How do you define success? I’ve looked up a few definitions while trying to understand how others define it and the following caught my attention:
- Collins English Dictionary: success means achieving something you’ve been trying to do
- Jeff Haden: achieving success means being able to assess your life at a certain point and declare yourself happy with it
- Oxford Living Dictionaries: accomplishing a goal or purpose, attaining fame, wealth, or social status.
What Is Success After All?
Let me clear any doubts and confirm that I agree with Jeff Haden. The best way to assess if you are successful is to ask yourself if you are happy. What is your answer?
- Yes – If your answer is affirmative, congratulations are in order. You are successful and you have every chance to remain successful.
- No – If something does not let you fully enjoy your accomplishments, it simply means you should stop guiding your actions by what other people deem as successful, and focus on what makes you happy.
Unfortunately, success is not easy to attain, especially when so many things drag us back, distract us, delay us, and distort our perception of life, success, and happiness. Before we can actually chase success and happiness, we need to eliminate all obstacles, all small things that could come between us and our goals. Let’s take a look at those things and find out what they matter and how we can give them up.
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14 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Successful
1. The “I Can’t” Mindset
My father always warned me: In life, never say or think you can’t do what you set your mind to. Perhaps:
- You don’t know how to do it yet, which means you should learn
- You don’t try hard enough, which means you should try harder
- You don’t really want to, case in which you should assess your reasons and either reconsider or set different goals.
Otherwise put, you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you really want to, you are willing to learn, and you try hard enough.
2. Fear of Failure
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge it, as it affects even the most successful people. Some, like Steve Jobs and Tim Ferris, have learned to overcome it. In the end, you have nothing to fear. Failure can be good if you learn from it, and trying and failing is better than not trying and living with the thought of what might have happened.
3. Friends Who Don’t Believe in You and Don’t Support You
As I wrote a couple of months ago, you should be picky with your friends. You need to surround yourself with people who believe in you or at least believe in your right to follow your dreams and they support you. Don’t accept anyone whispering behind your back or telling you to give up. Only accept positive vibes and support. Those who cannot provide them aren’t really your friends, so you are better off without them.
4. Unhealthy Habits
Do you really need cigarettes, drinks when you know you’ll be driving, added sugars, and fatty burgers? You may feel you do, but you don’t, and you shouldn’t jeopardize your health and well being with them. Just think of how spending a couple of weeks or months in the hospital could impact your race to success!
5. Clothes You Don’t Feel Comfortable in
Nowadays, there are options for everyone out there. You can look fancy without dying inside because the clothes you wear are too tight, the shoes you wear hurt your feet, or you feel like a clown because your outfit does not represent you. Do your homework and choose clothes that are in style, adequate for the occasion, but suitable to your taste and preference as well.
6. Past Regrets
If you waste your time and energy thinking of the road you did not take, things you did not do, or goals you never accomplished, you will probably never know success. You can’t change the past, so why fixate on it? Instead, I suggest you embrace it and let it go, so you can focus on your future.
Sometimes, you get carried away with small stuff and you lose sight of your goals. If you want to be a photographer, you should look up photography classes and equipment, and find a way to obtain them even if, in the beginning, it’s only a passion and doesn’t put money on the table. Everything else you invest time and effort in and doesn’t get you closer to your goal (perhaps you need a job to earn more money for the equipment or training you need), is a distraction.
8. Letting Others Decide for You
I know quite a few people who never had the courage to decide for themselves, and allowed others to tell them what to do. They were never happy or successful. You need to make your own decisions and live with them. If you do it and failed, you will at least know you did what you thought was best. If you fail following other peoples’ decision, you will regret it and feel frustrated, disappointed, upset with yourself.
9. Worrying About How Others See You
It would be great to be loved and appreciated by everyone. Unfortunately, it will never happen. There are many haters out there, and nothing you do or say will ever please them. Instead of worrying about what they may think of you and try to impress them, invest your time and energy in your goals. You will reach them faster.
10. Stress Factors
Stress is probably a constant in your life, but also a considerable obstacle when it comes to attaining your goals. Instead of letting it overwhelm you, you need to identify its sources and apply some simple yet effective stress relief strategies. Leave your worries aside and give yourself a break every now and then. You deserve it, and, even if something doesn’t work out the way you wanted, it’s not the end of the world.
11. Excess Use of Social Media
I realize some platforms can actually help you achieve your goals faster, especially if your success version involves a certain degree of fame and fortune. However, spending most of your time online will not help. You need to set some boundaries and establish some form of control for how much time you spend online. If you find it difficult, it is a clear sign that it is time to take a break from social media and remind yourself and those around you that there is life offline as well.
If you have a tendency to find excuses for yourself and justify your actions, fight it. Excuses may make you feel better about yourself for a little while. However, they will not change your failure to accomplish your goals. Instead of justifying your lack of action, get to it. Otherwise, one day, you may come to realize you are just a pathetic loser who never had the courage to do anything and hid behind convenient excuses.
Unfortunately, life puts you in situations when you think you have to do several things at the same time. You don’t. Not only that you cannot focus and obtain great results on several tasks simultaneously, but you will only exhaust yourself and diminish any success chances you may have. Instead, you should prioritize. Figure out what matters to you most and go for it. When you are done, you can take care of the other stuff too.
14. Short-Term Goals
When what you want to achieve is challenging and takes time, you are tempted to establish other short-term goals. Unfortunately, doing so would only create one more obstacle in your path to success. Instead, you can make your final goal more achievable by dividing it into several smaller and gradual goals and focusing on attaining those, one by one. This way, you will win several small but encouraging battles on your way to final victory.
Drawing the Line: Can You Be Successful?
Do you think you can give up the habits and actions above? Do you agree that they could prevent you from reaching your goals and being successful? Is there anything you would like to add to the list? Don’t hesitate to share my post with your friends if you agree, or drop a comment if you don’t, or there is anything you would like to add! And do not forget to subscribe to us for more such interesting articles.