9 Common Misconceptions of Success That Can Stop You on Your Track

Misconceptions of Success

Every single one of us wants to be successful in one way or the other. However, quite a large number of people struggle to succeed in life because they have misconceptions of success. If you happen to find yourself in or around any boardroom, or may be a living room or even ladies room, you will hear discussions about achievements, dreams, potentials…  You can feel the energy of hopes and wishes as people seek to be more intellectual and express the need to achieve higher heights. The worrying thing is that in most of these conversations, you hardly hear about clarity of purpose.

Often people make plans relative to their life purpose but their focus is often on the kind of activities that connect what is wanted and perceived to be success.  What we seldom find is engagement and true connection of our life and our behaviour. Rather, we see strong drives for what we do not have, but think we need.  We see a longing for things that Get the comptetive advantage in business and in life. define our position in society, but not our purpose in the world.  We see an ambitions to have and collect in order to define and validate our status – which is so often not who we are.

Don’t get me wrong money is very important for our daily living and it’s particularly nice to have all the good things that money can buy – nice cars, houses and so on.  Owning good things is not the problem; the obsession with them is deadly – and I am not talking about physical death here. Your money, possessions and all the good things in life are not success; rather, they are rewards that come with success.

One of the misconceptions of success is likening rewards to results. The reason why you find yourself wanting more of what you already have is because you often view what you have as a result instead of a reward. People who celebrate what they do rather then what they have always have better results and therefore are rewarded more.

You see, often times it is not about what you don’t know but more about being mistaken about the things you’re certain are true. Having misconceptions gives room to challenges. What if your preconceived notions about success are incorrect? How might your beliefs about your likelihood of success change?

Having the right conception of success is the first key to achieving success because success is a journey and if you have a misconception of success you are definitely heading in the wrong direction – this is why most find themselves going round in circle.  If your beliefs are accurate, you will find that achieving success is a lot easier than you originally thought.

 Check out these 9 misconceptions of success:

1.  It’s too late to reach your goals.

Many of the world’s most successful individuals didn’t get started until later in life. Take into account Colonel Sanders, who started Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was in his 60s. Had he given up because he felt it was too late for him, we would never have heard of KFC that most of us enjoy today.

2.  Successful people have to work insane hours.

While many successful people do work many hours, that’s primarily because they enjoy what they’re doing. But it’s unnecessary to focus all your efforts on work.

  • It’s important to spend time doing things that help you move forward in a positive direction. Sometimes, that even means doing things that make you feel uncomfortable.

3.  It takes a long time to become successful.

It depends on what you’re doing. If you want to become a doctor, it does take a while. But a lot of things can be accomplished quickly with a good action plan.

Related Post: Time Management to Achieve Success

4.  You have to play by the rules to succeed.

The alternate, “You have to break all the rules to succeed,” is also false. Each situation is unique. You can make up your own rules, as long as you avoid hurting anyone or breaking any laws.

5.  Money isn’t important.

Money is very important for those things that require money. Money doesn’t provide emotional support, but it can do a whole lot for you. If you’re unable to pay your bills or buy food, you already know the importance of money.

6.  Success is only about making money.

It’s important to have enough money to support your idea of success. But money isn’t everything! Maybe your version of success is about having freedom and enjoying life. Having more money than you need is of questionable value.

7.  You’ll achieve the most success if you do it alone.

Success rarely happens in isolation. You’ll probably need help along the way. Partnerships, joint ventures, favors, and mentors are often part of becoming successful. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pay it forward and help someone else on their road to success someday. Most often people try to do it alone because of self-doubt, they believe they’re not s good as so and so…

Related Post: How to overcom self-doubt

8.  If you lack education or come from a certain background, you won’t find success.

  • Successful people come from all backgrounds and levels of education. In fact, a disproportionate number of highly successful people didn’t complete high school!
  • Having a certain background and education can provide different opportunities, but there’s an alternative path to success. History is filled with success stories of those with serious disadvantages.

9.  Success is the goal.

Success is the condition of having met your goals. It isn’t a goal in itself. Success, as I mentioned earlier is a journey; a journey towards your goal.

Having learnt about the 9 misconceptions of success, you can now let go of your preconceived notions and beliefs that has held you back from achieving success. A fresh set of beliefs is just what you need to move forward in life.  Use the above points to help you and it can lead you down the path of success with your bigger goals.

If you have enjoyed this post, please do share the love – leave your comment below and share this post. I love you all!! 😀              

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About the author: A wife, mother, worshiper, writer and a business woman of integrity. An advocate for life purpose and passionate about women living their lives to the fullest and on purpose – making impact… having fun whilst earning a living. Remi Badozi is a life purpose coach who empowers women to live purposeful and leverage the power of the internet. Founder and creator of Life Purpose Matters.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • bbrian017 February 14, 2014, 4:28 pm · link'; ·

    Hi Remi, I loved this post many great points! As you mentioned everyone wants a successful blog as they would a successful personal or business life. The idea of quitting because you haven’t meet your goals is a good one as well. Many bloggers become down with their selves, and give up. I say extend the goals, keep moving forward and extend your deadlines.

    • Remi Badozi February 15, 2014, 1:24 am · link'; ·

      Hey Brian

      Thank you so much for dropping by and for your lovely contribution! You are so right, quitting because you haven’t met your goals is a good one. Success is a personal journey and you can set you own rules and move the goal post as you see fit. Provided one doesn’t give up, you’ll surely get there. It’s all about committing to your goal.
      Best regards

  • Adrienne February 14, 2014, 11:24 pm · link'; ·

    Hi Remi,

    I so resonated with what you were saying about people perceiving what their purpose is in life from what they’ve either been taught or what they’ve just always known.

    When I was doing network marketing I use to ask people to tell me more about themselves and they immediately would tell me what they did for a living. I let them talk and share but then I would say, oh that’s great but who are you? What makes you happy, what are your dreams and they were surprised because no one ever seemed to ask them that. You aren’t what you do…

    Now #8 resonated with me the most because that’s what I was taught growing up. I also didn’t learn well in school, I later in life came to understand that I’m more of a visual yet hands on learner then reading about it. Because I didn’t do well in school I knew college wasn’t for me because I didn’t have the faith in myself that I’d succeed. I just moved through life that way. I was what you called street/common sense smart then book smart.

    Gosh it’s great to know that we can make our own rules isn’t it! Thanks for pointing this out and sharing. Hope you’ve enjoyed your day and Happy Valentine’s day.


    • Remi Badozi February 15, 2014, 1:55 am · link'; ·


      I feel so very honored to have you here – thank you!

      Education is surely not a barrier to success as there are countless successful people out there who were not book smart but knew what they wanted out of life and went for it regardless of their educational background. And yes! You make your own rules… at the end of the day it’s your goals you’re pursuing… it’s your journey and as long as our pursuit is not at the expense of others or the law, you’ll be just fine!!

      Thanks so much.

  • Ryan Biddulph February 15, 2014, 12:52 pm · link'; ·


    Super! All good points. It’s never too late to start. If you are alive you can head toward your dreams with dogged, persistent action.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • metz February 16, 2014, 12:33 pm · link'; ·

    Hi there Remi!

    The list is great as I witness. And I have to concur with you that it is not too late if you wanted to get on the track or on the track for a second time.Proving yourself that you have the aptitude to be triumphant is a vivid idea even though you do not work insanely. You have the option on how to make your time more functional and how to end your day fruitfully.

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social bookmarking and networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

    • Remi Badozi February 18, 2014, 3:10 am · link'; ·

      Hi Metz

      Thank you for stopping by! It’s surely not too late for anyone to pursue their dream. As long as you are determined and not lazy…success will come!


  • Efoghor Joseph Ezie February 16, 2014, 7:45 pm · link'; ·

    Great post, Remi. A lot of people get stuck in life because of what they told themselves. It is difficult for someone who already told himself he is going to fail to actually succeed. If you tell yourself it takes only educated people to be successful, you are going to have a good reason (at least as you have told yourself) for failing. Like you rightly said, there are so many people in history who did not finish or even attend high school yet they are highly successful.

    Yes, success is a relative term. Success means different things to different people – to some people, it could mean having certain number of children, getting married, acquiring a degree, buying a new car, building a new house, etc. So there is no one solid definition of success; it all depends on what one sets out to pursue and what gives one satisfaction at the end.

    #8 is particularly instructive. Success does not look at people’s background or family, it looks at how determined you are to change the status quo or how smart you do things. If you are smart enough, you can get beyond where everybody in your family stopped.

    #2 says that successful people have to work insane hours. That is not true. Success is also not about how much hours you work a day; it is about how you utilize your hours doing the right things. If you get your target right, you can work lesser hours and still make more money. After all, people who create products spend lesser hours promoting them and they still make more money than the affiliates who work their ass up to promote the products and drive sales.

    #3 says it takes a long time to become successful. I am sure there are people who have been working for like 20 years before Mark Zucherberg came up with Facebook. Today, Facebook has over 1 billion users and Mark is a billionaire. Those guys who started before him are still crawling and working long hours to find the key to success. So success is not about time, it is about getting the right idea and pursuing it. If you get the right idea, success is quick.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Do have a lovely new week.

    • Remi Badozi February 18, 2014, 3:06 am · link'; ·


      Thanks for your lovely contribution! Success is definitely not about time, but having a SMART goal and pursuing it.

      Have a lovely week too!

  • Harleena Singh February 18, 2014, 1:58 pm · link'; ·

    Hi Remi,

    Good to be over at your blog too, and I’m sorry for stopping by late – though just glad I did now 🙂

    This was a wonderful post indeed because SO many people have these misconception about success or they feel they can no longer be successful, which is so very wrong.

    I think success is all in the mind, and you can become successful if you have the will-power to make things happen. And they DO work if you keep a positive mindset and work towards making your life successful.

    Success would mean different to different people too. Some take success to be based on how well their blog ranks, while others take it to the money they make. And a few like us perhaps how we spent the day, and whether we lived life to the fullest and did our best to make things work in the best possible way. I liked the point about successful people having to work insane hours, whereas it’s the other way round – such people are able to do a great deal by limiting their work timings, what we call working smart, isn’t it? Great points – all of them 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Remi Badozi February 18, 2014, 3:37 pm · link'; ·

      Hey Harleena

      Thank you so much for your awesome contribution. Success definitely starts in the mind, if you have the right mindset you’ll definitely get to that place of success – whatever success means to you as an individual.

      I really do appreciate you dropping by. And thanks for the beautiful community you’ve built @ aha-now.com!

      Blessings to you and yours!

  • Princewill March 8, 2014, 3:00 am · link'; ·

    Success is all about determination, you first have to agree with yourself that you must succeed.. It is only what you conceive that you can work towards and become…

    The road to success is not bread,butter and Tea, you just have to work, there is no two ways about, you will meet challenges, your surmounting them now depends on how determined you want to succeed.

    If you are so determined to succeed you sure will surmount it but if not, you will chicken out of the back door

    Success involves mapped out strategy, doggedness and discipline… Anybody can succeed if the person want to succeed it is not made for anybody specially,.

    If you are willing and ready to do what it takes you surely will know success..

    Thanks for sharing Remi on Kingged.com

    • Remi Badozi March 8, 2014, 1:38 pm · link'; ·

      Hi Princewill

      Thank you so much for stopping by…. really appreciate it.

      The road to success is definitely not bread, butter and tea! It takes the right mindset – believing in yourself, determination, persistence and focus. Distractions can easily take one away from the path of success. However, once you’re determined to succeed… nothing will be able to tear you away from working towards your success.

      The battle is for the fittest!

      Blessings to you and yours.

  • Arun Kallarackal March 8, 2014, 4:35 pm · link'; ·

    Hi Remi,

    Brilliant post, that’s how I would love to describe this article! This article definitely busts many myths and misconceptions associated with success!

    The misconception that many folks tend to fall prey to is the belief that lack of education or other similar disadvantage will play spoil sport. But I urge those folks to look around and see examples set by modest people, who, with no strong cultural or educational background, went on to lead glorious and successful lives!

    Colonel Sanders, through his illustrious life spread the message that- ‘It is never too late to start working on your goals’. I mean, what an example he has set for all of us to learn from! He not only gave us those tasty KFC goodies, but also a very valuable lesson!

    You said it right, successful people don’t ‘work’ for long hours! For them, the work they do is actually the thing that they love the most! And doing something you just really love is an amazing feel! It can’t be said to be ‘work’. I’d like to term it ‘passion’ or ‘hobby’.

    Success is not just making money. It is all about the ‘journey’. How much money would you possible need to live a luxurious life? At the end of the day, money is what matters. It is how well you enjoyed the journey towards success, how well you negotiated the twists and turns on the way, how well you faced the difficulties that matters!

    I consider it my luck to have stumbled upon this article while browsing Kingged!

    Well written article Remi! I’m sure that this article will serve as a source of inspiration and knowledge to may! Keep writing 🙂


    • Remi Badozi March 10, 2014, 8:45 pm · link'; ·

      Hi Arun

      Thank you for your lovely contribution.

      Success is truly not just about making money, it’s all about achieving your smart and objective goal. If making money is your ideal goal and you achieve that goal then that’s your personal success. Success in making money can be a tricky one as this days people have different ways of making money. Having said that, your journey towards making your dream a reality is very important, if you can walk through that process again or teach someone the same process and are able to achieve similar or close to result, then to me that is SUCCESS!

      I appreciate your stopping by.


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