We all have different definitions of success—after all, we have different dreams and ambitions.
Some of us want to make a lot of money, some want to get really good at arts or sports, and some just want to have a quiet, normal life after a hectic childhood.
Whatever you want to achieve, the journey there remains largely the same. Most people already know what they need to do, at least generally speaking.
Work hard, stay consistent, bla bla bla—we’ve all heard of this.
What people don’t often think about is what they shouldn’t do. In this article, we’ll talk about exactly that.
So, if you want to be more successful in life, say goodbye to these 11 habits.
1) Putting others before yourself
The truth is that the path to success can be quite a lonely one. You need to focus on yourself and truly commit yourself to the grind.
Unfortunately, this means that you will probably need to give less time and effort to other people in your life. After all, you only have so much to give.
This doesn’t mean that you should become selfish and self-absorbed. But it’s important to help yourself first before you help others.
And besides, you could help them in far greater ways when you’ve reached a place of abundance yourself.
2) Negative self-talk
Remember: the only person you could truly count on is yourself.
If you keep talking to yourself in a negative way…
- Reminding yourself of your failures;
- Telling yourself you’re not good enough;
- Feeding your own insecurities;
…then you’re only pushing yourself back.
And I don’t blame you!
Quite paradoxically, sometimes it feels good to sulk and simmer in self-hatred. Beating yourself up for past mistakes may feel cathartic in a way.
But it won’t lead you to become more productive and proactive. It’ll only make you want to sulk more.
As cheesy as it may sound, you truly need to be your own #1 cheerleader.
Hype yourself up!
Tell yourself that you can do it. Because if you don’t believe that you can do it, then why bother?
The next time you want to self-flagellate, take a look at the bigger picture. See how far you’ve come and learn from your mistakes.
No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
3) Lacking gratitude
In my opinion, the one thing most people forget about is gratitude.
Because here’s the thing: it’s all about perspective. And if you look at your life and all you see are things to complain about, then I hate to break it to you, but you’re not in the right mindset to pursue your dreams.
Hyperfocusing on the things you lack in life fosters a negative, defeatist attitude. As we’ve discussed above, you will likely be more prone to indulging in negative self-dialogue.
It just might make you blind to the opportunities that are there, making you miss them altogether!
We all definitely have our struggles in life, but by cultivating a positive, hopeful, and grateful attitude, you’re all the more likely to make the most of what you have.
4) Always looking for shortcuts
Now, I’ll preface this by saying that “looking for shortcuts” isn’t the same as trying to figure out the most efficient way to do things (Because you should definitely do that.)
But even the most efficient ways of achieving success will still require a great deal of effort, consistency, and time.
Trying to achieve success without putting in the required work just isn’t going to work.
Well, maybe it is possible if you get incredibly lucky. But even if you do reach the top, so to speak, without necessarily climbing it, you’ll eventually fall back down.
Because if you didn’t learn how to get to the top, you wouldn’t know how to stay on top. You won’t have the skills and experience, and you’ll soon be exposed for your fraud.
5) Having a fixed mindset
A fixed mindset refers to when people believe that their traits are “fixed” and that there is nothing to be done about it.
- A bit too short to play basketball? Well, I should abandon the sport
- Not smart enough to run a successful business? I should just quit.
- Not attractive enough to get a partner? I should just accept I’ll end up alone.
These kinds of sentiments stem from a fixed mindset.
It goes without saying that if you don’t believe you can improve, then there’s no way you’ll believe that you can achieve anything at all.
Of course, you have to be realistic about your limits, but here’s the thing: I firmly believe that most people aren’t as limited as they might think!
Only through constantly testing your limits will you know where your limits truly are—by breaking them and reaching your true potential.
6) Valuing other people’s opinions too much
Ask any successful person, and they’ll tell you that you can’t please everyone.
Even if you’ve reached the very top, people will find something to criticize you for.
Of course, we’re social animals. We will always care about what other people think of us.
But the key here is to be selective of whose opinions you’ll listen to. After all, I’m not saying not to listen to criticism at all. Feedback from those ahead of you in your field can be incredibly valuable.
The rest though? Let them speak their mind. You don’t have to listen.
If you have a vision you truly believe in, stick to it and shut the irrelevant chatter out.
7) Spending too much time on self-improvement content
…and not actually pursuing self-improvement in real life.
If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you’ve read or watched your fair share of other self-improvement content out there.
And I’m not saying that what they’re preaching is necessarily wrong. But I will say that the ideas are mostly all the same.
As I’ve said in the introduction, you probably already know what you need to do.
You don’t need to watch hundreds of videos or read dozens of articles to change your life for better. You’re wasting your valuable time!
Find one course from someone you respect and take all the advice from it into real life.
Let me tell you this…
You’ve done enough watching and reading—it’s time to start acting.
8) Overthinking your every step
Actually, I think I know why people overconsume self-help content.
It’s because they’re too worried about everything. They overthink it.
They want to gather as much information as possible before acting on their dreams because they want a clear, straight, laid-out path for them to follow. They stress out, wanting to perfect their plan before they act on it.
But the thing is, there is no set path to success. As much as there’s a lot of valuable information and advice out there, there is no hard science for success.
After all, we all have different goals, different personalities, and different circumstances.
Just look at how we have so many books, videos, and even entire university degrees about how to run a business. And yet, most businesses still fail.
There is no perfect plan. You will always have to adjust and re-adjust, evaluate, and re-evaluate as you go and do things.
Experience is the best teacher, and the best way to learn is to simply go out and do it.
Look, we’ve all done it before. To be honest, I still sometimes do it. I do everything else but the thing I really need to do.
In other words–I’m procrastinating.
But we all know it’s a harmful habit to have.
Yes, sometimes life gets in the way, and we have no choice but to cram during the wee hours of the morning. And yes, sometimes the deadlines help us get things done faster.
But remember, we’re talking about habits here. Procrastinating all the time will inevitably lead to subpar-quality work.
If you want to build your future, you should focus on maximizing the present. Be a “here and now” person, and not an “I’ll do it tomorrow person.”
10) Lacking humility
Committing yourself long-term in pursuit of an ambition requires a lot of self-esteem and pride in your work.
However, being egotistical and overconfident is a recipe for disaster. A big ego can kill you in two main ways:
- Firstly, it might lead you to think that you know everything out there. Remember what I said before: the path to success is a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns. You can never know everything, nor can you fully prepare for the future. Heed the advice (though not uncritically) of those better than you and always be ready to learn.
- Secondly, even if you are already successful, a big ego might lead you to become complacent. Reaching the top is not the end of the journey. In many ways, it just might be the beginning. You might get outgunned by newer yet hungrier competitors if you refuse to continue improving.
Learning and self-improvement is a never-ending journey. And to continue that journey, you need to always stay humble.
11) Giving up when it gets hard
Last but not least, the most obvious, self-explanatory point of all.
Don’t give up. You already know that.
But it’s so much harder said than done—especially when things get difficult.
When things get excruciatingly difficult, you’ll start questioning if it’s even worth it or if you ever get there.
Here’s the reality: maybe you won’t ever reach your goal. But if you give up, you’ll never get anywhere.
As writer Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
The bottom line
You already know it’ll be hard. You already know that you need to give it your all and stay consistent.
And now, hopefully, I’ve also reminded you of the things you shouldn’t be doing as well. And maybe, I hope, it’ll make your path a little less hard.
Now, as I’ve said many times in the article, stop reading and go out there and do it!