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  • Sarah Centrella

Top Reasons Why Most People Fail

Do you have what it takes to be successful? I've been reading the book Think and Grow Rich (PS. It's only $5 on Amazon, totally worth it!) lately and I've gotta say, it's kinda blowing my mind!

In the book, Napoleon Hill shares a list of the "30 Major Causes of Failure," which I found so helpful that I thought I'd share it with you. I've updated this list based on what I believe to be relevant in our current time, and also put it into "Sarah's words." You can find his original list in chapter 7 of his book.

What I love about this list, is that it points out areas of weakness in such an easy, matter-of-fact way, that we can identify exactly what we need to work on, so as NOT to fail. Here's a little homework assignment for you today, it's what I personally did over the weekend. It will help you break down this list and apply it to your life, and get results:

  1. As you read it, highlight each item that you recognize to be your sticking points (we all have some, I personally identified 5).

  2. Then write a list of why that characteristic has been holding you back, give examples of how it has and what it's cost you in the past. EXAMPLE: what has "procrastination" cost you?

  3. Write specific ways you are going to change that behavior moving forward that will prevent you from paying the price in the future.

Here they are, the top causes of failure as modified by me. In the parenthesis are steps in my #HBRMethod that address these issues.

  1. Lack of a well defined purpose. (#DreamIT)

  2. Lack of ambition to aim above mediocrity. (#TheHustle)

  3. Lack of knowledge. (#TheHustle)

  4. Lack of self-discipline. (#DoIT)

  5. Poor health habits. (#DoIT)

  6. Procrastination. (#DoIT)

  7. Lack of persistence. (#RelentlessPursuit)

  8. Negative personality. (#ThinkIT)

  9. Uncontrolled desire for "something for nothing."

  10. Lack of decision-making ability. (#DoIT, #ThinkIT)

  11. Allowing yourself to be ruled by fear. (#CourageOverFear #ThinkIT)

  12. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people in your personal life (including your mate). (#ChangeYourCrew)

  13. Over-caution. (#DoIT)

  14. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people in your business. (#ChangeYourCrew)

  15. Choosing the wrong career. (#DreamIT, #WriteIT)

  16. Lack of focusing your efforts on the one thing you're best at. (#BigPictureDream)

  17. Fear of poverty and unwise spending. (broke mindset, #ThinkIT)

  18. Lack of enthusiasm. (#ThinkIT, #BigPictureDream)

  19. A closed mind.

  20. Overindulgence in destructive behaviors (eating unhealthy, drinking too much, hoe-ing around! LOL) (#DoIT)

  21. Inability to work well with others.

  22. Demanding power rather than earning it through respect.

  23. Intentional dishonesty.

  24. Narcissism. (#ThinkIT, #DoIT, #SayIT)

  25. Guessing instead of thinking. (#WriteIT)

  26. Lack of funding or a clear plan for obtaining profitability and wealth. (#WriteIT, #DoIT)

  27. Lack of seeking and applying expert advice when needed. (#ChangeYourCrew)

I hope you found this as powerful and useful as I did. Give yourself a HUGE pat on the back and a giant checkmark for the items above that you ARE MASTERING, or don't struggle with! I know that list will out-number the list that you highlighted as needing a little attention. I've added in the #HBR steps so you can go back through my book Hustle Believe Receive, and learn how to address the highlighted items to begin CHANGING those behaviors.


Sarah Centrella is a 2x best-selling author, master life coach, keynote speaker and podcaster.

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