Success. What does that word mean to you? Does it mean a high-powered career, tons of money in your bank account, traveling the world, and a huge home? Unfortunately, that’s how many people in the world measure it. However, I prefer to define success as ‘happiness.’ But in order to be successful (in my case, happy), you need to examine your habits so you can uncover and remove the ones that might be sabotaging your journey toward success. Here are 11 things that will always make you fail:

1. You don’t value yourself.

Many people have a low sense of self-worth. They think they are ‘less than’ other people. Well, that is hogwash! Everyone is valuable and perfect in their own way. We all have unique gifts to offer the world. If you don’t value yourself and your talents, then you won’t be able to offer them to the world. Love yourself. You’re awesome. Don’t ever forget it.

2. You don’t have self-discipline.

Hey, it’s great if you have a dream. Fantastic. Congratulations! But wait. You’re watching reality TV? You’re on social media for most the day? You’re texting and surfing the internet constantly? Well, that won’t make your dream a reality. You need to take consistent action in the same direction in order to achieve your goals. And that requires self-discipline. If human beings want something badly enough, they will find a way. If they don’t, then they will find excuses.

3. You chase perfection.

There is no such thing as perfection. It’s a myth. It’s subjective. What’s ‘perfect’ to me is not perfect to you. And neither one of us is wrong. We’re both right. So stop chasing this idea of perfection. Instead, start chasing the idea of being happy. If you are chasing something unattainable like perfection, then in your mind, you will never be happy or successful.

4. You have negative self-talk.

This one is probably the worst one of all. Your outer world starts with your inner world. And your inner world is mainly your self-talk. If you hear yourself saying things like: “I can’t do that,” “That could never happen,” “I’ll never make that much money,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m too fat,” “I’m not a lucky person” – and the list goes on – then monitor your self-talk. Change the negative talk into positive talk.

5. You blame other people for your circumstances.

Personal responsibility seems to be a lost art these days. If you are the kind of person who is always blaming other people for your lack of success, then you need to stop doing that. Instead, look in the mirror. That person looking back at you is the only one who can make you succeed or fail. You have the power to change your life – even if it’s just your attitude. Granted, I know many, many people in the world live in dire circumstances. But if you point the finger at other people and blame them for your problems, then you are doing yourself no good. So take personal responsibility. Actually, it’s the only thing you can do. No one can change your life but you.

6. You need the approval of other people.

Sure, we all want others to like us and approve of what we are doing. But as long as you aren’t killing anyone, committing another major crime, or hurting people, it’s really no one else’s business what you do with your life. Do what feels right to you. Listen to your own inner voice. Don’t let the opinions of other people drown out your intuition. Follow your gut. It’s never wrong.

7. You don’t take risks because you are afraid of making mistakes.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No guts, no glory. I am sure you’ve heard those statements before. But does the thought of taking a risk or making a mistake leave you so paralyzed that you end up doing nothing? Remember, if you haven’t tried, then you have already failed.

8. You stay in relationships that obviously aren’t healthy.

We teach other people how to treat us. And if you value yourself (see point 1), then you won’t tolerate bad behavior from other people. Sometimes people stay in toxic relationships because they are afraid of being alone – or for endless other reasons. But remember, you are who you surround yourself with. Birds of a feather flock together. If you’re not surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy people, then how can you be emotionally healthy yourself?

9. You spend money foolishly.

One of the problems many people have is impulse buying. Or not saving money. Or not budgeting their money. I could list many, many more. But if you are blowing your money on things you don’t need (remember there is a difference between a need and a want), then you are throwing away your future. You’re burning your nest egg. Or your retirement. Or the money you could use to follow your dreams. Think about that the next time you want to buy something that you know you shouldn’t.

10. You waste time instead of educating yourself.

As I said in point 2 (self-discipline), if you are wasting your time doing things that you might think are fun but really contribute nothing positive to your life or your future, then you are setting yourself up to fail. Instead, read books. Figure out the best way to make a move towards a better future. Without this, you might as well kiss your dreams goodbye.

11. You want to follow your dreams, but you don’t make a plan.

If you want to go to Europe on vacation but you don’t buy an airline ticket or book a hotel, then you’re not going to get very far! Making your dreams come true is no different. That’s great that you have a passion for something, but if you don’t have step-by-step plan for how to get there, then don’t even bother starting. Because if you did start, you would probably just wander aimlessly and never get where you want to go.

You can’t change what you don’t recognize. But here’s the good news: you can change what you do recognize. Success starts with self-awareness and action. So if you saw yourself in any of these eleven things, then make some changes today.

Cheers! To your success!

Featured photo credit: Pic Jumbo via picjumbo.com

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