If you think successful people are just lucky, you may be doing yourself a real disservice. Occasionally, lucky ones do find themselves caught in a current that pushes them to the top, but this isn’t the norm. Successful people have to do a lot of work to get where they are and their day to day actions reflect that. Some common habits might be impeding your success, all with one underlying, unsuspecting cause.

1. You surf the internet

Surfing the internet is a little like surfing channels on the TV except you’re not sitting on the couch unequivocally wasting your time, you’re sitting behind a computer screen under the guise of productivity. Behind your laptop, you could be doing any number of productive things, but in reality, you’re just watching how-to videos about things you’ll never do, checking sports statistics that are going to change in a day, or looking at design styles that your kitchen will probably never see.

The insidious thing about surfing the internet is that people can actually convince themselves they’re doing something important. If you don’t actively question your activities, you can fall into the trap of believing that you need to read a hundred articles about diet, fashion, sports, and news. Sitting around watching videos on how to make things, kids being silly, animals being cute, and people acting like morons provides very little value to most people’s lives. It’s just a glamorous form of wasting time. You’re learning something, you’re laughing, you’re sharing with friends. It almost feels productive. But ask yourself if those things really matter. Do they add substance to your life, progress towards your goals? Does surfing the web make you feel good inside? I think you’ll answer, no.

2. You stop before you get started

When you focus too much on the finished product of your goal, the process to get there can seem daunting. And when you think about how long it will take to complete, it seems so far removed from the moment that you can hardly picture it.

This is when it’s useful to try to see work as a process rather than a goal. The finished product is not a bad goal to have but if you find it overwhelming, rather than exciting, think instead of each moment. If you need to build a website, a portfolio, or a piece of software, don’t think about the end product that may be months out, think about the smaller jobs you’ll be doing along the way.

3. You’re unorganized

Successful people are organized. They clear away the clutter from their minds and their environments to help them focus. They lay out a plan towards a goal and clearly list all that needs to be done to get there. Clearing away the obstacles and making time for the process is requisite in completing complicated tasks.

Becoming organized can actually help simplify goals. When your mind is cluttered full of ideas but nothing is documented or sorted, it seems more complicated than it really is. Making an outline – listing the necessary tasks, omitting the unnecessary ones, figuring out what you need to learn and what you already know – really helps to turn a tough project into a manageable one.

It’s a little like organizing files on your computer. When your files are cluttered in various folders, all over your desktop, or not sorted in subfolders at all, you don’t know what files you have or what you may need. It’s tough to start a job when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Organized files helps you do your everyday work. An organized mind is no different. If you want to breeze through goals, clear the clutter.

4. You don’t want to work

I have a hard time believing that humans would really rather play all the time than work. We derive great pleasure from accomplishment – from building, creating, and getting better at things. When someone says they would rather play than work, they likely don’t have much experience with the wonderful feeling of accomplishment. An accomplishment affirms our abilities, reminds us that we’re capable, that we have good ideas, that we have talent. Accomplishment gives us something to be proud of.

If you think you would rather play all day than work ask yourself why. When you play are you learning? When you play are you developing some skill? Do you get a sense of accomplishment from play?

I would often rather play the piano or run trails in the mountains than work but I don’t just want to just bang on the keys and swing from the trees. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to create a new song or learn to play one I like. I love to feel free while running but I also like working towards getting faster and more agile. I don’t get paid to work towards getting better at these things but when I do them I also am not just killing time. I am learning and growing and doing something I’m proud of.

5. You don’t believe in yourself

All of these habits are connected in the way in which we view ourselves. It is precisely self-doubt that lurks behind all of these behaviors. Laziness, lack of motivation, lack of vision, disorder, and childishness all stem from a deep seated belief that we’re not good enough. When we don’t believe in ourselves we are robbed of the rewarding feeling of accomplishment.

Without self-esteem we doubt our ability to complete a task or big project. We think that others can do it better than we can. We are afraid of failure. We figure we may as well just do what we’re better suited to: killing time and having fun. These thoughts may not even be present anymore as adults but probably were what stopped us from moving forward as children and what caused us to form bad habits to begin with.

Everyone has feelings of self-doubt sometimes and that’s ok to an extent but self-doubt is mostly unproductive and damaging and we should quiet our minds when these thoughts arise. Thinking critically about our failures can be useful but thinking about our future successes and how we’re going to get there gives us the opportunity to do something great for ourselves and for others around us.

The difference between those of us who don’t succeed and those of us that do lies not so much in a higher intelligence or talent but in our willingness to entertain negative thoughts about ourselves. To be successful, we must quiet the self-doubt, embrace failure, and enjoy the process of discovery.