The beginning is always the toughest. The commitment to change. To try something new. To be bold, even in the face of rejection or failure.

But everybody has to start somewhere.

When you just start something, it can feel like you are the awkward, new kid on the block. You don’t really know how things work or what you are doing, but you pretend with a smile, hoping nobody will notice.

Whether you are working to get out of debt, lose weight, start freelancing, go on an adventure abroad — or any other big goal, really, the biggest key is just to start and deal with the growing pains.

The act of beginning is an act of courage. Beginning is the opposition of fear and complacency.

While it’s easy to be scared of having big goals, we all have to start somewhere. All things worthwhile in life aren’t easy. Getting out of debt isn’t easy, losing weight isn’t easy, nor is making a big life change. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others — people who are naturally gifted at being frugal, or have never experienced the torment of being overweight or X,Y, Z thing that makes us feel inadequate, jealous, and afraid.

But we all have our own struggles and we all have to start somewhere. Don’t let the starting line intimidate you because your peers are half a mile ahead. Start where you are, in your own time, as best you can.

Let the fear of failure fuel you. Keep trying, even if you stumble. You build confidence through trying.

So, if you are paralyzed with fear, thinking about some big, crazy goal that is consuming you, the key is to just start and know we all have to start somewhere. We are not born experts. We don’t become “the best” overnight. We get that way through trial and error and starting from our humble beginnings.

Start where you are and keep going.

What big goal are you trying to accomplish?


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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27 responses to “Everybody Has to Start Somewhere”

  1. Kirsten says:

    The Nike slogan fits so perfectly here – just do it! Just get going.

    Michelle (Shop My Closet) also had a good reminder the other day: the path you start on doesn’t have to be THE path you stay on. You are allowed course corrections to reach your ultimate goal. So don’t be afraid of the commitment – just get started on the journey.
    Kirsten recently posted…Let’s Not Start a Student Loan Default MovementMy Profile

  2. So true that the beginning is the toughest. This year I decided to focus on getting more exercise so I joined an inexpensive gym. I felt luck such an idiot the first few times I went because I didn’t know where the towels were, how the machines worked or which weights to use. But I just tried to forget about everyone else there and focus on making progress for myself.
    Ali @ Anything You Want recently posted…The “Cost” of Your TimeMy Profile

  3. I think people come up with all these ideas of what the things they want to be doing, but never do much about it. I think they want things to be the perfect situation before they start, like in the case with weight, “oh I’ll wait till Joe’s birthday or I’ll start after the 4th of July.” But there is no perfect time…just start!

  4. MJ says:

    One big goal = paying off this student loan debt. Another big goal = completing a manuscript. Maybe in the next six months. It’s a project I’ve sat on for a year. Maybe it’s time to tackle it. I did start it, but I faltered. I didn’t give up, but I paused. Indefinitely. I suppose that’s where “begin again” comes in.
    MJ recently posted…Could You Quit Money?My Profile

  5. Mrs. Budgets says:

    I like that “let the fear of failure fuel you” – totally tweetable!
    Mrs. Budgets recently posted…HELP…My Wife Embarrasses Me!My Profile

  6. Michelle says:

    Love this. This post makes me happy. I wasted so much time NOT starting. Sigh.

  7. This is true of everything, not just financial goals. Fitness goals and health goals are what I first thought of actually. Great points Melanie!
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Young, Healthy, and Single? You Still Need Life InsuranceMy Profile

  8. My big fear is with technology. Just skyrocketing anxiety with every technological obstacle. You are right though. Just acknowledge your fears, start where you are,and go for it. I hope that you are covering lots of ground in your journeys : )
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Monopoly and Debt RepaymentMy Profile

  9. DeeRWhite says:

    “The act of beginning is an act of courage.” -Exactly! I used to wonder how to get out of debt too but, then I reached out to 14 of the best PF bloggers and I put a book together and here were their responses:

  10. Chonce says:

    Thanks for the motivation! Getting started and picking up momentum can be rough but when you hit those milestones whether it’s paying off debt, getting fit, or pursuing a side hustle, all the hard work and effort is so worth it.
    Chonce recently posted…Preparing for Early Retirement as a MillennialMy Profile

  11. Well, you know that I have the massive goal of revolutionizing financial planning as we currently know it and two years into my journey I am glad that I made the leap. There are certainly days where I am more glad than others, but if I never started, I would have missed out on some of the best personal and professional moments I have experienced in the last two years.

  12. It reminds me of when I started my first blog. Boy was I nervous about hitting that PUBLISH button! But then I thought, oh well, what’s the worst that can happen? No one shows up? Sounds so silly in retrospect.
    kay ~ the barefoot minimalist recently posted…Time For Part 2 of “How I Met Your Father”My Profile

  13. Lamesha says:

    I’d like to start paying back my student loans. I feel overwhelmed because I look at the number and see how high it is and think it’s never going to get smaller.

    • Melanie says:

      The key is to just start! I know I felt the exact same way. Just 4 years later, I’m starting to finally feel like I’m making progress. You can do it!

  14. I have often made excuses to tell myself why right now is not the right time – can’t study for exams because my job is hectic, can’t start a blog because I need time to study, what’s the point of passing the exams if I cannot leave my job for a few years. But I am finally trying to do everything that I believe will take me closer to my goal.
    In the recent past, I have come to realise that any big goal only requires you to make a start and keep chipping at it one small piece after another.
    Aparna @ Elementum Money recently posted…Top 5 Spend Tracker AppsMy Profile

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