The Top 3 Excuses for Not Chasing Your Dream (and Why It All Comes Down to Fear)

For the longest time, I wouldn’t chase my dream. I’d regularly give objections for why I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do. And it ate me up inside.

Why We Don't Chase Our Dreams
Photo Credit: spartanjoe via Compfight cc

We all face the same excuses in moving towards our dreams, and when we stare those enemies down, they become powerless — or at least a lot less intimidating. Here are the top three excuses we use for not chasing our dreams.

“I don’t know what it is.”

This really means, “I don’t have it all figured out yet.” Which is another way of saying, “I’m human.”

Join the club. Who does have it all figured out? The idea that “you just know” what you’re supposed to do with your life is a myth. You don’t just know. You act, anyway. Discovery is a product of decision. Your dream will appear when you take action.

“I’m not ready.”

This just isn’t true. You’re more ready than you think. Your whole life has been preparing you for what’s to come. What’s easy for you isn’t easy for everyone. The things you find effortless and easy are sometimes clues to your calling.

When you begin to answer those clues, clarity comes. So does confidence. No, it’s not easy but you don’t need to have it all figured out. You can act on what you know. And in that respect, you’re always ready for something.

“I can’t afford it.”

The world doesn’t owe you anything, and money doesn’t always follow passion. You’ll have to work to earn your keep when it comes to chasing a dream, and it won’t always be easy or lucrative.

But in the end, the sacrifice will be worth the journey. And it costs far less than you think to take the first step.

What’s really behind the excuses

When we say these things are keeping us from our calling, what we’re really saying is we’re afraid. And that’s completely understandable.


Fear is a normal reaction to decisions that require change. But what I’ve learned from those who’ve found their dreams is they never stopped feeling fear.

Courage isn’t about overcoming fear. It’s about doing it afraid.

While we’re on the subject of fear, have you considered an even greater fear than that of failure or rejection? What happens if you stay stuck doing something you were never meant to do, if you settle for a life that is comfortable and good — but not great? What if you succeed at the wrong things?

Fear isn’t always a bad thing. The trick is to fear the right thing. Don’t be afraid of losing; be afraid of playing the wrong game. And I think we can all agree that staying stuck in a job you hate, complaining about your situation and saying you don’t know, aren’t ready, or can’t afford it is not the right game.

Reminder: My new book, The Art of Work, which is all about chasing your dream the smart way, launched last week. If you order it now, you’ll get $250 in free bonuses. Click here to find out more.