Success Psychology

17 Reasons Why You Fail All The Time

why you fail all the time

It sounds harsh, doesn’t it? An article that will explain exactly why you fail all the time. But let’s be honest here, you probably don’t understand exactly why do you?

A lot of people around the world suffer from an intense fear of failure that stops them from living a good life. This mental block can cause brain fog, lack of focus and diminishes drive and determination.

But for some of us, the frustration lies in trying and trying without ever seeing any good results. We’re looking for a sign that we’re on the right path but every time we take the leap, we fail.

The reaility is that you must fail.

You are human. Struggle is part of the process. Failure is unavoidable and we’re certainly going to make some mistakes along the way. You must live in the uncomfortable in order to find the comfort of success (and sometimes not even success is comfortable!)

But, if you don’t take the time to understand why you’re failing then success is going to drift further out of reach.

Fail good, fail hard… but understand why you’re failing so that you’re at least failing for the right reasons.

To get you started, take a look at the Top 10 Best Life-Changing Books that I recommend to all of my readers who are ready to transform their lives!

The Reasons Why You Fail All The Time Might Not Be The Right Reasons

A picture of the last bit of toilet role with 'don't panic' written on it. Don't panic if your don't know the reason why you fail all the time

Uh, what?

That’s right. You might fail constantly. You might fail over and over again. It might begin to take its toll and you begin to feel as though you are a failure… but if you’re failing for the right reasons then that’s all OK.

It won’t feel like it is, but it is.

So, what does it mean to fail for the wrong reasons?

If you fail all the time because you’re oblivious to any of the reasons listed below then you’re effectively sabotaging your own chances of success.

It’s time to heighten our self-awareness to really get to grips as to why we’re constantly failing. Because sometimes it is just part of the journey, but sometimes it’s because you’re getting in your own way.

So here are 17 reasons why you might be failing all the time that can be easily fixed…

1. You’re afraid to stand out

To be successful in life you must be prepared to peacock from time to time. In daily life, a lot of us prefer to go unseen, slipping under the radar undetected.

I like it that way myself.

But when you’re trying to get something off the ground, or you’re wanting to prove that you can do something you never thought you could, you must be willing to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re too afraid to stand out from the crowd then success is going to be difficult to achieve.

You fail all the time because the worry of doing something different stops you from vocalising and raising your hand. It hinders your chances of progress because you prefer to be invisible and go unnoticed.

But blending in, despite having epic ideas and off-the-wall visions of how life could be for you, could be the exact reason why you’re failing.

Success doesn’t tend to come to those who hide their opinions, hide their ideas, voice their concerns, and challenge the status quo.

You don’t have to be a rebel. Take it from someone who considers themselves to have always been a ‘good girl’.

It’s not about baring your naked arse or dying your hair pink just because the current fashion is blue…

It’s about daring to be different. And daring to be seen as different.

What to do?

Be willing to be seen. Vocalise something to someone that sends shivers down your spine. Talk to a stranger about your latest invention. Discuss with family members how you plan to travel the world for only $500.

Dare to be different. Success favours the brave and if you’re too afraid to stand out then this might explain why you fail all the time.

2. You Are Not Persistent Enough

Let me see if this resonates with you…

You do some work, you congratulate yourself, then you hit a small obstacle. You try to go over the obstacle but it doesn’t work. So you try to go under it, that didn’t work either.

So you think, ‘Hm, I guess i’ll have to havea think and come back to that one’

But you never do.

A common reason why people fail over and over again is because they tell themselves that they’ve been persistent enough, that they’ve done all that they could, but that is almost always not the case.

Take bloggers for example…

They’re told over and over again that blogging will require up to 5 years worth of work before it begins to pay off but most give up within the first 6 months.

If you aren’t pushing harder, going for longer, trying more often, and going back to the grind every day until you’re body aches with effort… then this may well be the reason why you always fail.

What to do?

Anything worth having always takes ten times more effort than people hope it will because we want things to be easier than they are.

Accept that persistence pays off. Those that keep going and keep pushing will eventually reach success through sheer dedication and persistence.

When you’re next thinking of giving up just ask yourself, ‘Am I giving up to soon?’

And then reply to yourself with, ‘Yes, yes you are. Keep going’

Then simply watch failure turn to success.

3. You Lack The Humility To Learn

Lacking humility is a route to constant failure.

Being able to step back and say that you don’t have the answer and you don’t know everything is a trait that not many people possess.

It’s actually pretty hard to be humble as human beings and this is a massive cause of constant failure. We want to be right, we want to be the best, we want to have more, be more, and know more…

But if you lack humility then you will constantly be knocked on your backside.

Everyone knows of that person who just simply never learns and it’s always because they don’t have the humility to admit that they DON’T KNOW.

No-one wants to work with this person. No one wants to help this person and no one comiserates this persons constant failure.

If you’re failing at everything you attempt, have a look in the mirror. Are you lacking the humility to learn?

What to do?

Success is awarded to the humble. You must raise your self-awareness and find the openness and vulnerability to show gratitude to others, acknowledge mistakes, and voice when you need help.

4. There is an Underlying Fear That You’re Avoiding

No one likes to face their fears. 

I have lived with social anxiety for over 15 years now and finally came to understand that working to understand it, accept it and willingly put myself in situations that challenged this social anxiety was the only way to overcome it.

So, the reason why you fail all the time may well be that there is any underlying fear that you aren’t addressing.

This could be fear of failure. Fear of humiliation. Fear of success. 

Whatever it may be, this underlying fear will sit int he background and sabotage your chances of success. And it will do so quite easily if you try to avoid it.

Steven Pressfield speak of this in The War of Art.

Any fears you may have manifest in the way of resistance.

The resistance to make progress and therefore the resistance to succeed. It thrives off your failures. Don’t let it.

What to do?

It’s time to do some internal reflection. This is the stuff of nightmares for many but the temporary discomfort of facing your fears will be greatly outweighed by the feeling of victory when you finally get out of your own way and achieve your goals.

Ask yourself, ‘What are you really afraid of?’

Take the time to understand the driving forces behind everything you do and face your fears head on. This takes courage but the payoff could be huge if you can remover this emotional barrier.

5. You fail to build strong relationships and network

I hate networking.

And for the longest time, I wanted to believe that I didn’t need other people, that I could do it on my own.

Not because I thought I was better than everyone else and not because I believed I was fully capable… but because working with others brings a whole host of other problems when you’re riddled with insecurities.

The truth is that very rarely do people become successful without help from others.

If you resist building strong relationships, as I did, or you treat people poorly along the way then this is most likely the reason why you fail all the time.

Support from others is essential.

Humility, gratitude, and openness to others are how you gather the people who will help propel you forward.

Building strong relationships and constructing a network of like-minded individuals is one of the biggest assets you could hope to have on the road to success.

What to do?

Treat everyone with respect.

Seems like a given and yet many people ignore this rule!

Give more than you take. Always appreciate the help you receive whether it has benefitted you or not. Reach out to people and know that they would most likely feel privileged that you want to connect!

No one reaches the top of the mountain alone.

And no one reaches the top of the mountain if they treat the people along the way poorly.

Reach the top with a tribe of supporters that you’d happily share your victory with and you’ll get there a lot faster and a lot happier.

6. You Ignore Good Advice

Stubborness is not only an incredibly unattractive quality but it is the reason why many people fail time and time again.

This ties in neatly with a ‘lack of humility’. It takes humility to ask for and take the advice of others when we’re struggling to move forward.

The stubborn person, who will undoubtedly fail, refuses this advice under the illusion that they know best. 

It’s human nature to want to be the best.

So we don’t like having to say, ‘Oh yeah, thanks but that was actually his idea’ Because of this, we will ignore good advice from people who know what the hell they’re talking about!

There will always be someone who is one or five steps ahead of you. These people have walked the path, made the mistakes and are willing to impart their wisdom to ensure you’re struggle isn’t as gruesome as theirs was.

But so many people IGNORE great advice.

Well, if this resonates with you, the harsh truth is that your ignorance comes at the price of your success. This is undoubtedly the reason why you fail all the time.

What to do?

Be open to the advice that is being given to you. Accept it, absorb it, and analyze whether it will in fact benefit you. 

Sometimes, this advice won’t actually align with what you’re hoping to achieve and that’s OK.

But if you want to make progress and you want to go from point A to point B relatively unscathed, you must open your ears to good advice.

Don’t be stubborn. Take it and allow it to help you succeed.

7. You Allow External Forces to Control You

We all have obligations that we simply cannot ignore. Children, for example, are one of those obligations.

So I am not encouraging you here to let your five year old child play in the sandbox, alone and unsupervised, so you can work on achieving your goals.

Let’s be reasonable.

But there are many external forces at play that we allow to control us when, in fact, we have more control than we think.

Think of the amount of times you have said yes to the unreasonable requests of your boss, family members, friends, or colleagues. And think how much time was wasted, spent in misery, as you fulfilled an obligation that you were never obliged to undertake in the first place.

There are certain external factors that will always stunt our growth if we allow them to.

What to do?

Start saying no more often in order to stop wasting time.

Look at the various aspects of your life that you do in fact have control over and set boundaries in place. 

You can stop wasting your life doing things that are dictated by external forces. Look at what you have within your control. Now, look at what could be in your control that currently is not, if you only put some boundaries in place.

Now, go on set those boundaries.

8. You Listen to the Wrong People

One of the reasons you might fail all of the time is because you listen to everyone that has an opinion.

Yes, you must be open to advice and yes you must be willing to take this advice.

But guess what?

Every tom, dick, harry and auntie shirley has an opinion they want to voice and idea of what they think you should and should not be doing.

Well, most of the time these people haven’t got a damn clue what they’re talking about.

They probably know nothing about the problem you’re trying to solve or the industry you want to get into or how to be successful in your fields… but they’ll try and tell you how they would do it anyway.

You must be open to GOOD advice from people WORTH LISTENING TO.

You’re going to constantly fail if you take the advice of every person that passes you on the street!

What to do?

Be particular on who you are willing to take advice from. Understand that you need guidance from people who have been where you are, have reached a similar goal and know what the hell they’re talking about.

The advice of tom, dick and harry you are very welcome to ignore.

It’s about making executive decisions and seeking the opinions of people with value to provide.

9. You’re Easily Distracted

I love to binge a good network series. And, on occasion, I will spend an hour just flicking through videos on Youtube.

But my partner has an incredibly small attention span. If something pops into his head, he has to Google it. Then it reminds him of a song so he plays it on Alexa. Then he needs to find a video to watch on Youtube. But on the way he sees a thumbnail for ‘How to make a skateboard bowl’ and he has to watch that first. Suddenly he is researching where he can buy a skateboard and how much the tools might cost him…

All of this when he was initially doing client e-mail outreach.

Distraction is the enemy of productivity and int oday’s world, distraction is absolutely everywhere.

Sometimes it’s necessary. We need the distraction because we’ve been working our arses off and you know what, now we actually deserve a break.

But our distractions should be our choice and in our control. For most of us this is not the case and could be the reason why you fail all the time.

It’s pretty tough to make progress when you aren’t able to dedicate a block of time to something without interruption.

Distraction is a procrastinations great partner in crime and they love to work hand in hand to pull you away from the important stuff.

But, remember, if you’re giving in too easily, you may be AVOIDING the work and this is where it pays to take a look at the underlying fears that you’re denying.

What to do?

Be in control of your distractions. Actively choose when you can watch tv, listen to music or doom-scroll through social media.

Use them to take a step away from your work and give your brain some rest time. Take the time to think about where your greatest weaknesses lie…

Is it your phone? Does Youtube call your name? Are you constantly checking your emails? 

Gte yourself in an environment where you will be less likely to engage in your distractions and be strict with the times that you work and the times when you can do whatever the hell you want.

10. You Don’t Take Responsibility

I was recently reading Black Box Thinking and it’s possibly one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years. It’s all about the necessity for failure and how a lack of responsibility and ownership can be extremely damaging to progress.

It references two fields: aviation and healthcare.

In aviation, acknowledgement and admittance of mistakes is rewarded. The reason being that they encourage a culture of responsibility and ownership but also because this is how they improve.

Safety in aviation is critical and the aviation industry has advocated for learning from failure for a long time now… which is why the mortality rate is so low.

Unfortunately, healthcare is an entirely different story.

Failure is seen as something to be punished and penalised. Because of this many mistakes go unreported, scapegoating is rife and blame is everywhere.

The knock on effect of this being that people are still dying uncessarily from mistakes that are made every day. Mistakes and failures are denied and therefore no one learns from them.

You are likely falling time and time again if you aren’t able to take full respobibility for your failures.

I get it, it sucks. To admit that it was our choices, our actions and our behavioiurs that caused this outcome.

But when you decide instead to blame everyone else around you, you learn nothing and no progress is made.

What to do?

You must hold yourself fully accountable for your failures. Own up, take the bullet and move on knowing that because of this, you can learn from your mistakes and do better next time.

Blame is born of a negative and avoidance mindset. 

It wasn’t me, it was them. 

It wasn’t my fault, it was theirs.

Adopting a growth mindset means taking full ownership and only then can you learn from mistakes and make positive progress the next time around.

11. You Don’t Have a Routine

What do the most successful people in the world have in common? They have a routine!

Everyone’s is different. Many will advocate for early mornings. We’ve all heard the, ‘Get up at 5am and see what a difference it makes!’ from the uber enthusiastic people out there.

Get up at 5am, 7am, or even 11am if that works for you. 

The important thing is to have a routine that you follow. We humans are creatures of habit and work routines are a great habit to form.

You want to make this as easy on yourself as possible, so what could be easier than working on automatic pilot?

If you don’t have to think about when you work and when you relax, you’re more likely to do the work when you’re supposed to, right?

If you train yourself to work between the hours of 6am-2pm then you will begin to do so without having to battle against yourself to get going.

What to do?

Find a routine that works for you that you can stick to. Not having one could well be the reason why you fail all the time.

Don’t wake up crazy early if that doesn’t work for you. If you work better late at night then it really doesn’t matter what time you wake up. 

Just formulate a schedule for yourself and stick to it for at least 4 weeks. If you can be rigid and stick it out, you will eventually make this routine a habit.

12. You Don’t believe it’s Possible

There’s bunch of reasons why you might not believe that success if achievable.

Insecurities, negative self-talk, lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem all work to sabotage your chances by making you struggle to believe that you can make something of yourself.

Alternatively, some of us come from a low income background and are stunted by a low-income mindset. 

We can believe that this is our lot in life, it’s where we’ve come from and it’s where we wil end up.

If you don’t believe that success is possible then you will encounter constant failure.

Because self-belief is the tool of titans. Belief can make a success of the person with no talent, no money, and no connections.

It is a limiting belief to not think that your dreams are possible and this can have a serious effect on your mental health.

If we allow these insecurities and negative voices tell us that we’re wasting our time and that we’re fools for trying then they’ve won.

What to do?

It’s time to believe. This means taking action even when you lack the confidence to do so. This means educating yourself on the rags to riches stories that you can relate to and allow them to motivate you.

Eventually, your small successes will help you to see that it is possible to achieve your goals.

With each step closer you will understand that you are no different to everyone else, that success is there waiting for you if you’d only chase it.

Anything is possible.

Not every successful entrepreneur out there has been born into money and wealth with success handed to them on a silver platter.

People have built an empire out of nothing but belief. It’s time to build yours.

13. You Don’t Help Others

Success rewards the humble, the kind, the generous, the loyal, and the supportive. 

When we give more than we take people will bend over backwards to help us in return because guess what, good deeds attract good deeds.

Have you ever come across someone who is so selfish and self-absorved that you felt physically repulsed? 

You’d step over them if they fell in the street, right? (Come on, you can tell me)

Those of us who help others for the pure pleasure of doing so will often find themselves surrounded by a team of cheering fans ready to be of assistance.

It’s karma.

But be warned, you should never help others only so they feel obliged to return the favour. Giving guidance or assistance with a hidden agenda can be sniffed out a mile away and is quite frankly, a lie.

Don’t be that person.

Build strong relationships and bonds by helping others and forgo the ‘me, me, me’.

What to do?

Offer your assistance. Give without expecting anything in return. Give more than you get and don’t forget that the end goal is to simply be a good person.

No one owes you anything.

But good people help one another and are very happy to do so.

14. You’re Afraid to Care, Just In Case

This one can be confusing.

I can hear people shouting now, ‘Of course I care! Do you think I’d be doing this if I didn’t care?!’

There’s a difference between caring and being fully invested in something, body, heart and soul. And if you aren’t fully invested because you’re too afraid to be, then this could be the reason why you fail all the time.

The reason people try to remain emotionally distant is that failure is simply too painful when you care so much. Whereas, if we remove ourselves from it and try and keep a safe distance, we believe we can mitigate some of this pain.

Ultimately, only those who have the guts to really care about what they’re doing give it the full 100%.

Hestitance will cause us to fail.

Being ‘half-in’ will not allow us to succeed.

What to do?

The painful risk of failure is one that you have to accept and embrace. Only when you do this can you allow yourself to care whole-heartedly.

But, when you can do this you will find that you fight harder, push on for longer and give more than you ever thought you could.

When you raise the stakes suddenly you’re willing to put in a lot more effort in order not to fail again and finally reach your goals.

15. You’re Copying Everyone Else

There’s a difference between going with what has been proven to work and denying your gut instinct because it goes against the norm.

If your feel as if you’re constantly failing all the time then it might be worth asking yourself whether you’re following the crowd.

It’s pretty difficult to stand out among a crowd of people who are all wearing the same thing, walking in the same direction, singing the same song, and drinking the same cocktail.

Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to reinvent the wheel.

However, where a lot of people go wrong is that they deny or ignore something inside them that tells them to do things just a little differently. To start going in a slightly different direction.

Because following the crowd feels safe and venturing of course feels uncomfortable.

Well, it’s time to live in the comfortable.

What to do?

If you have an urge to do something… go for it.

Whilst success lies in knowing and following systems that work, you have to bring a sprinkle of ‘you’ to the equation. What makes your way different? What makes you unique? What makes your offer special?

You don’t have to redefine gravity but following the crowd is a sure way to always be a few steps behind rather than in front.

16. You Want Instant Gratification

Everybody does, my friend.

In this era we expect everything yesterday. With a click of a button we can have food at our doorstep, a cab waiting outside, money transferred, and a world of knowledge at our fingertips.

Unfortunately, instant gratification and success are not friends.

If you’re an instant gratification nut then the reason why you fail all the time is likely because you don’t have the patience to persist.

The road to success is a long, winding, uphill struggle and many people give up too soon because they’re expecting results NOW.

If that outlook resonates with you then you’re in for a tough ride, my friend. Because success is earned through blood, sweat and tears over a long period of time.

Nothing in success is instant.

What to do?

Consider how much you want it. Is the ultimate goals something you’re willing to dedicate immense amount of effort and time to. If not, then don’t feel ashamed.

It’s a brilliant realisation to have if it stops you from wasting your time.

If you are willing to persist then it’s time to shift your mindset. This is going to be a long game. You have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul. We’re talking years in most cases!

If the payoff is worth it then get comfortable and enjoy the ride.

17. You Lack Self-motivation

Despite what you might think, no-one really cares if you succeed or not. And I don’t say that to dishearten you or make you feel unloved.

The reality is that you are responsbilbe for your own life which means only you are responsible for taking bold action. Everyone else around you may support you, may offer assistance and may cheer when you celebrate each and every milestone but…

Everyone has their own stuff to deal with.

Every person has their own dreams to chase, their own struggles to deal with and their own success to work toward.

Which means self-motivation is crucial to success. You cannot wait for someone else to get you moving and you cannot wait for motivation to strike.

If you lack self-motivation then this could be the reason why you fail all the time.

What to do?

Take action even when you’re feeling lazy. Do something even when you’re feeling agitated or restless. 

Take small actionable (and achievable steps) every single day, especially on those days where you really can’t be bothered. 

Self-motivation is perhaps the best skill you could build upon to avoid failure and ensure ultimate success.

Once You Know Why You Fail All The Time…

It’s not easy to raise our own self-awareness to a point where it becomes easy to determine something like this.

No one wants to take a look at themselves and admit that their failure is their own responsibility. Ignoring the fundamental issue is a lot easier. Placing blame elsewhere is easier.

When you believe that your behavior can change, you are more likely to be willing to admit responsibility.

Greater Good Science Centre

So do not think that if one of the above resonates with you that you are a bad person or that you’re a failure because you’re sabotaging your chances!

Figure it out and use this newfound knowledge to readjust yourself toward success.

Freeing ourselves from a rutt of constant failure and setbacks is a challenge in itself but the positive impact this could have on your progress is huge. Don’t ignore this. If you’re willing to try and you’re willing to fail then you’re are almost definitely willing to do some much-needed self-reflection and iron out a few cracks.

The problem is not that we fail all the time but we don’t know why we fail all the time.

Once you’ve solved that peice of the puzzle things will begin to change rapidly.

About Emma Loveday

Hi there! My name is Emma, founder and writer of 'Resilient Humans'. Lover of slippers, 13% vol red wine, online courses (I don't care, you don't know me!) and queso, obviously. I'm currently in the process of writing my new book, 'Bold, Brave & Brilliant: 12 life lessons to cultivate mental strength and emotional resilience'. Check out @resilientemma on Instagram for the latest updates and all of the juicy goodness. Any questions? Just drop me a DM at or jump in the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you. No, truly I would.
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