What Separates Success From Failure?

by DeanMcKillop 3676 views Lifestyle

What Separates Success From Failure?

We all want to be successful one way or another. Whether that is success in business, success in changing your physique, success in making a particular amount of money per year or success in building a family, there are always 2 common traits we all see and experience. Some people win the race, while others lose. But, what separates the two?

What separates 'being' Successful and being Unsuccessful?

Now, before I go further…

I chose not to use the word failure in this instance for a reason. Just because you haven’t achieved one particular aspect of your journey doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

You may have been momentarily unsuccessful, but you really haven’t truly failed until you give up on achieving success.

Which is an interesting point to consider Because if you’re reading this now, you’re probably half way between the categories of wanting to be successful and fearing failure.

You’re looking for the answers…

You’re looking for the answers of other people who have either walked the successful path before you or are on the same journey as you are now. You see, hearing what has worked from previously successful people, often provides more validity to their opinion than what it would without the same success.


To provide validity in the argument for what makes a person successful, I will tailor this article to succeeding at physique enhancement, as I believe I have validity in this department of success chasing.

For the purpose of validity, I personally have competed on a bodybuilding stage (coming 2nd at nationals in my first competition), have managed to get to scarily low body fat levels and I have also coached numerous athletes into the same position with multiple podium finishes and a pro card achievement as well.

Now, granted the physique world has a large genetic influence as to who is successful and who isn’t, there is still 1 underlying factor that rings true in all realms of success.

What separates the Successful from the Unsuccessful?
  • Successful people align themselves with discomfort, while the 'others' run…
  • Successful people acknowledge adversity, embrace it and make it a part of their journey to success.
  • Unsuccessful people acknowledge adversity as well, however, they rely on it not to achieve success, but instead to excuse it.
  • Unsuccessful people let adversity affect them negatively and then use that adversity as a reason as to why they couldn’t achieve their goal.
  • Unsuccessful people quite simply just aren't willing to suffer... they aren't willing to be challenged. 

Think that sounds too simple? Think that there is more to it than just 'hard work' and commitment?

Well, I'm sorry… but that is the reality!

When it comes to being successful at achieving the 'ultimate’ physique, the reality is that you are going to need to suffer.

  • You will be tired
  • You will be irritable
  • You will need to sacrifice aspects of social events
  • You won't sleep all that well nearing the end of prep
  • You will lose your libido as a male
  • You will recover slower
  • You will be hungry

Those are all realistic adversities everyone can expect to experience regardless of if they are successful or not.

The difference

Those who are successful will know these things and they will simply just say no.

They will say no to the things that make them feel uncomfortable because they know what is necessary in order to be successful in achieving a particular physique.

While those who are not successful will say “I couldn’t help it” and instead of staying on track with their diet, they will eat more food or do less exercise when the going gets tough.

Successful people simply will not just 'give in'. 'Giving in' is not an option to a successful person, whereas their opposite counterparts will blame their behaviour on unconscious decision making that they “couldn’t control”.


And this isn’t just relatable to losing body fat or achieving a physique either. All forms of success will, at some stage, face a moment of struggle.

The real question you need to ask yourself is, how will you deal with the struggle? Will you let the struggle win? And if you do let the struggle win, ask yourself why you’re ok with not being successful?

Why are you ok with maintaining mediocrity? Don’t be! If you want to be successful, get used to being uncomfortable.

Get used to being challenged and get used to being able to tear down your walls of uncertainty and replace them with a little something called guts.

Success never comes easy, you have to work for it.

So next time when you say you want to be successful at a particular thing, ask yourself if you really have the guts to achieve it first.

Do you have the guts to say no? Can you genuinely 'tough it out'?

Those are very important questions you need to ask yourself before you even attempt to become successful at anything.

Because without ‘guts’ you can kiss success goodbye. 


Exercise Scientist

I completed my Exercise Science Degree at the University of QLD and have worked in the fitness industry for over 8 years, including a short stint at the Brisbane Broncos in 2010 as a student. I also hold my Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach accreditation (ASCA) and have competed in 1 bodybuilding season, placing 2nd at the IFBB u85kg Nationals.

ViewDean's Articles