How To Avoid Failure

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Some people work long and hard trying to achieve success but still continue to hit brick walls and fail to get ahead and achieve their goals. Sometimes they are making obvious and fundamental mistakes with the practicalities of their business and these are usually easily rectified. However a more insidious cause of failure is due to a faulty mind set, and although more difficult to correct, it is possible to change your attitude and your habitual thought patterns. It takes some insight as to the causes and a commitment to work toward a more positive and productive mental attitude but is well worth the effort.

Napoleon Hill studied over 20,000 men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds and found around 60 common causes of failure. Here are some of the common ones.


Negativity can be a big cause of failure, whether it comes from you personally or from those around you. Negative thoughts and beliefs can drag you down and lead you to believe that nothing is possible. You can become pessimistic and lose hope in what you were trying to achieve. If you think that negativity is holding you back, you should make a concerted effort to turn every negative thought into a positive one -- develop the habit of looking on the bright side and believing that you can achieve your goals. Also don't hang around with negative people and disbelievers because you need to keep your positive energy high if you are to achieve success. Negative people can bring you down.

Lack of motivation

Basically, many people like the idea of running their own business and making easy money but are not really motivated to make it happen. This can be because of sheer laziness or simply that they have chosen to work on something that they're not really passionate about. The moral is to do something you really love so that your motivation and enthusiasm is maintained.

Lack of focus

Lack of focus dissipates your energy and stops you from getting anywhere. You need to do one thing at a time if you want to succeed and focus on it wholeheartedly. Start by clearing some of the clutter in your life and deciding exactly what it is you are going to concentrate on. Write it down and develop a robust plan and stick to it -- learn to notice when you are straying away from your plan and refocus your attention and your efforts frequently.

Lack of belief

There are two types of belief -- believe that your project is capable of succeeding and belief in yourself that you can make it happen. You need both types of belief to be successful, so work on your self-belief and make sure you have thoroughly evaluated your business ideas so that you can believe in them and know that they really do have the potential to succeed.

Lack of persistence

If you do not persist in trying to reach your goals, you will end up throwing in the towel too soon. Sometimes maintaining persistence when things are going wrong takes courage but if you truly believe that you have the right idea and the capability of succeeding eventually with your plan then persistence is vital. Don't give up at the first hurdle.


People who are chronic procrastinators will never move forward with anything and rarely succeed. Remember that we are all either moving forward or slipping back -- even if we stand still the world continues to move on and will leave us behind unless we take action, so we are effectively slipping back when we procrastinate. Stop dithering, make a decision and go for it if you want to be successful.

Blaming others

Some people never take responsibility for their own lives and their own actions and end up blaming everyone around them when things go wrong. Blaming others can never lead to success, so if you want to achieve your goals and ambitions you have to take full responsibility. Blaming others actually gives other people control over your life, but by assuming responsibility for yourself, you take back your control and therefore the power to direct your life in whatever direction you want to go.

Thinking too small

Small achievements are relatively easy and most of us are capable of adjusting our lives in small ways. However big dreams need big ideas and unless you are content with what you have now, you need to develop a grand plan to get you there. Stop restricting your opportunities by thinking too small.