Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Get Over It

Get over it

Photo credit: Photos.com

In life, there are always excuses:

  • “The dog ate my homework…”
  • “I was dropped when I was a baby…”
  • “I don’t have enough time…”
  • “The boss won’t let me…”
  • “Nobody understands…”
  • “I’m scared…”
  • “It costs too much…”
  • “How will I pay the bills?”
  • “That’s just a good idea…”
  • “I could never…”

All of the above are fine reasons to not act. That is, unless you’re talking about your dream, your passion — the thing you’ve been put on this earth to do. Unless you’re talking about the very thing that keeps you up at night, the reason you got out of bed this morning, the obsession that drives you to do work that matters.

In that case, you have no choice. You have to find a way to do it. You have to figure out how to get to your dream.

The problem is the excuses abound and resistance is all around us. We are being held back. How do we actually move forward? How do we overcome the rationalizations and find the path to our passion?

The solution is both simple and hard: GET OVER IT.

Find a way to do what you were created to do, anyway. Find a route around the obstructions. And start doing it, whatever “it” may be: writing, starting a business, moving overseas, whatever. Bottom line? It’s time to start. Here’s how it works:

Get up early. Stay up late. Persevere.

Don’t quit. Press in. Work harder.

This won’t be easy. And if you do it right, it could cost you everything. But it will be worth it. So get started. Move. No looking back now. It’s all or nothing. This is the real deal.

Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to go the distance? To give up your excuses and really make a difference? Here’s how you begin…

First, tell the truth. No more lies, no more stalling. No more giving reasons to not do what you were made to do. No one is holding you back, but you. You have more opportunity that you realize. More chances to succeed than you know. Time to believe it.

Second, do something. Anything. Just start moving. You’d be surprised how real and legitimate excuses step aside as you make room for your dream.

Oh it’s such a drag, what a chore
Oh your wounds are full of salt.
Everything’s a stress and what’s more
Well, it’s all somebody’s fault.

—O.K. Go

For further motivation, read this article: Your Big Idea Is Not Enough.

And if you’re visiting this blog for the first time, check out the about page and find out how to get free updates.

So, what’s really holding you back? Share in the comments. And then, let those excuses go.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • forkontheroad

    Just what I needed to read today. Thanks.

    • Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome!

  • “Get over it.”

    I love it. 🙂

  • Thanks!

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  • well said…

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, friend!

  • Thanks for this. I need to suck it up!

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks for the comment, Doug!

  • No excuse…other than I’ve been a scardey-cat of who I will become through the process. So tired of living in fear.

    • That’s no way to live, Marni.

      • No, it’s not. I wholeheartedly agree, Jeff.

        This past year has been one where I have faced many demons in my closet that stem from the generational curses that have survived time itself through my family. In facing them…I now have a choice…let them continue to control me, letting the curse continue and pass it to my son…or cut the cord now, and let God have the fear as I plug through the feelings and stop being afraid of what is on the other end of the ambiguity and let myself become who I have been created to be.

        This will be a very cathartic year…I am looking forward (despite what feelings I feel) to what is inside the process…and on the other end of it.

  • I degree wholeheartedly….except with 

    “Get up early. Stay up late. Persevere.Don’t quit. Press in. Work harder.This won’t be easy. If you do it right, it could cost you everything. But it will be worth it.” The pushing attitude can cost you your health. Without your health, nothing is worth it. I’d opt for more “working smart” and TRUST and allowing yourself to find ways to work on your dream that don’t come at the cost of daily and long-term well-being.

    • I meant “agree” (no idea where the Freudian “degree” comes from, except, ah well, so I partly agree and partly disagree, there ya go 🙂 ) Love the: get over it and find a way to do it. SO true, and it makes things so much easier when you stop deciding whether to do something and instead focus your problem solving on how to do it.

    • Good call.

  • Lindsaymikel

    Letting down my boss (and work friends) by leaving my full time job & not having the 2nd income until I figure out how to pay the bills with my passion.

    Weighing out the fear of not having it all planned out ahead of time vs. the JOY jumping in 100% will give me.

    Trying to decipher God’s direction vs. my own.

  • Laurie

    What is holding me back…. Still complaining and grieving that I have to lose the 30 lbs. for the second time. I could spit nickels that I am losing the same 30 lbs. again!! Have to get over being angry and as Nike says ” Just do it” …….in my case…..do it again grrrr

  • Stewart

    Wow.  That’s great motivation John.  Love your site and your e-books are great.

    • Stewart

      Oops.  I meant Jeff.  Sorry.

      • hah! no worries. Sean. Er, I mean… 😉

  • Fear of failure lurks behind all of my excuses, to be honest.  That’s it.  I work hard and put a lot of time into different aspects of my life, but my novel languishes.

    • me, too. thanks for being honest, Angela.

  • Hmm…my excuse.  This one might not make sense to anyone but me.  As I pursue my dream I don’t like the person I become in the process.  I tend to take my eyes off the initial reason I started in the first place and start caring too much about being validated.  I hate that. It scares me. I want to get to the point where I don’t give a crap what other people think. (I mean this in the nicest way).  I read something by Mark Batterson recently that really resonated with me. “But you don’t really care about people, until you don’t care what they think. Until you’ve been crucified of their opinions of you, you can’t really help them the way you should. And while your at it you might as well die to your agenda, your approval ratings and your reputation.” 

    • wow. very honest. i agree. i don’t who i become when i begin working on something i love. i’m the opposite, though — i become bullheaded and kind of a jerk.

  • Tina B

    Great article, thanks Jeff. I
    completely agree that we use excuses all the time (mainly time and
    money) for not doing things. I think if we start anything we want to
    do with 100% commitment, then make a list of everything that we could
    help us achieve what we and then actually DO the things on our list
    then we will be pretty likely to succeed!

    • that’s a great idea, Tina. you should very practical. i like it. 🙂

  • Thanks, Jeff! Inspiring as always! I’ve finally started to put in more effort in achieving my dream…it has made all the difference!

  • Joanlbrown

    I’m too old to pursue a dream, what if I’m not really good at it, what if I look back and say it was all a waste of time, what if I run out of funds, what if I fail, what if I keep status quo and my dreams eat at me, wondering if my life had meaning? What if the gift of words never reach the one person whose life could be altered, because I didn’t try? Isn’t that the point? Isn’t that success, wealth- making a mark in the life of those around you? Words do that…

    • I resonate with some of those excuses. thanks for sharing, Joan.

  • My excuse: 3 projects (and more, if I get really technical about it) sit unfinished because for the past 3 weeks I’ve been sorting, filing, saving/discarding all the info on papers large and small all over my writing area. Because for two years I stalled about dealing with every paper before day’s end—oh, I’ll do it tomorrow, and tomorrow, and so on…..lots of folks must know how that goes—and they all piled up, and every time I needed to know something crucial, the info was—guess where—and this past week I found the last of the really important little scraps of paper, buried, of course, but no more. And no more excuses. I really have to act on the lesson I’ve learned and really knew long ago. Everything dealt with in a day, HAS to be in its proper place by nightfall.

    • love it. Btw, I’m guilty of multiple projects at a time. My solution? pick one and finish. then move on to the next. sounds simple, but is such a discipline for me.

  • I think that “getting over it” can become a habit. We get better and better at defeating the resistance in us. However, giving in can also become a habit. So we’re not just making decisions for today – we’re setting momentum for tomorrow.

  • Anushree

    @af9ac1bbf13d626850754dc93e1f2341:disqus – Kickass post! But can be applied only when you know what your passion is. What if you don’t? What if you like doing a lot of things and can’t stick to/decide on one? How do you figure THAT out?

    • Second to that.

      • see above. most people struggle with this. either you pick something and start or you wait around for clarity (which doesn’t come).

    • just pick one. if you like it, keep going.

  • As for your ‘How It Works’ section, above, for a week and a half I did exactly that, and got rid of the worst of the Clutter Dilemma  surrounding me. After that big relief, I could see exhaustion coming if I didn’t tone it down a little. Previous success was a huge inspiration to finish the job and as tabletops got cleared and newly filled binders stood in a neat line, it was easy to finish. The old way is gone! Finally I realize I do much better work, and more of it, when everything is neat and I can find what I need to do the projects.

    • love that. i’m guilty of letting clutter pile. need to do a cleansing.

  • Great post today!  7 years ago, I took the plunge of leaving my full-time career in technology and going full-time into international orphan ministry.  Best decision of my life!  Right now, I’m in transition again – praying for the Lord to expand my territory within the orphan ministry realm again.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it to follow your passion, trusting God to lead you and provide.

  • My main excuse is most definitely my health. I have a disease that few doctors have heard of and that no cure will likely be discovered for in this century (or the next). I typically don’t feel well, and so when I’m in an especially excuse-making mood, I say, “I’m not doing so-and-so because I don’t feel well.” Truth be told, though, I never do. And if I held onto that excuse forever, I’d never accomplish anything.

    So here’s me letting that excuse go, at least for today, and hoping I don’t pick it back up tomorrow.

    • You can do it, my friend. I don’t know you personally or in real life, but from what I gather from bits and pieces of the puzzle.. you seem to be a person of great character. Keep fighting the fight.

    • wow. inspiring, Adrian. so sorry to hear about the trials you’ve faced. let me know how I can encourage you in your journey.

    • You might like sustainablycreative.com.  It’s written by an artist living with ME/CFS – it’s a blog about getting your creative work done when you have very little  energy.

      (hope you don’t mind, Jeff – your blog is great too.. but she might relate to his experiences 🙂 )  

      • Thanks for the suggestion, Denise! I checked it out and subscribed to his blog!

        P.S. – It’s times like this that I realize why I grow my beard so long. It’s to compensate for the manliness of my name. =)

      • Not at all, Denise. Sounds interesting. Really respect your taste, too. I’m checking it out, too. I love stories like this (or people working through obstacles to do what they were made to do). It’s inspiring.

  • I think the main thing that holds me back is ME. Time to shut up, get out of my way and truly follow my dreams!

    • that’s my biggest obstacle, Kimanzi: YOU. Er, I mean, ME. 😉

  • Priyuuuu

    my mail excuse is my laziness,, my inertia…

  • Thanks for the kick in the butt this morning Jeff!

    • my pleasure, Dave. it’s my favorite pastime.

  • In the interest of transparency, telling the truth….

    Don’t know enough/not good enough. Haven’t found that passion. Don’t feel as though I’ve something to offer. Not capable of making enough money. Can’t find another for accountability.  Perhaps I’ll find out what I’ll be when I grow up. Too old. Missed the boat. Regrets. Fear.

    They’re not always there. But if I’m to be honest, these are some of the well-honed excuses that, at times, I need to kick square in the butt. one. day. at. a. time. 

    And, admittedly, there are days when some of them feel like they win.

    • i hear the don’t know enough side of things.

  • Don’t fall in love with the dream, fall in love with the work.

    • amen

    • Ouch…

      (I am in love with my dream…I sometimes struggle to love the work part of it 🙂

      Great insight.

  • Get moving.  What a novel concept.  You mean it won’t just happen for me?

    • apparently not. you could keep trying it though…

  • I agree with you Jeff that we have to get over our rationalizations and start the hard work of pursuing our dreams.  And I also agree that when we get serious about starting the pursuit of our dreams we will invest heavily and sacrifice significantly.  However, the idea of getting up early, staying up late and essentially working on our dreams with a burn the candle at both ends philosophy can easily kill the dream.  Dreams are pursued by dreamers who have the margin and capacity to do what they have dreamed about.  We have to get over our rationalizations and start.  We need to work hard.  But we also need to care for ourselves appropriately so we have the capacity to keep dreaming and doing.

    • you’re right, Christopher. I agree. what i was trying to express here was that it might take a little sacrifice, but yes you need to be wise.

  • What helps me is journaling on all my experiences, large and small, that lead to a sucess.   Reminding myself of the feelings that go with it … fear, lack, defeat, wining, losing, the unexpected, and the list goes on and on.  Then when things get tough I remember and it keeps me going.I don’t know… It works for meGreat Post!!  Thanks Jeff 🙂

    • Thanks, Kathy. I’ve found a lot of value in journaling, as well.

    • Journaling is huge. Helps clarify thoughts, remember important conversations or revelations, and when I look back I can be grateful for where I’ve been and how far I’ve come in different ways. https://johnweirick.com/2012/03/28/journaling-love-and-her-true-implications/

  • Thea Nelson

    I love this.  For WAY too long I operated under an umbrella of excuses–then a few months ago I stepped out in pursuit of my God-given dream in such a way that ensures I’m all in.  I HAVE to be!  I’m still tempted to worry from time to time but I MARVEL at how God has made a way in all those areas that use to be reason enough for me to want to do nothing.  I stepped out in faith, and He is carving out the way before me!  Thank you for this encouragement.  🙂

  • TorConstantino

    “No more lies, no more stalling” – fantastic insight, thanks for sharing!

    • thanks, Tor. you’re an inspiration yourself.

  • Elise

    The double bind, fear of failure, fear of success…and then there’s perfectionism. Just got to keep going with our eyes on the prize. And let nothing distract.

  • Dee Tanner

    LOVE THIS POST!!! Once again, inspirational. It’s never too late or too early to start, even if you are a senior citizen or only 5 years old. You can’t quit. Some people have trouble finding their passion, what they want to do. For me it was simple and I’m only young, I got it easy, even if it took me a few years. But people need to find what they love doing, keep going, don’t let fear or whatever get in the way, if it does, then stomp on it. 

    Thanks Jeff!

  • “Find a way to do what you were created to do, anyway. Find a route around the obstructions.”   That’s a great line. I’ve been terribly guilty of letting the obstructions keep me down.  My day job is starting earlier in the morning and keeping me later at night.  I just have to keep tearing away, getting up even EARLIER, and staying up even LATER.
    I know it’s worth it, even though it doesn’t seem like it when the alarm goes off at 4:30am!  Just have to keep conquering the “snooze” button!

  • I’m my biggest obstacle.

  • Damn right. Sometimes you have to just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and dive right back into this battle we call “life”. Make it happen.

  • Well I just need to find a dream and get started, now don’t I?

  • Kriztalladen

    Hahahaha! Thanks for this, Sir Jeff! I was deeply frustrated yesterday until this morning because of a heart break and the inability to write it all out on a blog post. But, yeah, I was able to compose a poem and it felt even better. Yes, let’s get over all the negative things and keep on moving toward the light! 🙂 God bless! 🙂

    • love that. creating can be cathartic.

  • I left my network & tribe in Africa when I moved to the states 6 months ago…so who knows I exist (in USA)?? Who cares about what I have to say? 

    New beginnings aren’t always easy. I am learning to hold on the the Giver of my dream..I have my part to play but it remains His work through me, not my work through Him. That perspective has helped me keep my sanity..lol

    Thanks for sharing this.

  • Awesome post. Thank you.

  • I’d love to have this on a poster Jeff.  Maybe the poster would also include a picture of you making a mean face or the drill sargent from Full Metal Jacket . (Not sure which would be cooler/more intimidating.)

  • This is a trully awesome post. And it basically mirror the whole argument I had with myself at the end of last year when I decided to stop stalling, get my head in the game and start working my ass off to get what I want and where I want to be.

  • My goal in life is to live my dreams and not my dream my life. Sometimes the only way to make that happen is to start walking.

  • Mike Zserdin

    So good. I’m cutting clutter, making room for the dream and the required work. Very good post. My excuse and limitation is/was waiting for permission or validation from people that had no right or reason to give it.

    • I wait for the same thing. The truth is it’ll never come. Here’s to us picking ourselves…

  • Just got to this one. Excellent Jeff, as approaching Resistance!

    And yet, for long term sustainability there has to be an ebb and flow. Rest is critical to the creative process. It gives our subconscious time to process and energizes us for action.

    There was a good article a couple of months ago : https://expertenough.com/778/practice-like-an-expert by  Gregory Ciotti  of Sparring Mind That directs to some studies done with chess players, artists, etc showing that it’s the concentrated, focused practice that sets us apart as Artists, Writers, etc. rather than the all or nothing approach.

    Thanks for your good motivation!

  • Many years ago I had a youth pastor who said that an object in motion can be guided but one standing still cannot. That has stuck with me for decades. We have to get moving first before we can get too worried about the details of just exactly how e are got there.

  • Ellen

    Mkay.  So here’s my question: how does a person face failure after failure after failure and know they should keep plowing ahead?  How do you know it’s just time to stop and move on to something else?  How do you know you’re not wasting your days on an unattainable dream when you should be doing something else…something more…productive, more useful?  When do you come to the conclusion you’re just flat out no good, you’ll never be good and that’s just that?   How do you know when it’s just time to kiss your dream goodbye?  Hypothetically speaking, of course. 

    • When you know you can’t. Dreaming isn’t about results; it’s about intuition.

  • Devon Ellington

    Totally agree.  This is my business, not my hobby, how I earn my living, not just my passion.  No excuses.

    I don’t allow excuses in the classroom, either.  Write.  Don’t write.  Own it. Stop blaming.

    (and if you don’t write in my class, your butt is kicked to the curb).