7 Things You Need to Give Up if You Want to Succeed


7 Things You Need to Give Up if You Want to Succeed

…at pretty much anything.

In one of my latest lifestyle posts, I shared one of my favorite Dalai Lama quotes with you guys: “Judge your success by what you had to give up, in order to get it.” Today, I’ll talk about a few of those things that I’ve learned to give up. The easiest way to introduce some new, fun and exciting things into your life, is to first make some room by getting rid of old, limiting habits.


Few years ago I read a book I’m sure many of you have heard of before: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. There was one piece of advice that really stuck with me, so I wrote it down on a piece of paper and look at it almost every single day:

Guard your speech. Never speak of yourself, your affairs, or of anything else in a discouraged or discouraging way. Never admit the possibility of failure, or speak in a way that infers failure as a possibility.

Ever since then, I try my best to not use phrases like: “I can’t.” Whenever I talk about something that I plan to accomplish, I don’t say “if” I say “when.” When we think (or say) “I can’t” a lot us think that it means “I won’t.” It can also imply that you’re not willing to do what it takes to get things done (whatever those “things” are). This also creates a possibility of failure in your mind. It might not seem like a big deal, but that’s where a lot of that negative self-talk comes from. If you keep saying “I can’t” over and over again, you’ll slowly start to discourage yourself. And that,  can suck that power and drive out of you.

Whenever I hear someone talk about their plans for the future, whether it be career, family, hobby- I always get excited. I’m a big dreamer myself and love seeing other people go after their dreams. BUT, when I hear someone close say things like “I really want to [blank] but I probably never will, anyway” or “I’d love to try [blank] one day, but I doubt I’ll ever get to” I cringe (and I used to say those things all the time). How can I believe in you and your dreams, when you sound like you don’t even believe in them yourself?


The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do. Pretty simple isn’t it? Except that it’s not. It doesn’t really matter what it is that you’re after: a new career, buying a house, losing weight, learning a new skill, getting healthy- “life” will always get in the way, somehow. It’s up to you to take a little responsibility for your actions. Don’t put things off until last minute. Don’t say “I don’t feel like doing this now, I’ll do it later” or “I work better under pressure” (do you really? or do you just like telling yourself that?). We all procrastinate– some do it to a greater degree than others. Good news is, you can slowly train yourself to stop procrastinating. I know, easier said than done. But it’s always easier said than done. …..until it’s done.


This goes back to what I talked about above when I told you to stop saying “I can’t.” Don’t complain. Don’t waste your time talking about things that have or possibly could go wrong. Instead of thinking of all those things that you’ll need to give up in order to reach your goals, think about how good you’ll feel once you get there. All those things that you keep telling yourself over and over again, will eventually become your beliefs. Limiting thoughts do not serve you.


No one’s life is perfect. When it comes to things like social media, we only see what others want us to see. Just like we only show off the best parts… of our lives. I could start telling you that each of us is on a unique journey… blah blah blah. But I want to try to change your approach (attitude?) a little.

Let’s say you’re single. You’ve been single for a while and you crave love and affection. You notice a happy couple holding hands standing next to you. What do you feel? Jealousy? Are you sad? Angry? From now on, whenever you see someone drive your dream car, or have a successful career in the field you’re trying to get into- get excited. Whenever this happens to me, I like to think that it’s the Universe whispering to me “here, have a little taste of what’s coming your way.” When you see people who’ve accomplished things you hope to accomplish one day, be happy. This only means that it can be done.


Yesterday is gone. Your future starts now. Some things can be hard to let go of. Maybe you have some regrets in life- I used to think I have a lot of them. I’ve made bad decisions in the past, I know what it’s like to not have your shit together. To feel lost and confused. Guess what though? Everything that I went through taught me something. There are some things that you can’t learn by taking a class or reading a book. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old- it’s never too late to go after your dreams.

I know someone who completely turned their life around at 50. Lost A LOT of weight, got into fitness, found a new, loving partner. If he were to think “well.. I’m 50, I should have done all of this a lot sooner, when I was younger, it’s too late now, why did I wait so long?” he’d never be the person he is today.


I already discussed reasons for ditching your perfectionism in this post. Point is, you can’t wait for that perfect moment, because you’ll end up waiting your entire life. That moment does not exist. Go and do the things you want to do. Start with what you have now. Don’t avoid rejection, learn to surrender.


One of the most important things you need to give up if you want to succeed, is fear of failure. You can’t succeed without failure. Anyone who’s ever accomplished anything, failed at some point. I could sit here and tell you about all of these succesful people who got what they wanted after being told “NO” hundreds of times. Instead, I’ll tell you this: you will fail. At some point, you will fail. So there, since you already know that you probably will fail, what’s left to be afraid of? You fail, you get up and you try again. It doesn’t matter if your failure is as small as skipping a workout or as big as your business falling apart. As long as you keep trying and don’t walk away, you’ll never be a failure.

Whatever it is that you’re after, know that I believe in you. I know, that you are meant to have an amazing life.


If you enjoyed this, you might also like these:

These Are The 3 Things You Need to Reach Your Goals

Ditch Your Desire to Be Perfect

How to Stop Procrastinating, Right Now

  • I say that all the time but I really love your lifestyle posts, Paula! They’re always so inspiring! You’re inspiring!

    I love that: ‘Don’t avoid rejection, learn to surrender.’ xx

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Thank you so much Dagmara, it means so much to me, you have no idea! Thank for always being so kind and supportive! <3

  • Comparing Myself to Others is my big one! Thanks for hitting the nail on the head!


  • I love the way you explain the section about comparing yourself to others. Very well said! I just read a book that had the quote “insecurity competes, confidence empowers” and it really resonated with me. I think it has a very similar idea to what you are saying. I think the way that your described how we should react with excitement instead in jealousy/anger is so perfect! Thanks for the great tips. :)

  • Gitana Deneff

    The last three though. Thank you for this. Very motivational and hopefully I’ll get my butt moving out of bed faster now! I should write these down or design them on my phone and make it a wallpaper! :)

    Gitana | Books & Bellinis | Instagram

  • You are so right about all these things!
    I think fear of failure has been an obstacle of mine. For example, I long feared starting a blog but now I am so glad I did :)
    Thank you for such an inspirational post & blog of course :)

    • I know the feeling Marianne! Almost every single good and exciting thing that happened in my life, happened after I got over my fear of failure. :)

  • I have so much to improve in all of these aspects.. especially being perfect and comparing myself. This post really touched me on a personal level. Just what I needed for to keep on going and pursue my goals! Thank you!

    xx Laura from Laurantaina Beauty Blog

  • This post describes everything I do hahaha. I agree though that this negative mentality really takes a toll and it’s all about being positive. I’m working on it ;P

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

  • Janet

    Perfect advice. Thanks, as always!

    Jane x

  • Sheridan Grady

    Such good advice!! Great post, comparing myself to others and procrastinating are definitely up there for me x


  • I found that overall being happy about other people’s success makes me work harder than being envious. Envy is such a life destroyer, really.

    • Yes it is! It can literally suck the joy out of you. And the more you start feeling jealous of someone, the more things you start thinking you lack.

  • Helene Vlacho

    Always on the point! I will start by the last one. Need to take away my fears!
    Helene/ http://www.beautifulismyattire.com

  • This was so helpful and you’ve shared some amazing advice! Most of these stand in the way of me going after what I want, which is pretty sad and annoying really. I’m definitely going to work harder at changing that. You’ve inspired me to do so xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

  • Really great tips – even though not all are that easy to follow, hehe.
    Lovely post.


  • This post is just what I needed to read! :)

    Kelsey x

  • Laura Mareno

    This post came at the right time! I think the most difficult for me is the last one! But I’m trying and I will give up on it! great post! kisses:D


  • Very very true!

  • hanan abdi

    I needed to hear this, thank you so much for this post :p xx


  • Such an insightful post, Paula! I always love your Girl Talk posts and even featured you in my July favorites because you inspire me :)

    The Pink Traveller

  • I am such a perfectionist – it can be massively debilitating in getting complex tasks done in a timely manner, checking and then double-checking everything!

    Great post with some handy pointers.

    – Lubna | The Digital Review

  • I needed this. Thank you so much.

  • I remember a therapist saying to me that she and her colleagues absolutely hated the word ‘but’ because it discounts all of the positive things you said before that. I’ve tried to cut it out of my vocabulary since hearing that and your point on ‘Saying “I Can’t”‘ just brought that all back for me.
    I definitely need to continue working on letting go off my perfectionism as well!
    This is a wonderful, thought-provoking post which I am going to save and come back to :).

    Nicky xx | http://www.curious-journeying.com

    • That is so true! Definitely makes sense! I’ll have to pay attention to my use of “buts” from now on :) Thank you so much Nicky!

  • Jennifer

    I think I need to take heed of just about every point you’ve made – especially letting go of perfectionism, I’m probably the worst you’ll ever meet and it’s ruining my life. I’m really getting into your lifestyle posts, they’re really inspiring



    • Oh I’ve been there and done that Jennifer, so I know how it feels. Good news is, you recognize the patters that affect your life- it took me years of being in denial before I realized that. Thank you so much for visiting!

  • What a great post! I totally agree and think its one that a lot of people should read!
    Point 1 – ‘I can’t – is the best lesson I learnt about positive thinking and it really does work! Fabulous hun xxx


  • Hey Paula, this is absolutely worth reading! I have been reading the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ lately and am really inspired with every word of it. I often try to incorporate such things in my life and its great to see someone sharing such positive thoughts. Thank you for sharing!:)


  • Love this advice, it’s super helpful! Thanks love!
    xx Dany | The Queens Empire

  • Jacqui Park

    Hi Paula
    I’m lying in bed reading your post and it has really lifting my spirits for the day ahead, what an inspiring post.

  • Yeah, negative thinking will get you nowhere.

  • Taste of France

    Also: doing the unimportant things before the top priorities. Look up “stones, pebbles and sand” or “rocks and sand” for the visual about time management. The priorities are the rocks. If you do them first, you can slip in the pebbles and sand around them. But if you fill a jar with the sand and pebbles first, the bigger stones won’t fit.

  • I agree with all of these!


  • Rosh

    Thank you for your inspiration. As you say you never to old to start feeling young again.
    I am at the stage in my life,and I am going to start my life exploring the world and places and meet people like you who are so supportive. You a god blessed human being.
    Thank you so much you kind soul. God Bless!!!

    • You’re very welcome Rosh, thank you so much for visiting and leaving such a kind comment! Hope that your life is filled with a ton of love and excitement!

  • Really good advice! I’m guilty of a few of these but reading this makes me want to get my bad habits in check :)


  • Wow girl! So wise and optimistic!! Loved it! Thanks for sharing!!!! <3

  • Even when you know all of this, it’s good to be reminded. Well done.

  • sheri

    Thank you for these fabulous tips. I recently turned 50 and am going through some big changes in my life, a divorce, a older mom with still young kids and looking at what I have done with my life and what I want to do with the rest of it. Some days I am so lost as to how to proceed and some days I am gung ho and nothing can stop me. A few of these hit a nerve, procrastination, and perfection. Two things I need to get around. Thanks

    • You’re very welcome Sheri! Change can be a really good thing, I think. Like a fresh start :) I think we all have those days when we feel very motivated and driven, and others when we don’t feel like we can do much. It’s okay to take a little break for yourself sometimes. Wishing you best of luck with everything!

  • Colleen

    Hey Paula, I loved Think and Grow Rich. Such a great book and reminder that we’re each in control of our own destiny! It was something I really struggled with, until someone told me about a simple, step-by-step method for designing the life I wanted (posted about it here: http://www.cocobordeaux.com/2016/07/my-simple-method-for-designing-life-you.html) This post is a good reminder that our minds can be either our biggest obstacle or greatest asset!

  • Leanne Cresswell

    Absolutely love this post! You have made some valid points here and it is so easy for a negative mindset to take over and get in the way!

    Leanne x | http://www.leannecresswell.com

  • These are great tips, thanks for sharing! x


  • Alice

    Blessings for amazing and inspiring people like you! Thank you!

  • This post is awesome Paula. We should read this at least once a week:)


  • Marta Sierra Marti

    Really great advice!! Love all the tips, thank you!



  • Fear of failure is my biggest issue, I believe in the ‘you never know until you try’ but at the same time I’m always so scared to fail! It’s something I really need to work on. x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Thank you for sharing this. You’re such a positive person – reading your posts is always a pleasure.

    I think you’ve made great points here – I can especially relate to procrastinating. This is something most people struggle with, but I don’t like when someone calls themselves a “procrastinator”, reffering to it as it was a part of their character, something they’ve been born with. In the last months I had to be a lot more focused and organised in my life because of college graduation + family complications that happened at the same time and I learned that I can do a lot more in one day than I thought when I have no choice. The truth is people like to live comfortably and it’s always more convenient to say “I procrastinate, I can’t help it” than to get to work. And I also used to say that I work better under pressure, until I decided to be honest with myself and thought about a few situations when doing things at the last moment brought me a lot of trouble.


    • Thank you Joanna! I think procrastination is a big problem to a lot of us. Sure, we love being comfortable, which is why so many of us settle, instead of fighting for and working for a life we truly want. Thank you for visiting!

  • caroline

    Absolutely loved this post. Just a nice readable length also. :)
    I think we’re all guilty of being negative-nellies and sadly, the world around us doesn’t help.. but i think the point, as you said, is basically taking control of your life and not letting your life control you. It is what you make it. My past, even up until quite recently is full of poor decisions and awful circumstances, and I let it affect my now until recently when I realised I can let the past define my present or future. Its because of it I am where I am, and I’ve made some good decisions along the way that I don’t want to loose. :)
    Saving this post for a re-read. :)


    • Letting go of the past and forgiving yourself and others, can feel SO good! Thank you so much for reading Caroline, I’m very happy you loved this post!

  • Alison Bane

    Right on, Paula. Thank you so much for putting some positive waves into the Universe.

  • I agree. At some point in life, we are bound to fail. But that’s not the end all be all. The good thing is we fail and then pick ourselves up and rise again. ;)

  • Mel

    I loved this post! All these points are habits we can’t help but think/do, but they’ll only get us nowhere!

    Mel x

  • Such great tips! I am also try to stop saying “I’m Sorry”!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • AudaciousYou Nikki

    Thank you thank you, I really do appreciate being reminded of all the things I know but fail to put into practice sometimes because the unconscious mind reigns supreme, while higher consciousness has a brief holiday. Your writing is so to the point yet loving and gentle. I am grateful for your work as always.

  • I LOVE all of these!! Positive self talk is so important. Thank you for sharing these!

  • This post is amazing! I suffer from procrastination sometimes and it needs to stop! Thank you so much for sharing this, truly inspiring!
    xox Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  • Daisy Renoj

    loved reading this post! Very encouraging and motivating!

  • Stephanie Hartley

    I was so ready to get angry with this post, like I don’t need to give things up to be successful! But now I have to totally agree – I am SO bad at procrastinating and I need to majorly cut back on that and my negative self talK!

    Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

  • The Gossip Darling

    OMG! Such a good post! I am ALWAYS comparing myself to others and it holds me back. Ugh. I need to just get on with it!

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

  • I need to save this post and come back to it whenever I’m feeling low. Everythign You’ve said hit the nail on the head. The thing is we have these feelings without meaning too.


  • This is a good reminder post. I’ve been feeling bummer lately about a missed opportunity. The negative self-talk comes and goes, but I’m trying my best to still feel good about all that I’ve accomplished, even if I didn’t get an opportunity that I wanted badly. So, thank you, for this reminder.

  • You’re pretty much right about what you say. Yet, I believe that knowing who you are and in what you’re talented is also important. It’s not the way to believe that you can do anything, but to know what you’re really good at. Otherwise, it might make you unhappy when you can’t achieve the success. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try new things. We should and we must see if it’s suitable for us.
    Nazlıgül | on my own way
    Latest POST: Hair Care for This Summer: Biopoint Beauty Elixir
    Latest VLOG: Beach Makeup Tutorial

  • Fab tips … comparing yourself to others has to be the hardest but one of the most important. Focus on your own journey <3

    Mel x


  • Today I received a newsletter from Bloglovin, and this article immediately called my attention! The timing was perfect, I really need to read this today! It´s very well written in a simple but very direct way! Thank for the slap in face ;)

  • I love this ahah ! x