14 things you need to stop doing if you want to be a successful person

Disclosure: this page may contain affiliate links to select partners. We receive a commission should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on them. Read our affiliate disclosure.

How can you become a successful person?

While there are many paths to success, there are things you can do and things you ought not to do if you want to taste it. The following things will make it harder for you to find success.

1. Setting unrealistic expectations.

Having your head in the clouds, so to speak, can throw a wrench in your plans and bring on a major case of disappointment. It’s all about aiming for goals that you can actually reach—ones that match up with what you can do and what you have at your disposal. That way, you can keep making strides and feel like you’re really getting somewhere.

2. Believing you’re not good enough to succeed.

Thinking you’re not up to snuff will put the brakes on your potential. You’ve got to build up that confidence and self-belief, whether it’s through pumping yourself up with positive affirmations, reaching out to mentors or friends, or giving yourself credit for what you’ve already achieved. And don’t forget to cut yourself some slack and flip those negative thoughts on their head whenever they do crop up.

3. Trying to do or be a bit of everything.

Trying to be a jack of all trades only waters down your expertise and influence. But when you zero in on a specific area, that’s when the magic happens. You get to dig into the nitty-gritty, develop deep knowledge, carve out a stellar reputation, and shine in your field, opening up doors for growth and success. It’s all about pinpointing what you’re awesome at and passionate about, then honing those skills like a boss.

4. Thinking short-term.

Focusing solely on the immediate future might prevent you from making moves that set you up for long-term success. You’ve got to think big picture and consider how your choices today will play out down the road, making sure they line up with your ultimate goals and vision. Embrace a strategic mindset, take the long view, and make choices that set the stage for lasting growth and rock-solid success, rather than just going for quick wins or temporary fixes.

5. Thinking you always know best.

Stubbornly thinking you’ve got all the answers can shut you off from some seriously valuable input and chances to grow. Staying open-minded, welcoming feedback from all corners, and keeping that learning train chugging along can open up a whole world of fresh ideas and new paths to explore. By staying flexible and listening to different perspectives, you tap into a goldmine of collective wisdom to help you keep on leveling up.

6. Trying to be the person you think others want you to be.

Molding yourself into what you think everyone else expects can put a damper on your authenticity and creativity. But when you embrace your quirks, values, and perspectives, you’ll find things begin to fall into place. You’ll build trust, make genuine connections, and feel rock-solid in who you are, bringing some serious oomph to everything you tackle, both personally and professionally.

7. Refusing to take risks in case you fail.

Playing it safe all the time because you’re scared of falling flat on your face will prevent you from grabbing hold of chances to move forward. But when you’re willing to take some smart risks, bounce back from slip-ups, and dive into new adventures, success is more likely. By taking calculated risks, doing your homework, and having a backup plan, you’ll stretch your limits and discover fresh opportunities.

8. Needing things to be perfect.

Being a stickler for perfection can mean you drag your feet and hold off on what needs to get done. Instead, you ought to embrace imperfections, set the bar at a doable level, and aim for progress rather than flawlessness. By getting into that groove of constantly tweaking and being cool with things being “good enough,” you can kick perfectionism to the curb, keep the ball rolling, and see some solid results.

9. Being impatient.

Wanting success straight away can result in hasty decisions and mean you miss out on the beauty of slow and steady progress. Patience, on the other hand, allows you to keep your eyes on the long game and give yourself props for every little win. By recognizing that progress takes time, setting achievable timelines, and embracing a zen-like patience, you’ll tackle obstacles like a champ, keep that momentum going, and reach lasting success through steady, intentional hustle.

10. Trying to control everything.

Seeking to have your say in how every little thing happens is a recipe for disaster. You simply cannot wield that level of influence over your life and the events in it. By embracing the limitations of your control, you can let go of the rigid vision you might have of success and move freely along different routes to get to an endpoint that may not look as you expected, but one that is rewarding, nonetheless.

11. Glorifying the grind.

Proudly pulling crazy long hours can lead to burnout and taking a hit on your overall well-being. You need to mix in some downtime, hobbies, and self-care alongside your hustle to sustain your productivity and creativity. By putting work-life balance front and center, drawing lines in the sand, and giving your body and mind some love, you’ll keep on rocking at your best, build up your resilience, and find fulfillment in both your personal life and your grind.

12. Procrastinating.

Putting things off can throw a wrench in your success and pile on the stress for no good reason. Kicking procrastination to the curb means locking in clear priorities, breaking tasks into bite-sized chunks, and setting up a space that’s all about getting in the zone. By mastering time management techniques and tackling any roadblocks head-on, you’ll squash that procrastination bug, take the reins on your productivity, and keep that momentum going strong toward some seriously purposeful action.

13. Making excuses.

Dodging responsibility with a bunch of excuses will hold you back from both personal and professional progression. But when you take ownership of your actions, learn to bounce back from setbacks, and go all in on finding solutions, that’s when you start building up some serious grit and a go-getter attitude. You’ll cook up a vibe of personal responsibility, drive some seriously positive shifts, and keep on pushing yourself toward rock-solid growth and wins.

14. Comparing yourself to others.

Getting caught up in unhelpful comparisons will prevent you from recognizing and owning your own awesome talents. Instead, you need to zero in on your own growth, set goals that are all about you, and give yourself props for every step forward. By tuning into who you are, nurturing what you’re great at, and making your personal growth a top priority, you’ll tap into your unique skills, unlock your full potential, and blaze a trail toward success that is all about you and what you stand for.

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.