7 Things That Sabotage Your Success – And How to Deal with Them

Business-developmentHave you ever looked at someone successful and wonder how they’re different than you? They seem to have everything they could ever want and you can’t seem to find your way out of a shallow hole with a flashlight, ladder and map?

The truth is that they likely didn’t get in the position they’re in overnight (although it may seem that way). In every success story, most people only see the end result but never question what it took for the person to reach the levels they were able to reach. You aren’t face to face with the work and effort it took to get them there, so it seems like it was effortless to them.

While most articles focus on what you should do to achieve success, this one focuses on the things that prevent a lot of people (maybe even you) from seeing their dreams come to pass. So, here are the seven things that will absolutely ensure that you don’t succeed, and what you can do to overcome them:

#1 Bad self-esteem or low self-worth

This one thing in and of itself will absolutely stop the greatness you contain from coming into reality. When you don’t believe that you’re good enough or smart enough to do something, it’s pretty hard to find the energy to determine whether you’re right or you’re wrong.

You need to realize that although you may have faults (who doesn’t?) you also have many, many strengths. Maybe you’re great at organizing things or perhaps you have wonderful compassion and empathy, making you a great people person.

Make a list of all the attributes you have that will assist you in your quest to reach your goals. Knowing your key strengths will help you use them when you need to and it will also remind you that you really do possess the capability to go to new levels.

#2 Negative thoughts or never moving beyond bad past experiences

We all have those moments in our past when we wish we had behaved or acted differently. We either did or did not do something we regret so we harbor bad thoughts about ourselves, often calling ourselves “stupid” or “foolish” or some other demeaning descriptor.

Or, maybe our distant past (such as when we were children) has taught us that bad things always happen and all we want to do is escape them. Either way, we feel like we’ve lost the fight even before it began.

Not only does holding on to the past serve no real purpose since you can’t go back and change it, it also stops you from moving forward. After all, how can you focus on today and tomorrow when you’re stuck in yesterday, right?

It’s time to let go of the chains that keep you bound to things you clearly can’t do anything about and let yourself move forward. If you screwed up, you screwed up. Just admit your mistake, learn from it and work towards making better decisions in the future.

If life wasn’t the greatest, then so be it. You can either continue to live in lack and disappointment or you can change it so you have all you’ve ever wanted…and more!

#3 Surrounding yourself with negative people or focusing on negative TV news

It’s hard to be positive and upbeat in today’s world because everyone seems so intent on concentrating only on what goes wrong as opposed to what goes right. If you think about it, good things rarely make the news or are discussed amongst a group of colleagues. It’s the tragic events that bring about the most attention.

The thing is that your energy goes wherever you direct it. So, if you spend a majority of your time involved with people who are negative or prefer to deal only with the horrible things that occur on a daily basis, then that is where your focus goes as well. This leaves you absolutely no energy to move in a positive direction because you’re too busy concentrating on the negative.

If you want to propel yourself toward success, you need the best productivity tools. Surround yourself with people who are positive, energetic and upbeat. Look for individuals that have achieved their own success and they will help keep you going when you want to do nothing more than give up (because you will hit those moments, unfortunately.)

#4 Poor living or working environment

Just as it’s difficult to succeed when you’re constantly around people who suck the energy from your life, the same is true when you spend a lot of your days and nights in living or working environments that do the same. Look at it this way: If your physical surroundings don’t support success, then they support failure.

For this reason, you need to create an environment that all but ensures that you’ll do everything you need to do to reach the goals you desire to reach. Start by cleaning up and organizing your space to the best of your ability so that you can fully concentrate on your priorities without distraction.

Next, put things in place that will prompt you to move closer to your goal instead of further away from it. For example, you could create a vision board so that you’re constantly being motivated to advance forward as you see the images of things you wish to attain. Or, leave yourself little notes that inspire you to keep going when the road gets tough.

#5 Poor physiology and nutrition

Eating right and staying healthy do more than just benefit you physically. They also promote you mentally, intellectually and emotionally. After all, it’s pretty hard to work your hardest and try your best when you don’t feel well.

You will notice that if you follow a nutritionally sound diet plan and get regular physical exercise you will have more than enough energy to succeed at whatever you set your mind to. You’ll experience greater clarity and be better prepared to function despite the stress and anxiety you’re likely to encounter along the way.

Choose foods that are all natural and limit or eliminate processed and fast foods. Spend at least some time every day moving your body and working your muscles. It’s not time wasted. Consider it an investment in your future.

#6 Afraid of taking risks

Society seems to have a big focus on creating a norm or a standard. Do anything “abnormal” and you’re considered a rebel or just plain weird. That can make it pretty difficult to take a risk or think outside the box if you feel penalized when you do.

Certainly you do gain more attention when you go against societal norms and march to the beat of your own drum. But, this is also where you advance the most too. Think of the people that defied society and came up with cures to diseases, solutions to major problems and advanced society as a whole simply because they were willing to be themselves and think in new and innovative directions.

Be a forward thinker who believes in themselves so much that they’re willing to stake everything they’ve got to prove that their theory is correct. Remember: The greater the risk, the greater the reward.

#7 Poor faith or belief system

If you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to succeed, it will never happen. You have to know beyond a shadow of the doubt that you can do what you set out to do or you won’t ever see it come to pass. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is visualize yourself reaching your goal. Feel it. Touch it. Taste it. Become one with it to the point where you can’t tell where the visualization ends and reality begins.

And always have faith that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be. Perhaps the road has been difficult to travel but realize also that you’ve learned some things along the way that will only help you as you move closer and closer to your goals. Not all lessons are pleasant to learn.

This is the one thing that can make the difference between reaching success and living with failure. Sometimes you just have to continue to believe, even when there is nothing tangible to hold onto. If you don’t, there is no way you’ll ever reach your goals because you’ll likely give up first.


Whether you succeed or fail is completely and totally up to you. Things may have been stacked against you in one way or another, but ultimately you determine your own destiny.

You can either continue to walk paths until you find the one that leads you where you want to go, or you can sit on the side of the road watching everyone else pass you by.

Life will pay whatever price you ask of it. Isn’t it time to ask for a raise? And, if that scares you, just remember the word: “until”. Don’t ever stop “Until” you find what you’re looking for!

Author’s Bio: John Mak is writing on health and productivity. In his recent case study about personal development, he found that lack of motion leads to anxiety and depression (bad emotion). By exercising daily, eating healthy and thinking positive, life can become a great adventure, interesting, easier to live and enjoy it to the fullest. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.


  1. Hi Michele,

    Excellent! Keeping fit vibes with me in a big way.

    Watch what you eat. Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes daily. Taking care of your body elevates your energy for creating.

    I am religious about staying fit despite my busy work and travel sked. I have a successful doctor buddy who puts in serious hours. He gets in his cardio and lifting at 10:30 PM, after work.

    I asked him how he does it at times – although I do the same thing 😉 – and he noted he would not be successful if he skipped these sessions. Working out at odd hours gives him the energy to do what he does.

    Thanks for sharing Michele!


    1. Wish I could take credit. This is a post by John Mak … my bad. Forget to add his information.

      Anyway, I hear what you’re saying. Fitness has been a big part of my routine the last six months. It’s been my saving grace for not only keeping fit, but also keeping my sanity and the ideas flowing as well. 😉

    1. Definitely Rogier! I don’t watch TV news lately or when I watch TV I ‘m trying to watch something that will inspire me and make me visualize my life becoming better and better every single day. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Hi there superb website! Does running a blog such as this take a large amount of work?
    I’ve virtually no knowledge of computer programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject nevertheless I simply wanted to ask. Thanks a lot!


Leave a Reply