When You Want to Chicken Out, Use These 6 Motivating Quotes to Push Forward

UPDATED: June 26, 2023
PUBLISHED: August 10, 2015

I’m about to do the scariest thing an introverted, self-conscious person can do. I’m learning how to speak comfortably on camera. 

Since I was a shy fifth grader I’ve had an inkling to go into broadcasting. I was audacious enough to write in my high school yearbook that when I grow up, I’d be host of the CBS Evening News. But my attention turned to journalistic writing and my passion followed, as I began building a career in print and digital media.

Now digital media has come full circle as writers are becoming multi-media content creators, and I am back to a new version of my fifth grade career day aspiration, sharing my thoughts and words on camera for SUCCESS.com.

I just got very nervous writing that last line.

To get started, the editor-in-chief of our sister publication invited me along when she’ll film her editor’s notes and various promos. This morning I’m scheduled to meet her at the film studio to get some practice screen time and hopefully pick up a few pointers.

But all weekend I’ve been waffling and subconsciously creating excuses for not going.

I really should be in the office.
I have a noon conference call I need to prepare for.
Now that I think of it, I didn’t even tell my boss about this.
I can just email the editor and reschedule for next time.

As you can see, there are very valid reasons why I shouldn’t go.

But “I’m too busy right now, maybe next time” isn’t some excuse that somehow only applies to me. Everyone has that excuse for not getting started. But the ones that succeed are the ones that proceed.

Here are 6 ways to turn down the volume on those excuses in your head, and listen to these inspiring words from people who pushed forward.

1. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” — Mark Victor Hansen

2. “Speak up. Believe in yourself. Take risks.” — Sheryl Sandberg

3. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

4. “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

5. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

6. “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — Christopher Robin

P.S. I’m still nervous to email my boss about why I won’t be in the office this morning because it’ll make this idea in my head suddenly public. Then others will know I want to do this and I will have public accountability if I decide to chicken out. So perhaps this is my email to him. Sent on the Internet to hundreds of thousands reading this right now. Published and indexed by Google for all to see. Yeah, I think this is a brilliant idea.

Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for SUCCESS.com. Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.