What makes a person unsuccessful? Have you ever thought about it? Everyone talks and writes about success.

“What makes a person unsuccessful?”

This is a question I got asked recently. I know the person asking the question is looking for something quick and easy because they’re frustrated with their life and looking for an “out”. But there’s no quick fix for this. The answer is not found in any one thing. There are so many factors that contribute to a person being unsuccessful. If you know what makes a person unsuccessful you will know what to avoid in your pursuit of success. Here are some of the common factors that make a person unsuccessful:

  • Not being clear: One of the biggest factors is not being clear on what it is you want. A lot of people are just content with being ‘OK’ with things. They’re not striving for success or greatness and that is OK if that is what you want. But the people who are the most successful are the ones who are the most passionate about what they do. They’re not just fine with being mediocre. When you know exactly what you want. It becomes clear how you would pursue it. Clarity gives you the power and motivation to go for it.
  • Not knowing why: Not knowing why you do what you do can be added to not being clear however I chose to add it in the next line as knowing your ‘WHY’ will make you endure your ‘HOW’. It doesn’t matter what happens to you or what you have to put up with or go through if you have a strong reason for doing what you are doing nothing can stop you from getting there. It is the strongest motivation.
  • Limiting beliefs: We all live in our own reality. It is the way we see the world. If you see the world as a good place and consider yourself lucky you will be able to achieve the things your desire. If you have negative beliefs they will stop you from moving forward. Everything starts in thought, thoughts create your beliefs then your beliefs create your actions and your actions create your results. Albert Einstein said “I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place? ‘ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.
  • Blaming others and/or external events for your shortcomings: This happens for example when someone can’t find a job. They would blame the job market or the area that they live in for their inability to secure a job. These are all external to them whereas successful people take responsibility for where they are in life. They know if they have the skills and they are good at what they do they can get a job regardless of what is happening in the job market or anything outside of them.
  • Giving up: Unsuccessful people give up too soon just when there is any sign of difficulty. It is game over for them before the game has even started. In life, there is always resistance. You can expect it. Nothing happens smoothly all the time. There is always resistance. When you know this you can preserve and persist till you get the desired outcome. If you give up the only thing that is guaranteed is that you will never get what you desire. It took me a year to get my coaching and web design business going. Things take time. You have to keep at it all the time. You need to have blind faith in the results and believe in your success. Instant gratification is just one of our primitive brain traits. We use it in marketing to influence. In real life, things take time and for you to succeed you need to keep at it. You need to change the approach or the person or the product till you get the results. You need to always motivate yourself to take action.
  • Being set in their ways: We live in a world where the only constant is change. Unsuccessful people are set in their ways even if those ways don’t work. They are not flexible to change if the circumstances require change. Successful people are highly flexible and adaptable. They will try different things, talk to different people to get a different perspective to help them get the desired result. Bruce Lee said “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
  • Lack of planning and direction: If you don’t have a plan of your own for your life then you will become a part of someone else’s plan. Having a plan guarantees success. It will enable you to maintain focus and adjust your course if required to make sure you are on track and moving in the right direction to achieve your desired outcome.
  • Lack of belief in themselves, their skills and abilities: Unsuccessful people are not sure of themselves. They lack self-confidence. They will not try new things. They will not get out of their comfort zone. They expect things to just happen. They think they are powerless. To be successful you need to believe in yourself with no doubt, try different things and know that the best thing will happen to you.
  • Lack of resources and other excuses: Unsuccessful people will make excuses for not getting what they want instead of thinking about how they can get what they want. They will say they don’t have the money or the skill to do a certain thing. Successful people know that if someone has done what they want to do then they can do it too. They will find a way to get there without any excuses.
  • Fear: Be scared and do it anyway. Unsuccessful people have a fear of failure or a fear of success. This hinders their ability to move forward. Fear in this time and age is not real unless you are being attacked or are physically threatened. Fear increased our chances for survival in a dangerous and uncertain world however now it does more harm than good as it is just a mental barrier. Find ways to overcome your fears to move forward.
  • Bad habits: Successful people are not that much different from unsuccessful people. The difference is that they have developed good habits that help them move their lives in the right direction. It’s difficult to change your habits. But it’s not impossible. The right coach can help you develop the positive habits that will enable you to move forward to become a successful person. For example, if you eat a slice of pizza every now and then you will not get fat however if you eat a slice of pizza every day then you will add on the kilos. The same goes if you exercise just one time you will not be fit however if you do it 5 times a week you will become fitter and stronger. Your habits shape your life.

Many people will say that being unsuccessful is due to a lack of motivation. Or that they could have done what they wanted to do however they chose not to. Or that they haven’t found their passion. But those people are just making excuses or justifications for their lack of success.

Success is not about the money, the house or the car. These are just by-products of success. Success is finding something that is worth trading your time, your energy and your life for. When you do this you are already successful. The money, house and car will follow. Have you found something worthy of your life?