“9 Common Habits Sabotaging Your Success that You Must Break Today”

Earl Nightingale, American motivational speaker and author, once said, “We become what we think about.” These words hold immense significance when it comes to achieving success. The human mind has the power to shape our reality, and having the right attitude and mindset is often cited as being a crucial element of success. However, sometimes we can get sidetracked by situations in life, which obstruct our path towards success. It is true that success is subjective, and what it means to each individual can differ. Nevertheless, there are certain things that one should stop doing if they want to feel or be successful.

Here are seven guidelines to follow:

1. Stop Striving For Perfection

People often get frustrated when things don’t work out as they want them to, or as quickly as they’d like. They stress over minor details, beat themselves up over small mistakes or forgetfulness. It is important to acknowledge that everyone is fallible, mistakes happen, and perfection is unattainable. Instead of striving for perfection, strive to be the best version of yourself. This means accepting that mistakes and setbacks are a part of the journey, learning from them, and moving forward with self-compassion and determination.

For example, Jennifer Lawrence, the Oscar-winning actress, was rejected for the role of Bella Swan in the movie Twilight. She did not take theater classes but instead trusted her gut and worked hard to land acting roles. She did not expect perfection and took her failures and rejections as learning opportunities.

2. Stop Saying Yes When You Want To Say No

People often feel guilty and say yes to situations or people that drain them emotionally and physically. Whether it’s helping a co-worker out of obligation or loaning a friend money that they cannot afford to give, saying no is difficult but necessary. Saying no means that you respect yourself and know your boundaries.

For example, Margaret Thatcher, a powerful politician, was known for her strength and took a stand when necessary. She said no to bad political and economic policies and prioritized her country’s well-being over her political gains.

3. Stop Negative Self-Dialogue

Replaying negative or embarrassing memories of past mistakes is a common tendency that many people experience. However, beating oneself over past incidents is counterproductive in the long run. Acknowledging past mistakes, learning from them, and moving on with self-assurance is growth. Being self-critical or too harsh on oneself only amplifies negative emotions and reduces self-confidence.

For instance, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, was fired from the company that he had built. Despite the setback, he persisted with resilience, and his failures did not define his worth.

4. Stop Focusing On Just Today

Successful people tend to have a clear plan for their future. They set goals, manage their time efficiently, and ensure that their actions align with their long-term objectives. While having fun and enjoying the moment is essential, focusing solely on present pleasures can have long-term consequences.

For example, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who pursued his unquenchable love for the universe and studied physics at Harvard eventually becoming the authoritative voice on astrophysics, Space, and the Universe.

5. Stop Ignoring Your Goals

Good things happen to those who make an effort. Goals need to be set to track progress, prioritize tasks efficiently, and measure success. Working towards these goals ensures that people put in the required effort to make their dreams a reality.

Alan Turing, known as the father of artificial intelligence and computers, broke the Nazi Enigma code to help end World War II. Despite facing many challenges in his personal life, he did not lose sight of his goals and continued to persist in his pursuit.

6. Stop Isolating Yourself

Success is not solely defined by work or other obligations. Building meaningful relationships, engaging in hobbies, and enjoying the company of loved ones is instrumental in creating a fulfilling life. Learning to balance work and personal life by incorporating loved ones in one’s goal-setting can lead to a more well-rounded and rewarding experience.

For instance, having strong relationships is critical to effective leadership. Leaders understand the value of feedback and support from people around them.

7. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Comparing oneself to others is a recipe for disaster. Instead of focusing on others’ success or accomplishments, one should focus on their journey and progress. Comparing oneself to others only amplifies jealousy and negative emotions, leading to reduced self-esteem and motivation.

Successful people are aware of this and focus on becoming their best selves.


Earl Nightingale’s quote, “We become what we think about,” reminds us of the power of our thoughts and attitudes. By focusing on aspects that are within our control, eliminating toxic behaviors, setting goals, and building meaningful relationships, one can experience a fulfilled life. Everyone’s journey to success is unique and subjective, but the above guidelines provide valuable advice to those struggling with their path towards success.

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