Which of these reasons would you pick as the primary culprit?

The millions of people who never achieve their goals fail because they….

  1. Aren’t smart enough
  2. Aren’t talented enough
  3. Aren’t connected enough
  4. Aren’t lucky enough
  5. None of the above

Ready to make a guess?

Science says the answer is 5, none of the above.

The truth is, people usually fail to reach their goals for one of three reasons (and none of them are in the list above).

Reason #1: People give up too soon.

Millions of people never reach their goals simply because they give up before they reach the finish line.

In her research study, Dr. Angela Duckworth found that, “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” predicted success “better than any other predictor.”

It makes sense. No one who quits a goal achieves it. Plus, we’re way more likely to give up than to encounter a truly unbeatable obstacle.

Part of the problem is that most of us celebrate extreme strategies that burn us out and tempt us to quit! One such strategy is hustle — cramming in as much as you can with no regard for your health or your sanity.

Here are 7 strategies that are better than hustle.

The second reason most people never reach their goals is…

Reason #2: People don’t make consistent progress.

Most dreams aren’t shattered by a conscious moment of surrender. Instead, they’re quietly consumed by years of inactivity.

In other words, you never really quit — but you never move forward either.

If you’re serious about reaching your creative goals, you must make progress a habit.

And it’s easier than you think!

Just try out this 5-step system.

The third and final reason most people will never reach their biggest goals is…

RELATED: 80% of New Year’s Resolutions Fail by February. Here’s Why.

Reason #3: People never get started because of fear.

When I surveyed my readers, asking about the challenges they faced, the #1 answer was self-doubt.

And while self-doubt can hinder you throughout your creative journey, it’s especially imposing at the beginning, when you first leave the safety of your comfort zone.

If you struggle with self-doubt, here are 14 encouragements to strengthen your confidence so you can boldly chase your goals.

This post was originally featured in The Science of Achievement. All rights reserved. 

Kyle Young is the author of QuitterProof: The 5 Beliefs of Highly Successful People. He blogs to help creative people make daily progress toward their goals.