Are you using excuses because you’re secretly afraid of failure?

Leap of Faith (c) Nichole R Beltz

“Turning pro is free, but it is not easy. You don’t need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.” Steven Pressfield.

I can clearly remember four years ago when I wanted to join a mastermind because I knew that the majority of my online friends who were ‘knocking it out of the park’ and making six-figures in their businesses were part of a group program.  They had a coach/mentor.

For years I used the investment in the mastermind as an excuse.  I wanted to join Marie Forleo’s Adventure Mastermind but paying twenty thousand for the year scared the pants off me.

When I was “ready,” Marie stopped doing masterminds.

You don’t realize that waiting costs you emotionally and financially.

That decision cost me the income I would have made during the years I waited.  It cost me in emotional stress of the struggle.  It cost me years later, because these days masterminds are bigger investments.

Underneath every excuse is fear.

As an entrepreneur, I see the fear of failure as an excuse to hide, play small and not take a risk to follow your passion.

I used the investment in that mastermind as an excuse not to apply for two years.  That decision cost me emotionally and financially.

Using money as an excuse does cost you.

Underneath all excuses is fear.  I see this over and over with people I talk with daily.

I’ve lived it too so I can recognize it;)

The fear of failure can handicap you so that you don’t have to try something new.

You might be afraid of criticism so why bother trying?

The people around you don’t take your dream seriously (yes I’ve lived this one twice with my own husband).  It’s about them and their own level of fear.  It’s not about you.

According to Dr. Snyder, whose research is noted in a New York Times article called Excuses: New Theory Defines their Role in Life.  Dr. Snyder calls an excuse as ”self-handicapping,” and he says it has a double payoff: It cushions failures while enhancing any successes.

Let’s say that you complain that you’re already too busy to take on a program to grow your business so you might not have the time to invest.

When you’re afraid to do something especially such as taking a quantum leap forward in your business, you find ways to make sure you don’t do it.  You make excuses – not enough time, not enough money and come up with plenty of excuses why you can’t do it.

Here’s the real deal – excuses only achieve one thing – nothing.

Excuses keep you stuck right where you are.

Your business won’t grow, you won’t make more money, your relationships won’t flourish, and you’ll never get anything done.

It’s time to face your excuses, confront the belief’s behind them – and take back your life and grow your business.

I’m “outing” excuses for you right here.  Notice if you’re using one or more of these as a reason not to invest time or money in your business or as an excuse not to take a leap forward with a mentor, a program or make an investment in your growth.  My mentor Monica Shah is the reason why I built another six-figure business.  I knew I could do it but needed to do things that I didn’t know how to do.  The support I got and the how to steps were priceless.

Excuses About Time

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I’m too busy to do what I love.”

“I don’t have time to invest in my passion.”

“I’ll wait until next year.”

“There’s too much going on right now.”

We all have the same amount of time in our day.  When you use time as an excuse, know that underneath that excuse is fear.  You are afraid to leave your comfort zone, which is only a zone in your mind.

Is it ever the right time? If you wait until you are ready, it’s likely you will never take action.

Start before you are ready.

Don’t wait for the right time. The right time is now.

Notice where you use time to feel busy. Do you spend time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or search the Internet for some magic bullet?

I have my own dreams of writing a book.  I’m willing to take a class at night and get up at 6 am to write.  It’s that important to me to make this goal a priority.  Do I have time?  No not really.  Am I making the time?  Hell yes!

You have to be willing to make what you want to do a priority then you find the time to do it.

I want to do it but I need to do [fill in the blank on what you think you need but don’t have].

This excuse means you don’t believe you’re ready yet.  I see this over and over again with new coaches.  They say they need to do their web site first or that they need to take another coaching course so that then they’ll be ready.

If you’re using this excuse, then you’re afraid to take the first step.  You know in your heart what you want to do but you’re afraid to take the first step.

I’ve gained confidence as an entrepreneur by taking a leaps of faith.

Once I do something that I didn’t know how to do but I manage to do it, I take a quantum leap forward in experience. I leap by being courageous then what naturally follows is pride that I did it.

Fear + action = courage.

When you practice courage, you become confident.

You’ll never regret a first step you took, but you’ll always regret the ones you didn’t do.  Be all in now – 100%.

Excuses about knowledge or experience:

“I’m not an expert”

“I don’t know enough to do [what your dream is].”

“I don’t know what to do first.”

“I don’t know if I have what it takes.”

This excuse is a form of hiding that will keep you playing small.  Making this excuse demonstrates that you’re scared you aren’t good enough to do it. Or that you are afraid you will fail or get shamed that you don’t know enough.

The belief “I’m not good enough” is a Universal belief – meaning that each of us has this in various forms and at various times.

No one is an expert when they start a business.  You build your expertise through experience.

You fake it till you make it when you start out.

None of us started with a list of 100 people.  We all started at zero. You have to take a leap of faith.  There is a great saying that goes like this:  The road to success is paved with failure.  Anytime you are learning new information, you need to learn by doing and you will make mistakes.  It’s part of the journey.

When you decide your own dreams are important then you can leverage your passion to take over and pull you to your dream.  Honor your own dream for your life.

If you start now, you will be a lot further along next year.

You become good at something by practicing.  You decide you are good enough and take the leap.  Where the mind goes, the body follows.

Excuse about understanding what your dream means to you.

“My friends and family don’t understand what I want to do with my business.”

Get over this one right now!  You have to hold your vision as sacred to you.  There won’t be a day when your friends and family decide to believe in you.  If you believe in your dream, and you believe you can do it then you can do it.  This is exactly what I’ve done.

In both businesses, my husband was worried.  He’s not an entrepreneurial guy.  He’s a doctor.  He knows what he knows and business is not his thing.  I had to have faith in myself and in my dream not let any challenge stop me.

I’ve always found a way to make my dreams come true.  Perseverance is key.

Surround yourself with others who are in the early business building phase and find those that support you to make it work no matter what. You are the sum of the top five people you hang out with says Tony Robbins.

Build your own supportive network of online peers or people who do get your dream. Go out and talk to them, because they won’t come looking for you.

Excuses about not being ready yet.

Not being ready is an excuse shrouded in the fear of taking action.

The best way to defeat your fears? Take action.

Stop trying to be ready to do things, and start doing them anyway.

Steven Pressfield identifies resistance to be the main culprit.

Show up every day
“This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”  Steven Pressfield

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

Understand that everyone has fear.  Fear has something to say to each of us.  Listen and get conscious.  The next excuse you tell someone, be clear about what is underneath that excuse.  It’s fear.  Ask yourself if you are willing to continue to play small or is now your time?

It’s time for you to take a leap of faith.

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Photo credit:  This gorgeous art called Leap of Faith was created by Nicole Renee.  She generously allowed me to illustrate this blog with her art.


  1. Thank you for not only using my image, but for attaching it to an article that gives me my own food for thought. Regards!

  2. Nicole make gorgeous art! I was so taken by your work that I realized that I need to promote artists through my blog. So you are the first one. I went to art school myself and almost went for a BFA in fiber arts. My work is in a book on handmade felt work. So thank you for generously allowing me to illustrate that it takes a Leap of Faith to move through fear. Big hug to you virtually. Sherold

  3. Thanks Sherold, your idea in this sharing is very good and help me a lot.

    But one problem i am often come up to is whenever i try to work hard and focus 100% in my work, i will come up a very big insomnia problem. My mind cannot take a rest and it running by itself with restless ideas.

    Do u know anyway to counter insomnia as i dont wanna take stilnox (sleeping pill)? Thanks

  4. Hello Ellis Lam – thank you for writing. I would recommend meditation or a yoga practice – something that will quiet your mind before bed. I avoided meditation for years because I was to driven. Now I can’t do without it. It will center you and calm the “monkey mind” of chatter in the head. I started with Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s free 21-day mediations. I bought one of the programs and still use it in the morning. Try this. The other thing is to observe what the stressful thought you are thinking that keeps you awake. Become the Observer as Eckhart Tolle suggests. Watch the thought and notice it without believing it. When you observe the thought – you separate from it. Breathe and say – thank you for telling me but I don’t need to believe that right now. I have some videos on this if you search for Sherold Barr – how to observe your thoughts. I am going to start to do a series on fear and this will help you as well. xoxo

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