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Top Reasons Why We Fail

Why We Fail

We all make mistakes in life. However some make a whole lot more than others. We all have friends who seem to always be attracted to the wrong partner, rarely finish what they start, and fail even when the odds seem stacked in their favor. We also have friends who seem to always succeed, are liked by almost everyone they meet, and seem to have the “Midas touch” with everything that comes into their lives. What makes these two groups so different?

Adapting and succeeding is a choice. Some people learn from their parents, educational institutions, friends, or social groups – absorbing what they can from the successful people that surround them. Others learn on their own — through trial and error. Nevertheless, few people are very successful (we can’t have everyone above average), and the majority lives with a large gap – between the reality and the ideal.

So why do we – the majority – fail? One major reason might be that we can’t seem to keep our commitments. Here are the top reasons:

Inadequate Preparation: physical, mental, spiritual. No matter what we pursue, we have to have the physical aptitude. Then, we must be mentally strong enough to push forward, and find ways to move around obstacles. Lastly, we have to have enough spiritual grounding to know why we are pursuing a certain goal, and make peace with the ramifications of such a pursuit — removing guilt or doubt.

Fear. Fear is one of the main emotions – primal really — that people feel. Yet almost all fear has the same irrational bias: allowing a potential future situation (which has not presented yet) to influence our mind and body in the present.

Focus On The Outcome – Not The Process. In our modern society we are conditioned to only look at the final result and ignore the path. While keeping in mind the goal is a great motivational tool, understanding ourselves and the processes which take place when we overcome obstacles is what gives us confidence to move forward and it is what helps us grow.

Following to the wrong people: listening to what you want to hear, frauds, cheaters, liars, people pleasers. There is a reason pyramid schemes work. People want to believe what sounds good even if deep inside they know it isn’t true. The most charismatic people get very good at telling others what they want to hear because it is what is “valued” in general by our society. Yet people who are always tell others what they want to hear only really help one person – themselves.

Surrounding yourself with losers: people who act like your friends and sound good. We all like to feel accepted and loved. An old saying states that misery loves misery, which is very true. People unite when they suffer together. It is a survival mechanism, however it is also one that prevents us from growing.

Lowering your standards because others would not raise theirs. Nobody wants to be alone. But yes, sometimes growth is, well lonely. But when we forego the journey for the comfort of our friends – who won’t take the journey with us – nobody wins.

Seeking drama. One of the most powerful excuses for failing to succeed at a whole host of pursuits is drama. And our society is full of it. The majority of the media content shown on TV today revolves around dramas. The tabloids exist for the sole purpose of exposing drama. And drama takes a lot of time – time that could be better spent going after what we really want.

Using excuses. Nothing else creates a mindset more designed for failure than shifting blame on others and seeking excuses. There is no progress, no growth, and no change when someone else or something else is to “blame” for failure.

Give up/Accept failure. Ultimately, failure is a choice. The moment when we decide to actively stop in pursuing our goal, we accept failure and choose to give up.

If you want your life to change, if you want to grow, and more importantly, if you want to reach your goals, commit to NOT make these mistakes!


Top Reasons Why We Fail

Andrei Nana

Andrei Nana is a licensed attorney, specializing in business law, business owner, and ultra-runner. Andrei has completed 22 races of 100+ miles or 24 hours, including the Spartathlon in 2013 and 2014 – finishing 2nd American and 27th overall in 2013. Recognizing the need for organization in international ultrarunning, Andrei founded the International 100+ UltraRunning Foundation, which focuses on developing elite international ultrarunning. Nana is also the creator of the first six day race in Florida, the Icarus Florida UltraFest. Sought out for his ability to overcome excuses and his unique approach to commitments, Andrei created Nana Endurance Training and frequently presents to organizations, businesses and works directly with individuals.

For more information about Andrei, visit: or

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APA Reference
Nana, A. (2015). Top Reasons Why We Fail. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 27, 2019, from


Last updated: 16 Mar 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Mar 2015
Published on All rights reserved.