Are These Losers Sabotaging Your Success?

I hate to break it to you, but there are people in your life who are hoping you’ll fail at whatever big goal you have your heart set on: starting a business, losing weight, finding a new job, getting organized, or becoming the next millionaire pop superstar.

But if you were hoping to be the next Miley Cyrus, then that might not be such a bad thing to have people trying to stop you. Just sayin’.

Believe it or not, there might be someone close to you who’s sabotaging your efforts to be successful in your life. Sometimes the people closest to us don’t always have our best interests in mind.

Watch out for the following sneaky people who may be sabotaging your success. And I’ve included some doable tips so you can get back on track.

Your Partner

Your romantic partner has an enormous influence on your goals and whether you’ll get the results you want. Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. Now think about all the dates, fancy dinners, parties, vacations, and other activities you enjoy with your partner that involve food.

Not only that, but your partner might not care if you gain weight—which is great, but where’s the incentive to take care of your body?

Success Tip: If you want your partner to support your goals, find a (nice) way to include him or her. Going back to the weight-loss example, you could suggest active dates like playing sports or hiking instead of sedentary activities like watching a movie.

Your partner is wondering “what’s in it for me?” so show him or her how you’ll BOTH benefit when you reach your goals.

Your Kids

Having kids means there’s more opportunities to put someone else’s needs above your own. Your kids need you to feed them, entertain them, and drive them all over town like an unpaid chauffeur.

Your little darlings might act like it’s all about them all the time. So what about your own dreams?

Success Tip: You’re not being a good role model or the best mother you could be if you don’t make time for yourself. If your goal is to go back to school or take another training course, show your kids how dedicated you are. Get up early, dress like you care about yourself, let them see you studying. You might even inspire your kids to focus on their own school work.

Explain that your goal will help the whole family, and that might mean you’ll have less time for them in the short term. Maybe you graduating from college will help you earn more money, which in turn means more trips to Walt Disney World for your kids.

Your Best Friend

Who knows you as well as your best friend? No one! And she probably knows exactly how to push your buttons too. It’s fun to hang out with your friends, but it’s also easy to get caught up in all the excitement and throw your good intentions out the window.

If one of your goals is to save money, your friends might pressure you to go to expensive restaurants or buy lots of clothes you don’t need. And there’s certainly the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses” when it comes to friendships.

And friends can be competitive at times, which means they might not care if you never reach your goals. Ouch.

Success Tip: Be upfront with your best friend and honestly tell her how much your goals mean to you and how disappointed you’ll be if you don’t reach them. A true friend will build you up instead of cutting you down.

In fact, your best friend probably has some goals of her own that she’d like to reach. How cool would that be if you could be accountability buddies together?

Your Coworker

I’m going to bring up the weight loss goal again since it’s one my clients regularly want to tackle. And the people who seem to struggle the most with weight loss seem to be the ones who work in offices with a lot of food…and a lot of sneaky coworkers.

I once worked in an office where there was a 6-foot long table in the middle of the department that was always overflowing with cakes, brownies, and catering orders. Everyone snacked throughout the day, and many of my coworkers kept bowls of candy on their desks too. And the amount of junk food would double whenever it was someone’s birthday.

But guess what? It’s totally possible to lose weight even if you work at a desk job.

Success Tip: My coworkers and I started a walking club at my old job because we saw how lazy we were becoming. It’s easy! Just map out a 1-mile path from your building that loops around so you end up back where you started. Then take a walk at the start of your lunch break.

You’ll be more likely to eat a healthy lunch when you return so you don’t negate the calories you just burned. If you’re tempted to snack during the day, try chewing sugarless gum or sipping a glass of water with a few slices of lemon.


Oooh, yes I went there! Other people can be bad influences, but you need to take responsibility too! How are you sabotaging your efforts to be successful? Do you have a plan for when you face obstacles, distractions, or temptations?

Let’s say you want to start your own business. Are you making excuses instead of setting up your website? Are you loafing on the coach instead of launching your next product?

And (gasp!) are you charging puny prices or doing client work for free instead of owning your worth?

Success Tip: If you rely on willpower, you’re going to fail. This is true no matter what your goal is. We all have limited amounts of willpower, and we lose a little bit every time we’re faced with a decision that tempts our resolve.

Instead, make a detailed plan for how you will reach your goals. Don’t wing it! You know your excuses and triggers better than anyone else, so map out exactly how you’ll handle each one when they come up (and they will).

This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Sarah @ Long Island Nerd on June 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    These are really great points Sage. I recognized a while ago that I have a pattern of picking friends that are competitive and tend to make me feel like crap about myself. I’ve cut them loose over time and I have kept my circle small and I know that the amazing people that I call my friends now are the real deal and have been really amazing and encouraging to me. It’s such a change from the friendships I had when I was younger and I definitely appreciate them all so much and feel grateful to have friends that build me up!

  2. Jessica on June 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Weight loss and being health are some of my top goals right now. I would like to lose some weight, eat healthier and start a regular exercise routine. By the time July ends, I want healthier eating and exercising to be a regular, routine thing for myself.

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

    • Sage Grayson on June 27, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Those are great ideas, Jessica! Good luck and watch out for people who might try to undermine your goals.

  3. Melissa on June 18, 2014 at 6:45 am

    You hit on some great points Sage. I especially love how we can so easily sabotage ourselves. Many times I think it’s an old inner protection program replaying automatically. Being aware of it and really questioning yourself is so important. I also liked the competitive friend part. I never quite understood how that happens but I have seen it and it hurts. I will share this post girl and I hope many find it hits home for them as well 😉

    • Sage Grayson on June 27, 2014 at 9:26 am

      I think we’re all our own worst enemies. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Melissa.