Not everyone becomes a successful entrepreneur or excels in their field at the highest level, but that is because good things do not come easily. Finding success and becoming a high achiever takes a lot of grit and sacrifice. It may just mean changing aspects of your personality. These are 50 things you need to give up if you want to achieve great things.
50. Needing to Be Well-Liked
The idea of popularity can be alluring, but in reality, you can’t please everyone. No matter what you say or do, there will always be someone who is unhappy with your decisions. So you might as well save your energy and be yourself. This also applies to making difficult decisions if you are in a leadership position. You might even have to fire someone if you are manager or business owner.
Becoming a successful high achiever means knowing what you are good at, and asking for help in other areas. It also means knowing how to manage your time efficiently so that you can focus on your talents. Just because you can do everything by yourself it doesn’t mean you should, if it’s not the best use of your time.
For example, if it takes you two hours to cook dinner and do the dishes, maybe it’s better to order takeout on a night when you have a big deadline. If you run a business, you should hire someone to help you do the low-level mundane tasks, and focus only on the tasks you must do alone. If you can’t afford to pay for the help, try to learn when it’s appropriate to ask a friend or family member to lend a hand when they can.
If you have a strong gut feeling about something, it’s best to pay attention. Your intuition will help you avoid bad situations, and know when to jump into a great opportunity, even when it doesn’t make the most sense.
No one is born knowing everything they need to know about what it takes to become successful. It is a matter of learning through trial and error, and that includes going into situations where you secretly have no idea what you’re doing.
High achievers know that learning shouldn’t stop after you graduate with a degree. Successful people are always in the process of learning new things, even if they are considered to be a ‘master’ of their craft. The world keeps changing, especially with modern technology. If you don’t keep up with learning new things, you are likely to fall behind eventually.
Despite what you see in the movies, inspiration is not a magical lightning bolt that hits you at the perfect moment. Sure, sometimes it happens like that, but the vast majority of successful people go looking for inspiration instead of waiting for it to come to them. This is especially true for anyone working in a creative field. Instead of waiting around, force yourself to work on your goals every day, and the inspiration will come later.
Some people think that you will achieve more if you give yourself a ton of work to do every day. Sometimes, that works, but most of the time, it will only overwhelm you, which is counter-productive. You also run the risk of rushing to get something done, and it’s not your best work. Make sure you give yourself enough time before a deadline to get a project done to the best of your ability.
No one ever succeeded by staying in their comfort zone. Whether you are trying to start a business or get a promotion in your company, you will have to take a risk at some point if you want to get ahead. Just remember that uncomfortable situations are usually only temporary, and you can get through it.
A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs get tons of great ideas, but some never actually pick one thing and stick to it. Indecision can totally kill real progress, so it is very important to get your head in the game and stay focused. It’s best to use logic and maybe some “pro” and “con” charts to help make your decisions, but even if it’s a matter of flipping a coin, sometimes, you have to just pick something in order to move forward.
People have distractions in their lives now more than ever. Between TV, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and texting your friends, you can easily go down a black hole of distractions that will make hours go by in the blink of an eye. Distractions can also come in the form of friends, co-workers, significant others, and family members. Instead of letting your mind wander, try to put the phone down and focus on your tasks, instead.
Success is never a perfect incline. There are going to be obstacles in the way for everyone, and it can be very difficult. During a particularly difficult time, you might be tempted to give up and settle for the life you have now. Just remember that it’s a marathon, not a race. And as long as you keep trying, you’ll get to the finish line eventually.
If you are a pessimistic and cynical person, you are going to have a hard time moving up in the world. A “bad attitude” can also mean just generally being mean and rude to other people. No one wants to work with someone like this, whether it’s co-workers or clients who are considering hiring you. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Some people make the excuse that they like to be “fashionably late”, but if you show up late to a meeting, your clients and co-workers are going to assume you aren’t taking your job seriously, and many people become personally offended, because it shows that you do not respect the time of the person who is waiting for you. This is only going to hurt your chances of moving up in the world.
In America, we have this “hustle more” mindset, especially in start-up culture. People are almost proud to say that they are going on 2 hours of sleep and 10 cups of coffee so that they can get a ton of work done. If you are in your 20’s, maybe you can do this for a while, but you will eventually hit a brick wall. Burning out is awful, and it can sometimes take weeks to recover even a fraction of the productivity you once had. So remember not to push yourself too hard.
In order to avoid burning out, you need to take self-care seriously. This comes in all forms, depending on who you are. Self-care can be going on a walk for some fresh air, taking a bubble bath, or spending your weekend binge-watching a Netflix series. Yes, it it taking time away from your work. But giving your brain the time to relax will actually give you better productivity overall.
If you are extremely focused on the task at hand, it can consume all of your thoughts…but you just forget to say it out loud. This happens to busy people more often than you think. So just remember to communicate your intentions and expectations to your employees, co-workers, boss, and clients. They will appreciate being in the loop, and it shows that you can work well with others.
The founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, says that he thinks about the customer first, and then works from there. That philosophy applies to so many more fields than just retail. Whether you are a doctor, stock broker, lawyer, professor, or writer, you need to always be thinking about the patient, client, student, or reader. When you put those people first instead of yourself, it often develops into a successful career.
This almost seems like common sense, but if you want to succeed, you need to kick laziness to the curb. There is no excuse for “I don’t feel like it”, and those words shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary.
When an issue feels really overwhelming, it’s way too easy to sweep it under the rug for another day. But when we do this, problems tend to get worse. The phrase “more money, more problems” is very real. So, if you want to change your life and have a high-powered position, you need to learn how to face issues head-on with patience and bravery.
Whether we like to admit it or not, drinking and smoking slows our body down. And sometimes, if we overdo it, our bodies hate us the next day, and we have to move through a sluggish haze. If you want to be on the top of your game, it is necessary to stay sober Monday through Friday, at the very least.
Far too many people use the victim mentality as an excuse to not succeed. No matter what hardships you have gone through in your life, and no matter how much your physical disabilities, race, gender, or socio-economic status might hold you back, there is always a way to improve your situation. Privilege is very real, and there are some people who have their lives set up to succeed from the time they are born. Even if it takes you years longer to achieve your dreams, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to get there. Instead of playing the victim, try to empower yourself to become an example of someone who has defied the overwhelming odds of your situation.
We all know that eating junk food every day, over-eating, and smoking are not good for our bodies, but it can also hurt our productivity, as well. As you are reading this, you are probably thinking about the unhealthy habits you have. No one is perfect, but every improvement you make will help you become healthier and more productive.
Hitting the “snooze” button is tempting, especially if you work from home. But if you wake up early, you will have more hours in the day to get everything done. Remember- everyone has the same 24 hours, but those who choose to spend them wisely are the ones that get ahead.
Sociological and psychological studies have proven that the more time we spend on Facebook and Instagram, the more miserable we feel. Comparison is the thief of joy, and if you spend to much time on it, you will begin to feel like you may never be as successful as someone else. It’s also a huge distraction, too. Try to spend less time on there, and you will most likely feel a lot happier and more productive.
Filmmaker Casey Neistat has some of the best advice on this topic: “Excuses are exactly like a–holes. Everyone’s got them, but no one wants to hear about yours.” In his YouTube video titled “NO EXCUSES”, he explains that everyone has obstructions in achieving their goals, and it is necessary to overcome them in order to achieve your dream. Excuses are the reasons for you abandoning your dreams. “Each obstruction that is not overcome becomes an excuse. These excuses often take place of your dreams. Then, all that’s left are you and your excuses.”
Sometimes, a task can seem so overwhelming, it makes us feel powerless. And if you are going through a difficult time in your life, it is all too easy to get de-railed from the path of following your dream. But if you give in to that emotion, you are likely to fail to achieve your goals. It’s okay to take a break and practice some self-care, and re-approach and problem when you feel better. If this is a constant problem in your life, you may want to seek help, because it is possible that you have depression.
If your office looks like an episode of Hoarders, you are likely to not get anything done, no matter how much you insist that you know where all of your stuff is. There should be a place for everything to be tucked away so that you can sit at your desk and focus at the task at hand.
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out the YouTube video of Casey Neistat’s office tour, or search for your particular field with the key words “office tour”, like “artist office tour” or “musician studio tour.”
There is a saying that you need to “dress for success”, and that’s completely true. But there is a fine line between knowing how to present yourself and going overboard. If you care way too much about how you look, this takes time away from your work, and it also leads to spending more money on clothes, cosmetics, etc.
We are only human, so our bodies need Vitamin D to be happy and healthy. If you aren’t getting enough sunlight, it can lead to you feeling exhausted. Remember to take a walk in nature, go to the beach, or any other excuse to get outside.
If you are spending all of your hard-earned money on frivolous things instead of saving or re-investing, it is likely that you are not putting your money where it needs to be in order to move up in the world. Are you investing in your dreams, or buying shoes, clothes, and the newest iPhone?
Amazon.com is famous for being worth billions of dollars, and yet they don’t bring in a profit. This is because Jeff Bezos chose to take his money and re-invest it in the business instead of spending it on himself. Even when he was worth millions, he still drove around in an older car. This is how people often succeed in the long run. If you want to go far, it only makes sense to investing in a degree to further your education, or buy the necessary tools to make your work more efficient.
Moving forward in your career usually comes along with some kind of change, whether it’s moving to a new state, changing your job title, or mixing up your daily routine. If you are very stuck on keeping things the same, it’s not likely you can move up to the next level.
No matter how much caffeine we consume in a single day, our bodies truly do need sleep in order to have a healthy immune system and a clear mind. If you need to pull the occasional all-nighter, so be it, but don’t make it a habit. On average, out bodies need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night. If you are getting less than that, you may not be able to think clearly and work to your fullest potential.
When you start a business, or if you are trying to grow in your career, you might get this idea that you “need” certain things. For example, if you want to be a YouTuber, you might think you need to go out and buy a $1,000 camera immediately, and then it ends up collecting dust. In reality, you can start filming on your cell phone to practice video editing for free, and spend more money later if you see results. This principle applies to almost every professional field. Thinking that you need expensive things in order to succeed often ends up becoming and excuse to stop trying with the things you have at your disposal.
People who procrastinate are masters of taking a shortcut to get an assignment done, but this usually means you will fail to do the highest quality work. When you drive over a bridge, would you be happy to learn that the engineer just slapped on a “quick fix” to support the weight of the structure? Absolutely not. Take your time to do the best work possible if you want to shine above the rest and maintain a good reputation.
When we are trying to reach our goals, we sometimes can’t help but feel envious of other people who are succeeding before we do. Beyonce abides by “the shine theory”, which is loving and supporting all of your friends, and celebrating their successes as if they are your own. This is far better for your relationships, and your own personal happiness. Remind yourself that if someone else got what they wanted, it probably means they worked hard to get there, and they truly deserve it. Instead of being jealous, work harder on yourself, instead.
Some of the most common examples of waiting for circumstances to change are thinking that you need to wait to achieve your goals when your kids grow up, when you move out of your current living situation, get a new office space, and the list goes on. Sometimes, these obstacles legitimately get in the way, but most of the time, it’s just an excuse. If your circumstances are holding you back, figure out a way to work around them.
If you only think about yourself and the things you want, no one will want to work with you. There is always some form of give and take, whether it’s with clients, partners, or co-workers. Always remember to think about the needs of others sometimes, instead of having tunnel-vision.
A lot of people make the mistake of coveting their good ideas, because they are afraid that someone else will steal them. In fact, the smarter you are, the more likely you are to keep those ideas quiet. Remember that an idea is just that- a concept in your brain that hasn’t brought to life yet. And if you have a lot of good ideas, but you are not vocalizing them at meetings, no one will ever know your true talent.
For example, Leonardo Da Vinci was a genius, but he was so afraid that someone else would steal his ideas, he would write his notes backwards in a mirror. He also wrote over 15,000 pages, but he never published them, because he was afraid they weren’t perfect. He died feeling that he wasn’t good enough to publish a book, but the rest of the world has passionately disagreed for centuries, because he is considered one of the greatest minds of all time.
It is important to stay humble in your journey to success. Just because you get a promotion or land a huge client, try to hold back from bragging too much. It’s great to have confidence, but if you feel too self-important, it can rub people the wrong way.
Anxiety can seriously hold you back from doing what is necessary to become a high achiever. If you are always worried about the things that can go wrong, it can feel crippling. Try to remind yourself that too much worrying will only hold you back, and if you think that you might have clinical anxiety, don’t be afraid to get help.
If you are working all the time and forget to still enjoy your hobbies or hang out with friends, it becomes too easy to lose your identity. Remember to take breaks and enjoy life every once and awhile.
When you have never done something before, it is natural to have some self-doubt. Your friends and family may also doubt your ability to achieve your goals, as well. It is very normal for people to feel that way, and no one is 100% confident, especially when they are going into a new situation. Try to be kind to yourself, and give yourself a chance to actually try instead of doubting that you can succeed.
No matter how busy you might be, you need to eat breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. You are more likely to have the energy and right state of mind to be as productive as possible.
If you tend to be a Debbie Downer who only focuses on the bad things, it’s going to be really hard for you to move forward both personally and professionally. If it’s really serious, this may be a sign of depression or an anger management issue. But sometimes, focusing on the negative can be chocked up to privilege and ungratefulness. Try to take a step back and see all of the good in your life and your career. Once you feel happier, it’s easier to move on and make good decisions.
There is an old saying that “perfection is the thief of progress”, and that’s very true. If you are getting ready to launch a business, or if you are trying to prove that you deserve a raise, you may be working on something for a very long time. There may never be a moment when something is “perfect”, and you just have to move forward, anyway.
Focusing too much on work can sometimes damage your personal relationships. Remember that friends, family, and loved ones are equally, if not more important than your work. They make life worth living for. So try your best to carve out time for the people you love.
Making more money is usually at least one of the motivating factors in achieving your dreams. We need money to survive, so it’s understandable why you might think it’s important…Because it is. But if you obsess over numbers instead of looking at the big picture, you can get yourself into trouble.
Casey Neistat has yet another amazing quote, but this time, it has to do with haters. “People who say it can’t be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” Basically, if you are even trying to achieve your goals, you are already accomplishing more than the naysayers. More often that not, haters are jealous of you, so don’t let it get you down.
Sometimes, we are so focused in our own little bubble that we forget to check in on the competition. Try to keep up-to-date on what everyone else is doing in your industry, so that you know where you compare, and where there is room for improvement.