yourself, “I’m still learning.” It shifts the focus from a fixed mindset to a growth one.

So, when you feel that self-doubt creeping in, remember to keep persisting. With a mix of dedication and belief, you can surprise even yourself!

Excuse #3: “I’ve Failed Before, So Why Try Again?”

Ouch. This one’s a wound that many of us bear. The sting of failure. I’ve been there too.

Once, after pouring months into a project I truly believed in, it collapsed spectacularly. I felt defeated, embarrassed, and heartbroken.

The idea of attempting something similar felt foolish, almost laughable.

Failure has this cruel way of leaving scars on our confidence, doesn’t it?

It whispers in our ear, “Remember when you tried and fell flat on your face? Let’s not do that again.”

But the bottom line is this:

Failure is an inevitable pitstop on the road to success.

Heck, if success was a city, “Failure Town” would be the largest suburb you’d have to pass through to get there.

Every. Single. Time.

Every person who’s achieved something noteworthy has a roster of failures behind them.

What sets them apart?

They didn’t let those failures define their story. They used them as stepping stones, lessons, even motivation to push harder.

Tip: When faced with failure, take a moment. Breathe. Mourn it, if you need to.

But then, dissect it. What went wrong? What can be learned? What can you do differently next time?

Embracing failure, as gut-wrenching as it can be, is the true mark of growth.

The next time the shadow of past failures looms large, stand tall, and remember: it’s just a shadow.

You’ve got the power to shine brighter.

Excuse #4: “I’m Waiting for the Perfect Moment”

There’s no such thing as a perfect moment.

Shocking, right? We often romanticize this idea that there’s a magical, tailor-made moment just waiting for us to leap into action.

The stars will align, the universe will nod in approval, and everything will fall seamlessly into place.

But guess what?

While we’re waiting, with our heads tilted up, searching for that perfect constellation, life is whizzing by. Opportunities are passing. Time is ticking. And that dream? It’s still just a dream.

In fact, waiting for the “perfect” moment can be just as detrimental as acting impulsively. Balance is key.

Sometimes, the imperfect moments, the ones that catch us off guard, lead to the most genuine and unexpected outcomes.

Tip: Instead of holding out for perfection, seek out “good enough” moments.

Moments where not everything is 100%, but enough variables are in place to give it a shot. It might be messy, it might not go as envisioned, but that’s where the magic often lies.

So, if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. The imperfect now is always better than the elusive “perfect” future. Dive in!

Excuse #5: “I Don’t Have the Right Resources”

“I’ll start when I have a better laptop.” “I’d do it if I had more money.” “If only I had the right connections…”

Sound familiar?

The resource excuse is a sly one. It makes us believe that if only we had that one thing, everything would magically come together.

Reality check: There will always be something you don’t have. Always. Waiting for all the pieces to fit perfectly means you might be waiting forever.

Many successful ventures started with bare minimums.

Ever heard the stories of businesses starting in garages, or writers penning novels on napkins?

They didn’t have the “ideal” resources, but they had drive, creativity, and the will to start.

It’s about improvising with what you have and making the most of it.

Sometimes, limitations even fuel creativity and innovation, pushing us to think outside the box.

Tip: Make a list of what you believe you lack.

Now, next to each item, brainstorm alternatives or ways to start without that particular resource.

You’d be surprised how resourceful you can be when you shift your mindset.

So, before you say, “I can’t because I don’t have X,” ask yourself, “What CAN I do with what I have right now?” You might be pleasantly surprised at the answer.

Excuse #6: “I’m Afraid of What Others Will Think”

Here’s a truth that took me years to grasp:

Living in the shadow of other people’s opinions is suffocating. And yet, it’s a cage many of us willingly step into, isn’t it?

I’ve turned down opportunities, muted my voice, even altered my dreams—all because I feared judgment, criticism, or simply not living up to others’ expectations.

But you know what I realized? People will have opinions, no matter what you do.

You could create the most beautiful piece of art, or write a groundbreaking novel, and there will still be someone, somewhere, who doesn’t get it or doesn’t like it. And that’s okay.

What’s not okay is letting the fear of that judgment stop you from expressing yourself, from chasing your dreams, from simply being you.

It’s your life, not a performance for someone else’s critical review.

Tip: Every time you feel held back by the fear of others’ opinions, ask yourself: “In 10 years, whose opinion will matter more? Mine or theirs?”

Reframing it in the long term can often help shed the weight of external judgment.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not about the whispers of the crowd; it’s about the voice inside you.

Listen to it, trust it, and let it guide you beyond the stifling limits of others’ expectations.

Excuse #7: “I’m Too Old or Too Young for This”

Now, here’s a puzzling mindset:

Our age, whether we consider ourselves too young or too old, can become our biggest excuse.

It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? When we’re young, we yearn for the wisdom and experience that comes with age.

When we’re older, we pine for the boundless energy and fearlessness of youth.

But consider this twist: What if your age, no matter the number, is your greatest asset?

Too young? You’ve got a fresh perspective, unbridled energy, and the ability to approach challenges without the baggage of past failures.

Too old? You have a wealth of experience, wisdom, and perhaps even the resources and networks that can propel you further than ever.

It’s counterintuitive to think that the very thing you see as a limitation could be your superpower. But it’s often true.

Tip: Write down your age. Now, instead of listing the drawbacks, jot down five strengths or opportunities that this age affords you. It’s all about flipping the narrative.

Remember, age isn’t a stopwatch on your dreams or ambitions.

Whether you’re 16 or 60, there’s never a wrong time to chase what sets your soul on fire.

The clock is ticking, yes, but not against you—for you. Embrace your age, whatever it might be.

Excuse #8: “It’s Just Not Practical Right Now”

This excuse often masquerades as the voice of reason. After all, being practical and logical is responsible, right?

We tell ourselves, “I’ll pursue that dream when I have more savings,” or “Maybe when the kids are older,” or even “It’s just not a smart move in the current economy.”

While there’s merit in being cautious and planning, sometimes “being practical” becomes our comfort zone’s best friend.

It’s the soft, padded wall that keeps us from venturing out and taking risks.

But here’s a thought: Most transformative changes, innovations, and personal growth spurts? They happen outside of what we deem “practical.”

That doesn’t mean tossing caution to the wind. But it does mean assessing if “practicality” is genuinely looking out for your best interests, or if it’s a safety blanket muffling your ambitions.

Tip: When faced with a dream or opportunity, instead of instantly tagging it as “impractical,” try asking: “How could I make this work?” Even if you can’t dive in headfirst, can you dip a toe? Test the waters? Start part-time? Explore alternate routes?

Life isn’t always about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain. Embrace the impractical moments—they might just be the adventures your soul has been yearning for.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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