Why Do We Fail? Learn The Top 4 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed

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So why do we fail, anyway? In this article, I’ll be exploring some of the biggest reasons why people don’t succeed in life. Most of our obstacles come from within our own minds. I’m going to be helping you to understand and conquer them so you can build your successful life!

Why Do We Fail? Learn The Top 5 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed

#1: Attaching failure to our identity

One of the most dangerous things you can do to your subconscious is affirm something negative to yourself, starting with “I am”. Those two words are some of the most powerful words that exist.

When you say, “I am” with anything, you’re affirming to your subconscious that something is a part of you. This can be used for good, like “I am beautiful”, or “I am confident”. More often than not, however, we use it for bad.

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Why People Don’t Succeed: Words Mean More Than You Think!

We think very little of it when we punish ourselves with phrases like, “I am a failure” or “I am hopeless”. After all, words are just words, right?

Not at all, I’m afraid!  

When you begin something with “I am”, it’s an affirmation – no exceptions. That simple little phrase is what attaches a thought to your very identity. It makes whatever you say into a part of you, so choose the words that follow it wisely!

Words have far more weight on the subconscious than you might realize. Even worse, these negative affirmations can have a direct effect on our ability to make use of the law of attraction.

We have a responsibility to ourselves to be more kind to our subconscious. What we attach to our core will shape our reality. It will change what we choose notice in our world, and we’ll continue to find more examples to prove it true, for better or worse.

What should you do about it?

Learn to treat what you say to and about yourself as if it is always an affirmation. This will challenge you to choose your words much more carefully. Say only the things to yourself that you wouldn’t be angry at someone saying to a best friend of yours. You’re the one friend you’ll have for the rest of your life… might as well make the most of it!

#2: Limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are by far one of the biggest reasons that keep people from ever starting a journey of growth in the first place. Just like the danger of attaching things to your identity with “I am”, there is another hidden danger to the words we say, and it’s what we choose to attach to our reality.

These are the sort of things we’ve been raised to believe. Or, we’ve just chosen to believe it because believing what’s not possible is easier than believing what is. If you believe in possibilities, then you inevitably lose your excuses. That’s a lot of power, and it’s scary. We can protect ourselves from struggle or disappointment by just settling for, “I can’t do it.”

Why Do We Fail? We’re Telling Ourselves an Old Story… And Sticking To It

Whether we grew up with the belief, or we created it ourselves; they’re hard to get rid of. Getting rid of them is so difficult because they have become a habit. Not only have we created a habitual pattern of thinking, but we have also created the habit of seeing evidence to prove it everywhere we go!

What should you do to get rid of limiting beliefs? I’ll discuss that in more detail here.

#3: Their habits don’t align with their goals

Simply put, habits are the building blocks of success. It’s never that simple, though. Beneath those habits, you need other habits. Layers and layers of habits!

When you think in terms of building something, there is always a foundation. There are smaller habits that exist to keep your bigger, scarier habits in check.

Awesome! Be sure to check your e-mail for a confirmation.

You can’t lose weight without exercise and proper nutrition. Well, you also can’t exercise if you’re staying up all night and don’t have the energy to hit it hard at the gym. But, then, you can’t stop staying up all night unless you set boundaries for how late you stay up, and make use of tools to keep track of time.

What can you do? Write it out! Get clear on your goal and why you MUST have it. Then, write down all the habits you think you need to get there. Get all the way down into the nitty-gritty and the specific. Here’s an article on how you can get these habits to stick!

#4: Their habits and their goals don’t align with their values

Are you clear on your core values? What are those, anyway? These are the things that you hold to an exceptionally high standard, above all else. They’re the things that you just can’t sacrifice without it affecting you emotionally and mentally.

When we’re not clear on what our values are, we live a reactionary life. We simply stumble through life, reacting to it as it happens, rather than intentionally creating it in a way that ultimately fulfills us.

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We may create habits that don’t benefit our values. A perfect example is a working father whose habit of bringing work home with him long after it’s over unintentionally sacrifices his value of family.

He’s sure he values work AND family. But which of these is more important? He hasn’t allowed himself to become totally clear on that.

Another example is a young man with a gaming habit that consumed most of his day. He wasn’t aware that one of his highest values was love. He continued to sacrifice this value time and time again with his hours of gaming.

Only by the end of the night would he realize how lonely he felt, and how hard he was making it for other people to relate with him. After having learned the hard way, he’s hard at work many years later, practicing the habits of staying true to his values.

His family isn’t close with him, but he’s taking his second chance with friends – and very gradually working to close the distance in his relationships with his family.

Do your habits and goals align with your ultimate goal?

Have you only created the habits and goals that get you through the week, or do you have any goals for your purpose in life? This is another opportunity for you to take pen to paper and gain some clarity.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with anyone else who might benefit from it. If you have something to add, feel free to leave a comment. I’ll be happy to get back to you as soon as I can!

sharon koenig, life coach, life coach in colorado springs, life coach blog, life coaching blog


  1. I really enjoyed and appreciated this post. I think the best thing that we can do when we fail is try and learn from it!

  2. Yes, I agree that ‘I am’ are the most powerful words that exist and the example of working father fits in perfectly.

  3. Limiting your ability to succeed is way to fail I believe it. I do think strategically step by step have goal to accomplish and write down each step works for me.

  4. i have my goals set for my future career as A NBA player and i work on them everyday

  5. Really great post. Habits not aligning with my goals is my main issue but I’m working on it, and so far 2018 has been a success!

  6. This is great and definitely hits the mark on fear of failure! For me, I worry I am not good enough so I don’t try and do things, which is something I need to work on.

  7. I enjoyed reading this and liked the examples you’ve included. I like to think I know my values but I do have some habits that I would like to change.

    Ami xxx

  8. Thanks for the reminder. It is such an important and timely post. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is so interesting!! I think I often sabotage my own plans with feelings of inadequacy. It’s something I really want to work on more this year.

  10. Well said ❤ i think i fall under ” dreams dont align sith the habbits” ? really need a change in that department

  11. I love this post and the motivation it provides. Positive thinking is the key to success an often we kill it with self doubting and like you mentioned ‘limiting beliefs’.

  12. Yes yes yes and YES! Especially number 4. You may have big dreams and goals, but that doesn’t do you any good when you don’t change your habits.

  13. Your habits should surely aligned with your goals. This is such a motivation post i read in recent past.

  14. This is such an important topic! Words are indeed powerful – they are containers of power, for good or bad. They also contribute toward self-fulfilling prophecy, as you have discussed. We can choose to tear ourselves and others down – or lift ourselves and others up, just by the words we choose and our intentions that accompany our words.

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