10 Habits Holding You Back From Success

People think success is external. They assume people who are successful worked hard to make more money—but that’s only half of the story.

The other half is that successful people aren’t just putting in long hours at the office. They’re avoiding the habits that would drag down their success.

Their external success is a division of hard work externally and internally.

The internal work is the tough question of, “Do I have the same habits of a successful person?”

If you can imagine a seven-figure entrepreneur choosing to spend their day exactly as you do—you’re on the pathway to success. If you can’t, then you’ve found your problem.

You’re asking for success without becoming the person that reaches that level of success.

Successful people don’t fall through on their word, they don’t eat fast food, and they definitely don’t blame others for their misfortunes.

To be successful, you have to drop these 10 habits.

1. Making Empty Promises

You are a representative of your business or the company you work for. If you don’t come through on a promise made, it taints your image and your company’s.

When somebody tells you they’ll do something, and they don’t—do you want to ask them to do it again? No, and the same applies to you.

Avoid making empty promises by taking your calendar seriously. Every time you make a promise to do something, put it in your calendar so it’s impossible to forget.

When you promise you’ll do something by a certain date, have it done.

2. Blaming Others

When everything goes wrong, it’s not your colleague’s, friend’s, or family’s fault.

When we blame others for our misfortunes or lack of success, we are expecting other people to be the reason we become successful.

Success is internal, it is our choice to live by the habits of successful people and it is our choice to not.

Instead of blaming others and wondering, “Why did this person do this to me?”, we can change the question to “How do I avoid this happening again?”

3. Waiting for the Perfect Time

“When I’m ready” is a common trap that unsuccessful people fall into. We wait for a sign instead of making one ourselves.

The idea that we’ll be ready one day—but aren’t now—is like a mirage that keeps moving farther away as you think you’re getting closer.

If you wait for the perfect time to go for it, you’re going to miss the opportunity.

Feeling like we’re not ready is our comfort zone trying to keep us safe. It’s telling us that if we stay in this bubble, nothing bad can happen.

What happens if we leave our comfort zone and push past our boundaries?

We discover new land, new opportunities, and new gold. This is where unsuccessful people get left behind. Whenever you feel nervous to execute, ask yourself, “Am I just scared?”.

4. Talking About Goals, but Not Setting Them

Have you ever told someone you had a plan to do something and met them a few months later only to have made no progress?

This person asks you how things are going with your plan and you have nothing to show for it. This is what happens when we talk about our goals instead of setting them.

To set goals, reverse engineer your way from finish to start. If you want to make $100,000 dollars this year, how much money do you have to make each month to reach that goal?

How many more clients or customers do you need to reach that monthly goal? Setting goals, specifically SMART goals, is a mathematical equation that breaks down your large goal into daily action that turns it into reality.

5. Procrastinating

Procrastinating is an interesting indulgence. We procrastinate because it feels better than working, but afterward, we feel terrible for not working. It makes us feel unsuccessful, unworthy, and like a failure.

Have you ever worked all day on your business or passions, sat down and thought, “I wasted my entire day?”

When we pursue action and our dreams, we feel good. When we feel good, we take more action. When we take more action we make goals reality.

Here’s a great video on how to overcome procrastination:

6. Doubting Yourself

How you deal with doubt will be what pushes you towards or away from success. If you’re not successful yet, you’re spending more time doubting yourself than believing in yourself. Doubts fuel fear and fear keeps us stagnant.

To avoid staying stagnant, you have to become your biggest fan. You have to be the person that believes in you the most.

When you’re rooting for yourself, you take risks, you push yourself forward, and you taste new success you’ve never had before. All successful people believe in themselves more than anybody else in their life.

7. Comparing Yourself to Others

The problem with comparing yourself to someone else is that you’re comparing your Chapter 1 to somebody else’s Chapter 20.

If you’re wondering why you’re not as successful as Warren Buffett, it’s because you’re just starting and he’s been working for decades longer than you have.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

What we see of successful entrepreneur’s lives is the highlight reel. We get to see the keynote speeches, the Forbes 40 Under 40 nomination, and the magazine covers.

We don’t see all the times the entrepreneur spent their days just as you are now—working hard and taking baby steps in the right direction. Remember, everybody has to start somewhere.

8. Not Taking Care of Your Health

Successful people know the importance of their health when it comes to their ability to be productive and focused. If you don’t eat to fuel your body, you’re not going to be able to get your work done or to be able to focus for long periods of time.

Look at your diet as you do your income. Just as you need to make money to pay your bills, you need to fuel your body to reach your goals.

Your body is going to accompany you from where you are today, to where you want to be a year from now. Make sure to treat it right so that you can have a smooth journey.

9. Giving Up When Things Get Tough


Overnight success is a myth. Overnight successes are a culmination of years of hard work suddenly put under the spotlight. If you want to find success, you have to be willing to persist for months and even years before striking gold.

Persisting is a mindset. It’s a shift from, I want this to I’m creating this. It’s an understanding that every day you’re moving closer and closer to your end goal. As long as you’re moving your winning.

10. Forgetting the Importance of Continuous Learning

Even at 99 years old, you still won’t know everything. You’ll have a far greater understanding of the business world than a 20-year-old—but there will still be more knowledge you haven’t learned yet.

Successful people know that their success is linked to their education. This doesn’t mean they’re chasing college degrees and Ph.D.’s.

It means they read books, they attend conferences, and they find ways to become better at what they do.

If you’re waiting for success, it’s right in front of you. Success is on the other side of bad habits, patiently waiting for you to change so that you can step into all that you deserve.

Is not setting goals holding you back from becoming truly successful? Learning how to set goals is easy and it all starts with my 14-Step Goal-Setting Guide.


About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

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