11 habits of unsuccessful people who never get anywhere in life

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Ever wonder what the habits of unsuccessful people who seem to always be stuck in the same spot, never really getting ahead in life, are? 

You know, the kind of habits that, if you spot them in your life, you might want to think about ditching ASAP…

These habits are common. But most people don’t realize the negative effect it truly has.

And the scary thing about them is how addictive they can be.

Once you’ve formed these habits, breaking free is hard. You’ll have to constantly convince yourself that making the other choice is genuinely better for you.

Want to find out if you have any of these harmful habits? Okay…

Some of the most damaging habits of unsuccessful people include:

1) Avoiding responsibility.

First, we have the habit of always finding someone or something else to blame for the terrible things happening or personal failures. 

Didn’t get that promotion? It’s obviously because the boss has favorites. 

Failed to meet a deadline? Well, the circumstances were against them. 

This habit keeps you stuck because you never take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or setbacks. 

That’s why it’s common for people who never own up to also be unsuccessful. 

The thing is, successful people know that the road to success is paved with lessons learned from failures. 

If someone always has excuses, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t evolve as a person or move forward in life.

2) Staying in the comfort zone.

Speaking about growth…

Unsuccessful people also prefer staying in their comfort zone.

Sure, it might feel cozy there, but it’s also where dreams go to die. 


Most people who don’t reach their goals think they’ve learned all they need to know. 

And they choose this way of thinking because it’s more comfortable than taking risks and possibly failing.

Unfortunately, this leads to stagnation because the world is constantly evolving, and so should we. 

Take, for example, my story. 

A few years ago, I thought the only way to earn writing was by publishing a book or working at the local newspaper. 

So I stayed in a shitty job, working long hours, but I was comfortable. 

To move beyond this, I had to leave what I knew and learn about something I had no idea was even possible. 

And the truth is freelancing existed for years before I found out about it. 

But my preference for being comfortable kept me under a rock. 

Being successful requires curiosity and an eagerness to expand your knowledge or learn new skills. 

Whether that’s by reading books, taking courses, or asking for feedback.

And most unsuccessful people don’t understand that success comes from a never-ending journey of learning. 

So they have the bad habit of not doing whatever is necessary to grow.

3) Resisting change.

Another reason unsuccessful stay in their comfort zone is because they find change scary.

If you see change as a threat instead of an opportunity, you’ll resist it at every turn. 

But the truth is change is unavoidable. If we don’t embrace it, we’ll just be held back. 

Unsuccessful people miss opportunities and growth because they don’t want to adapt.

Whether that’s at work or their morning routine. 

On the flip side, successful people make it a habit to change their strategies and approaches.

4) Poor time management. 

How you choose to spend your time can make a big difference. 

If you want to be successful, you need to know how to control the hours you have in a day.

Unsuccessful people often let their time control them. So, they might get easily distracted, spend too much time on unimportant things, or have no structure to their day. 

And this is usually what causes unproductivity. 

Each minute is valuable. Without control over it, you can’t make the most of your day.

5) Procrastination.

Another habit of unsuccessful people that steal their time is procrastinating.

Someone who never seems to get ahead in life is also the person who tends to say, “I’ll do it later,” and then… they don’t. 

Procrastination postpones potential progress and success to a “later” that typically never comes. 

To be more successful, you need to tackle tasks head-on, even the most challenging ones

Delaying what you need to do, no matter how small, stops progress.

6) No self-discipline.

One reason people procrastinate is because they have the habit of not disciplining themselves. 

And besides procrastination, lacking self-discipline can look like a lot of things:

  • Giving in to temptations that distract from goals, like binge-watching your favorite series instead of working out like you know you should.
  • Making impulsive decisions that have negative long-term consequences, like putting yourself in debt to buy everyone at the table a round of drinks so you’ll seem cool.
  • Refusing to learn new habits like making a list before grocery shopping or putting important dates in your calendar because it feels like extra work when you can just remember (and then you don’t)

7) Not taking risks.

Whether it’s fear of failure, uncertainty, or simply not wanting to step out of their comfort zone, unsuccessful people have a habit of avoiding risks, even if a positive outcome can mean a huge breakthrough. 

Playing it safe is their go-to, and while it might avoid short-term failures, it also leads to long-term stagnation. 

Sure, you shouldn’t just do whatever because it seems like a good idea.

But taking calculated risks can give you a chance to learn and grow.

8) Lacking vision.

Ever met someone who seems to float through life without any direction? 

There’s a pretty good chance that person isn’t very successful.

Without a clear goal or ambition, it’s hard to get anywhere because, well, there’s nowhere they’re aiming to go.

Habitually lacking direction makes them aimlessly jump from one thing to another without any real progress. 

Setting clear, achievable goals and breaking them down into actionable steps is super important if you want to be successful. 

And this is only possible to do when you have a vision for the future you want.

9) Negative thinking.

I’ll never stop preaching about the power of positivity. And unsuccessful people once again prove that not having a positive mindset impacts your life. 


To put it simply, most of them have the habit of thinking negatively.

It’s easy to get caught in a loop of this, though. Especially when a lot of bad things happen at once.

But unsuccessful people often let this negativity dominate their outlook. Obstacles seem impossible to overcome and they doubt their own abilities. 

This mindset can paralyze action and prevent them from taking the steps necessary to move forward.

And then they get stuck in thoughts of negativity and that their entire life is. 

Mindset is everything. And optimism is a powerful tool.

If you change your mind, you can change your life.

10) Lacking consistency.

One of the most important yet often overlooked keys to success is consistency. 

Many people who struggle to get ahead usually start projects with a lot of enthusiasm but fail to maintain momentum. 

This lack of consistency leads to unfinished projects, missed opportunities, and a pattern of starting new things without ever really achieving anything.

My super successful friend used to do this. She started blogs, had a clothing business, and even did social media marketing for a while. 

But when things didn’t move as fast as she wanted them to within two or three months, she quit.

Then she got consistent. And now, she has a successful pattern business. 

Consistency helps you achieve long-term goals. 

Successful people usually can’t commit to plans and stick to routines when progress seems too slow. And that’s why they never pick the fruits of compound growth.

11) Not networking.

Networking is often misunderstood and underestimated. 

Unsuccessful people are also the ones who usually find it intimidating. 

And because of this, they avoid it altogether. Which means they miss out on incredible opportunities for learning, growth, and improvement. 

Building a solid network can open doors that would otherwise be unavailable.

The best part?

You can network without even going out! Nowadays, there are many ways to build meaningful relationships through social media. You can join networking groups on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram lives, or subscribe to networking website email lists.

Networking also connects you to people who have a similar mindset.

I recently made a friend in my hometown who works online, too. And I can’t even begin to describe what a huge difference this connection has made in my life. 

Surrounding yourself with people who do what you do or have the same goals can really motivate you to actually take action and become better.

So, if you aren’t networking or find yourself guilty of any other habits spotted in unsuccessful people, try to make a change one day at a time. 

If you consistently replace negative habits with positive ones, you’ll look back in a year and see incredible growth.

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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