Why can't I just make a start on things?

just get started Aug 17, 2022
Do it now


Why can't I make a start on things? Do you find yourself saying this and finding it difficult to get going, to make a start on something? Let's explore some of the reasons for not getting started: low self-esteem, confidence, assertiveness, too much negative self-talk, procrastination, our environment, plus more.


There are many reasons why people find it hard to get things done or start things or projects. Here are some of the reasons. Think about which ones resonate with you, and then work towards overcoming them.

Low self-esteem

  • Low self-esteem can hold us back, but it is a skill we can learn to build.
  • Self-esteem is how we think about ourselves:  belief and confidence in your own ability and value: (Cambridge dictionary), confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect (Google), a feeling of being happy with your own character and abilities, self-worth to have high/low self-esteem (Oxford Learners Dictionary)
  • The good news is that we are not stuck with low self-esteem. Higher self-esteem is a skill that we can learn and build up.

a) Low self-esteem is a view of ourselves that can be changed and improved as a skill we can learn

b) Remember, you are as good as anyone else, don't let anyone put you down, you are a wonderful human being, and the chances of you being here are billions to one. What gives anyone the right to put themselves above anyone else? We are all equal, just with different skills, gifts and abilities—all equal.

c) Learn to love and accept yourself just as you are, faults and all. You are amazing. We all have faults and try to work them out on this life journey. No one has got everything right; none of us are perfect. Give yourself a break and begin to love and accept yourself. You will shine as you start to do this, and others will see that.

d) Surround yourself with people who can build you up and make you feel good about yourself.

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  • If we have low self-esteem or do not feel we have the skills or ability to do something, this can rock our confidence. Our confidence is our feeling about how much faith or trust we have in something: the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future (Cambridge dictionary), A belief and an assurance in one's own abilities (self-confidence) or the abilities of another (Oxford reference)

Too much negative self-talk.

  • It's essential to think about things, that's how we get through life, but sometimes we can overthink and talk ourselves out of the things we need or want to accomplish. The mind feels like it's having a constant conversation, the part of our mind that comes up with the ideas and the part that keeps a check on everything and questions our thoughts. We can end up talking ourselves out of getting things done.

Too much on my mind

  • Our minds feel filled up with thoughts and ideas. Try to prioritise what needs to be done and write them down in priority order. It can help to write things down. I use Trello to capture my ideas and organise them on my computer, but you could use any list, paper, phone or computer.


  • Maybe tomorrow, I hear myself saying. I can't be bothered to do it right now; it's too much effort; I'll leave it until tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. Seize the moment and make a start. Write down your goals and get going.

Not enough energy

  • I somethings feel that I have no energy to get started. Think about why this could be; tired, hungry, needing exercise, sleep, or other medical reasons.

Our environment

  • It's not just ourselves that can get in the way of getting things done; it could be our environment: Too noisy, too much going on, single/family life, other chores, what others want us to do, input from different people that might be meant well but could have a negative effect on our ideas and hold us back.


Disclaimer: Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information contained in our content is accurate, the material is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for specialist advice. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the content will be suitable for your circumstances or adequate to meet your particular requirements. Accordingly, we will not be liable for any losses or damages that may arise from the use of learning points from this content.


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