11 Reasons You’re Failing at Life and How to Overcome Them

Written by Angela Atkinson

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~Thomas A. Edison

failing at life quotesSo, while it’s very important to remember to be grateful for all of the things we already have, what happens when we want more?

Most of us have some area in our lives where we could use a little improvement – where we want to be just a little bit better.

And in most cases, all we need to do is look at people who have already achieved the goals we have (or similar ones) and learn how they did it – that’s enough to inspire many of us to make things happen on our own.

And, if you’re willing to look, it’s easy to see what successful people do. However, it can be challenging to notice the things successful people avoid. Avoiding the common success mistakes improves your odds of attaining higher levels of achievement.

It’s like Michael Jordan said. Everyone fails at SOMETHING. “I can accept that,” he is quoted as saying in an interview. “But I can’t accept not trying.”

So, besides that, what are the top reasons people fail at life? 

Here are the top 11 things that cause people to fail at life. Do you see yourself in any of them? 

  1. You’ve got no map! Not knowing where you’re going. Success requires a known endpoint. You can’t accidentally end up on the summit of Mt. Everest. Any significant achievement requires that you clearly understand your objective. Avoid just working hard. Work hard with a purpose.
  2. You don’t have a working understanding of time. Lacking a realistic timeline. In your enthusiasm, be careful about being too aggressive with the timeline when you set a goal. It’s easy to overestimate what can be accomplished in a certain time period. If you overestimate what you can do in the short term, you’re likely to become discouraged.
  3. Your habits suck! Not having habits that support your goals. Your results in life are a reflection of your habits. You’re moving either closer or further from success each day. Effective habits ensure that you make consistent progress.
  4. Your rabbit’s foot is broken. You’re all about relying on luck. In an effort to avoid work or responsibility, many of us do the minimum necessary to have a chance to be successful and rely on a little luck to carry us the rest of the way. A more effective alternative is to have such a good plan and do so much that you’d have to be incredibly unlucky to fail. Borrow the military’s idea of overwhelming force. Bring more resources to the fight than you think you’d ever need.
  5. You use your circumstances or choices to justify quitting. Using socially acceptable excuses to quit. It’s easy to come up with 20 good reasons to quit before you reach success. Socially acceptable excuses are those your peers will best understand. That’s the easy way out. Refuse to fall into this trap.
  6. You’ve got NO tenacity! You’re giving up too soon. This is the biggest reason for a lack of success. If you never quit, you can’t fail. Sooner or later, things will work out. Keep going.
  7. You might win, but you’re afraid of success. It seems like you’d have to be crazy to be afraid of success, but success isn’t 100% positive. There’s more responsibility. More people are watching you. There can be a certain amount of stress associated with success. Just remember that being unsuccessful is uncomfortable, too.
  8. You’re even more afraid of failure. Failing can be hard on the ego. The most successful people have failed the most. In all likelihood, most people won’t even notice the failures on your way to success.
  9. You blame others when stuff goes wrong. Avoiding full responsibility. Your success and failures are your responsibility. It doesn’t matter that your parents aren’t supportive or that your friend won’t loan you $500. When you blame others, you admit to yourself that you’re not in control of the situation. Take control by accepting responsibility.
  10. You’re way too negative! Stop being pessimistic. A negative attitude brings negative results. When you expect a poor outcome, you won’t do the work necessary for success. Why would you even try? Keep your mind filled with positive thoughts.
  11. YOU CAN’T HANDLE IT! You can’t handle the truth! (Well, the truth that being uncomfortable is part of life, especially if you ever want to grow as a perrson!). Every time you try something new, there will be a level of discomfort. You have to deal with uncomfortable feelings all along the way. Learning to work through these feelings is part of achieving success.

I think we can all agree that while success means something different to each of us, it’s pretty much always found along a proverbial winding road with various challenges along the way.

We’re all human, and it’s so easy to become discouraged and find ourselves so disappointed in the world that we just give up. But like you and me, the most successful people know what they want and have a high level of persistence.

And, my friend, we aren’t common people, you and me. We’re on a whole new level and that’s why, with a little self-awareness, we can both avoid the common reasons for a lack of success.

Check out my books at BooksAngieWrote.com!

That means that we’re on our way to reach our goals! What do you say? Ready? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.


  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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