“Why can’t I get ahead in life?”: 15 habits that are sabotaging your success

Are you wondering why all your friends are moving forward – chasing their dreams, building their careers, starting families – while you seem to be stuck?

It’s like nothing’s changed since you finished school.

What’s their secret?

Are they doing something right or are you doing something wrong?

Turns out that there are many bad habits that can sabotage a person’s success.

Read on to find out if these habits ring a bell so you can work on changing them ASAP!

Let’s dive right in:

1) You give up too soon

One of the first habits that can sabotage your success is giving up too soon.

You see, nobody becomes a success overnight, it takes a lot of hard work as well as a lot of trial and error to get positive results and reach your goal.

So if you’re someone who gives up as soon as they come across an obstacle, then you need to learn to keep going when things get tough.

I’m not gonna lie to you, it isn’t always going to be easy and there are bound to be some challenges along the way, but the results are worth it.

2) You’re close-minded

Could the reason you can’t get ahead in life be your close-mindedness?

Hear me out:

If you’re resistant to change and unwilling to see things from a different perspective, you’re gonna miss out on various opportunities and it’s definitely gonna affect your personal growth and overall success.

The thing is that close-minded people usually struggle with problem-solving, adapting to change, and making effective decisions.

The bottom line is that if you want to stop sabotaging your success, then starting today, you need to break free from close-mindedness and embrace a mindset that welcomes alternative points of view and fresh ideas.

3) You don’t take any risks

The truth is that you can’t always play it safe, not if you want to succeed.

Whether you’re looking to meet the love of your life or you want to advance your career, you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

Think about it:

How will you meet the love of your life if you refuse to go out and mingle?

Maybe you’re shy and new places and new people make you nervous, but how else will you find them? On an app? Fat chance.

And what about work?

If you want to get ahead at work, you can’t be shy about speaking during meetings and sharing your ideas.

Your boss is not going to notice you if you sit quietly in the corner and have no initiative, that’s for sure. 

4) You don’t have any goals

Well, that’s a big one.

I mean, how can you succeed if you don’t know what you want to succeed at?

Not setting any goals is bound to leave you directionless.

So if you want to get ahead in life, ask yourself, “What is it I want to achieve? What’s most important to me?”

The answer can be anything from traveling the world to building an empire to having a bunch of kids.

Whatever it is, you need to know what you want and set some achievable goals.

5) You love to procrastinate

Do you know what the best way to get stuck is?

Yup, to procrastinate.

If you tend to delay tasks and wait for the “perfect” moment to get them done, you’re sabotaging your success!

Because guess what – there is no “perfect” moment and putting off tasks (no matter how difficult they are) only means putting off progress.

That’s why if you want to get ahead, you need to start checking off your task list right now.

6) You don’t have a plan

Another reason you may not be succeeding in life is because you have no plan.

Maybe you have a vague idea of what you want but you’re disorganized and you haven’t thought about how you’re going to get from point A to point B.

Like I said above, you need to stop procrastinating and sit down and make a plan.

Think about what you want to achieve and the various steps necessary to make it happen.

For example, say you want to become an actor.

So what are the steps?

  1. Acting school
  2. Going to auditions
  3. Finding an agent

See what I mean?

7)  You indulge in negative self-talk

Why are you so hard on yourself?

If you keep telling yourself that you’re no good and that you can’t do this and can’t do that, you’re gonna believe it.

And once you believe all the negative self-talk, you’re gonna lose your confidence.

Not only will that make you doubt your own abilities, but it could even stop you from trying to do anything.

If you want to stop sabotaging your success, then you have to replace that negative self-talk with positive affirmations.

Instead of saying to yourself, “I can’t do this, it’s too hard” tell yourself, “I’ve got this, I know how to do it.”

8) You’re scared of failing

I get it, failing can be hard.

In fact, the fear of failing kept me from living life to the fullest for many years. And then I realized something – not even trying is worse than failing.

I mean, life is short, and at least by trying my hand at something I had a shot of succeeding.

But if I was too scared to even try?

Zero chance of success.

Just look at failure as a learning opportunity, a way to do better next time.

Got it?

9) You keep comparing yourself to others

News flash: Constantly comparing yourself to others is unhealthy!

It can lead to jealousy and insecurity and that’s only bound to hinder your progress.

Now, instead of looking at how far Peter has come or everything that Eve has achieved, look at yourself.

The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself.

Measure your progress by looking at where you were when you started on your journey and where you are now.

10) You’re impatient

I get it, you want it all and you want it now.

But that’s not how it works.


Success takes time and impatience will only lead to frustration and slow down your progress.

Stop seeking instant gratification and look at the big picture.

11) You’re seeking perfection

Can I tell you a secret?

Perfection is a myth.

It’s not something you can achieve so stop trying. Striving for perfection will only lead to disappointment, procrastination, and even giving up.

Please don’t give up on your dream!

Instead, give up on the idea of perfection and learn to be happy knowing you’ve done your best.

12) You ignore feedback

It’s not always easy to hear the truth, especially when it’s negative.

But look, if you’re not open to feedback, it means you’re not open to learning new things and improving yourself, and that’s a surefire way to sabotage success!

Just take a deep breath, keep an open mind, and listen to what people have to say.

13) You forget to take care of yourself

You’re not a machine and that means that you need to take breaks and give yourself some TLC.

If you don’t, if you keep neglecting your physical and mental well-being, if you don’t get enough sleep, you skip meals and you don’t deal with your stress, it’s going to lead to burnout.

So if you want to get ahead in life, you need to remember to take care of your body and mind.

14) You’re too proud to ask for help

We all need a little help every now and then, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

It doesn’t make you less of a success to ask for help when you don’t know something or can’t do something by yourself.

Stubbornly trying to do everything yourself can get to be too much and yup, you guessed it, sabotage your success.

15) You lack of focus

From checking your social media to taking snack breaks to trying to multitask can lead to inefficiency.

If you want to get something done, it’s best to get rid of all distractions and focus on the task ahead of you.

That could mean putting your phone away in a drawer and doing whatever is necessary to be able to focus on the task ahead of you.

I know it will be hard at first but trust me, you’ll get used to it and you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll get.

And there you have it, 15 habits that are bound to sabotage your success.

Now it’s up to you to work on changing your habits so that you can move forward.

Good luck!

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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