You’re smart. Right?

You might not be Einstein. Okay, you’re no Steve Jobs, either. But, you’re smart. You’re as handsome as could be. Plus you’re college educated. Well read. Sociable. You’ve even held a couple reputable internships. Won a few awards. It’s a stellar resume really. You tout it all over Linkedin.

Which begs the questions, why aren’t you successful?

I don’t mean that as a slight. I’m just curious. Sure, you’re getting by.  But, let’s be honest, you’re better than that. What gives?

Oh, I get it. You’re biding your time. Earning your stripes. Working your way up the corporate ladder. Laying low. Flying beneath the radar.  You’re a sponge. Taking it all in. Playing by the rules. Trying not to make waves. Waiting it out. Waiting to be noticed. Waiting to be promoted. Waiting for someone to pick you. Waiting for someone to choose you.

Wake up!

That was a joke. The last paragraph. Trouble is some of us take those words literally. We sit around with a smile on our face. We’re waiting for success. Our time will come. That’s what we tell ourselves.

No, no it won’t. You have to make your own way. To create your future.

To do that you have to stop doing these 6 things. They are keeping you from being as successful as you could be.

1. Fearful

You’re afraid. Afraid of trying. Of starting. Of going big and failing hard. It’s okay, that’s natural. You don’t want to look foolish. I get it. But, fear and failure are part of the process. You can’t avoid them so you might as well embrace them.

2. Entitled

Newsflash, nobody owes you anything. You can’t rely on handouts. No one is going to tell you how wonderful you are. You might be. They don’t care. What they’d like is for you to show them how great you are. You have two options. Option one – do the work. Option two – don’t do the work. You can choose action or talk. Be so good that they can’t ignore you or get good at being ignored.

3. Distracted

There’s not enough time in the day. This is true. I run out of time everyday. I try to cram so much in. I want to do so much. It always escaped me. But you, you don’t have enough time because you waste so much of it. Meaningless tasks. Taking too many breaks. Not planning out your workday. No priorities. You look busy. Heck you are busy. But, you’re not productive.

4. Negative

Stop raining on everyone’s parade. You’re a naysayer. A critic. A black cloud. Look, you can have a bad day and not take it out on everyone else. Negativity is toxic and contagious. Stop infecting everyone around you. And remember, like attracts like. If you’re negative there’s a good chance that you’re surrounded by negative thoughts and negative people. Think about it.

5. Full of Excuses

I know, I know. It’s not your fault. You’re not the reason you’re not successful. It’s everyone else. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If you want to get ahead you have to start taking responsibility for your actions and your life. That means your success and your failure. Excuses are empty. They are for cowards. The only things that matter are results.

6. Lazy

If you aren’t willing to put in the work, you suck. Plain and simple. Sorry, that was mean. A little too harsh. But, seriously, what’s your aversion to hustle? There are not secretes. No quick fixes. No short cuts. No such thing as an overnight success. There’s just people who work hard and those who don’t. Which are you. Be honest.

It’s okay if you’re cool with waiting and being scared and making excuses. That’s on you. But, know this – if you make that choice you have to stop wondering why you’re not successful. You already know the answer. You’re not working hard enough.