If a man has these 9 bad habits, he’ll never move forward in life

There’s a vast difference between a man who’s stuck in a rut and one who’s pushing forward in life.

The difference often comes down to habits. Habits, good or bad, shape our lives more than we realize. They subtly dictate our daily actions, ultimately leading us towards success or failure.

Bad habits, especially, can hold a man back, keeping him from making any real progress. These are the insidious patterns of behavior that seem harmless, but are actually derailing our lives.

In this article, I’ll be laying out 9 such bad habits. If a man has these, he’s likely spinning his wheels and not making any forward strides in life. And trust me, recognizing these habits is the first step to breaking free from them.

1) Procrastination

There’s no bigger roadblock to progress than the habit of procrastination.

Procrastination is the thief of time, as the old saying goes. And boy, is it true. It’s one of those habits that seems harmless—after all, you’re just putting off a task for a bit, right?


When a man gets into the habit of procrastinating, he’s setting himself up for a life of stalled progress. He’s constantly delaying important tasks and decisions, leaving them for “later” or “when the time is right”.

But here’s the thing – there’s never a perfect time. And while you’re waiting for it, life is moving ahead. Opportunities are missed, goals remain unfulfilled.

If you’re serious about moving forward in life, tackling procrastination should be at the top of your list. It’s not easy, but recognizing it as a problem is the first step in the right direction.

2) Negativity

Another major setback in life is the habit of negativity.

I’ve been there, and I can tell you firsthand how detrimental it can be. A few years back, I found myself in a cycle of negative thoughts. Everything seemed bleak and it felt like nothing was going right.

I spent my days complaining, criticizing, and generally seeing the worst in every situation. I thought I was being realistic, but all I was doing was holding myself back.

It wasn’t until a good friend pointed out my constant pessimism that I realized how harmful my mindset had become. I was sabotaging my own progress with my negativity.

Negativity breeds inaction. When you’re always expecting the worst, you’re less likely to take the risks necessary for growth and progress.

Breaking free from negativity isn’t easy—it took me months of conscious effort. But once you shed that negative outlook, you’ll find that moving forward becomes a whole lot easier. Trust me on this one.

3) Lack of discipline

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment, as Jim Rohn, the renowned motivational speaker, once said.

Without discipline, even the simplest goals can seem out of reach. It’s the driving force that keeps you going when motivation wanes.

A man who lacks discipline often finds himself bouncing from one idea to the next, never truly accomplishing anything. He may have grand plans and brilliant ideas, but without discipline, they remain just that – plans and ideas.

Interestingly, a study shows that people with high self-control are happier than those without. The study suggests that disciplined people are better equipped to deal with life’s challenges, leading to increased satisfaction.

So if you’re struggling to move forward in life, it might be worth examining your level of discipline. Improving it could be the key to unlocking your full potential.

4) Fear of failure

Fear, in particular the fear of failure, can be a powerful deterrent in life.

When a man is consumed by the fear of failure, he’s more likely to avoid taking risks or stepping out of his comfort zone. He stays where it’s safe, where there’s less chance of tripping up and making mistakes.

But progress and growth often require taking risks and making mistakes. It’s through these experiences that we learn, grow, and ultimately move forward.

The fear of failure is not just about avoiding embarrassment or disappointment. It’s about missing out on opportunities for growth and success.

Confronting and overcoming this fear is crucial for any man wanting to move forward in life. Remember, failure is not the opposite of success, but a stepping stone towards it.

5) Unhealthy lifestyle

An unhealthy lifestyle can significantly hinder a man’s progress in life.

Eating poorly, lack of exercise, not getting enough sleep – these are all habits that can negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health. When your health is compromised, it’s much harder to focus on your goals and make positive strides in life.

Furthermore, an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to chronic illnesses which can further derail your plans for progress.

Taking care of your health is not just about avoiding illness. It’s about giving your body and mind the fuel they need to function optimally. When you’re healthy, you’re better equipped to tackle the challenges that come your way and keep moving forward in life.

6) Lack of self-belief

Believing in oneself is a fundamental element of moving forward in life.

I’ve seen it time and time again, in friends, family, and colleagues – those who don’t believe in their own abilities often struggle to make progress. They’re held back by their own self-doubt, unable to take the necessary steps towards their goals.

On the flip side, those who believe in themselves, even when facing obstacles or setbacks, are the ones who keep pushing forward. They’re not deterred by challenges; instead, they see them as opportunities to grow and learn.

Believing in yourself isn’t about being arrogant or ignoring your flaws. It’s about acknowledging your strengths and knowing that you have the ability to overcome whatever life throws at you.

If you’re finding yourself stuck in life, take a moment to reflect on how you see yourself. A little self-belief can go a long way in propelling you forward.

7) Inability to say no

Saying no can be incredibly difficult. I remember a time in my life when I found it almost impossible to turn down requests, whether at work or in my personal life. I ended up overcommitted and overwhelmed, unable to focus on my own goals.

This inability to say no is a common habit that can severely hinder progress. When you’re constantly saying yes to others, you’re often saying no to yourself and your own needs.

You’re giving away your time, energy, and resources – all of which could be directed towards your own growth and advancement.

Learning to say no is a skill that takes practice, but it’s an essential one if you want to move forward in life. It’s about setting boundaries and prioritizing your own needs. It’s not about being selfish, but about taking control of your own life.

8) Living in the past

Being stuck in the past is a surefire way to stall your progress in life.

When a man constantly dwells on past events, mistakes, or missed opportunities, he’s not fully present in the now. He’s not focused on the opportunities and challenges in front of him.

Living in the past can keep you trapped in a cycle of regret and what-ifs, preventing you from moving forward.

The truth is, we can’t change the past. What’s done is done. What we can change is how we react to it and how we let it shape our present and future.

Learning to let go of the past and focus on the present is a crucial step towards making progress in life. Remember, you can’t drive forward if you’re always looking in the rearview mirror.

9) Lack of clear goals

Without clear goals, a man is like a ship without a compass – adrift and directionless.

Goals give us direction. They provide a target to aim for, a sense of purpose. Without them, it’s easy to drift aimlessly, making little to no progress.

Having clear, defined goals is arguably the most crucial aspect of moving forward in life. They give you something to strive for, a reason to push through challenges and obstacles.

So if you’re feeling stuck, take a moment to consider your goals. Are they clear? Do they motivate you? If not, it might be time to reassess. Because without clear goals, you’ll struggle to find your way forward.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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