Underperformers come from every walk of life.
These are often people with immense potential but who fall significantly short of it.
The question is why?
What do they all have in common?
Although each case is unique, underperformers typically share common traits…
If you want to be more successful in life, say goodbye to these common underperforming habits.
First and foremost, we must face inconsistency. This is perhaps the biggest roadblock of all to success for most of us.
While a couple of stellar gym sessions are commendable, without sustained effort you’re unlikely to get far.
Consistency is the bedrock of progress in every area of life, and it demands serious discipline.
Those who consistently underachieve often lack self-discipline and consistency, despite their intelligence or innate abilities.
They are brilliant, but they don’t put in the work.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Procrastination is something I’ve struggled with firsthand, and actually for a number of years.
It’s very easy to fall into, no matter how much potential you have.
In small doses, it’s relatively harmless, perhaps resulting in a few enjoyable films watched instead of work accomplished.
However, when it turns into a habit, procrastination becomes a hindrance to success, breeding significant issues and delays along the road to your dreams.
3) Sleeping too much
It may sound basic, but sleep is crucial to everything else in your life:
Getting too much sleep or too little sleep can sabotage every other area of your existence and your goals.
Oversleeping is a classic lazy habit that saps energy and time from other areas. Not only does it cut down how much time you have in the day and lead to a late-night-late-morning cycle, it also makes you more tired.
At least I know that sleeping too much does that for me.
Get in the habit of sleeping early and getting up early: with rare exceptions it’s a prerequisite for success.
4) Social media addiction
Social media has a lot of interesting and even useful content on it. It can be a great place for networking, making friends and even finding dates.
But it can also quickly turn into a sinkhole of time and energy, fueling a lack of outer productivity and focus.
If social media is something you spend more than an hour or two on each day (and it’s not your job to do so), consider cutting down that time window.
Use the time to exercise, pursue your goals or do networking and social events in real life. It will be time well spent.
5) Focusing on excuses
While some excuses may be justified or have firm grounding they ultimately fail to address practical matters like grocery shopping or paying heating bills.
Underperformers commit the fundamental error of assuming that their excuses or suffering entitle them to a desired outcome or need.
They do not.
Sadly, life progresses regardless of our participation; even the most aggrieved individual will be left behind without a second thought.
Let your suffering fuel your determination, rather than your excuses.
6) Risk aversion
Underperformers often have a strong aversion to risk.
If this sounds like you, then you’re accustomed to refraining from action until the path is well-worn.
You wait to find out more information, read more reviews, find just the right person to team up with, and so on.
There is a risk of failure in any big chance you take. But there’s also a risk of success.
And being too fearful to take the risk can be its own self-fulfilling prophecy.
7) Looking for external validation
Looking for external validation can quickly become a crutch.
Unlike waiting for a green light before accelerating, life does not operate on external approval. Waiting too long for the green light from others or from destiny can leave us frozen in place.
External validation may or may not come:
But it should never be our primary motivator or a prerequisite for action, otherwise we put ourselves at mercy of forces outside our control.
Underperformers often stagnate due to an overreliance on external validation, perpetuating insecurity and inaction.
When you dream big and have great plans, you may fall prey to the habit of making big promises to many people.
The problem is when many of those promises remain unfulfilled.
Few things erode trust faster than broken promises.
Underperformers may enjoy the transient goodwill from making commitments but lack the fortitude to see them through, ultimately undermining trust in all facets of life.
If you struggle with over-promising, focus on action and results more than on making promises.
9) Living in daydreams
Having big dreams is a key part of success:
But they have to be actionable.
They need steps you can take to work towards them.
All too often, it’s easy for us to get caught up in daydreams and focusing on our end goal or what we envision at the final medal ceremony.
What about all the steps along the way?
Excessive daydreaming can quickly divorce you from reality. True progress necessitates action, and daydreaming too much is a habit that’s crucial to break.
Speaking of overly fanciful habits, we come to being too lax with money…
10) Going with the flow financially
There’s a time and a place to go with the flow or enter flow:
Money usually is not the right thing to be overly easygoing about, however.
Underperformers often succumb to tunnel vision regarding finances, overlooking the long-term benefits of investment and growth.
If this sounds like you, it’s something to focus on:
Watching spending habits carefully and doing some financial planning for the months and years ahead so you don’t get stuck in financial quicksand.
Money isn’t everything. But it certainly matters and helps facilitate many other parts of life.
11) Waiting for bailouts
When something doesn’t go right, you may need help.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help and actively seeking it in every area of your life: in fact asking for help can be necessary and brave.
But waiting for bailouts or somebody else to fix or address issues in our own lives can be a bad habit that leads to stagnation.
The truth is that everybody has many challenges going on in their lives and often they simply don’t have the time or resources to be what we need them to be.
Self-sufficiency is the watchword here.
12) Resting on your laurels
Past accomplishments do matter and they can be relevant to future dreams and the connections we make in life.
But the past is still the past.
It’s crucial not to rest too much on past achievements and to keep moving forward.
Whatever it is you still want to accomplish, create or find in life, focus on that rather than on how well you may have done in the past.
13) Following trends
Some trends are great, some are ridiculous, some are just sort of irrelevant.
Getting in the habit of paying too much attention to what’s popular or the “next big thing” can become a lazy habit.
It distracts from your own goals and ideas and puts you at the whims of social engineers and social conditioning.
Forget about what’s popular and focus on what’s meaningful to you.
Putting others before oneself can breed resentment in the long term.
While generosity is admirable, neglecting personal needs is a form of self-abandonment.
If you are the kind of person who sacrifices your own well-being, time and energy for the good of others so much that you can’t attend to your own needs?
It’s time to stop that.
15) Confusing mediocrity with fulfillment
Accepting mediocrity as contentment is actually easy to do.
Many of us cling to familiarity even when it hampers growth.
If that sounds like you, the key signs are that you have a deep inner feeling of ennui and boredom, but you also feel like trying to change things would just be too risky and unnecessary.
So you sink back into the familiar routine even though it’s far from truly using your potential or leading to your larger goals.
Underperformance is a habit
Ultimately, underachievement stems from habitual behaviors. Those who realize their full potential cultivate empowering habits. While perfection remains elusive, committing to healthy habits fosters growth and progress.
Identifying areas for improvement and offering support where needed enables us all to strive for excellence, one step at a time.
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