You work as hard as you can, but you still fall short. You do everything you can to keep up, but it just doesn’t work out. It seems like you’re met with failure, obstacles, and setbacks at every turn, even though you’ve never worked harder in your life. You still continue to fail. Why?
Failure is a part of progress, but too much failure can be very discouraging and indicate that something you’re doing is wrong. Awareness of your negative habits that lead to failure can help you to prevent similar issues going forward.
Here Are 8 Reasons Why You Fail, Even When You Work Hard
1 – You Don’t Accept Feedback
Feedback is one of the most important parts of hard work. Without being able to respond to feedback, your hard work isn’t going to get you anywhere. Here are some aspects to consider:
Humility is one of the most positive traits that someone can have. (Do note that we do mean humility, not being a doormat!) Arrogance and a large sense of pride prevent you from listening to anyone and improving because you already think you’re the best.
When someone advises you, is your immediate reaction to shut them down? This doesn’t mean you should listen to everyone, but those with more success, experience, or knowledge than you should at least be listened to. They may be able to help your journey.
When someone gives you negative criticism, how do you take it? Lots of people hate being criticized, and this prevents them from learning and moving forward. Many times, others can see problems that you’re too close to see.
· Learning From Mistakes
When you fail, you may feel very upset. And that’s totally valid. But after processing the failure, you need to be able to take the mistakes and learn from them. Being too hung up on failure and ignoring the lessons it can teach you will harm you in the long run.
2 – You Procrastinate
Many people face difficulties in staying on-task and focuses. Procrastination means putting something off for as long as humanly possible before doing it, resulting in rushed and shoddy work. You can work hard at the beginning of a project and work extra hard towards the end, but it means little if you don’t continue working in the middle, too.
If you procrastinate, your productivity levels will drop a lot. You may have trouble starting projects or you may have problems finishing projects. Here are some simple tips to overcome procrastination:
- Recognize the behavior and determine what causes or triggers it
- Commit fully to a task and stop avoiding work
- Ask someone to hold you accountable
- Get the least pleasant tasks done first
- Set up rewards for yourself at regular, reasonable intervals or upon work completion
- Maintain a schedule and a to-do list
- Set mini-deadlines and goals throughout the day
- Use apps to help you manage your time
3 – You Have Unrealistic Expectations
Managing your expectations is crucial for success. If you aim too high and work for that unachievable goal, you’ll work yourself into the ground with no success, then beat yourself up for failure.
You may also want instant results or expect success much too quickly. This means that your idea of failure could just be slower progress than you expected, and you’re being unfair to yourself.
There is also an issue of setting your expectations too low. This means you think you’re doing well because you keep achieving your low goals, but in the long run, you’ll crash into a wall because you’ve been too lenient with yourself.
4 – You Don’t Commit
Committing to the work you’ve set up for yourself is crucial. If you’re not committed, everything will fall apart and you won’t be motivated enough to see each task through. You’ll wind up with half-finished efforts everywhere. Here are some signs that you lack work commitment:
· You Tend To Give Up
Small setback? You lose motivation. You throw in the towel. Basically, you stop trying. It’s okay to be upset by mishaps, but after a short period of time to process it, you need to get back on your feet. After all, one thing is certain: giving up directly relates to failure.
· You Can’t Commit To Decisions
You’ve made a decision, but a few days in, you switch to the other option. Or you make a decision and, several months later, decide to backtrack. These are both bad options. While you can definitely change your mind sometimes, doing it too often will only hurt you in the long run.
· You Lack Dedication Or Persistence
Without dedication to your work, you’re always at a risk of failure. You need to give something your all for it to work out. Yes, knowing when to jump ship is important, too, but that should be an absolutely last resort, not your first decision.
5 – You’re Bad At Adapting To Change
Change is inevitable. When it arrives, you have to be able to adapt to it. If change stumps you and makes you unable to function, then you have to figure out how to overcome that problem.
An inability to adapt to change points to an issue with flexibility. It means that the second life throws you a curveball, you’ll drop it. No matter how hard you work, the unexpected will happen, and you have to be ready for it.
6 – You Are Restricted By Fear
Fear can be extremely powerful, and it could be what’s holding you back in your work. It means that there is always a part of you being held back. It’s okay to be scared, but your bravery has to win that battle. Here are some signs that you are restricted by fear:
· You Don’t Take Risks
Playing it safe works sometimes, but most big successes lie at the end of your ability to take risks. This doesn’t mean being impulsive, it just means knowing when taking a leap of faith could be worth it. Practice positive thinking and dive in!
· You Don’t Network
Networking is crucial to career success, but it can be intimidating for many, especially if you’re on your own in your efforts. You may feel most comfortable sticking to the people you know, but there’s only so far you can help each other.
Networking is one of the most common factors in positive career changes, and you need to take chances and believe in yourself. The more you network, the better you’ll get at it!
· You’re Terrified Of Failure
Often, a fear of failure is the culprit behind the failure. Yes, the idea of failing can be paralyzing, but failing teaches you crucial lessons and will help you be more prepared for the future. Not trying counts as an automatic failure, while trying even though it’s scary gives you a chance at success.
7 – You Make Excuses And Dodge Responsibility
It’s your life, your career, and your job. You are responsible for it. But what happens when you can’t stop making excuses? Failures happen more and more because you’ve given them a reason to occur. You may make excuses constantly, such as:
- I was just too tired
- I’d no way of knowing
- I did all that I could, so whatever
- I just wasn’t at my best
- It wasn’t even what I was trying to do anyway
- I just didn’t want it that much
Do note that excuses aren’t the same as reasons. You can have valid reasons for failure. The trouble starts when you blame everything on external factors.
This is where dodging responsibility comes into play. If you don’t want to take responsibility for mistakes, for your work, or for anything else, you are almost certain to fail. You need to take responsibility, not deflect blame. Deflecting blame may involve statements like:
- It wasn’t my fault
- My business partner/friend/family member ruined this for me
- I had no control over this situation
- This setback messed me up, it caused this to happen
- You can’t expect me to take the blame for this
Learn to take responsibility for everything in your career: the successes, the failures, and everything in between. Taking responsibility also means you’re taking control over the direction of your career, and that’s a powerful thing to do.
Everyone deals with insecurity issues. But at what point do those issues start to affect your everyday life and sabotage your progress?
If you severely lack belief in yourself, you could begin to doubt your own ability. You may consider yourself unintelligent, lacking in talent, or simply not capable of progressing. You may doubt your every action, or believe that you cannot succeed. This can cause discouragement and a lack of motivation that ultimately leads to failure.
You can repeat positive affirmations to yourself every day in order to help change your mindset. Some examples of good affirmations are:
- I am smart and capable
- I achieve success
- I’m worthy of the success that I desire
- I reach my goals
- Good things will come to me
- I speak with wisdom and persuasion
- I can do whatever I set my mind to
You can also foster more positive thinking by doing the following:
- Write a gratitude journal, where you record what you are grateful for every day
- Surround yourself with positive people and cut off those who whine and complain
- Choose a positive friend circle full of people who lift each other up
- Learn to speak with positivity instead of with negativity
- Set aside time for self-care and give yourself alone time to recharge
- Take care of your health; eat well, exercise, and see a doctor when necessary
- Make time for your hobbies and to learn new skills
- Be kind to yourself and to those around you
However, do note that a severe lack of confidence in yourself may require therapy or other visits with a mental health professional. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, especially if you are very seriously struggling.
Final Thoughts: Break the habits that cause you to fail
It’s okay to fail sometimes. You’ll never encounter someone who has never failed before. But learning to improve yourself in order to prevent failure can do wonders for your progress. Still, don’t consider failure the end of the road. It’s just another hurdle that you need to jump in order to achieve your goals!