6 Toxic Habits That Kill Success


Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy says that “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” It is implied that for us to become successful we have to develop successful habits first. There is no single act that will lead to success.

Surprisingly, most people develop bad habits instead of successful habits. Habits that kill success are easy to develop but hard to notice.  Leaders like you and me can’t afford to develop these habits if we really want to lead our own lives and others to success.

Here are 6 toxic habits that kill success.

1. Waiting for the ‘perfect’ conditions.

How many times did we left things undone because of waiting for the “perfect condition”? People often say, “If the weather is perfect, then I’ll do that” or “When I have enough money, then I’ll try that” or “I am going to start when I am ready”.

Often times we don’t notice it but this habit kills our productivity. I like a quote about this which goes, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”

My favorite author and blogger, Michael Hyatt says that “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.” You’ll never get anything done if you want everything to be perfect. In my recent article about the 3 Things I Learned from Mark Zuckerberg (founder and CEO of facebook), he also emphasized about this. He says, “Done is better than perfect.”

2. Trying to please everybody.

 The Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren blog about this in his Daily Hope website purposedriven.com. He says that even God cannot please everybody and only a fool would try to do what even God can’t do. In his illustration, one person pray for it to rain; while the other pray for it to be sunny. Who is God going to answer?

Every person has his own opinion about everything. It would be impossible to please every person you know. You don’t need the approval of everybody before you do something. Most people never accomplish what they want to accomplish because they worry too much about what other people would say about them.

Don’t try to please everybody. Drop this toxic habit right now.

3. Settling for good.

Why is settling for good a toxic habit? Because “Good is the enemy of Great”. Being content and comfortable with good accomplishments prevents most people to improve. If you settle for good, you will not go for something better. If you stay in your comfort zone, you will never grow. If you never grow, you will not maximize your God-given potential.

In my article, Go from Good to Great, I teach you how to not settle for the ordinary and discover your way to greatness.

4. Making excuses.

Making endless series of excuses is what most people love to do. It’s a success killer. Benjamin Franklin says that, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” You can’t succeed unless you stop making excuses and start doing what you need to do to become successful.

People often say, “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have money”, “I am too shy”, “I don’t know how”, “I’m too old”, “I’m too young”, “I am not a leader”, “I can’t afford it” etc…

George Washington Carver says, “99% of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” I like how Mitt Romney speak about it. He says that, “Leadership is about taking responsibility and not making excuses.”

Stop this toxic habit right now. Stop making excuses and start to make things happen.

5. Being negative. 

Another toxic habit that kills success almost immediately is being negative. Let’s keep in mind that a negative mind will never give you a positive life. So stay away from negative thoughts and negative people. That is the reason why one of the best motivational speaker in the world, Zig Ziglar, loves to talk about positive thinking. One of my favorite quotes by him is this, “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

Stop being negative and start being positive. Make an effort to stay away with negative and toxic people and start hanging out with positive people.

6. Failing to set goals.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Most people don’t set goals therefore they don’t have plans and therefore they are doomed to fail. In my blog post about writing goals, you will learn why goals are important. Learn 3 reasons why you should write down your goals and learn “How to write Effective Goals”.


On a final note, Aristotle gave us a good advice about habits. He says that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Start today to develop successful habits not the toxic habits I mentioned above.

What other toxic habits did you know that kill success?

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Ace Horlador March 6, 2014, 11:22 AM

    This article is very helpful! 😀

  • Emily April 11, 2014, 8:38 PM

    I think one of the most toxic habits is procrastinating on annoying or difficult tasks. If its necessary to do to move forward, do it NOW, no sense in putting it off, you’re just limiting your overall progress.

  • Sincerely, Mindy April 11, 2014, 10:07 PM

    I’mm definitely guilty of all of these. Thanks for giving me some motivation to work on these and change for the better!

  • Megan April 11, 2014, 10:42 PM

    I am on my journey to living a healthy life and I have to say these 6 habits are the first that you need to get rid of! It’s a very good reminder for everyone. Thank you!

  • Meredith Elizabeth April 11, 2014, 11:07 PM

    Awesome points. I like that you referenced Rick Warren. Have you read “Toxic Parents”? I drive my family crazy by bringing attention to their excuses. =)

  • Mary jane Tauyan Fitzsimmons April 12, 2014, 9:07 AM

    great lists! indeed we need to have this positive and good habit in order to get positive responses towards success

  • Jeanne Melanson April 12, 2014, 12:51 PM

    Oh dear … I’m guilty of having committed all 6 of those toxic habits. Happily, I have learned to overcome them (mostly). Still working on it. Thank you so much for sharing this list with us! Take care.

  • Mommy Pehpot April 12, 2014, 10:44 PM

    I do try to please a lot but I can say that I never wait for the perfect timing, I make my own timing :)

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