The survey of 2,100 adults by LinkedIn found that one in three believed they will never achieve success.
The online professional network said its research revealed that a third of people wished society considered success to be less important.
Londoners are most likely to feel unsuccessful, said the report.
Darain Faraz of LinkedIn said: "Our research shows that success means different things for different people.
"Whether that's making it back for bath time or having the time to play in your five-a-side football team, being your own boss or owning your own home."
Around two in five said the prospect of never being successful left them feeling unhappy, a failure or depressed.