In the real world, success is not the end of the story. There are plenty of people who succeed in their lives, in their businesses, within their families and circle of friends, yet end up failing down the road because of their bad habits.
This isn’t just about procrastinating or lack of punctuality. Success involves planning, positivity and work-life balance. It involves frequent, effective communication and the ability to work with others in a positive environment.
Here are 7 habits of successful people who are destined for failure, and how not to become one of them.
1. Developing great ideas without a game plan
The majority of the time, people become successful when they have a great idea. They are able to recognize that a certain idea has potential to become something significant, develop it and do whatever they can to make it a tangible business, product or service. That is what sets them apart from unsuccessful people.
What makes successful people fail, however, is trying to develop an idea without a plan of action. Trying to dive headfirst into something without calculating its strengths and weaknesses, benefits and risks, things have the potential to fall apart quickly and easily even if an idea resonates with the target audience.
2. Immersing yourself in a negative environment
A successful person might have a lot going for them, but find it very difficult to meet their goals and enjoy what they are doing. This is many times caused by those they work and surround themselves with. Toxic work environments and even toxic relationships with family and friends can lead to failure simply because they distract us from focusing on the big picture.
Sometimes you don’t have a choice or don’t have the resources to change your environment. You can do your best to make the most of it until you can somehow get yourself around more positive people. Just do your best and know that it isn’t your fault. However, you will be to blame if you continue to surround yourself with negative influences that prevent you from doing adequate work.
3. Having a bad attitude
The way we react to specific situations and people says a lot about whether or not we will succeed in business and in life. The same way other people influence the way you think, feel and work, you influence other people, and yourself. Your entire outlook can change just by changing your attitude.
Understand and accept that mistakes happen and things go wrong. Be positive. Use positive affirmations to keep you motivated and to get you through the tougher circumstances. A bad attitude will not make you successful. It will make every obstacle you encounter appear to be impossible to overcome.
4. Never taking responsibility for your mistakes
For many reasons, it is very difficult for us to admit we are wrong in all areas of our lives, especially right after we’ve somehow messed up. We tend to find other factors, including other people, to blame when things not going the way we hoped they would. Even when we’re the ones who made the mistake or contributed the most to its outcome.
You can’t be successful without making mistakes. It just isn’t possible. Every mistake we make, we are supposed to be able to learn from. Not taking responsibility for the mistakes you make in your personal and professional life will ultimately lead to failure, because you will never learn how to do things differently the next time in order to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
5. Not communicating effectively
Unclear, ineffective communication—or worse, no communication at all—will always lead to failure. Ineffective communication is the assumption that other people want exactly what you want and understand what you have not said. Nothing good ever comes from this. Nothing ever gets done. Goals never become achievements.
Communicate. Say what you mean. Don’t leave things up to interpretation. There is nothing wrong with laying out exactly how you feel or what you want or need. Other people cannot, and do not want to, read your mind. Success is asking, saying, listening and understanding.
6. Working too much
Having a great idea and a plan to go along with it, surrounding yourself with good people and changing your attitude are all effective ways to avoid failure. However, none of that matters if you work too much. It doesn’t matter how many products you have sold or how many customers you have helped: if you are so overworked and stressed that you’re miserable and ill, you haven’t really succeeded at all.
The last thing you want to do is burn out trying to make success happen in your life. You have to slow down. You have to delegate. You have to realize that your ambitions, though important, are not more important than the health of your mental and physical self and the health of your relationships. Take a break. Relax. Go on a quiet vacation. Sleep. Stop working so hard!
7. Refusing to work well with other people
Trying to do everything by yourself is a bad habit that is difficult to overcome. This is understandable, because you know exactly how you picture things being done and you have your own system for remaining productive. Refusing to let others help, or consider their ideas and opinions, is an unfortunate and completely avoidable way to fail.
To succeed, you have to play nice with others. You need to learn how to compromise and listen and build new ideas off of someone else’s ideas in a constructive group environment. Working with other people is essential: you simply cannot do everything on your own.
Your habits may reflect eventual failure, but they cannot predict your future. You have the power to change your habits, achieve success and avoid failure. You don’t have to be perfect, because not a single person is. All you need to do is improve your attitude and the way you behave. It is essential, and it is worth it.