I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?

I remember the scene all too well.

I remember it so well because it has happened probably a thousand times in my adult life.

I am going along in my daily life and some awesome idea comes to mind. I get all excited about the awesome idea and allow myself to go down the rabbit trail of dreaming.

There is this book I want to write.

I can name at least 10 marathons and trail races I want to conquer.

And then something brings me back to reality.

I remember everything else that is going on all around me.

Not-so Perfect Health or…..Weight
Other Obligations

I think to myself, “Oh, I will write that awesome book when my son is older and doesn’t need my help so much.” Or, “I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. I’m sure I can do that when I have lost about 20 pounds. “

Do you see that pesky word?


I have grown to hate that word.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “WHEN?”

WHEN has come to represent putting things off until circumstances are seemingly better.
WHEN is an excuse.
WHEN means choosing to leave goals and dreams lying dormant.
WHEN is telling myself I am not worthy enough of good things right now.

I have removed the power that the word WHEN has on me.

When thinking about my dreams and I catch myself saying, “Well, when I….I will….” I stop myself and turn it around with “Why not now?”

Now hear me. There are legitimate reasons for not going after certain dreams and goals. There are seasons of life that just don’t allow for big projects. And that is perfectly okay.

I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?

That is why I turn WHEN into WHY NOT NOW?

Think through the reasons why you can or can not chase after this particular dream and then make an educated decision of why or why not you should do this. If the evidence points to the world being your oyster then, by all means, chase after that dream with reckless abandon. Don’t let the excuse of WHEN hold you down.

If NOW just is not the time for various reasons then give yourself grace and a timeline for when you will revisit this goal and decide again if you should pursue it or not in that new season.

Let me give you two specific examples in my own life.

I turned WHEN into NOW. Click To Tweet

I have wanted to run a full marathon for pretty much my entire adult life.

Well, I think it actually goes all the way back to college or possibly even high school. It is hard to actually pinpoint the reason why I want to cross that finish line after running 26.2 miles but the urge is strong despite the pain and suffering that goes into getting ready for it.

For probably 20 years I have longed to run that marathon but always said, “Well, I will run that marathon WHEN I have lost 20+ pounds.”

Guess where that has gotten me? Not running a marathon.

And then late in 2017, I was out on a run and I was thinking about running a marathon AGAIN. The typical “WHEN I lose 20+ pounds, I’ll….”

Wait, NO! “Why not now?” I considered everything on my plate and it was amazingly doable. I talked to my husband about the training load this will require. He was completely on board. Yep, I had no excuses. I registered for my first full marathon on November 3rd and got started in my training.

I will run a marathon before I turn 40.

Second, I have always wanted to be a writer and to ultimately, write a book.

Just like running a marathon writing has been a big part of the background of my mind for the better part of 20+ years. The road has been full of excuses and a whole lot of WHEN’s.

I’ll write my book when my son is older.
I’ll write my book when we are settled in our new home.
So on and so forth.

Guess what. That WHEN kept me from writing my book AND it kept me from even writing on a daily basis. Why write daily if you aren’t actually pursuing a book, right?

And then, as I was in tears after considering the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”, and knowing my deep heart’s desire was to be a writer, my husband helped me ask myself, “Why not now?”

Guess what? There was no reason why not now?

And now I am writing on a daily basis in my personal journal and for my blog. I am constantly swirling around ideas for my book and making plans.

I turned my WHEN into WHY NOT and it has made all the difference. Click To Tweet

Where are you saying WHEN?







Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?
I have found the word that more often than not holds me back from going after my goals and dreams. Could it be holding you back too?

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8 comments on “The One Word Holding You Back From Your Dreams”

  1. Great observations about how the way we phrase things can prevent us from engaging in choices and behaviour that can bring us joy and fulfillment. Changing our whens to bows and why nots are powerful ways to encourage us to start engaging in our dreams rather than put them off for another day. Thanks for your post!

  2. It is amazing how we are usually the one to get in the way of our own dreams. I need to remember to turn my When into Why Not Now. I want my kids to learn when they are young to pursue their dreams.

  3. This is a great article I have the habit of saying when. When things settle down or when I lose so much weight. I need to try and get out of that mindset and into the It will have to happen mindset!

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