6 Things Everyone Should Stop Doing In Order To Be Successful

Last week, we rounded up the best career advice that you can actually use. One of the pieces of advice in that article was ‘success doesn’t come with sacrifice’. And it’s true, many people believe that in order to be successful, they need to give up something. They think you can’t have a good work/life balance and be successful, or that you need to sacrifice something or other in your life to get to where you want to be. That’s absolutely not true, and something that successful women like Arianna Huffington constantly try to change, it’s just a false mindset that will scare you off giving 1000% to what you want. 

You don’t need to make sacrifices to be as successful as you want to be, you just need to change behaviors that aren’t helping you. The negative behaviors and habits that will only hold you back need to go if you want to be the best you can possibly be. And while you’re probably thinking about habits like food, workouts, and more, you should also be thinking about your mental habits and mindsets. How can you make edits to your life, way of thinking, and way of doing things, that will help you be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be?

Go down this list and see if there are some things you’re guilty of, and let us know in the comments if you’d add anything else!

1. Living without structure

A structured day is a successful one. The Getting Stuff Done planner is the perfect accompaniment to a successful life, because it allows you to start the day with your plan, writing notes for how you want to smash the day, and then move on to your meal plan, expenses, self-care, water tracking, exercise, and more. When you’re busy, it’s better to have your entire day in one place.

Focusing on your to-do list while you remind yourself to drink enough water and that you’ve got a workout class at 8 PM that you can’t miss means that you’ll be able to finally have structure for both halves of your life. Which is absolutely what you need if you want to be successful. Working blindly without a plan, or with one basic plan that doesn’t take your personal life and goals into account will not help you go far.

2. Working so damn hard

We were raised to believe that working hard is the only way to get ahead, but that’s simply not true. Working hard wastes your time and energy when you could be spending your time working smart instead. To action this, write down everything you’re working on and how much time it takes you, figure out how you can streamline your tasks or add an alarm/timer so that when your allotted time is over you move on and start working on something else. Get strict with yourself because working smart is the number 1 trick of every successful person. They don’t waste their time on things that aren’t worth it!

Work smarter by educating yourself on how to do things better and faster, and implement it every single week.

3. Caring too much

Caring about your family, friends, and colleagues welfare is obviously a very important trait if you want to be successful. Caring what every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks about you and what you’re doing is a waste of time. Caring about people’s opinions, or believing that what other people say have more weight than what you say is the fastest way to an unsuccessful life.

To be successful, you need to be indispensable. And often indispensable people make decisions that others don’t agree with. Being indispensable means making decisions on your own sometimes. It means that you might occasionally make the wrong move, or try something that doesn’t work, but at least you’re there, at least you’re trying. Being stuck in the safe zone means you’ll never move along the ladder.

4. Consuming the wrong things

If you truly want to be successful, you’ve got to nourish your mind, body, and soul. That means the time of junk food and trash TV is over. Not forever, but for most of the time. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice everything that you love, you just have to be smarter. Putting the wrong things into your body isn’t going to help you wake up early and mentally give 100% to everything you do. Only ever reading or watching the same things isn’t going to broaden your horizons either.

You need to get into the heart of other people’s opinions and be informed about the world around you, just because this helps you develop and grow. Try new things, watch documentaries, read non-fiction and fiction, and eat healthier, you’ll be surprised about how this helps you in your day to day life.

5. Procrastinating all the time

The hardest task on your to-do list is often the one you leave until last. Everybody does it. A deadline can loom over you, while you chip away at smaller tasks instead. An exam or an essay can wait until the night before. It’s human nature to try to put off the inevitable, but if you want to be successful you have to tell yourself you will do something, and you have to get that something done.

Whether you set mini-deadlines for yourself or set a timer and hold yourself to it, you need to kick procrastination’s ass, like yesterday. If you find yourself spending too much time ‘researching’ or browsing Instagram, tell yourself that’s a negative behavior and change it out for another one. Instead, walk around the office for a few minutes, returning to your desk with a clear mind. Work solidly for a set amount of time and then reward yourself for doing so.

6. Babying your ego

As you work towards your success, there will be people you clash with, there will be opinions you form that other’s won’t agree with. There will be things you’ll need to do that seem impossible.

If you keep babying yourself, you’ll think that other people are right, you’ll obsess over every confrontation, and you’ll tell yourself the things you want to achieve actually are impossible. None of this is helpful if you want to be successful, and it’s a form of self-protection that you don’t need. Just accept that you’re strong. You can absolutely smash any goal you set yourself.

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Photos by Hanina for CGD LONDON

Beth Macdonald

Managing Editor

Managing editor, content marketer, copywriter, and researcher. I write about self-development and time-management and believe that anything's possible with hard work and a plan.

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