bad traits unsuccessful people

10 Bad Traits of Unsuccessful People You Want to Avoid

When it comes to achieving great success in life, most people will only think about adopting the right mindset and the right habits. They believe that when they adopted the traits of successful people, they too, can be successful.

Now, this may not necessarily be true.

Allow me to explain. Adopting a positive mindset and success habits are necessary, but if you don’t get rid of the bad ones, you are as good as not making any progress.

Think about it, if you’re on a boat with a hole at the bottom, you will still be sinking even if you’re paddling as fast as you can. What you need to do then is to fix the hole, only then you paddle as fast as you can.

Do you know why most people fail to save a lot of money from their monthly income? You see, they understand that saving is important and they need to save so that they can invest and use the money to build and grow other businesses.

But here’s a bigger problem – they don’t get rid of their lousy spending habit. They still continue to spend and buy things that are unnecessary.

And then they wonder why they don’t have much money to save.

To succeed, you must first get rid of what makes you unsuccessful.

The same goes for everything in life. If you want to be successful, you must first get rid of the bad habits and limiting beliefs that drag you down.

There’s no point to talk about adopting healthy habits if you don’t get rid of your unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking, right? It just doesn’t make sense.

But that’s exactly what most people are doing. They want to adopt the traits of successful people, yet, they fail to realize that they need to first remove all the bad traits in order to make significant progress.

I bet you don’t want to take one step forward and two steps back, right?

Thus, remove all the destructive traits first before you learn to adopt the new and empowering ones.

So, before you adopt the right qualities that will make you successful, get rid of these 10 unsuccessful traits and avoid them at all cost…

1. They are all talk without real action

Words may inspire but only action creates change.

One of the biggest differences between the successful and the unsuccessful is execution. The unsuccessful talk the talk, but the successful walk the talk.

If you’re only dreaming about what you want but you’re not taking action, then you’re no different from the unsuccessful people.

Don’t just talk or dream about what you want, you need to take solid action to create the results. When you have an idea, act, don’t sit and do nothing.

Success will not come to you if all you do is just thinking about it. You need execution.

I have heard plenty of people say that they want to build a successful business, but most of them only have the dream, and they don’t act on their dream.

Never let this be you.

You have to understand that action produces results, not thoughts. Thinking about what you want to achieve and living in your dream life can make you feel good, but in reality, it is not going to help much.

If you’re someone who always procrastinates and doesn’t take action, you need to find out why. Learn to understand yourself so that you can master yourself.

When you take charge of your life, you will become unstoppable. Here’s a good article you should read:

How to Change Your Mindset to Take Massive Action for Success

2. They have no clear vision

Don't become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific.

Another common trait of unsuccessful people is they don’t have a clear vision. They have no idea what they want out of their lives.

When you ask them what they want to achieve, they will tell you something very general like, “I want to be happy”, “I want to be rich”, or “I want to be successful”.

Now, there’s nothing wrong about being vague, but you have to understand that vague goals produce vague results.

What you want to do is to give your mind specific instructions so that it knows what to do. When you give vague instructions, guess what, you will end up doing nothing, because your instructions to your mind are unclear.

There was a study on taking flu shot was conducted by researchers. They discovered that employees who wrote down a specific date and time when they were going to take the vaccination actually had a higher percentage to carry out the action.

And the researchers called this “implementation intentions”. Meaning, when you write down specifically your intentions of what you want to do, by when and where, you’re more likely to follow through.

This is why you need to give clear instructions to your brain.

Like what Tony Robbins said, “Clarity is power”. The clearer you are with what you want, the easier it is your mind can formulate a plan and action steps to achieve it.

Hence, stop being vague and start to create clarity for what you want. And it all starts with your vision.

Successful people are able to produce extraordinary results because they know exactly what they want out of their lives. And because they know what they want, they can then create plans and come up with actionable strategies to achieve it.

You have to be and do the same. Start with clarity and have a specific vision for your life.

3. They are always searching for the ‘next big thing’

Ignore the noise. Focus on your work.

Another bad characteristic of unsuccessful people is they are always looking for the next big thing. In the internet marketing industry, there is a term called “shiny object syndrome”, which refers to people who are constantly looking for the next opportunity to make money online.

And of course, if you are always looking for the next big thing, you’re not going to be successful.

Why? The reason is simple – success is not a one-time thing, it is a continuous chain of taking the right actions in the right direction.

Let me give you an example. If you want to build a successful blog, you must get rid of the shiny object syndrome. You must ignore all other opportunities and focus on your building your blog until you get the results you want.

Many people started a blog. And in the beginning, they put in a lot of effort. However, after a few weeks or months and when they don’t see any significant success in their blogs, they started to doubt themselves.

They started to lose steam and looking for other opportunities. When someone presented them with another opportunity to make money, guess what, they will jump on it and give up on the blog that they started.

This goes on and on. They jump from one project to the next. They started websites after websites. But they don’t really stick to one until they produce the results they want.

If you’re someone who does this, you should stop and really think about what you want. Once you discovered what you want to do, then stick to your plan until you achieve the success you desire.

Stop jumping around like a frog. Instead, choose to focus on one goal, one plan, one project, one target, one website, and work on it until you succeed.

That’s how successful people created the success they now enjoy.

4. They blame and complain just about everything

When you blame others, you give up your power to change.

You can’t be successful if you always blame and complain just about everything. Unsuccessful people love to complain and point fingers at others whenever things don’t work out for them.

Successful people, on the other hand, choose to take full responsibility for whatever happens, and they don’t blame or complain.

When you blame or make excuses, you’re putting away your power to control.

Think about it, if you start a business and you fail, what are you going to say? Are you going to say that it is because the economy is slow or the competition is too high?

When you say that your business fails because of the economy or the competition, there’s nothing much you can do. You can’t change the economy or the competition, hence, you’re not in control.

However, if you take the responsibility and believe that it is your decisions and actions that led your business to fail, guess what, you can do better next time.

It is easy to understand – if you are the one who created the problems, you can take control, change the situation, and fix the problems.

But if you’re not the one who is responsible for it, there is nothing you can do.

This is why you don’t see successful people blame or make lousy excuses. They know that when they do so, they’re giving away the power to control.

Therefore, get rid of this habit. Don’t blame, don’t make excuses, and learn to take full responsibility for your life.

5. They don’t work to improve themselves

The more you learn, the more places you can go.

One of the traits that you must remove is to think that you’ve known it all. As long as you think that you understand how things work and you have all the knowledge, you can never improve.

This is why unsuccessful people don’t read and they don’t attend seminars or workshops to improve their skills and knowledge.

I’m running quite a successful blog here, yet, I’m still constantly learning about blogging and internet marketing. By the way, I have just read a great book by Joe Pulizzi called Content Inc. If you’re serious about building a successful blog, you definitely should read the book.

So, if you’re not where you want to be, you need to put in even more time and effort into learning and improving yourself.

Do you know how many hours extraordinary put into reading and learning? According to this article from HuffPost, here are some reading habits of highly successful people:

  • Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year, which breaks down to 1 per week.
  • Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day.
  • Elon Musk is an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said, “I read books.”
  • Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015.
  • Oprah Winfrey selects one of her favorite books every month for her Book Club members to read and discuss.

The above are some of the most successful people in the world, yet, they are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and to gain better knowledge.

What about you?

Now, improving yourself doesn’t need to be just reading, it can be anything like involving yourself in projects, attending seminars, learning new skills from workshops, etc.

What you need to do then, is to commit yourself to never-ending improvement. That way, you can transform yourself from the unsuccessful, and become successful.

6. They are pessimistic and negative

A negative mind will never give you a positive life.

Yes, one of the main reasons unsuccessful are unable to create the results they want in life is they are pessimistic and negative.

When you think negatively, you basically shut down all the possibilities to get what you want.

Think about it, if you want to start a business, but you’re thinking about all the negative things like if you constantly worry about the market is going to crash, how do you think this is going to help?

Stop thinking negatively and start thinking about all the good things. You can’t proceed and move forward if all you do is worry about what is going to go wrong.

Yes, things will go wrong, and I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean you should let the thought stop you from moving forward. When a problem arises, solve it. Don’t let your fear stops you from living your dream life.

I like this quote from Les Brown:

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

Thus, stop living in your fears. Don’t let your own thoughts limit what you can do in your life.

Start to take charge of your thinking and focus on the positive.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that when you think positive, things will not go wrong or you are guaranteed to succeed. No, but thinking positive is a good beginning.

Rather than worrying about what can go wrong, focus on the rewards and start taking action.

Here’s what you need to know: Failure defeats losers; failure inspires winners.

So, treat your problems, hardships, challenges, and problems as something that inspires you, not something that stops you.

7. They only work in their comfort zone

A ship is safe at the shore, but that is not what it is built for.

Successful people are always looking for ways to improve, and to do that, they venture out of their comfort zone and do difficult things that grow them.

On the contrary, unsuccessful people choose to do the easy things. They prefer to stay in their comfort zone and do what is comfortable. Hence, they fail to grow and expand their ability.

And because they always do the same thing, they always get the same old result. They don’t improve. They are re-living each year.

Do not let this happen to you. Have the courage to lose sight of the shore if you want to explore oceans.

Most people have dreams and goals they want to achieve in life. But when it comes to doing the work, they feel powerless because they don’t want to do the hard things. They just want to do what is easy and convenient.

If you set a goal to wake up early tomorrow to exercise, but when you get up it is raining and it is cold, what are you going to do?

The easy path –> Fall on your warm and comfortable bed, and continue to sleep.

The difficult path –> Wake up and exercise. This is the path less travel.

Most people will choose the easy path and do what is comfortable. And I’m here to tell you to do otherwise.

You have to train yourself to do difficult things. You want to constantly challenge yourself so that you can grow your comfort zone and build stronger mental strength.

Please understand that successful people too, feel uncomfortable and they too, prefer to do the easy and convenient. But they know that this is not going to lead them to where they want to go.

Hence, they choose to challenge themselves. They take action and do the difficult things even when they don’t feel like it.

What about you? Are you going challenge yourself to do the uncomfortable, or are you going to just sit back and let your comfort kills your dreams?

8. They are not determined and lack the desire

Determination is doing what needs to be done, even when you don't feel like doing it.

This is another quality of unsuccessful people you must avoid at all cost. What separates the successful and the unsuccessful is not talent or skill, but the desire to achieve what they want.

You see, success is not easy and it is not going to happen automatically. You need to pour in a lot of effort and invest a lot of time to create the success you want.

Therefore, if you lack the desire and the determination for it, you will give up when you don’t see the results or when you hit a roadblock.

Successful people are extremely determined people. They don’t give up easily and they have a strong desire for what they want.

And your desire and determination for success will separate you from the rest of the ordinary people.

My friend, every person wishes to be rich and have a lot of money, but only a small fraction ever has all the money they want. Only a small portion of people achieve financial freedom and live their dream lifestyle.

Every person wishes to achieve their goals, to be fit and slim, to travel the world, to never worry about money, to live in a big and nice house, to drive a decent and good car, but only a small fraction of them accomplish their dreams.

Why is this so? The reason is straight forward – commitment.

When you are committed, you turn your dreams into desire. And when you have a strong and empowering desire, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and dreams. This is how success can happen.

But if you lack the desire, you will never turn what you want into commitment. Your dreams will remain as dreams. Your wishes will remain as wishes.

Nothing is going to happen because you are not committed. You’re not willing to do the hard things that will separate you from the unsuccessful people.

This is why most people never achieve the success they want.

Listen to me, friend. If you’re serious about achieving the success you desire, be 100% committed. Make your goals a done deal. Do whatever it takes to achieve what you want. And you will be successful.

9. They don’t plan and they expect things to come fast

Make time for planning. Wars are won in the general's tent.

How often do you do your planning? Successful people plan every single day. They understand that planning is vital to their success and hence, they don’t leave things up to chances.

They plan their day, week, month, year, and life and make sure they don’t leave out the things that they want in life.

This is the approach you need to implement.

Most people don’t plan for their lives. They plan for their weekend trip, but they don’t even spend a few minutes to think about creating the future that they want.

And they wonder why they are not successful.

Hear me out, success is not something that happens automatically. It is through engineering. Meaning, you create your own success. It doesn’t come by chance.

For success to happen, you need to plan for it.

While it is true that not everything will happen according to your plan, but planning is still an important part that you should do.

When you plan, you know where you’re heading, and you know what you need to do to get there. But if you don’t plan, you’re leaving everything up to chances. You become reactive instead of being proactive.

Successful people are proactive and they make things happen. Unsuccessful people are reactive and they wait for things to happen.

If you don’t plan, you will get sucked into the Niagara Syndrome like what Tony Robbins explained.

You don’t want to wait until when you’re 50 only to discover that you should live your life that way and not this way.

Make plans, my friend. The key is not whether your plan is going to work out. The key is in the planning. When you plan, you give yourself clarity of what you want.

And that’s what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. If you want to stop living in mediocrity, start planning. And stick to your plan.

10. They don’t have the persistence and give up easily

Before you give up, think about why you held on so long.

Lastly, you want to get rid of this bad trait of unsuccessful people at all cost. Unsuccessful people don’t have the persistence and they give up very easily.

Successful people, on the other hand, are determined and they simply refuse to give up until they try everything possible.

You have to understand that success is not going to be a one-shot event. It is something that you do day-in and day-out. It is what you do over a sustained period of time that will determine your success.

Thus, if you try something and it didn’t work out, try again. What if you fail again? Well then, try again. You should keep trying until you succeed. And when possible improve your approach and try different things.

When a baby learns to walk, she falls many times. But are you going to stop the baby from trying? Are you going to tell her to give up and not to try anymore? No, you don’t.

Instead, you encourage her to walk properly. You hold her hands and you show her the right way to gain the balance.

This is why everyone walks, right?

But when it comes to achieving success, most people choose to give up. Whenever they face difficulties and problems along the journey, they give up.

Do not let this be you. Get rid of this bad trait and be persistent with the success you desire.


Adopting just the right habits, mindsets, characteristics, and traits of a successful person are not going to work if you don’t remove all the bad ones.

Your bad qualities will affect what you do. So, you must work hard and remove all the 10 traits of unsuccessful people I shared above.

What bad habits and qualities do you have and are working hard to remove from your life? Let me know in the comment section below. Cheers.

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