It is inevitable that often times we can feel stuck in life, leading us to wonder how we can become successful. Knowing where to start often presents the biggest challenge. Maybe it is not necessarily what you can do to reach success, but rather what habits you can give up.

With spring approaching, it may be appropriate to do a little “spring cleaning.” Providing a deep cleanse of what no longer serves you well can be very beneficial to your mental well-being. This applies not only in the place you call home, but with your work and personal goals, as well.

Focusing on your emotional intelligence can enhance the skills needed to reach success. Emotional intelligence speaks to your self awareness, awareness of others and ability to regulate behaviors.

Honing emotional intelligence will help you overcome the obstacles of everyday life including these eight habits that can deter you from your life’s most important objectives.

Wasted Time

Time wasting habits can act as a roadblock to our goals. They often consume our time and distract us from what really matters. Determine if what you are doing in your daily routine is really advancing you toward your goals. Removing distractions that are not helping you is the first place to start. Deciding exactly what you want to achieve, and when, will help you be successful in accomplishing your goals. As Nike says, “just do it!”

Unhealthy Lifestyle

An unhealthy lifestyle can easily lead to lack of success. If you’re experiencing a deficit in exercise, you may be feeling stressed and worn out. Why is that? Blame the mood boosting chemical known as endorphins, which is released during physical activity. The more endorphins you release, the more energized you become.

When you are busy with life, you may not be getting the correct amount of rest you need. Lack of sleep can make you groggy, forgetful and inefficient. It can hinder your memory, health and your overall appearance. If you want to be successful, you need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. This will enable you to think clearly and give you the energy to tackle your daily objectives needed to reach your long term goals.

Pizza. Cheeseburgers. Vanilla ice cream with fudge. We all have guilty pleasures, but over indulging is not good for our bodies. There’s a difference between an occasional treat and an unhealthy lifestyle.

A strong and healthy body translates to a fuller and happier life. Choosing to eat healthier provides more energy, reduces risk of disease, improves mood and increases our chances of living longer. Instead of your daily soda, substitute a healthier option such as flavored water or green tea.

Spending Time With Toxic People

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid toxic people. They may not appear toxic at first, but after awhile their toxic tendencies are revealed. Their negative energy can rub off on us while we may be unaware this is even taking place. A toxic person can be a wolf in sheep's clothing, but you can still spot them if you look closely.Surround yourself with positive people.

Maybe you yourself have fallen victim to a negative mindset? If that’s the case, finding ways to turn negativity into positivity is a great first step to being able to identify others as potentially toxic individuals.

You deserve to surround yourself around individuals who support and uplift you. Healthy friendships should motivate and challenge you to be better, because these friends see what you are capable of accomplishing. Making the switch from a pessimistic friend to an optimistic friend can help you reach your goals by lifting you up instead of bringing you down.

Fear of Failure

Have you ever been so afraid of failing that you decided you would rather not try at all? Many of us have probably experienced this more than once in our lifetime. You are not alone. Rejection and embarrassment can be humiliating. But when we allow fear to get in the way of us progressing forward in our lives, we are likely to miss some amazing opportunities.

Give up your fear of failure, or self-doubt and transition your definition of “fail” to First Attempt Is Learning. Early success can be encouraging, but failure may be better in the long run. It is a learning experience, an opportunity, and it is not fatal. I can guarantee you that every successful person has failed multiple times. But they took failure as a valuable lesson and dusted themselves off. Facing the possibility of failure head on and embracing it, is not only courageous, but can lead you to achieving your biggest goals.


Everyone has excuses yet no one wants to hear them. Excuses hold us back and leave us in a cycle of procrastination. Results and excuses can’t coexist, so stop making justifications and instead make improvements. Do you want to be successful? Take ownership for your actions and hold yourself accountable. Laziness and lack of motivation are underlying sources for excuses.

Stay motivated. You are capable of success and the time is now. Take action!


Dedicating a significant amount of time and energy to your goals can be stressful. Be weary of burnout, a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. You begin to lose focus and interest which can hinder your ability to reach success. Burnout reduces productivity, drains your energy, and leaves you feeling disillusioned.

Instead, find your pace. Be patient, yet persistent.

Harmful Behaviors

There are certain behaviors that do nothing but hold you back. These behaviors can have a harmful effect on your mental health and well being. Instead of experiencing joy and happiness, harmful behaviors can consume you with sadness, anger and any other unwelcome feelings. In order to be successful, you must eliminate harmful behaviors and replace them with positive ones.

The following 3 P’s are great examples of harmful behaviors. Perfectionism can set your life up for disappointment and frustration. Always saying “yes” to favors, otherwise known as being a people pleaser, is an act of personal insecurity and may leave you exhausted. Placing blame is taking the easy way out, because you fail to proactively make decisions that will alleviate the situation.

Make yourself proud. When you are feeling down, refer to the mantra from the movie, The Help, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.


We all know someone who seems to make constant progress in their professional and personal lives. We probably also know someone else who seems to make the same mistakes over and over. Why is that? The answer is simple; they approach obstacles and challenges very differently.

Closed-minded individuals rarely identify that they may actually be closed-minded. They are more interested in being right, than achieving a positive outcome. They are more likely to make statements, rather than ask questions. It may seem obvious now why they never progress forward, which is why this behavior should be corrected in order to reach success.

Open-minded people are willing to take on new ideas, even if they don't particularly like them. They see disagreements as a way to expand their knowledge. They are curious about how others think and they are open to the possibility of being wrong.


As you clean out your home this spring, don’t forget that your mind and body need some organizing, as well. Giving up these eight habits mentioned above can move you forward to success. Failure is natural, so don’t be afraid of failing while implementing these changes in your life. While fear of failure is human nature, it should not stop you from going after what you want. Change can be hard, but it is also exciting!

Understanding and improving your emotional intelligence is a great way to achieve higher levels of productivity. The ability to sense and comprehend your emotions can provide clarity about yourself and others. This knowledge will empower you to focus on and develop the necessary skills in order to reach your goals.

This blog is written by Mariah Kunka and originally appeared on