If you want to be a truly successful person, leave these 14 habits in the past

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Perhaps you think you know what it takes to be a truly successful person.

But have you ever considered that some of your habits could be holding you back?

In this article, we’re going to look at 14 habits you need to say goodbye to if you want to achieve true success.

Let’s go!

1. Making excuses.

Let’s face it, we’ve all made excuses at some point in our lives.

Whether it’s for not going to the gym, not finishing a project on time, or not following through on a commitment, excuses are a convenient way of avoiding responsibility.

However, if you want to be a truly successful person, you need to leave this bad habit in the past.

Excuses are like a crutch that we lean on when we don’t want to face the consequences of our actions. They provide temporary relief but ultimately hinder our progress.

Instead of making excuses, take ownership of your life and be accountable for the choices you make.

This will not only help you grow as a person but also earn the respect of others.

Extra reading: 7 Ways To Stop Making Excuses All The Time

2. Engaging in negative self-talk.

Are you your own worst critic? Do you constantly beat yourself up for your mistakes and shortcomings? Do you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough?

If you engage in negative self-talk, it’s holding you back. BIG TIME.

Negative self-talk is a habit that many of us fall into. We think that by being hard on ourselves, we’ll somehow motivate ourselves to do better.

But the truth is, negative self-talk only serves to discourage us.

Instead of focusing on your flaws, try focusing on your strengths. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Give yourself credit where credit is due.

And if you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, stop and ask yourself: Would you talk to a friend the way you’re talking to yourself?

The answer is probably no. So why do it to yourself?

Extra reading: How To Stop Being Hard On Yourself: 14 Highly Effective Tips!

3. Ignoring feedback / refusing to accept criticism.

You may think that you know best, but the truth is, you don’t.

Ignoring feedback and refusing to accept criticism is a surefire way to stunt your growth and limit your success.

When someone takes the time to give you feedback or criticism, it means they care enough to help you improve.

Instead of getting defensive or dismissive, take a deep breath and listen. You might just learn something valuable.

If you ignore feedback…

You miss out on opportunities to improve: If you don’t listen to feedback, you won’t know what you need to work on. This means you’ll miss out on opportunities to improve and grow as a person.

You come across as arrogant: When you refuse to accept criticism, you come across as arrogant and closed-minded. This can damage your relationships and make it harder for you to succeed.

You limit your potential: If you’re not willing to listen to feedback, you’re limiting your potential. You’ll never reach your full potential if you’re not open to learning and growing.

Extra reading: How To Handle Constructive Criticism And Be Receptive To Feedback

4. Ignoring your instincts.

You know that feeling in your gut when something just doesn’t feel right? That’s your instincts trying to tell you something.

But how often do you ignore those feelings and push forward anyway?

Ignoring your instincts is a surefire way to make bad decisions. It’s like driving with your eyes closed—you might make it a little way, but eventually, you’re going to crash.

So, next time you get that nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right, listen to it. Trust yourself and your instincts. They’re there to guide you.

Your instincts are tapped into your true, underlying wishes and values. This alone makes them worth listening to because your conscious mind has a tendency to confuse itself or even lie to itself.

More often than not, your gut knows what the right action or choice is for you.

5. Overcommitting

Do you have a tendency to say “yes” to everything that comes your way?

Whether it’s a new project at work, a social event, or a favor for a friend, are you prone to overcommitting?

While it may seem like a good thing to be so willing and accommodating, it can be detrimental to your success.

Firstly, overcommitting can lead to burnout. When you have too much on your plate, you may find yourself working long hours, sacrificing sleep and personal time, and feeling constantly stressed.

Secondly, overcommitting can prevent you from focusing on what’s truly important.

When you’re spread too thin, you may not have enough time and energy to devote to the things that really matter to you. This can lead to a lack of fulfillment and a sense of dissatisfaction with your life.

So, it’s time to start saying “no” more often. Learn to prioritize your commitments and only take on what you can realistically handle.

6. Prioritizing unimportant but easy tasks.

You know that buzz of accomplishment you get when you check off a bunch of small, insignificant tasks from your to-do list?

Yeah, it’s a trap.

Prioritizing unimportant but easy tasks can give you a false sense of productivity while ignoring the bigger, more important tasks that actually matter.

Sure, it feels good to cross off a bunch of small tasks, but at the end of the day, what have you really accomplished?

Did you move the needle on any important projects or goals? Probably not.

Instead, focus on the big picture and prioritize tasks that will have a significant impact on your success.

Make a list of your top priorities and tackle those first, even if they’re more difficult or time-consuming. You’ll go further in the long run.

7. Neglecting self-care.

You’re a go-getter, always pushing yourself to achieve more.

But sometimes, in the pursuit of success, you forget to take care of yourself.

Neglecting self-care is a surefire way to burn out and become less productive in the long run.

If you’re doing any of the following, it’s time to rethink your priorities…

Skipping meals: You might think that skipping meals will give you more time to work, but it will only leave you feeling tired and unfocused.

Not getting enough sleep: Sleep is restorative. That’s its entire purpose! We sleep so that our bodies and minds can rejuvenate enough for us to go again the next day. Skimp on sleep and you’ll regret it.

Ignoring your mental health: Don’t push through the stress and anxiety believing it is necessary for success. Quite the opposite. Poor mental health leads to low productivity, a lack of motivation, and burnout.

Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Don’t neglect self-care in the pursuit of success.

8. Thinking you know everything.

Oh, you think you know everything, do you?

Well, let me tell you something, you don’t.

It’s impossible to know everything, so stop pretending like you do because it can be a major obstacle to success.

When you think you know everything, you stop learning. You stop growing. You become stagnant.

And when you become stagnant, you become irrelevant. The world is constantly changing, and if you’re not changing with it, you’re going to get left behind.

So, how do you stop thinking you know everything?

First, admit that you don’t. It’s okay to not know something. In fact, it’s better to admit that you don’t know something than to pretend like you do.

Second, be open to learning. Listen to others. Read books. Attend seminars. There’s always something new to learn, and you never know where you might find inspiration.

Third, be humble. Recognize that everyone has something to teach you. You may be an expert in one area, but there’s always someone who knows more than you do in another area. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you’re willing to learn and grow.

9. Playing it safe.

Have you always been one to play it safe, never taking risks or stepping out of your comfort zone?

Well, if you want to be truly successful, you need to leave this habit in the past.

Playing it safe may seem like the easy and secure option, but it can hold you back from achieving your full potential.

You’ll never know what you’re truly capable of if you don’t take risks and push out of your comfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if they scare you.

Remember, life is short and you don’t want to look back with regret. So, take that leap of faith and see where it gets you.

You never know, it may just lead you to the success you’ve always dreamed of.

Extra reading: Taking Risks In Life: Why You Should + How To Do It Right

10. Setting fluffy goals.

Do you ever find yourself setting goals that are so vague and fluffy that you can’t even measure your progress towards them?

You know the ones—”be more successful”, “get in shape”, “be happier”.

These goals might sound nice, but they’re not going to get you anywhere.

It’s time to ditch the fluffy goals and start setting SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

For example, instead of “get in shape,” set a goal to “run a 5k in under 30 minutes by the end of the year.” This goal is specific (run a 5k), measurable (under 30 minutes), achievable (with training), relevant (improving fitness), and time-bound (by the end of the year).

When you set SMART goals, you give yourself something concrete to work towards. You can track your progress and adjust your actions accordingly.

So, stop setting fluffy goals and start setting SMART goals. Your future self will thank you.

11. Procrastinating.

Ah, procrastination. The art of delaying important tasks until the last possible moment.

You might think you work best under pressure, but in reality, you’re just setting yourself up for unnecessary stress and disappointment.

Here are a few ways to stop procrastinating and start being productive:

Make a to-do list: Write down everything you need to do and prioritize the most important tasks. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by less important tasks.

Break tasks into smaller chunks: If a task seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This will make it easier to get started and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Eliminate distractions: Turn off your phone, close your email, and find a quiet place to work. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting distracted by social media, email, or other distractions.

Reward yourself: Set a goal and reward yourself when you achieve it. This will help you stay motivated and make it easier to stay on track.

Remember, procrastination might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s only delaying your success.

12. Comparing yourself to others.

Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy!

You are unique, and your journey is different from everyone else’s.

When you compare yourself to others, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You will always find someone who is better than you in some way, and that will make you feel inadequate.

Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own progress and growth. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they are.

Comparing yourself to others can also lead to jealousy and envy. You start to resent others for their success, and that can be toxic.

Instead, use their success as inspiration. Learn from them and try to emulate their success.

13. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself.

You’re a perfectionist, and that’s great! Right? You always strive for excellence and nothing less.

However, there’s a fine line between striving for excellence and having unrealistic expectations of yourself.

When you set unrealistic expectations, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect that you forget it’s okay to make mistakes.

Perfectionism can lead to the pesky procrastination problem we just spoke about. You spend so much time trying to make everything perfect that you never actually get anything done.

It’s time to let go of the idea of perfection. Embrace the fact that you’re human and that making mistakes is part of the learning process.

Instead of striving for perfection, strive for progress.

Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may be. Remember, progress is progress, no matter how slow.

14. Breaking commitments to others.

Ah, breaking commitments to others. It’s a classic way to ruin relationships and leave a lasting impression on those around you.

But hey, who needs friends when you can be successful, right?


Successful people don’t break commitments to others. They understand the importance of keeping their word and showing up when they say they will.

But if you’re still convinced that breaking commitments is the way to go, here are a few tips to help you out:

Make sure you always have a good excuse ready. “I forgot” and “I got busy” are classics, but feel free to get creative.

Don’t worry about the other person’s feelings. After all, it’s not like they have anything better to do than wait around for you.

If all else fails, just ghost them. It’s the ultimate power move.

Of course, if you want to actually be successful and maintain healthy relationships, you should probably avoid all of the above. Just a thought.

About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.