8 habits of highly successful people that most people overlook

There are countless recipes out there for success — whether it’s the morning routines of the rich or the mindsets of the most powerful.

It’s true that the path toward success is paved through the habits we cultivate in our lives.

But the reality is that there are many routes we can take. Each is going to be unique.

Yet out of all the habits we hear of, certain ones get overlooked time and time again.

Let’s take a look at what they are, and why they can be so important.

1) Be selective about who you trust and turn to for advice

I’m specifically talking about when it comes to your success journey.

Because advice and feedback can be really important for our growth. But often we can end up listening to the wrong people.

When we do, it crushes fragile dreams and plans before they’ve had a chance to take off.

I learned this the hard way.

As much as they love me and have been supportive in many ways, my parents are very fearful and negative people.

It meant throughout my life they’ve projected that onto me. When I saw an opportunity, they saw only threat.

As harsh as it may sound, I came to realize that it was better to keep certain things to myself.

Instead, I went to the people who shared my visions and values of self-development and expansion.

The point is, that we have to be smart and selective about who we feel has the right expertise and experience to guide us.

2) Build resilience the hard way (which is the only way!)

You may have noticed that successful people seem to have thicker skin than most.

This emotional toughness and ability to handle setbacks is instrumental in how they got to where they are today.

But what the rest of us can overlook, is how this tenacity is a skill rather than a quality they’ve always had.

The truth is that we only become more resilient to life’s knockbacks by facing them head-on. It’s also how we learn to adapt.

When you look at the life of a successful person, it’s all too easy to focus on the end result.

But we often neglect to see the countless failures and setbacks they’ve had to overcome to arrive there.

We grow resilience through a mixture of pushing our comfort zone and supporting ourselves the best we can as we do so.

That’s why it involves seemingly mundane habits like exercising, getting enough sleep, meditating, and eating a balanced diet.

These little things are what help you better deal with stress. Without self-care, we’re more likely to give up or back down.

So they become the firm foundations to rest upon as you endure challenges and face your fears.

3) Take imperfect action

If you recognize these signs youve got more potential for success than you realize 8 habits of highly successful people that most people overlook

Far from being perfect, successful people are screwups.

What I mean by that is that failure is an inevitable part of arriving at success.

Of course, none of us like to fail.

So that can mean we prioritize avoiding the discomfort of failure over giving things a try.

Procrastination happens when we put too much pressure on outcomes. The emotional burden gets too great, and so we want to avoid it.

We can convince ourselves that we’re not ready yet and we have to have it all figured out before we can make a start.

But imperfect action is actually great for figuring things out along the way. It gives us clarity and provides a learning curve which we can build on.

It’s not doing “the wrong thing” that is the enemy. The reality is that doing nothing is the real enemy.

It keeps us stuck where we are.

Messing up feels uncomfortable, but it moves you forward.

In short:

Rather than make a big deal out of something, give it a go and see where it takes you.

4) Cut yourself some slack

Hustle culture would have us believe it’s the only path to success.

There’s no denying that getting where you want to be may well involve some blood, sweat, and tears.

I think that the approach you take is actually a personal choice. Some people thrive from the hustle mentality, whilst others quickly hit burnout.

But here’s the thing:

Even if you don’t cut yourself any slack in the hours you’re putting in, there is one area you need to cut yourself some slack in…

And that’s self-acceptance and letting go of perfectionism.

Making it is hard enough, but if you’re not even on your own side in life, it’s going to be impossible.

You may feel like you’re not pushing yourself enough, but chances are you’re more likely being too hard on yourself.

The way you think and feel greatly impacts your actions. Being nice to yourself is far more effective than beating yourself up.

When you chastise and berate yourself, you are stripping away at that all-important self-esteem that’s needed to create success.

When you take a compassionate, forgiving, and understanding stance towards your journey, you take the pressure off.

Far from holding you back, this can propel you towards even greater things.

5) Celebrate small achievements along the way and look back on what you’ve already accomplished

Rather than always being forward-facing and focusing solely on future results, successful people are good at seeing how far they’ve come.

This can be such a powerful motivator.

Most of us always have some future goals we’re striving for.

But it can mean that we neglect to acknowledge where we’ve already gotten and the challenges we had to overcome to arrive there.

Success is usually built, not on monumental milestones, but instead the humble momentum of everyday actions.

Hopelessness can quickly set in if we don’t pay attention to these wins.

Looking back over what you’ve already done in life (no matter how small) is the vital fuel that creates encouragement.

Where were you 10 months ago?

Where were you 10 years ago?

What have you learned and how have you grown in that time?

Gratitude is a powerful tool that improves well-being. So simply being grateful for what you’ve already achieved should never be underestimated.

6) Learn from others rather than compare yourself to them

phrases emotionally intelligent people love to use according to psychology 8 habits of highly successful people that most people overlook

This can be a hard habit to instill.

Whenever we admire who someone is, what they’ve achieved, or what they have in life — it’s very easy for envy to crop up.

Comparison is a trap.

It may seem like it can inspire you to push forward, but it is just as likely to rob you of your motivation.

When we judge ourselves and our journey against others, we usually feel wanting.

The overwhelming feeling becomes:

“I am not enough” or “They are better than me”.

But there’s no denying that learning from other people’s success journeys can often us really useful insights.

That’s why successful people are a sponge for that useful information. But all the while, they recognize that everybody has a different path to walk.

We can learn from people, but that doesn’t mean we need to compare ourselves to them.

7) Pay attention to the details

Successful people are often good at seeing the big picture, but simultaneously they don’t neglect the finer points.

This helps in so many ways as it enables you to:

  • Check your own work
  • Be observant of your environment
  • Organize yourself effectively
  • Be resourceful when needed
  • Be accurate in your planning
  • Waste less time on silly mistakes
  • Spot problems quickly and more easily troubleshoot them

It’s all good and well-being “an ideas man” but without the ability to execute that in practical ways, big dreams stay that way.

The way to success isn’t always filled with fun tasks.

Diligence is needed to systematically do the little things that need to be done.

8) Don’t pass the buck

If we want to make anything of ourselves in life, we must first take full responsibility for ourselves.

Excuses may make us feel better, but they also hold us back.

They can creep in without us even realizing it.

We blame the bad start we’ve had, our current circumstances, or the poor treatment we’ve received from others.

But in doing so, we’re confusing explanations with excuses and giving away our power in the process.

There will always be reasons why something is hard.

But for every person who uses that as justification for why they can’t, someone else is rising above it.

Successful people are never victims.

If you don’t like something in your life, it’s up to you to change it. If there is something you want to create in your life, it’s up to you to do it.

Use your own secret sauce

Success is so often built on the backs of others.

Meaning the wealth of experience, knowledge, and understanding already out in the world is undeniably a rich source for us to tap into.

But you are also your own person. You have your own unique set of qualities and experiences to bring to the party.

Plus, only you can answer the question of what success looks like for you.

So as much as we may follow in the footsteps of people who have gone before us, we shouldn’t be afraid to carve out a new path either.

Tap into what makes you tick, what inspires, and motivates you, and choose the habits that fit you best and leave the rest.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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