17 Things You Should Quit Doing to be More Successful

Quit the bad habits that are preventing you from becoming a winner.


Winners follow leaders and people with successful track records. They copy those who have done what they want to do so they too can be more successful. 

Winners aren’t necessarily better than you. They just do things differently.

If you aren’t where you want to be, there are probably things in your life that are holding you back from achieving your goals. 

We are all creatures of habit and fall into patterns of thinking and acting a certain way. The problem is, some of these habits are toxic and hinder our path to success.

But, if you can quit bad habits, replace them with good habits, and change your patterns, your new habits will help you be more successful.

It’s important to learn the power of rich habits and keeping them part of your routine.

Take a step back and assess your behavior.

There’s a famous quote from Vince Lombardi, a Hall of Fame head coach in the National Football League, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” 

As a two-time Super Bowl champion, Lombardi knows what it takes to win. But his quote is only half right.

There are times when quitting is necessary. That was my inspiration for this post.

I’ve identified the top 17 things you should quit doing to be more successful.

1. Making Excuses

Winners don’t make excuses. They overcome obstacles and find ways to win anyway.

Winners don't make excuses. They overcome obstacles and find ways to win anyway. Click To Tweet

Nobody likes hearing excuses. So you shouldn’t be telling them to anyone, or making excuses to yourself for that matter.

It’s easy to blame other people or your circumstances for your problems. But, as soon as you start making excuses, you stop looking for solutions. 

There are plenty of answers and resources available to you. 

Here’s an example that I’m sure most of us can relate to.

I’m willing to bet that there have been times when you skipped a workout. Why?

  • I’m too tired . . .
  • It’s too cold . . .
  • I’m not feeling well . . .
  • I have too much to do . . .
  • I need to cook dinner . . .

These are just excuses. If you want to get in shape, you’ll stick to your routine.

2. Procrastinating

Man hiking in the mountains with trekking poles along with other people.
Image source: https://montemlife.com/how-to-use-trekking-poles/

Winners don’t put things off until later. If you find yourself constantly procrastinating, you need to make a change right now. Become a do it now person

Winners don’t put things off until later. If you find yourself constantly procrastinating, you need to make a change right now. Become a do it now person. Click To Tweet

For those of you who find yourself saying things like, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “It can wait until Monday,” you may be a procrastinator.

Why wait? You need to learn how to schedule your time properly.

There is a big difference between being busy and being productive.

Assign priority to your most important tasks and do those first. Get things done ahead of schedule. The wise man doesn’t want to live an average and ordinary life because he knows it will be boring and unfulfilling.

The wise man doesn’t want to live an average and ordinary life because he knows it will be boring and unfulfilling. Click To Tweet

If you keep procrastinating, you’ll never be able to do what it takes to achieve greatness. You’ll continue to be average.

3. Playing the Victim Card

This relates back to what we talked about earlier in terms of making excuses.

All of the time I hear people say they did something because they didn’t have a choice. But, more often than not, they did. 

You don’t have to stand by and let the world tell you what to do. Take responsibility for your actions and stand up for yourself. 

If you’re in a toxic environment right now, make changes. Whether it’s in your professional career, personal life, or relationships, you’re not stuck. Stop being a victim and do what it takes to become a winner.

4. Expecting Good Things to Just Happen 

In life, you can’t expect any handouts. Anything you want, you have to earn.

In life, you can’t expect any handouts. Anything you want, you have to earn. Click To Tweet

Let me give you an example that you can probably relate to.

Just about everyone wants to make more money. But you can’t just expect to earn more money by doing nothing.

Sure—you show up to work on time each day and do your job well. But you still haven’t received a raise or promotion.

Do you deserve one? Have you asked for one?

Research shows that 53% of women and 40% of men have never asked for a raise.

Statistics on asking for a raise.
Image source: http://www.fedwho.com/5-reasons-people-dont-negotiate-and-why-they-should/

Furthermore, 89% of people who negotiated for a higher salary when they started a new job were successful in doing so.

Winners don’t sit back and expect things to come to them. They go after what they want and put themselves in a position to win. 

Winners don’t sit back and expect things to come to them. They go after what they want and put themselves in a position to win. Click To Tweet

5. Complaining Instead of Looking for Solutions

How often do you complain?

According to Psychology Today, the average person complains between 15 and 30 times per day.

Now let me ask you another question. What benefits have you gained from your complaints?

I know the answer already. You’re not getting any benefits.

Simply put, complaining won’t get you anywhere. Plus, nobody wants to hear you complain.

I understand . . . sometimes you just have a bad day and need to tell someone about it. So you vent to your friends, family, co-workers, or spouse.

But these people can’t do anything to help you if you won’t help yourself

Move on. Stop complaining!

6. Automatically Saying “Yes” to Every Request

You’re allowed to say “no.”

Saying “yes” to everything won’t get you anywhere. Winners know the right time to say “yes” and the right time to say “no.”

Being able to say “no” means that you’re confident.

Confidence is key when it comes to being successful.

In fact, understanding that it’s OK to say “no” made my list of the top 15 habits of highly confident people.

So quit being a yes-man. Only do the things that will get you where you want to go. 

7. Being Afraid to Fail

Stop being afraid of failure.

Winners aren’t afraid to take risks.

Am I saying that you’ll never fail? Absolutely not.

Failure is part of life.

Both failure and success can change your life. Successful people are always ready for a change.

Successful people are always ready for a change. Unsuccessful people are scared of change.
Image source: https://brightside.me/article/15-personality-traits-which-all-successful-people-have-2655/

But unsuccessful people are afraid of changes. They are afraid of failure.

8. Being so Hard on Yourself

Stop beating yourself up over everything.

Yes—you’re going to make mistakes. It happens to everyone, including winners.

Feeling sorry for yourself and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself is not healthy and won’t help you achieve greatness.

You should hold yourself accountable for your actions. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But second-guessing every decision you make and harping on the past is not a winning move. If this sounds like something that you do regularly, you need to quit right now!

9. Trying to Control Everything

Being a leader doesn’t mean that you need to control everything.

Micro-managing people isn’t effective. You need to take a step back and allow things happen.

If you try to control everything, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. You need to understand that some things are just out of your control.

Don’t let these uncontrollable factors like the weather or actions of others ruin your day.

Instead, focus only on what you can personally control.

Be resourceful. Be determined. But be ready to accept that not everything is in your control.

10. Cutting Corners

Image source: https://www.newzealand.com/us/skydiving

There’s a saying that, “the professional way is the easy way.” That’s because they make everything look so simple and efficient. They don’t waste effort.

But that’s not the same as taking shortcuts. They’ve just paid the price to get very, very good at what they do.

Cutting corners is a bad idea because it leaves too many things undone that can come back and hurt you later on.

The average person takes the easy way. Winners take the right way.

You won’t be able to make improvements in your life to achieve success if you’re always looking for shortcuts.

There may not be a shortcut to get where you want to go . . . but there is always a straight line.

That’s what winners look for.

There may not be a shortcut to get where you want to go . . . but there is always a straight line. That's what winners look for. Click To Tweet

Understand the difference.

Convenience and greatness don’t mix.

So step out of your comfort zone. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get dirty if you have to. Nothing worth having comes easy. Otherwise, everyone would have it.

11. Living Without Big Goals

What are your goals?

If you can’t answer this question, you need to re-evaluate your situation.

Winners have big goals. They use these goals to motivate them on a daily basis.

There is a fine line between mediocrity and greatness. Nobody grows up dreaming of being number two. There’s always a place where you can stand out and be the best.

Once you set your goals—write them down!

Studies show that you increase your chances of achieving your goals by 42% if you put them in writing.

Once you set your goals—write them down! Studies show that you increase your chances of achieving your goals by 42% if you put them in writing. Click To Tweet

12. Staying up Too Late 

You can’t wake up energized and refreshed if you never get your sleep.

If you’re out carousing, enjoying late dinners, or even binge watching tv until the early hours of the morning, you’re going to either oversleep or wake up still feeling tired the next day.

Do you think world leaders, professional athletes, and CEOs wake up that way every day? You and I both know the answer is no.

Did you know 90% of business executives wake up before 6:00 AM? And half of all self-made millionaires get up at least three hours before their workday starts.

Winners wake up early. And that starts with going to bed on time. 

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, wakes up every day at 3:45 AM.

Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, is up every morning at 4:00 AM.

Am I saying you need to be awake before 4:00 AM to be successful? Absolutely not.

People like Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk all wake up sometime between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM, which is a little bit more reasonable.

If you want to start waking up earlier, don’t do anything drastic. Make sure you’re going to bed on time and start setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier every week until you reach a desirable time. Then stick to it.

13. Being Selfish

Being a winner doesn’t mean you need to step over everyone on your way to the top.

Yes—you need to focus on yourself. But don’t be selfish.

Winners want others to succeed as well because they know it takes help and usually a team to do anything great. 

Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people want others to fail.
Image source: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/7-key-differences-between-successful-people-and-unsuccessful-people.html

It makes it a whole lot easier to attract and keep talent around you when you treat people with respect and treat them well.

If you take others into consideration when you’re making decisions, you’ll probably find out that you’ll be making better decisions. 

Winners make the people around them better too. In fact, that’s the mark of a quality leader

Look for opportunities to give back to your community.

Recognize what your friends, peers, and co-workers do well. Give them the tools they need to set them up for success.

As a result, you’ll be more successful as well.

14. Focusing on the Negatives

I used to tell people on my team that any moron can come into a given situation and point out what’s wrong.

But it takes a special person to look at the same scenario and still find something positive.

There’s always a positive if you look for it. On the other hand, if you try hard enough, you can also find a negative in every scenario. 

Looking at the negatives in every scenario is a terrible habit.

And it’s miserable spending time with people who do this.

You could be having the best day of your life, and then someone complains about the grass being too green.

Don’t be that person. Instead, do the opposite. Try to find the positives even in the worst scenarios.

We were all born to accomplish something great, something satisfying, and something rewarding that will make a positive difference in the world.

That won’t happen if you are locked into seeing nothing but the negative situations and negative people doing negative things in the world.

15. Being Ungrateful

Practice having more gratitude.

That gets easier when you remind yourself that you are only here for a flicker of time and one day you will be gone.

Be thankful for everything you have. Be thankful for your ability to see, walk, and talk.

Don’t take things for granted. There are people all over the world without basic needs like clean water, food, and shelter.

Thank the people in your life who helped you get to be where you are today.

Everyone loves the idea of getting to the top on their own. But along the way, you’re going to assist others, and they’re going to assist you as well.

Be grateful for this.

16. Giving Up

Girl hiking up mountain with backpack.
Image source: https://holdfastgearblog.com/john-kotlowski-zion-national-park/

Quit giving up so easily.

People who win don’t accomplish greatness on their first try. They have to go through obstacles, roadblocks, and speed bumps along the way.

In sports, if the other team scores, are you just going to quit? Absolutely not.

At your job, are you going to quit every time you make a mistake? I hope not.

Giving up is the coward’s way out. Winners embrace adversity and fight through challenges.

17. Settling

Winners don’t settle. Winners know you either grow or you die. 

Right now, you might have a decent job, with decent pay, and decent benefits. But is that you what you really want? Or are you just settling?

If you want a better job, with higher pay, and outstanding benefits, you won’t ever achieve that if you settle for average.

Don’t accept your current scenario as a reality if you don’t want it to be. 

If you want a more enjoyable and exciting personal life, find a way to make it happen.

Winners Know How to Quit Bad Habits

Before you can quit your bad habits, you need to first identify what you’re doing wrong.

This list that I’ve come up with is a great place to start. But it doesn’t stop there. Identifying what’s holding you back from winning isn’t enough.

Once you recognize your bad habits, you need to make changes. You need to replace your bad habits with positive habits—make them a new way of life so you can be more successful. 

So use this guide as a reference to help you stop doing things that are holding you back from being successful.

What bad habits do you need to quit in order to be more successful? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

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