10 things successful people don’t waste their time on

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

The path to success is not easy.

The hurdles and challenges that you need to overcome can be mentally taxing.

So how come there are some people who seem like they can easily succeed?

The answer is not in what they do, but in what they don’t do.

While others are falling into the same behavior that limits progress, successful people have become resilient to the challenges that the road to success poses.

They have learned to develop the mental fortitude necessary to see their dreams become realities.

To learn how you too can build that mental fortitude, below is 10 successful people don’t waste their time on.

1. They Don’t Deny Their Feelings

Unfortunate things happen to everyone, even to successful people. 

They can feel disappointed with their performance at work or sad about a close friend moving away.

But what they do differently about them is that they accept these feelings, even if it’s an uncomfortable experience.

Feelings are naturally occurring things.

We have no control over how we feel — it just happens.

That’s why successful people let their feelings be.

They don’t have to act on it — just feel it. Feel its entirety.

When they feel sad, they allow themselves to feel sad.

When they’re frustrated, they let the frustration inside them flow.

If they need to take some time to be alone to work through it, they’ll take the opportunity to do so.

Avoiding the feeling or not acknowledging its existence will only keep it lingering for longer.

That’s why they face their feelings head-on until the time they’re able to finally let them go.

2. They Don’t Compare Themselves To Others

It can be easy to feel bad for yourself if it looks like your peers have become wealthier than you, or a colleague you work closely with gets promoted even if you’ve been there longer.

Questions begin forming like “Why haven’t I achieved what they have?” or “What do they have that I don’t?”

These are dangerous thoughts to have.

When you measure your own success according to others, you’ll never find the peace nor the satisfaction that you’re looking for.

Successful people understand that the only person they need to please is themselves.

They’re focused on what they can do in their own life.

They go at their own pace and measure themselves based on who they were yesterday.

They accept the progress of others and see it as motivation rather than discouraging.

3. They Don’t Pity Themselves

Ruminating about what you don’t have can be detrimental to your growth.

Successful people know that there are better uses of their time and energy than wishing that things were somehow different, or even that they were different.

What do they do instead?

They take action.

They evaluate and analyze the problems in their lives — the ones that frustrate them and stop them from achieving their goals — and form actionable solutions.

Feeling sorry for themselves about how they don’t have a higher income or that they don’t have a nice car won’t get them anywhere — and they know that.

They do the hard work that’s needed to turn those dreams into reality.

4. They Don’t Criticize Themselves

If you accidentally knocked over a vase or forgot an important document, it’s easy to beat yourself up about it.

While these are honest mistakes, they aren’t worth critiquing yourself about; calling yourself inappropriate names, or even punishing yourself for it.

Mentally strong people take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes.

This doesn’t mean that successful people are cold or lack emotions.

It just means that they understand that the best way to deal with these mistakes is by accepting that they happened and moving on.

They choose to forgive themselves for it and make the commitment to be more careful or mindful next time.

They may even be proactive and move the decorations around the house or buy a stack of sticky notes so they know they’ll be good next time.

5. They Don’t Stay In The Past

Maybe there was a moment in your past where you could’ve made your move on someone you found attractive but you froze.

Or there was a close high school basketball game and you took the buzzer-beating shot to win your team the trophy.

These moments from the past are tinged with heavy emotion which might unwittingly trap you.

When you find yourself replaying the past over and over, you get stuck in a cycle.

You think about what could’ve been or keep wanting to relive an experience.

Successful people understand that this holds them back.

The past happened and it’s gone. They can’t change it; no one can.

They accept the past and move on.

They focus on what they can do in the now that will make their future even better than what’s happened.

6. They Don’t Give Up Easily

No one is immune to failure.

That’s because no one is born knowing how to write an A+ worthy paper or start a profitable business.

Often the best lessons on how to go about these come from trying and then failing — more than once.

This can be discouraging to the average person, but not for successful people.

They understand that achieving great things takes time, patience, and a new perspective on failure.

Failure doesn’t mean the end of the journey for them; it’s merely another opportunity to learn.

They bounce back with new knowledge and an awareness of what not to do this time.

They don’t expect any big results overnight either.

That’s why they’re persistent in their actions and stubborn about giving up.

7. They Don’t Focus On What They Can’t Change

There are things that are naturally out of our control; things like the weather, traffic jams, or the behavior and opinions of other people.

The reality is that the evaluation of your project is out of your hands, so your concern of whether or not your work is good may be misplaced.

What successful people would rather focus on is if they’re giving the best effort that they can.

If they’re devoting enough of their time to make the project as good as they believe it can be.

If they only place their focus on what they can control, they become resilient to whatever assessment others may have on their work.

They understand that people will have their own opinions they cannot change; that they have no control over how many cars will be on the road today; nor can they dictate when the sun is to shine.

They’re only concerned about what’s within their power.

8. They Don’t Try To Please Everyone

We all have people that we don’t like, so why should we try to be liked by everyone?

The problem, however, comes from our natural want to fit in.

Looking back at our early ancestors, if we were left to fend for ourselves, we wouldn’t have survived as long.

That’s why we rely on being accepted and welcomed into a group.

But successful people understand something else.

While they see the value of teamwork and collaboration, they know how to stand up for themselves.

They can still operate independently and are comfortable being alone with their own thoughts.

They have a strong connection to their personal values and aren’t afraid to speak up about it when they feel that the group may be engaging in unethical activities.

9. They Don’t Complain Or Vent

Studies have shown that venting may not actually be as healthy as you think.

While the common belief is that ranting and expressing your negative feelings allows you to feel better about yourself, the opposite might actually be the case.

It further perpetuates the frustrations while encouraging the cycle of negativity.

It has no end and, if kept exclusively within friend groups, seldom has an external effect.

While mentally strong people might not be content with their current situation, they won’t just leave it at that level.

They take concrete actions to try to improve their situation, whether that be their working environment, their financial state, or even their relationships with others.

10. They Don’t Stay The Same

Successful people understand that in order to improve, one must change.

They welcome opportunities to change if they believe that it makes sense to do so.

They are always open to learning about new perspectives on topics and, while they know what they believe in, they’re able to change their minds when they know that they’re wrong.

They are resilient and flexible.

If they find themselves in stressful situations, they don’t break down and stop. They pause.

They feel the emotions that may come along with these situations; frustration, annoyance, disappointment, sadness, regret.

They accept these feelings and then take concrete steps to improve.

Another thing that mentally strong people don’t do? Make the same mistake twice.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

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.

12 tips on how to deal with the fake people in your life

Arranged marriage: the only 10 pros and cons that matter