What Does Shame Feel Like? How Do You Deal With It?

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What are the main causes of failure in life? How can you fix the problems that are causing you to fail?

The main causes of failure in life are poor environmental influences, the wrong mindset, bad habits, and lack of motivation. All these reasons for failure can be addressed if you identify which ones apply to you and create a plan for removing them.

Read on to understand more about the major causes of failure and how to address each of them.

The Causes of Failure

Lack of persistence is only one of the common causes of failure. Here are others that stand between you and success. They can stem from your environment, your habits or problems with motivation. All of them can be addressed (except unfavorable hereditary background and ill health).

Go through the list of the major causes of failure, noting which ones most strongly apply to you. Then create your own plan for removing the problem.


  • Unfavorable hereditary background: Not much can be done to compensate for lack of genetic intellectual capacity, except for using a MasterMind group.
  • Lack of education: An inadequate formal education can be made up for with self-education, acquisition of specialized knowledge, and creation of a MasterMind group.
  • Ill health: Some causes of poor health are beyond your control. But others, such as overeating and not exercising, can be eliminated.
  • Poor environmental influences during childhood. Many people with criminal tendencies acquired them by being raised among people who set bad examples. When you are able, you should surround yourself with positive role models.
  • Marrying the wrong person: The misery of being in a bad marriage will sap your ambition.
  • Having bad business associates: Their problems will rub off on you. Pick associates whom you can emulate.
  • Selecting the wrong job: You can’t succeed in a job you hate, only in a job you can do wholeheartedly.
  • Power not acquired through self-effort: People who inherit money often mishandle it.
  • Lack of capital: Many new business fail to maintain sufficient reserves to absorb the impact of mistakes. It is one of the more popular causes of failure but it can be planned for.


  • Negative personality: Success requires gaining others’ cooperation, which you can’t get if your personality turns people off.
  • Desire to get something for nothing: Gambling is reckless behavior that leads to failure.
  • Overcaution: Life involves taking chances. If you don’t take chances you’ll only get what’s left after others choose.
  • Intentional dishonesty: If you have a reputation for being dishonest, no one will work with you.
  • Egotism and vanity: These are red flags that warn others to avoid you, making it impossible to attract people who can help you.
  • Inability to cooperate with others: You can’t succeed single-handedly, so you must inspire cooperation.
  • Intolerance means you are closed-minded and have stopped learning, which will keep you from accessing the people and information you need to achieve riches.


  • Procrastination: When you wait for the right time to start you don’t get anything done.
  • Lack of self-discipline: If you don’t control your mind, it will control you.
  • Superstition and prejudice: Superstition is fear and a sign of ignorance. Keep an open mind and you won’t fear anything.
  • Intemperance: Overindulgence in food, drink, or sex shows lack of discipline and hinders success, which requires sticking to a plan.
  • A habit of spending indiscriminately: This is one of the more notorious causes of failure. If you overspend, you can’t succeed because you’ll always fear poverty. Saving money creates security.

Problems with motivation

  • Lack of a well-defined purpose in life: You can’t succeed without knowing where you want to go.
  • No desire to be more than mediocre: If you don’t strive to get ahead you won’t.
  • Indecisiveness: This will prevent you from taking action to achieve your goal.
  • Fear of poverty, criticism, poor health, loss of love, aging, or death. These fears must be replaced with positive thoughts or they will block your progress.
  • Lack of focus: You need to concentrate on one definite purpose rather than diluting your efforts with multiple goals. A jack of all trades isn’t good at anything.
  • Lack of enthusiasm: Without it you can’t convince anyone to support your plans.
  • Guessing instead of thinking: People too lazy to get the facts and think make bad decisions.


Before learning the principles for transforming positive thoughts into reality, you likely were tempted to make excuses or adopt “alibis” when you didn’t get what you wanted.

Alibis are a characteristic of people who fail. Alibis explain away failure and make you feel better about yourself for not succeeding. They become deeply rooted in your thinking and lead to complacency.

Here are some of the most often-used alibis for failure. They start with the words “If only,” and they focus on external things we think would change our lives, on others and their behavior, and on perceived personal failings

Here are some examples:


If only I had: money, enough pull, enough time, better health, a better place to live, better luck, could marry the right person, had a better family, could get a break or a chance, had someone to help me, had been born rich, could get a good job.


If only: I weren’t surrounded by stupid people, I were appreciated by those around me, I were appreciated by my boss, I could get others to listen to me. If only everyone weren’t against me, my family understood me, if only people didn’t get on my nerves, if only I could meet the right people, if others didn’t have it in for me.

Personal Shortcomings

If only I: had self-confidence, freedom, a more attractive personality; if only I were not fat, were more talented, dared to assert myself, could save money, could get out of debt, were younger. If only I could do what I want.

When you understand that thoughts become reality, you no longer tolerate abilis.

Instead of wallowing in misery over what “could have been,” spend that same time analyzing the causes of failure in your life and solving them. 

The 4 Major Causes of Failure: Overcome Them

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  • Napoleon Hill's 1937 guide to success
  • How to use thoughts, visualization, and affirmation to achieve wealth
  • The importance of a Master Mind group and how to start one

Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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