11 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Successful

If you want to be successful, you may have to make some sacrifices. Some people think they can have it all – and maybe what they truly want is moderation and balance. But if you have big dreams – like the traveling the world on a catamaran or curbing climate change – then there may be a few things you need to give up along the way.

What is Success?

Success is technically defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose or the attainment of popularity or profit.” Yet, the manifestation of success is different for each person. And the path to success is unique to each individual.
For the record, success in this article loosely refers to making your biggest, deepest dreams come true, such as starting a business, disrupting an industry, changing the world, etc. If your version of success is sitting on the couch with your dog and working the grind, then you’ve probably reached your goal (or are close to it).

Start by Defining Your Success

While ambiguity is not on the list below, this trait is on your prerequisite homework of things you should give up. True success usually requires vision, laser-like focus, and clarity. Start by envisioning what it feels like to be successful. Imagine what it is that you are doing when you have reached a state of success. Then, work backwards from there.
Define your version of success before you read on (or at least try to). And if you find you aren’t motivated to give up these things, then try redefining your success – and dream bigger.

Here are 11 things you should give up if you want to be successful:


1. Excessive Behavior

Giving up unhealthy, excessive behavior is an essential step on the path to success. In large part, this relates to excessive drinking and regular recreational drug use, but truly refers to anything that is a crutch – especially an expensive one that leaves you dragging the next day (or week). You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in just one weekend if you embrace sobriety and refrain from excessiveness.

2. Attachment to Comfort

Your path to success will inevitably have some bumps in the road that push you to your edge and challenge you in unexpected ways. This is the time to remember the adage, If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. Remember that these uncomfortable challenges are temporary – an initiation of sorts (how bad do you really want that dream?) – and ultimately you’ll emerge better, stronger, and more successful as a result.

3. Social Media

Closely linked to #1, excessive use of social media, is a huge time suck. Studies show that people on average spend two hours on social media (and teens spend closer to NINE hours!) a day. If you have a spare moment and find yourself immediately scrolling through Instagram, it’s time for a media cleanse. The same can be applied to watching TV as well. Those moments of pause are meant for dreaming, resting, and manifesting.


4. People Pleasing

If you are a go-getter, have goals, and want to be successful, you will definitely have to give up your desire to please people, say yes, or let your empathy overtake your drive toward success.

You will have to put yourself first, say no, and draw boundaries. You will have to not give a f*ck about what other people think of you and what you do.

You can’t please everyone! Saying yes can often result in burning the candle at both ends or feeling overwhelmed with all of your commitments, which is certainly not conducive to being successful. Learn how to exercise your NO muscle so you can make your goals a top priority.

5. Procrastination

This is an obvious one . . . or is it? Spend a week documenting how you spend your time and begin to notice if there are areas where you procrastinate. Are there times in your day that you can fill with productivity, instead of scrolling through social media or checking your email?
Become aware of a habit that encourages procrastination, and try to replace it with a habit that supports productivity. For example, if you impulsively watch TV for 30 minutes when you get home, instead commit 30 minutes to cleaning your kitchen and starting a load of laundry. You’ll feel much more productive in the same amount of time!

6. Self-Doubt

Have you ever seen a super successful person act self-conscious or uncertain? Probably not, because successful people have learned how to replace their self-doubt with self-confidence. Stand in front of the mirror every morning and repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Give yourself a pep talk on your drive to work. Recognize when you begin negative self-talk, and replace it with words of love, acceptance, and encouragement. Yes you can!
Psst! Want an extra boost of inspiration? Watch this video on the power of affirmations.

7. Fear

First of all, what do you have to lose? If your answer is “a lot,” then take some time to assess why, what exactly is holding you back, and how you can move past it to release your fear. You have one life to live (that we know of). You have a purpose and sh*t to do. When you can fully embrace that feeling of potential and self-worth, you can become bigger (and stronger) than your fear.
If you really struggle with this, go through the practice of asking yourself what exactly you fear (and if it’s really that bad). Learn how to let go of fear and move through the challenge anyway! You owe it to your soul, ancestors, and unborn children to freakin’ live.

8. Weekends

When it comes to being successful, there’s no such thing as a weekend. The most successful people in life have given up the TGIF mentality (even if just temporarily) to focus on accomplishing their goals full-throttle. Becoming successful means making sacrifices, and if you’re willing to put in the time now, you’ll see the payoff sooner than later.
Caveat: You may be one of the unique few who can strike a balance, but most highly successful people have sacrificed a lot to reach their own success.

9. Drama + Toxic People

This is one of the most critical things to let go of if you want to be successful. Toxic people and drama drag you down energetically and waste your time. They steal (well, you let them steal) your creativity, authenticity, light, and time.

If you feel that your friends drag you down or bring more bad than good into your life, then you have some cord cutting to do. Break-up with them, now.

People who are negative or toxic aren’t going to help you grow on your path to success. No matter how hard it may seem to distance yourself or even cut them entirely out of your life, ultimately it will empower you to find more supportive, inspiring people who share a similar path and mindset.

10. Impatience

Grand success comes in the form of winning many small battles. Those who appear to become successful overnight have typically failed and tried again long before anyone noticed. Becoming successful doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and perseverance. Allow for setbacks, don’t let a small defeat dishearten you, and keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams one small step at a time.

11. The Snooze Button

If you want to be successful, you better get up early and get after it! Literally and figuratively, this one is all about being a go-getter, putting yourself out there, and staying motivated to wake up early, work long hours, and do it all over again. Success stems from passion and it’s your passion that will propel you through those sleepless nights and long days. Set a routine for yourself and stick with it.

This is Your Life

Yep, this is your life. Set your own definition of success. Then set your own boundaries so you can put your dreams in motion. Maybe you just want to be happy and find that choosing happiness each day is enough. Ultimately, following your heart will never lead you astray. And your intuition will tell you what you need to let go of. And if you even need to let go of this article, do it.

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The best way to cultivate success is to observe how the people who you look up to live. Here are 10 things successful people don't do.
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Kendra Sand

Kendra is a writer, yoga teacher, and world traveler with an affinity for orchids, hardcover books, and dancing in the moonlight.

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