Do you really want to be successful?
If you do, then you must learn to dump and let go of all the negative habits that will prevent and stop you from living a successful life.
When we talk about achieving great success in life, we all tend to think that it is a big goal to accomplish. We look at success as a big and high mountaintop to conquer.
But this is not the case. Success is not about achieving a big goal. It is not the result of one home run. Rather, success is about what you do every day. It is about creating small victories every day, year after year, that will lead you to the big success you want.
If you can’t even succeed at even the small tasks that are right in front of you, stop talking about achieving the even bigger success that is further down the road.
Success starts with what you do on a daily basis. it is what you do every day that counts.
Like losing weight or building a successful business. It is not something that you can achieve in one decision or taking just one step. It consists of many small steps that you must execute each day.
Take losing weight as an example. You can exercise in the gym for a day and expect to lose all the additional fat after that. It takes time. You will have to exercise on a regular basis, day after day, week after week, and month after month. Eventually, you will slim down and the result will show.
The same principle applies to everything you want to achieve in life. It is about what you do on a daily basis that matters.
Success is not about winning the big battle, it is about overcoming your self-resistance and put yourself into taking action each day and maintain it as a habit for years. That’s a success.
Meaning to say, if you want to achieve success in life, you should start with what you do on a daily basis.
But first, you must get rid of the negative habits that prevent you from achieving the success you want. Here are 13 bad habits you must let go of if you want to live a successful life…
1. Thinking negatively
It is common to think negatively at times. We are all human beings and it is normal to think negatively sometimes. But you must not let negative thinking affect your life. Instead, learn to control it.
Like what Les Brown said:
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
Rather than thinking about achieving the goals and living a successful life, most people tend to think negatively and focus on what could go wrong.
You must throw away this way of thinking because when you think negatively, it creates fear in you. And when you are fearful, you tend to feel paralyze and stop taking action. Rather than moving forward, you stay stagnant or worse, move backward because you are too afraid of failure.
Hence, don’t let your negative thinking cloud your mind.
Understand that negative thinking will be there, but instead of focusing on it, choose to embrace it, and then let it go.
Don’t let your negative thinking stop you. Instead, use it to better prepare you for the success you desire.
2. Postponing your goals and dreams
Another negative habit you must let go is your habit to procrastinate. A lot of people postpone their goals and dreams.
Rather than working on the things that they want, they choose to watch TV and play games. They choose to waste time than working on the future that they want.
Never let this happen to you. If you postpone your goals and dreams, you will never know when you will have the opportunity to achieve them again.
And never use the word “someday” because someday will never arrive.
If there is something you want to achieve or do, do it now. Don’t wait and don’t postpone your dreams.
Like what C.S. Lewis said:
“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”
3. Expecting everything to be perfect
You can’t expect everything to be perfect, especially when you first started. Things are going to be hard and you don’t need to be perfect to be successful.
Take this blog and this article as an example. I’m not the best writer and I’m far from perfect. But I continue to work hard and write for this blog. I continue to make progress and work on developing this blog.
You don’t have to be perfect to start. So, don’t be afraid because it is normal to make mistakes and to fail.
The key is to learn from your mistakes and failures. In fact, don’t treat failures as failures. Look at them as feedback.
It is whether you succeed, or you learn. There is no failure.
Extraordinary people make mistakes, but they don’t quit. They learn from their mistakes and failures. They learn. They improve. And eventually, they become better and success will come to them.
4. Thinking that you already know it all
One of the most common bad habits that prevent most people from achieving the success they want is that they think they already know it all.
Look, if you think that you already know it all, there is nothing left for you to learn. And if you don’t learn, you can’t improve. And if you don’t improve, you will stay the same for the years to come.
You are where you are right now in life because of what you know.
And if you are not successful or if you are not living the life you desire now, it means that there is something that you don’t know. And that’s why you are where you are.
If you already knew it, you will be successful. Chances are, there are things that you don’t know, and that’s why you are not living your dreams and goals, yet.
So, stop being ignorant and think that you already know it all.
Always stay hungry and get ready to learn and improve.
5. Focusing on too many things at once
One big mistake most people make is they try to multitask. Multitasking doesn’t work for works that require your attention and creative power.
You can do the laundry while talking on the phone because doing the laundry doesn’t require much of your attention and thought power.
The problem comes when you try to write and talk at the same time. Can you really do that?
You can’t. When you talk, you will stop writing. And when you write, you will stop talking. The point is that as human beings, we are all wired to focus. We can’t focus on two things at once. We can only do one thing at a time.
Thus, if you have too many goals, that say something about them.
The key is to learn to focus on just a few vital tasks rather than focusing on everything. You want to get the most out of your day, and if you try to do everything, you will end up wasting time on unproductive tasks too.
Read this article from James Clear about Warren Buffett and his 2-list system to understand better about the power of focus.
6. Waste too much time on unnecessary activities
How much time do you put to working on your goals and dreams? Or do you spend more time on TV and social media more?
Your answer to the question above says it all.
If you want to live a successful life, you must get rid of the bad habit of wasting time. You can’t expect to play games on your phone and be successful. You must work on your goals and dreams if you want to see them into fruition.
People want to be successful, but they are not spending time on building the success that they want. Instead, they waste time on unnecessary things.
Imagine if you binge watch TV or spend two hours playing games on your phone, what good do you get from those unproductive activities? Is your life going to change after that?
Where you put your time says a lot about your life. Therefore, stop wasting time and invest your time on your goals and dreams.
7. Trying to please everybody
This was what Bill Cosby said:
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Trying to please everybody will not help you achieve what you want. You must focus on your goals and dreams and learn to say ‘no’ when necessary.
Being a people pleaser is a serious waste of time. Trying to help everyone means trying to help nobody. You can’t be all things to everyone. You must learn to say no and focus on what is important.
8. Hanging out with negative people
I bet you have heard the phrase, “You become who you spend the most time with”. Yes, who you spend the most time with will influence the way you think and live.
Thus, if you always hang out with people who smoke or drink, eventually, you will become one of them too – a smoker or a drinker.
You want to mix with positive people who will encourage you to achieve more. Stop spending time with negative people who always play the blame game and complain.
Think about it, when you hang out with successful people, the conversation will be different than when you hang out with negative people.
Hence, who you spend the most time with will directly influence your life.
Get rid of this bad habit of mixing with the wrong crowd. Intentionally mix and make friends with positive and more successful people.
9. Always blame and make excuses
Do you always blame and make lousy excuses? If you are overweight, and your spouse asks you about it, what do say? Do you say that it is because you’re too busy and don’t have time for exercise?
Or do you take responsibility and start making a positive change?
People who always blame others and make lousy excuses will never be successful. This is because they always put the responsibility on someone else rather than taking responsibility for themselves.
When you point fingers at others, you are giving away your power to change.
If you want to make a positive change and live a successful life, start with taking full responsibility for your life. And don’t blame and make excuses from now on.
10. Not thinking for the long-term
Most people think short-term and that is why they are not successful. Imagine what will happen if all you think about is tomorrow.
Guess what will happen to the way you think and make decisions. Everything will be based on what’s going to happen tomorrow – which is short-term thinking.
When all you think about is the next day, you’re going to focus and think about your work. You will continue to work on your tasks and do things just to stay alive for another day. And this is a guaranteed recipe to survive, not the thrive.
If you want to thrive and live a successful life, you must make it a habit to think long-term. Think further into the future. Imagine what kind of life you want to live and start making decisions to get there.
Thinking for the long-term gives you the perspective to look into the future you want so that you can plan for the now to get there.
You have to understand that the future you want is created now, not 10 years from now.
No matter what you want to achieve, you must start planning and working for it now. You don’t have to wait for 20 years only to start doing, by that time, you will live with regret.
11. Being reactive and wait for things to happen
Another bad habit you must dump is being reactive. If you want to live a successful life, you can’t leave things up to chances, you must be proactive and make things happen.
Most people are reactive. They wait for things to come to them. They are not proactive enough and go out to make things happen.
Success is not going to fall from the sky. You need to do something to make it happen. Opportunities don’t just happen, you must work for them.
So, be proactive. Go and make things happen and don’t wait for things to happen.
Remember the saying, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”? Now it is your time to build your ‘door’ to success. You have the key for the door to success, and you just need to build the door.
Thus, make things happen. Don’t just sit there and daydream about what you want. Set goals, plan, and take massive actions.
12. Fail to set goals and plan for life
When was the last time you write down your goals and plan for your life? Or you don’t?
Here’s a quote that I like a lot:
“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”– Larry Winget
People live in mediocrity not because they are destined to be mediocre, but because they don’t consciously make plans to pursue excellence.
If you want to be successful, you must set it as a target, make plans, and then work on the plans relentlessly until you get there.
You can’t leave things up to chances. And success is not going to happen automatically.
You plan for vacations, weddings, and birthday parties, right? Do the same with the success you want. Plan your life. And live intentionally to get there.
That’s how success happens – through conscious planning and engineering the results you want. You create success. It doesn’t happen through accidents because there are no accidents.
13. Choosing instant gratification rather than delaying it
Do you choose instant gratification, or do you delay it? Most people will go for short-term pleasure. They prefer to go for the instant gratification rather than delaying it.
When you get to choose to read a personal development book or watch TV, which would you choose?
And if you are a blogger, you have free time to write an article or you can choose to play games with your phone, what would you do?
We face these decisions daily. And how we choose will decide the kind of life we live in.
When you choose to watch TV rather than reading, you are putting learning off. When you choose to play games rather than writing the article for your blog, you are choosing instant pleasure and delaying your success.
Therefore, if you want to be successful, get rid of the negative habit of instant gratification. Instead, learn to delay gratification.
Success is not about achieving the huge results, it is about mastering yourself and do what you need to do each day. It is about winning and creating victories in your daily life.
When you can stick to your plan and consciously work on your goals and dreams, day-in and day-out, eventually, you will get to the destination you desire.
So, get rid of these 13 bad habits that are not supporting you in achieving the success you want.
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