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10 Signs You Are Addicted To Failure



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If you’re searching for the secrets to success, they aren’t hard to find. There are thousands of books, seminars, podcasts, articles, interviews, videos, and courses all dedicated to teaching you how to succeed. And yet even with all of this incredible information available at little to no cost, so many of us continue to live in mediocrity and will never taste success.

The reality is that you can have all the right knowledge, but if you hold on to the wrong beliefs or behaviors, you are more likely to meet with failure than you are with success. Failure is not always a bad thing, as long as you are learning from the mistakes and are correcting your behaviors and actions to reach success. Fortunately there are signs that serve as warnings that you may be on the path to constant failure. By acknowledging these signs, and making changes when necessary, you increase your odds of success dramatically.

Listed below are 10 signs that you’re addicted to constant failure:


How To Stop Failing By Changing Your Behaviors


1. You’re addicted to the approval of others

When it’s time to make an important decision, instead of trusting your logic and intuition, you consult with the people around you first. You value the opinions of others more than you value your own. This emotional addiction to the approval of others stems from your lack of self-confidence, and your desire to please everyone.

Successful people are very particular about whose advice they ask for. They make sure to only consider the opinion of someone who has a track record of success with the issue at hand. They don’t concern themselves with the opinions of anyone and everyone, especially when it comes to issues that those people have little or no experience with. At the end of the day, they do what they feel is right – not what other people convince them to do.


2. You entertain yourself instead of educating yourself

You work a full time job and you might even have a decent career, but you haven’t opened a book since college, and the only extra training you’ve taken was required by your employer. The thought of going to networking events in your industry, reading books, listening to podcasts, or going to seminars to learn new skills and get new ideas is completely foreign to you.

Instead of spending your spare time investing in yourself and your ability to provide more value to the marketplace, you distract yourself with entertainment that adds no real value to your life or your productivity. You watch television often, you always know who won the game, and you can be found in nightclubs regularly.


3. You blame others for your circumstances

You’re not satisfied with where you are in life, but you have a perfect explanation for it. Essentially, none of it is your fault. You blame your boss, your coworkers, your parents, your educators, your childhood, even the economy for your lack of success.

You refuse to take 100% responsibility for your results. You refuse to acknowledge that YOU are in control of your life, and you get to steer yourself in whatever direction you choose.


4. You’re afraid of making mistakes

You’re afraid of failure, so you do whatever you can do avoid making mistakes. You forget that in the real world failure is not good or bad, it is simply feedback. But instead of learning from the valuable feedback that failure provides, you try to avoid it entirely. When you make a mistake, you cover it up and hope no one notices. You also put off making decisions because you’re afraid of making the wrong one. It takes you a long time to finally make a decision, and you change your mind often.


5. You stay in relationships that obviously aren’t working

You have a tendency to date people who bring you more problems than pleasure. You often tolerate behaviors that you know are unacceptable, and because you tolerate them they continue. Maybe you carry unresolved issues from previous relationships into your current one. Maybe you struggle with a low self-image so the standard you have for others isn’t very high. Whatever the case is, you must understand that your choice of spouse has a major impact on your life and success. If the person you’re with now is inhibiting your happiness and success, cut them lose and raise your standards.


6. You’re addicted to drama

Your life is a lot like an episode from a reality TV show. You are rarely on good terms with all of the people around you. You gossip about others often, and surprise surprise, they gossip about you too. The people you spend time with are known for arguing with each other, flirting with each other’s spouses, lying, and generally just causing problems between each other regularly. Instead of disassociating yourself from these types of people, you jump right in and add fuel to the fire. Heck, maybe you’re even the star of the show.


7. You spend time with people who are going nowhere

Jim Rohn, who was considered to be America’s Foremost Business Philosopher, once said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Unfortunately you spend most of your time with people who do not support or encourage your success. The people around you have no ambitions, no goals, and no concrete plans to improve their life. They seem to think that success is something that happens to other people, but not to them. You sometimes share an ambitious idea with these people, but they are quick to crush it.

Successful people know that the attitudes of the people around them are contagious, so they intentionally surround themselves with people who will encourage them and push them to higher levels. They know that they can’t afford to adopt the beliefs, thoughts, and habits of mediocre people if they are going to continue succeeding.


8. You’re careless with money

You often run out of money before you run out of month. You’re living paycheck to paycheck and you invest nothing for the future. You carry a balance on your credit cards, you take vacations you can’t afford, and you often buy expensive things impulsively. You spend money trying to look successful, but your balance sheet tells a different story. You hardly have any savings. You certainly don’t have a retirement plan. You don’t have any assets that make money for you, and your spending habits are your biggest liability.

You sometimes come close to acknowledging the truth about your situation, but instead of facing it and changing it, you let it continue. Thinking about your finances gives you a headache, and you prefer to avoid the subject entirely.


9. You have dreams (great) but no set goals (not so great)

You often imagine a more desirable version of your life, but instead of working towards making that vision a reality, you settle for your present circumstances. You complain often, but change little. You say you want certain things, but you do nothing to obtain them. You wish for your life to get better, but you make no commitment to improve yourself or your circumstances.

Successful people are driven by clear, specific goals. Their goals are what guide their decisions and their daily activities, and they rarely let a day pass by without doing something to bring them closer to achieving them. Their dreams aren’t something they sleep with at night; their dreams are something they wake up and chase.


10. You think successful people got lucky

The final sign that you’re addicted to failure is you believe that people who are successful got lucky – that they had some sort of advantage that you don’t have. You believe their parents helped them, or they went to the right school, or grew up in the right neighbourhood, or got in at the right time, or knew the right person, etc.

You think success is something that people stumble upon – a “right place at the right time” sort of situation. But the reality is people succeed by being the right person in the right place at the right time. In other words, they work relentlessly to prepare themselves for specific opportunities, and when those opportunities present themselves, they seize them. They don’t sit around waiting for the life they want to fall into their lap. They also typically don’t buy lottery tickets.

Change your actions




  1. Honey

    Apr 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

    man you have written a nice post

  2. mazharoddin

    Mar 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Excellent post and inspiring one, its true our surroundings and people have lot of impact on us, reading good books or articles like this one will definitely help to be in good company.

  3. Joseph Hotto

    Jul 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Excellent Advice! I am 18 years old and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Ever since my junior year of high school when college admissions and academic performance started, I was obsessed with getting into the “best” college in my state and not acknowledging my own strengths and weaknesses, and I crashed more than succeeded. This was also the case with my friends: I kept looking at the big picture than focusing on smaller steps that could lead me to where I want to go to. Also, I must say that indulging on how great your future will turn out is a WASTE of time: you are essentially doing nothing and you decrease your motivation. Nobody is perfect, and it is even hard for me to realize.

  4. fostergrowthdotbiz

    Aug 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Great article. Many persons and their careers would benefit if more time was spent on this topic. Of course, the key challenge is that there are so many not very successful people. One needs to look hard and be disciplined to find achievers. And, sometimes those “average” persons are very enjoyable to be with. @fostergrowth

  5. Paul

    Apr 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Good post!

  6. james simwanza

    Mar 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    You have truely made your point James,but hey this post was for those who feel they need a change in there life,no harm about it.Its take it or leave it,I Believe we all can make choices.The auther did a great job for those who will go by it.THANKYOU

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Tyler,

    Jonathan’s comment is great! You’re seeing your valuable advice being put into action already.

    All great points. Well done


  8. James

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    In general I agree, many of the point you make are good general life advice, but you’re clearly successful and successful people tend to attribute their success to their own personal characteristics (hard work, intelligence, ingenuity etc) whereas the reality is that luck does play a role in many people’s success. Because of this I disagree with numbers 3 and 10, particularly the bold text in number 3. People are not in control of their lives and the worse off you are the less in control you are and the harder it is to take control.

    The way you write show that your frame of reference is already a relatively privileged subset of society. You talk about not reading books since college, going to networking events in your industry, listening to podcasts and making important decisions. You’re talking about university educated professionals not those in minimum wage jobs and on zero hour contracts. The points you put forward don’t really work for anyone but this subset.

    Obviously I’m not saying all successful people got lucky, just that points 3 and 10 are inaccurate. No one is 100% responsible for their results, that’s just something successful people like to claim. In reality other people have a huge effect on your success and failure and luck does play a part in the vast majority of people’s careers.

    • Jeremy

      Mar 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      I agree that no one is 100% responsible for their results, but you cannot take this at face value. What it means is that you have to take control of your life by not staying down when fallen and blaming others for your unfortunate setbacks. Even when it wasn’t your fault.

      Yes, luck sure plays a role. But successful people are too busy increasing the odds than bothering about whether or not they will ever hit the jackpot.

    • Ike Chidolue

      Mar 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Come off it, James, Tyler has written some most valuable suggestions on how anyone could reposition themselves positively and hopefully become more successful. If you truly define success, then you must add #3 & #10 back to it. Hard work & masterly intelligence is a must. Playing the blame game won’t cut it. Success is not like playing the lottery. I believe that successful were prepared, became equipped technical authority in tgeir field, and showed up always waiting for/ or anticipating the opportunity to showcase their expertise/skill/discipline to a larger audience or the game changer.

      Even in the unlikely event where anyone who applied themselves to all the 10 guides above but did not hit it big, such persons should walk away gladly with the fact that they are a lot better positively build person, with a new can – do attitude to life and that in itself is success.

      Thanks, Tyler for this write up, it jolted me up from bed, & got me taking stock of where I may have missed it & what changes I need to make. Time now is 1:41AM & I’m in Nigeria.

      • Jeremy

        Mar 10, 2014 at 3:35 am

        “Even in the unlikely event where anyone who applied themselves to all the 10 guides above but did not hit it big, such persons should walk away gladly with the fact that they are a lot better positively build person, with a new can – do attitude to life and that in itself is success.” ==> 100%.

        People are always thinking about whether they will hit the end result. But it’s not always about the end result. It’s hardly about it in fact. It’s more about the person you become as a result of going all out to achieve those goals.

        Well said, Ike.

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 9, 2014 at 4:48 am

      Hi James, thank you for the well thought out comment – you have brought up some interesting points. Respectfully, I would like to offer a few insights. I believe you are right in saying that no one is 100% responsible for their results. In reality there is an interdependence between all people who contribute to any specific result together.That being said, it is having the MENTALITY that you are responsible for your results that is important. That mentality will prevent you from placing blame on others when things don’t work out as you hope, which is what point #3 is about: not blaming others, and taking responsibility. I am just now reminded of a great quote: “great leaders share the credit for their successes, but take responsibility for their failures.”

      Secondly, as much as I appreciate you calling me “clearly successful” and of a “privileged subset of society” I would like to shed some light on some more facts. I did not start here. I got here by choice. Yes, I have spent some time in college, but all those things I mentioned (read books, attend networking events, listen to podcasts, etc.) are things that I did BEFORE I went to college and that I still do today. College or university alone is NOT the key to success, and there is plenty of evidence of this in the marketplace today. It was precisely by doing those things that I was able to rise above limiting circumstances, and ALL of those things didn’t cost much in time or money and are certainly not unavailable to all individuals regardless of their social or economic status.

      When you say that those points don’t work for certain people you are enabling them to allow their circumstances to define their opportunities, rather than encourage them to meet people and utilize resources that can help them to rise above those circumstances. If you believe yourself to be in some “subset” that prevents you from investing in yourself in this manner, I challenge you to not be defined by your environment, stop making excuses, and start creating the environment you want for your life.


      • James

        Mar 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        Well worth watching (if you’re in the UK) to challenge the idea that people are in control of their success and understand how much of a disadvantage some people are at.

        The best quote comes from Rachel Johnson (Boris Johnston’s sister):
        “In a sense I care a lot more about these people’s children because Jackie and Mick have made, and they would say it first, very poor choices and very bad decisions. Their choices are going to take away their children’s ability to make good choices and to have the opportunities my children have had.”
        Its a shame she doesn’t make the leap to realising that the parents (Jackie and Mick) have had their ability to make good choices taken away by their parents, and their parents by their grandparents and so on.

        Ike and Tyler, you talk about “coming prepared”, “equipped with technical authority”, “anticipating the opportunity to showcase their expertise/skill/discipline” and having “the MENTALITY that you are responsible for your results”. The point I’m making is that many people, through no fault of their own, simply do not have the mentality, skills, organisation and initiative to do these things. Growing up in certain areas, going to bad schools etc leaves people unequipped and unable to make good life choices, resulting of a vicious circle generation after generation after generation.

        Its not about passing the blame or people making excuses, its about realising that some people are not being prepared to compete in the environment where the 10 points Tyler lays out become relevant. These people don’t have the options not to be defined by their environment. They’re trapped in a cycle of poverty, desperation and necessity.

        • Jeremy

          Mar 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm

          You definitely have valid points here, James. But then again, don’t you think anyone who is able to read this article should be well educated and equipped to make good life choices?

          • James

            Mar 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm

            That was exactly the point I made in my first comment. By accepting that this article is only for people who are well educated equipped to make good life choices you’ve already limited the relevance of the points above to a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.

            You’re not “addicted to failure” if you’re a well educated professional who perhaps isn’t getting promoted as fast as they want, in fact you’re already very successful. Obviously you can change your behaviours to optimise your chances of being where you want to be but that’s more about your own expectations and your perception of your own worth vs. reality than transforming yourself from a failure to a success.

            The points are not helpful or even relevant to people who are truly “failing” in our society and the article shows a lack of understanding of what it truly means to be failing and how difficult it can be for people to change their circumstances.

            • Jeremy

              Mar 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

              “you’ve already limited the relevance of the points above to a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.” ==> Even if that is so, that is probably 100% of all people reading this and that’s all that matters right?

              Also, don’t take things at face value!! I’m talking about being “addicted to failure”. In this article’s context, I would believe “failure” to be anyone desiring change in their life, but either not taking action, or not changing their mindset/mentality/attitude.

              You are right in saying that the article isn’t helpful for people who are truly “failing” in our society. That’s because, like you said, it’s directed at “a very small, privileged, and in relative terms successful subset of the population.” Which happens to be about 100% of the readers here!!

              I can totally understand where you’re coming from, James. But again, please don’t take things at face value. A lot of these articles have attention grabbing headlines like this one. And you can’t say the headline is irrelevant.

  9. Nick Giordano

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    You really opened my eyes and my heart, with your quotes. The one that said: ” I have dreams but no set goals, was so true. God bless you for writing these quotes and inspiring others in looking at their lives. This was just the wake up call that I needed.

  10. ayushi parsheera

    Mar 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    perfect mirror, introspected myself ,head to toe in last 5 minutes, wow!! thank you!! i got to be working on it

  11. Roderick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Didn’t know I was addicted to anything until now. True eye opener…ready to make changes!!!

  12. Jeremy

    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Surrounding yourself with the people that will bring you up is so important.

    Just as you say, “Successful people know that the attitudes of the people around them are contagious, so they intentionally surround themselves with people who will encourage them and push them to higher levels.” Plus being around people who are doing the impossible and have the courage to pursue their dreams.

    Trouble is, a lot of people think otherwise. They think that they can rely on themselves which is not always the case.

    I think that this is one of the most powerful life hacks that will really get you ahead in life, as Scott Dinsmore says. You don’t even have to change your goals. You just need to get inspired by these people and many things will take care of itself.

  13. jonathan brantley

    Mar 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    This article was an eye-opening slap in the face. I knew I was committing many of these offenses, but instead of taking action I chose to play the victim. I love and hate you, Tyler Basu, for writing this article.

    No more excuses. Thank you, Tyler Basu, for the kick in the pants!

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 5, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Love your response! You’re probably not the only one who felt this way after reading this. Having the courage to accept the reality you’ve created is the first step to making positive changes. I wish you the best of luck =)

  14. james simwanza

    Mar 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    very very educative,thanx alot i hv learnt more than i needed

  15. Nikola Gjakovski

    Mar 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Great post Tyler. You got some great quotes such as “The final sign that you’re addicted to failure is you believe that people who are successful got lucky”. I find myself so much in the mistakes and I’m really glad I flew into this article !

    • tylerbasu

      Mar 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you Nikola! I wrote this article knowing that it would likely offend certain people, but at the same time hoping that it would give them a chance to truly reflect on any habits or beliefs they have that do not support their success. See you at the top champion!

      • Cristina R

        Mar 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

        No offense taken here, great post, thank you!

  16. Dor

    Mar 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Great article! The close friends and the environment effect us more than we think. One step towards leaving failure behind is choosing who we want to surround us and with whom we need to disconnect.

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