voice of the customer

“Above all else, listen to your audience, understand their fears, solve their problems. Do this and the rest will sort itself out…”


Welcome to the first edition of Ask The Reader. Your chance to speak up and add direct value to what we’re building at Live Your Legend, and get specific help on your biggest challenges in finding work you Love.

So here’s the questions (pick one and please answer it in the comments):

1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?


2. If you’re already doing work you love, what was the one event or realization that made it possible?

**Important Note: Feel free to stop reading right now and go directly to the comments section below to answer one of the above. I will feature the most useful, in-depth answer in our next Ask the Reader post, along with a link to your site!

If you’re not usually one to comment, I urge you, if you only comment on one post, this is the one. Even if it’s only a sentence or two, and feel free to leave it under a fake name if you must. It will dramatically help all of us. 

Whether you buy things offered on Live Your Legend, hire me as a coach or just check out all the free stuff I put up each week (which is totally fine), in one way or another you’re the customer here. I built this site to help you all do work that matters. That’s the purpose.

While the goal here is clear, there are a million and one ways to tackle it.

Everything I write comes from one of the following: An experience I’ve had or something I’ve heard from a friend, coaching client or reader. Almost everything on this site came from you guys in one way or another. You are Live Your Legend. Thanks for that ;).

Ask the Reader benefits the community here it two major ways. 

1. It allows me to better help you with the things causing you the most pain.

2. It gives all of you, the community, the chance to contribute your own experiences and advice to help people who are not as far along the path as you are. As it turns out a lot of you are already Living Your Legend doing work that fires you up. You are bigger experts than you think. We want your help.

The more I can understand your biggest challenges, most difficult decisions and major road blocks that keep you from the work you love, the better I can cater to it. In the coming months I’ll be writing books, workbooks and articles as well as interviewing all kinds of folks on the topics that you all as readers most want help with.

Every month or two I’ll be doing these Ask the Reader posts. While most articles I publish on Live Your Legend involve a lot of writing on my part, today it’s your turn. You get to add all the value. After all it’s all of you who make this site what it is.

This is your chance to tell me what you most need help with so that I can put my head down in the coming weeks and months and provide it.

A perfect example of this is a great comment I got from one of my readers, Mike, last week saying the following:

“My chosen route was to set-up an on-line business in parallel to working full time. That started a year ago and it’s taking longer than I had hoped. I find the venture and work both tend to suffer unless I only spend my time working. So I’d love to see a post (or some thoughts from readers) on a set of transitionary options to get where you need to be, when jumping ship isn’t practical.”

Awesome question Mike – thanks again for digging in with this! It turns out a lot of folks I talk to are dealing with this same issue and you can be sure to see a post on this in the near future.

Remember, this site is nothing without you all. It seriously would not exist. Because of you, I get to spend my time helping you all find and do work that excites you. How freakin’ cool is that? It doesn’t get much better.

This is your chance to make my work here even more helpful.

Again, here are your questions:

1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?


2. If you’re already doing work you love, what was the one event or realization that made it possible?

***In case you missed it above, I will feature the most useful, in-depth answer in our next Ask the Reader post, along with a link to your work!

To get things rolling, here’s my answer:

In the past, my biggest challenge in making the transition was finding the time to fit everything in I felt I needed to do in order to make the change. Also, the fear of failure and not being able to make ends meet financially held me back for a while. It wasn’t until I fully realized my true worst case scenario and found the right models, that I realized how much more was possible.

My guess is some of you share the same.

We’re human. It’s time to be a little vulnerable and let the world know how we can help.

Now it’s your turn.

Please tell us your answer in the comments below (if you’re reading this in email, visit the comments now). Leave just a sentence and use a fake name if you must.

Life is not meant to be passive. All that matters is you contribute.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, and feature some of you in upcoming posts!

So… what’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

We’re all ears.

photo courtesy of Shandi-lee

  • http://www.mattsjourney.com/ Matthew

    With all of the interests I have, will I be working on the right one? So many to choose from and only one lifetime. I wouldn’t want to lose years working on something that I’ll get bored with…

    • H

      Years of working on something you love before you get bored of it: doesn’t sound like a waste to me!

      • http://www.mattsjourney.com/ Matthew

        In and of itself, it’s not. However, I want to be financially independent and work for myself. Would you start a business in something you may not enjoy doing 2-3 years down the line? I would get depressed if I built up a sustainable business just in time to lose interest.

        • Ash

          I agree with you Matt. There’s alot of things I’m pretty decent at & enjoy doing, but how do I narrow that down? And how do I take that leap of faith when I’m not guaranteed a paycheck? There’s a fear of taking risks of doing something you’re not sure of, as opposed to having someone pay you a guaranteed check for something you’re OK with & don’t have to fight as hard for.

          • http://excel.schools.edu.sl/andwww.pinnaclesl.com ysisaysogbeh

            Wow right on the spot here!

        • http://sorefeetremedies.com Lisa

          Matthew, You could go with what you love now and build a business. If you become bored with it start working on the next thing you love. You will be all the more experienced to get the next business up and running. You will know what to do.

        • anuj

          mathew you are a scanner or a Renaissance man. you need not feel depressed. read the book “Refuse To Choose” by Barbara Sher or search for “Lifestyle Design for Multipotentialites” on google and all else shall be fine. this is a promise.

      • Elle

        I have had that same problem. The only reason it was a problem is because I was not being true to myself. My insecurities of making the wrong decision, not trusting myself. That is just a sign, you are not honed in on your true passion. All of these interests can be a culmination of your passion, they are like a guide to what to do. Most of all, let go of the exact way of how you “think” it should be.

      • jude



        • Michelle

          My sentiments exactly! Two kids in college and a high school junior makes for a pretty tight budget. I do some consulting on the side and am trying to build that aspect so that I can do only that work I love (and on my own terms) but I can’t give up the full-time paycheck right now. :-(

    • Julie k Bittinger

      Biggest fear? After fear of where will I get the time and money for the education required, it’s WHAT IF I CAN’t Deal with the ‘politics’?

      • http://-- BRich

        Biggest challenge; is that since i graduated, i have never found a job and i have not the required capital to start on my own. i have ended up a casual worker in a manufacturing company hre in Uganda.

  • http://www.americantaoist.com Matt Timlin

    The biggest challenge for me to do the work that I love is experience. What I love most above all else are the martial arts. My life goal is to one day be able to teach kung fu for a living. The biggest challenge to that is I have to work full time to afford my training, which limits the amount of time I can spend training. Also because of moves I’ve had to make in the past I’ve had to start from square one learning new styles when I join a different school. You can’t teach quality martial arts for a living without many many years of training and mastery under you which I don’t have and won’t have for a while.

    • Taylor

      A close friend was able to study with the Shaoling Monks simply by showing up and expressing interest/commitment. I believe they have standard rates for camps but there is clearly a precedent for serious students to be admitted despite financial constraints. Cost of living can be very low while you are there.

  • Cesar

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love? — I’m tired of working dead end jobs and would love to do something I’m passionate about – writing. Freelance writing, non-fiction long-form journalism.

    Problem is, I’ve no idea how to start out in this. Do I go back to school? Start a blog? Will I make $$? It’s all so confusing. There’s so much advice out there.

    And, am I talented enough? UGGH!! It’s overwhelming and the fear and anxiety limiting.

    What do I do?

    • http://www.mattsjourney.com/ Matthew

      Since you have a direction, take a step. Then take another. Do you have a college degree in journalism or something similar? Credentials, while not vital, open doors. Do you have a public portfolio that shows the world that you have experience? Then start a blog and have one in-depth article each week.

      Show the world what you can do and opportunities will arrive.

      • Cesar

        Good idea! I do have some of that stuff. Need to do some more work.

    • Wellwisher

      I can definitly see where your coming from and money is a big thing to think about, but at the end of the day do you want to look back and regret not doing what you are passionate about.
      You only live once..I can speak from experience of going through stuff in my life and suffering failures but givin half a chance I would still go down the same path again because its has given me to direction in my life and fate that if you are destined for that path then the world will always have a way of guiding you there.
      So have some fate!Just remember that their is someone who thinks you can make it out in this big badworld..me!
      so anyway best of luck.

  • Jen

    The biggest challenge I have is that I thought I was doing what loved, but when I look back at the last 7 years I realize I have only been doing what I was good at. I am no longer sure I even know what I love and how to go about finding it. My other concern is money, I recently got married and bought a house. How do I justify going back to school to find out what I want to do and ask my husband to try and support us. I don’t know where to start, but I find I get more miserable with each day and I am stuck with this feeling I will never find a vocation…just a job.

    • Henrie M

      What you are good at is a good sign of the things that may make you happy. When you are young and starting out you face a lot of challenges and while you are struggling with them you might feel overwhelmed. But once you solve a challenge you might find that it was worth doing, and you learned important things. Nevertheless, you might be in a job where the work is meaningless. Or you might be in a work environment that is somewhat disfunctional. Maybe you need to find a job that is meaningful to you. Just a thought.

      • Brian

        It’s true that the ‘context’ within which one uses their skill can influence the meaning they associatee with it. If you’re in a position or environment that diminishes meaning then it’s likely you’re going to become pretty disenchanted with what you’re doing. So, I agree with Henrie that you should consider if it’s WHO or WHAT you’re using your skills/talents for that’s sapping the life out of you. But there’s also a concept that describes one’s “stong suits” as the skills that we develop to basically ‘survive’ or function in a given situation but which don’t necessarily reflect what’s important to us at the core. We can get to doing those over a period of time because we have a knack for them or simply became adept at and yet, when it comes down to it, they don’t really reflect our core passion. One has to determine whether the joy of their original passion has been diminished (in which case they make choices in order to regain it) or whether the road they’re on is simply one they don’t want to be on.

        • Elle

          Quick thought, get to know who you are..before you start spending time and money on school to find out.

          Great reading, Finding your own north star, by Martha Beck.

          • Francesco

            Know who you are…
            How do you get newly to know who you are, after long time you’ve been someone… and you feel you to not fit anymore in that?

          • http://www.bluelotuslifecoaching.com Kirsten Cole

            I completely agree with you Elle!!!…not only because I’m a Certified Martha Beck Coach and love that book, :) but because I know from personal experience and from working with my clients, if we don’t know who we are from the deepest part of ourselves, it’s likely that our desires are coming from outside of ourselves, from the expectations or beliefs of others that doesn’t reflect who we really are and what we really want.

            To get to know who you are “again”, or reconnect to your true self, instead of thinking your way there you’ll have to “feel” your way there. Follow what lights you up and makes you feel most alive. Notice when you feel like your most authentic and strongest self, and notice what situations, topics, tasks, types of people or activities fill you up and give you energy. Become the scientist of yourself and pay attention to how you feel as you go about your daily life and figure out exactly why you feel the way you do. Get specific.

            Two books I highly recommend in helping you reconnect with who you really are, and to help you find what makes you come alive in your work – Finding Your Own North Star, by Martha Beck, and as Scott mentioned at some point in his blog, StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath.
            Enjoy and good luck!
            Wishing you joy, fulfillment and abundance in your life and work. :)

  • Henrie M

    My greatest fear is not being able to support myself. How do I turn what I love – writing and books – into gainful employment? But probably even more difficult is being able to just choose a road and say “to hell with what anyone else thinks.” Sometimes the thought that people will look at my efforts and belittle them, or think that they are not worthwhile, is daunting. It is hard to strike out alone.

    • Michael

      100% agreed! Originally I wanted to post my own comment, but reading your post I realized I couldn’t have said it better than you Henrie. The only difference is that my love is to learn things. To digg into subjects and learn as much about them as possible. But how to make a living out of this? And not to make a complete fool of me at the same time?

      • Sue

        Michael, have you thought about getting into research work? Either pure research, or as a service to others. I think writers sometimes pay researchers to do their “digging” for them.

        I have wondered about this myself, but my age and location are against me. (55 and out in the sticks)

      • Scott

        Tim Ferriss of the Four Hour Work Week has pretty much based his whole business and brand on teaching people how to learn and do things extremely efficiently– i.e. ‘hacking’. Perhaps in learning things you could find a way to teach others the same.

    • Sue

      I sympathise with you Henrie, and also with Michael who replied before.

      I also love writing and books, but have very little confidence in my own ability. I took a short online course earlier this year (https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?course_subject=Creative%20Writing&id=O11P358CRV&coursetype=100)- there were people from all around the world participating, and it gave me more confidence. I can recommend it. At the time I set myself the goal of getting a short story published before the end of 2011, but haven’t started yet.

      Like Michael, I also enjoy learning and studying! It’s not the $$$ that bother me (I could manage on less) but the selfishness. I feel that I ought to be either contributing to our family income or doing something of use in the world, preferably both.

  • http://www.samalamaspins2.blogspot.com Sam

    Stay open to the possibilities for change. After a divorce, I was most terrified about how I would find meaningful work. In a truly “hand-of-God” moment, I was approached by a stranger at a class I was taking, who offered me a chance to teach creative writing at a small local college. I had a journalism degree but no teaching experience, but I went for it and they hired me. It has been a life changing experience and I am now on a path that is much truer to my nature.

  • Ricardo

    Similar to your first post, I have a fear of failure. I also think about if I will be able to afford food and lodging. I have a good paying job now, but with today’s economy I’m scared to leave it.

    I would love to be able to create art for a living. I’ve seen others do it, and they’re much happier… but struggling to pay rent and feed themselves.

    What finally pushes you over the edge to take the plunge into the deep end?

  • Dana

    If it were just one fear or challenge, I think it would be easier to overcome and do the work that I love (which is coaching, by the way). For me, I have multiple fears. I don’t fear that I’ll be living in a cardboard box–I fear that I will not have enough money for some of the creature comforts that I have grown accustomed to over the last few years. I’m not a shopper, but if I want to buy something, I don’t want to have to think, “Well, do I really need this and how much use will I get out of it?” I do think about that, but many times I will feel guilty if I buy something that may not be an immediate need. I also like to go to Starbucks for my chai tea once a day. Everyday. Am I willing to sacrifice those little things in order to call the shots and build a life that matters to me?

    Another fear that swirls around in my head is whether or not coaching is a career that is valid. I know many coaches who have gone through the very expensive coach training and then do nothing with it. I wonder if I have what it takes (whatever that may be) to build a successful coaching practice. And, I wonder if I will be taken seriously as a professional and not some whoo-hoo scam artist who hangs his shingle out.

    Another fear I have revolves around discipline. Do I have the discipline that I need in order to build a successful business? And will my business model be successful? There is so much info out there on the internet that sometimes it is hard to sift through what is the “right” thing to do.

    I have a group of people in my life that have helped me to answer many of these questions. That has been very important to me. But I have also learned that this is my journey and no one else’s, so I need to gather all the courage I have and make decisions and just DO something. It’s great to hear others’ stories about how they became successful. But that can be crippling and has kept me frozen in place while I have struggled with making the “right” decisions around my business.

    My coaching practice is still in its infancy. I am hopeful that by putting one foot in front of the other and making my own way, I will be successful. Oh, there’s still lots of planning and doing and setbacks and tears to be shed, but I know that there will always be the feeling that I am successful simply because I was willing to take risks and accept challenges along the way.

    • Mike

      I thought I’d reply to Dana’s comment, not because I have a solution but like her I have multiple challenges & fears. If it were just one or two, it might be easy to take babysteps but when there’s multiple things to be addressed, it can be quite overwhelming.

      One of the challenges is simply time and as Dana alludes to, the realization that I need to start making sacrifices around things that I love or enjoy, to get to my highest goals and passions. I’ve started on them like barely watching any TV unless it contributes to my goals, not watching sports which I LOVE, but even not hanging out with friends and socializing unless they or the activity helps me move towards my goals. That’s VERY hard and not really easy for friends to understand.

      I have is that my current job actually is helpful in building my skill set. But, it’s hard work and time consuming and makes it difficult to build the other skills I need (foreign language fluency for example), and still diet properly, exercise and improve my health, and still have a love life.

    • Scott

      The interesting thing about coaching is that just about everyone of us has the skills to hang their shingle and start coaching certain folks on a specific topic that you already have plenty of real life experience in. Call it coaching. Call it consulting. Or just call it contract work. All of us are an expert in something, at least enough to help folks who are no where and need help. I’d start helping people right away Dana. There is no waiting.

  • http://www.luanamercy.com Luana Mercy

    I don’t have a really clear passion in life. I’ve been reading Dan Millman’s “The Life you were Born to Live”. It’s helped me nail down some conclusions about myself and that’s helped give me some direction. I now realize that I need to be volunteering my time, this is very important to my life path. Children are important to me, and so is music.
    I think I need to get out there and try different things if I’m really going to nail down what I love and how that might translate into a career.
    I also need to focus. I always have a lot of ideas and get pulled in so many directions. I’ve now realized I need to commit to as many as I can realistically manage and focus on them for a year, ignoring all other options. It’s not a life long choice, just focusing on something so I can really determine if it’s for me or not.
    This years focus points for me are:
    Yoga 5 days a week (accompanied by healthy eating)
    Volunteering with Big Sisters one hour per week
    Piano Lessons 1/2 hour per week plus practice time
    Daily Learning in my field (Web Development)
    Connecting with at least one passionate person or friend per week.
    Kind of nice to write that all out actually :)

    • H

      I’m also struggling to find my passion. I love your ideas on how to find yours! Thanks for sharing.

      • Elle

        Read Finding your own north star. By Martha Beck

    • Kurt

      Hello Luana,

      You actually answered my question which was: “My biggest challenge is knowing what I want to do and love making a living with.” Because like you I like a lot of things, hell I even like my current job even though I know this isn’t my life purpose.

      I already kinda started doing it but I am going to follow your lead and commit to a few things outside of work that I like (I think) and just do them. If over time I can make a living out of them, great. If not, also great because I will have found a new hobby. And if it turns out I don’t like it that much after all, simple, I stop doing it and free up time for something else.

      So here’s my list:
      Work out 3x per week, combine it with a healthy diet and see what I can do to my body (and mind)
      Meditate twice per week
      Blog at least once per week
      Work with my wife to get our own business up to a third income in a timely manner

      And that is it, no other commitments outside of these for the next year.

      Man, that last sentence actually physically hurt! :-)

      • http://www.luanamercy.com Luana Mercy

        Hi Kurt
        I’m glad my post was helpful. I am pretty excited to see what the year brings with this plan in place. I like your list, totally do-able and concise.
        Laughing at your last sentence :) I totally empathize :)
        Best to you in your year of commitment to expand your horizons!


      • http://www.luanamercy.com Luana Mercy

        So, I just wanted to update you a little. I have been following along with my list. The yoga has been awesome. I liked it so much I decided to take a real yoga class and now I am really excited and am making plans to become a yoga instructor. I don’t think I would have discovered this if I hadn’t committed to sticking with it for a while.
        The Yoga has also opened up all new spiritual avenues for me as well which is shaping the way I see the world.
        I am also loving piano but it’s more of a hobby. I still plan to buy a real piano soon to replace my electric piano because I am into it enough for that now. I really love the sound of real pianos.
        Anyways, hope that encourages you.

    • http://sorefeetremedies.com Lisa

      Mercy me! You do beautiful work in web design. Maybe you could combine that with your love of music and seek out musical performers that need new or updated web presense.

      • http://www.luanamercy.com Luana Mercy

        Thanks for checking out my site Lisa. I think your suggestion is definitely worth investigating.

    • http://www.prosperitydr.com(underconstruction) Janet Kingsley

      Hi Luana,

      Another “tool” to help you determine what you love to do comes in the form of 2 questions:

      1) If I were to meet you at a bookstore, what section would I find you in?

      2) What did you get in trouble for as a kid? I find that often our “gift” or passion isn’t welcomed or encouraged when we are kids – it may not fit in with out familily or social structure, so we get in trouble for it and then we hide it and can’t remember where we put it. So, looking back at what your parents or teachers told you to stop doing could point you in the right direction.

  • Rita

    I am resting now, living like a monk, very quietly, very alone. I love it. The past 40 years have been hectic and heartbreaking. This life I lead now is hard to give up, but to blog and build a business requires coming out. I resist that. I am happy as I am. Also, success scares me. However, I am aware that I am contributing nothing, sharing nothing, avoiding my path, and this resting must be temporary, but I procrastinate.

    • http://www.elizabethdestouches.blogspot.com Elizabeth Whiteman Destouches

      Feel moved to reply, Rita (not sure why) Are you sure you’re procrastinating? Could it be that you are healing and incubating? Nothing wrong with that. Time is what it needs. Why do you have to give up what you love?

    • trade

      I envy you living like a monk,a great way to empty your mind

  • http://www.BudBilanich.com Bud Bilanich

    I’d like to answer Quetsion 2. “If you’re already doing work you love, what was the one event or realization that made it possible?”

    For me that is simple. I simply decided that I didn’t care if I failed, I was going to do what I loved: coaching others to help them succeed.

    Embracing the fact that I might fail — and didn’t care if I did — was a liberating experience for me.

    In an odd way, not caring if I failed, was a key to my success.

    • Dana

      Thank you for this. I have been feeling this, but fighting it at the same time.

      • Mikka

        Bud, I also love to coach people to help them succeed.

        Dana, let go and let God. You will then realize its not that difficult.

  • Gary

    We all have fears of failure. Recognize that and go on. For over 20 years, I’ve been able to do the work I enjoy. I run all production operations for a company. Do I make mistakes? Sure. But, I get up and go on. Remember that Babe Ruth is known for the 700+ home runs he hit and not the 1,300+ strike outs. Do the best you can. Do it all the time. Do it now. You’ll have more sunny days than rainy ones. That’s my approach.

  • http://www.booksdistilled.com Brooke (Books Distilled)

    What a great question. I recently left a full-time job I hated to pursue my passion: writing. The difficult part now is spending my time wisely. I’ve always been great at organizing projects, meeting deadlines, and the like. Now I have so many priorities: working on my novel, which is first and foremost; writing posts for my book review blog; starting an editing business, which requires a lot of time and effort; then finding freelance writing and editing jobs that pay the bills. It’s hard to find focus–I know what I WANT to focus on, but it’s not making money yet.

  • http://dadac123.blogbus.com dadac123

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    I love music and computer.

    but I don’t know how to make a living with it.

    I wanna get into these area,but there are so many talent people there,they’ve got so much experiences,they’ve done so many wonderful things.and I feel I can’t compete with them.

    Or maybe,I didn’t figure out the job I really want.I can’t see it.It’s vague.
    Sometimes I envied other’s life,because they do the things they love.
    But I know that’s not the things I wanna do.
    What is the things I love, I don’t know.

    I just know I hate this kind of life,
    but I don’t know exactly which life is I love,
    I can’t find my direction,and can’t find a way to get in.
    There are so many wonderful peers in these area,but I think I am not that good enough…I think I wasted so much of my time and it makes me sad.

    And you gonna live in the world, you gonna earn some money.
    What if the things you love can’t earn you money but use your money?Lack of money sometimes make life miserable.
    How to get financial independent? Or how to get rid of the worry of money?

    Thank you,Scott.I think your question makes me start to think it again.I think I just escape to think these things,and even forget or be afraid to chase the life I love.Thanks for your reminding.

    • Elle

      Honestly just focus on what you love…if you need to work fulltime and initially part on the other..that is alot more than nothing.

      I have numerous times been..without money, as I am now. But I stopped pushing so hard for how I thought things “should” happen,just focus on your passion, the rest honestly, honestly, honestly will happen when you let go of trying to push it into happening. The money will come from what you love…when you aren’t even looking.

    • Francesco

      I got really impressed by this you wrote:
      “What is the things I love, I don’t know.
      I just know I hate this kind of life,
      but I don’t know exactly which life is I love,
      I can’t find my direction,and can’t find a way to get in…”
      I’ve been doing a job and following my passion splitting life between the 2. Pushing to do the change and follow fully my passion, but not getting there, and getting really frustrated to loose my passion… then I decided to have a break, sit down and think,to try to get a new direction, and still feeling the attraction for it, and find really difficult to let go and be able to embrace something new… find a new direction.

  • H

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    I don’t know what “work I love” is. I’ve built a lucrative career doing something I’m good at but not passionate about (anymore?). Getting married and having a kid made me want to really want to love what I do when I leave my family every day, but I can’t seem to figure out what that might be. Same career different company? Different career? I’ve been stuck in my head on this topic for two years and it is high time I acted. But, how do I act without direction?

  • http://weighty-matters.blogspot.com CG-SC

    I have quite a few answers, but at the core of them all is this: the fear of losing ground.

    To do what I love, I’d have to go back to school, most likely leaving a full-time job that I like (most of the time anyway) and taking a huge step backwards (financially speaking) in the short-term and perhaps the long-term as well. There’s the fear of starting over in my mid-40s – let’s face it, no matter how much we say that “40 is the new 25″ it isn’t, not in practice in the working world.

    I know there are success stories out there about this, but we never seem to hear them.

    • Elle

      Well my dear, here is one. I am 46 and starting over. I went back to school for nursing at 39, did that job….I thought it was my passion. I am also a single mother. I am now going into coaching. Was I scared…yes, but in my gut, I just new I had to do it..I knew I deserved a great life and had to somehow find a way to make it happen. I am just focusing on my passion, have quit my fulltime job as a nurse. BTW…I definitely did not waste my time or money doing nursing, as It has brought me closer to what I am meant to do.

      * I have learned a very important life lesson…no matter what you shose to do, at any age it is NOT a waste of time…it will always bring you closer to what you are meant to do. Sometimes it is about timing….when the student is ready, the teacher will appear (metaphor). Best of wishes.

  • Shayne

    The biggest challenge keeping me from doing what I love is I would not have enough money to support my family. In order to do what I love I would have to take a substantial paycut that would not allow me to be able to pay the required bills. After simplifying my life to the bare necessity bills I am still unable to abandon a job I dislike for one I would love.

  • http://homeschoolingthroughthe8thgrade.blogspot.com/ Michael

    The biggest fear I have from keep me from doing what I love … geeesh … it’s ME…!!!

    I don’t know if I’m more scared to succeed or more scared to fail.

    Starting homeschooling my son this year; one step into making dreams a reality.

  • Elizabeth

    Money… oh, and the fact that I can’t seem to figure out exactly what I’m passionate about. I like to do many things, but I don’t love anything in particular. I really enjoy doing things for a day or a week or even a month and then I get bored.

    • http://localinternetmarketingadviser.com/ Bernita

      Elizabeth, You hit the nail right on the head for me. I like many things yet get bored quickly. I seem to always come back to wanting to make things with my hands, work with color and make things beautiful. I studied interior design but found I didn’t like all areas of it and didn’t know how to niche it down. So I continue to move from one thing to another. I feel like Jack of all trades master of none..lol

      • Elle

        Excellent..you#re both just learning what fits and what does not. keeping searching, it sounds stupid…but like when you fall in love…you will know when it#s right. I have had a constant nagging telling me what to do. I also prayed, have studied…about myself, my true essence, and have lived more life than many do in a lifetime. How blessed am I

        Bottom line…passions really don#t come in an instant, even if you know what they. They need to be nurtured.

  • http://www.laureninnovate.weebly.com Lauren

    It took me a long time to narrow down what I want to do to support my livelihood. It was constantly back and forth between sustainability, consulting, and culinary arts. I had to sort out which ones I could live with as interests or hobbies, and which one meant the most to me. I constantly observed my actions and decision making process for a while and realized that my love for sustainability was the driver behind most of my choices and that I wasn’t happy working for someone if they weren’t doing something good to improve the world.

    Now I know what I want to accomplish, but I don’t know how it’s going to happen or unfold. However, I think there’s a certain beauty to that. I take it one day at a time and ask myself “does this put me in the direction of my overall goal?”

  • http://www.southtampagyn.com Joan M

    I do the work I love. My husband died very unexpectedly at the age of 39 and suddenly I realized that making a difference in the world shouldn’t be put off. I quit my job and started my own business a couple years later.

  • jairo

    Paleo nutrition change my life: lost 17 kilos in the last six months and feel better at 37 than ever, just eating awesome whole foods (some cheating here and there too)
    As I’m a chef will love to share my pasion/skills.
    I really want to make people try it and I think from next door sort of guy I will conect but…
    Fear: people will like it?
    Fear: people will like me? (I want to do it thru videos as Is better to see how to cook than to read but perhaps won’t look ok or whatever
    Also english is not mother tongue (spanish living in london) the blogging stuff.
    Also paleo is big in usa here just starting.

    What you think?


  • http://themothermama.com Sara

    I know that what holds me back is my need for a recognizable goal – a deadline even from somebody else. I find it difficult to just do things out of sheer love, for the sake of it and so I procrastinate in the belief that if I start say – writing a book, I’ll be wasting time. Yet, now I see that all this time I’ve been wasting time by not writing it!

    I think I’m beginning to answer my own dilemma – ironically by writing about it. You have to laugh at how this stuff works sometimes! :D

    • Tom

      Haha, I like this. So true…I think you found the profound in the simple.

      I think everyone that has written on here has probably answered their own questions already…or could if they followed up their reasons for not pursuing their passions by asking themselves:

      1) Are these fears real or am I projecting and focusing on a fictional worst case scenario?

      Which begs the question: Why do that?

      • Scott

        That fictional worst case scenario can be so controlling Tom. I’m writing a big chapter on it for the upcoming book. Can’t wait to show you all!

  • C

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    Well, that’s complicated… I’m a biologist, currently finishing my Master’s. Since childhood, I’ve always loved both science and art, but I chose to study and work as a scientist. Now I desperately want to change paths and go for art. I plan to work as a scientific illustrator, which suits me nicely, since it joins both art and science, and I already have a good network with -and understand the needs of – scientists (the main customers of a scientific illustrator).

    What stops me from doing this? Well, first I’ve got to finish the Master’s. It’s a commitment I’ve made with my university and my adviser. Second, the fear of not making enough income. And third, and for me perhaps the most difficult: going against other people’s expectations. Many people around me, including family and university colleagues and old professors, although having always praised my artistic abilities, think that “it would be a waste” if I didn’t work as a scientist.

    • Linda

      I think working as a scientific illustrator would mean helping educate future scientists. How that can be perceived as not aiding the scientific fields?

      • C

        Thank you, Linda, I guess your point makes total sense. I’ll keep that in mind!

        • Scott

          Most every passionate person I know has one thing in common– then turn expectations on their head and do it any way ;). I love your combo C!

    • Ginger

      I have a Masters in Biology. Like you, I was torn between art and biology, except that I don’t really have much talent. Certainly not enough to support myself as an artist. But the biology career didn’t turn out all that well. Unless you get a PhD, you can’t really find work in science except as a technician or assistant which is honestly just glorified kitchen work. (Follow recipes, clean up, change one ingredient, repeat ad nauseum.) And if you move somewhere without universities or research companies your degree becomes worthless and you become unemployable. After all, what good is a career if there are no jobs doing it? Science is dependent on others hiring you. You can’t freelance or go out on your own. I wish I’d followed my heart and pursued a career in art. Maybe not in making art. But I could have done something with curating, running an art shop, being an agent, teaching…whatever. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Do what your passion tells you to do.

      • C

        Ginger, thank you for the words of support. Truthfully, careers in biology, specifically to work as a researcher, are very limited and demanding.
        Anyway, I wish you all the best, whether you decide to remain in the biology field or try a career in art!

      • Scott

        The nice thing is it’s never too late Ginger. Just start small. Your heart will thank you…

  • Joni

    I am not sure I know what work I love looks like. I am at a crossroads but fear I am too old to start something new and wonder how to really identify what it is I would be passionate about. I know I am a creative soul, simply not sure my creativity can be channeled in a way I could support myself.

    • Scott

      I have something coming your way soon Joni that I have a feeling will help a lot. Keep an eye out.

  • Natalie

    I think for me, along with many others, it’s not knowing exactly what it is that I actually WANT to do. I recently left a job where I loved the people but hated the work and hoping I’ll find something that combines amazing people and work that I love.

    I realise being an entrepeneur rather than an employee is a key feature of this blog (& readers) but hard to start a business without an idea!

    I feel like I can’t even take baby steps in the right direction without knowing where it is that I want to end up.

  • Steph

    I have recognized two major obstacles stopping me from taking the steps to live my best life:
    1. Fear of financial failure. What if I can’t pay my bills?
    2. Fear of competition. There are already A LOT of talented people doing what I want to do. What if I can’t cut it?

    When writing them down, or saying them out load, they lose some of their power, I think. But when they’re bouncing around in my head, they keep me awake at night.

    • A

      The “Gu”rus say that its the words that hold us back. When you are really living your fear (for eg: financial insecurity), you will work to overcome it and not be afraid it. Its our thought that fuel this fear and this fear will anchor us in the harbour, not allowing us to sail the winds.

      FYI. I am also trying to live these ideals.

      Try browsing through as well. It might help.

      • A

        Try browsing through the book – the war of art by steven pressfield – It might help.

        • Scott

          Getting those fears out of your head is where all the power starts. Pretty interesting to realize how intimidating (and unfounded) most of these fears are once you confront them and practically think through how to address them.

  • Taylor

    What got me over the hump? Step 1 was taking the leap of faith to try out an 85% pay cut to work in India in international development. Through that transition I learned that (a) risks seem worse before you take them and (b) money’s not what’s holding me back.

    Step 2 was realizing after a year that doing a job with a mission-oriented organization was nice but actually not as fun and exciting as I thought it would be – I was still not enjoying the activities, despite loving the mission.

    Having already learned the lessons in Step 1, I was ready to take the next leap to carve out my own projects. That decision was validated practically overnight – I experienced a rush of energy and creativity in the first week after committing to make my own game plan.

    • Scott

      That’s exactly what I was referring to with Steph above. Awesome work Taylor! Better to know than to always wonder…

  • http://miaherself.wordpress.com Mia

    I am kind of afraid that I won’t be able to support myself without a monthly paycheck if I decide to become an entrepreneur, and that I’ll fail (these two walk hand in hand) or that a year or two down the line I’ll realise that this isn’t what I want to be doing.

  • Rochelle

    I would say the biggest thing holding me back is taking a pay cut and not being able to meet my financial obligations. The second biggest thing holding me back is a lack of self-awareness – i.e. what is it I want to spend the rest of my life doing? What are my talents and greatest strengths that can be translated into making a living?

  • http://www.discovershareinspire.com Rachel Denning

    We are getting closer everyday to our ‘work’ (paid) being what we love.

    The biggest thing that has kept us from it all these years is just the consistency and follow through required to turn your ideas into reality.

    But once you make the commitment, and then follow through, no matter what (even sleepless nights, early mornings and endless interruptions from 5 kids), you can turn your dream to reality.

    • Scott

      Amazing Rachel. I would love to hear more about your transition!

  • DBJet

    There are both a challenge and a fear keeping me from doing work I love.

    First, the fear. I’ve got a couple of professional degrees, and have worked in challenging jobs because I’ve got a wife, four kids, and a mortgage, and I’m terrified of being unable to meet my obligations. I’m likely going to be leaving my current job soon, and being out of work is my absolute worst nightmare. As a career coach put it in a recent discussion – I approach my career from a perspective of fear and seeking safety, rather than optimism seeking opportunity.

    Second, the challenge; I get positive feedback about my experience, expertise and interpersonal skills – but my background is very general in most respects, and I’m stuck in a very specific and limited niche industry. At my age – mid-40’s – and in this economy, with so many quality people available, I doubt that many companies will invest in providing me with a learning experience; at least not at the level I’d need to sustain myself (see above). Most of all – I’m not sure what I’d like to do, because I don’t work for love, I do it for survival.

    I had an approach that worked well for 20 years, and it no longer works; I am desperate to understand, address and resolve the fears and challenges that I face.

    • Scott

      Those who work for love, true love, rarely have trouble with survival, as long as you’re congruent with you who are and work on your natural and unique strengths. I am almost sure you have a specific unique skill set – you just have to spend time better figuring out what it is, esp with all those years of experience. Think really really specific based on experience and what others consistently ask help for.

  • B

    I’m scared. I’m scared to step out of what is comfortable to do something new. The reality is, I don’t know what I want to be doing. I don’t like my current job. It sucks the life out of me everyday. But, it keeps a roof over my head and pays the bills. I love food, love exercise, love health and nutrition. But, do what with it? I had signed up for a coaching program and deferred starting…part to finances, and the other part to fear….is this legit? I felt guilty doing that. Also, the fear of starting that practice is overwhelming. Fear in general has paralyzed me now. I have a blog…and yet, I have stopped blogging. Is it all getting to real that I finally realized this career is not for me? Its all I’ve ever known. I haven’t even explored to know what else is out there. I don’t know what to do.

  • http://www.nantucketdogwalk.com Stephanie

    I think one of the biggest challenges holding me back from taking the first step is feeling like a fraud. I know in my head I can do what I want to do. . . but don’t have (or feel like I don’t have) tons of concrete experience to prove it. I bet if I wrote down all the small pieces of proof I do have, to OTHERS it would sound like a lot. I think I just found my first small step. I’m going to do it tonight! Thanks!

    • Scott

      Start that list and do something with the momentum Stephanie! Love it.

  • Helena

    After 20 odd years, my job is all I know how to do. I’d love to do something that matters to me, and ideally to other people too, but I have no clear path or goal. Much of my energy is spent trying to figure out what I’d like to do, but I only seem to see my weaknesses, not my strengths. I feel I don’t have anything to offer to others.

    • Scott

      Everyone has something to offer to others Helena. I’m sure of it. You just have to spend some time uncovering it. I’m here to help!

  • Christine

    I have many interests, passions even, but I haven’t figured out how to piece together my skills and passions into an actual career. That’s my biggest roadblock. On top of that, I don’t have the financial luxury of being able to take many risks as my husband was laid off. All I know is that my current job, while I’m good at it, does not fulfill me and does not make me a happy person. I’m done with feeling like I have to survive the week to get to the weekend and know that something has to change.

  • Teresa

    My biggest fear, is that as a single parent with one income, if I left my current occupation to pursue work I love, I won’t be able to make ends meet. Of course, we’re barely getting by as it is right now. There is always more need than paycheck. But I have extremely good insurance and benefits thru my job. So I stick it out, hating it most of the time. Oh, I can find joy in everyday things and the people I work with, but for the most part I feel like I’m wasting my time and my talents. I am uninspired by the work I do. I want to create…to be allowed to use my creativity and to be the captain of my own ship. But without a support network, I can’t see myself leaving or making the leap at least until my kids are out of school (another 9 years ).

    • Kristin

      I’ll second this one. I’m in the same boat! I’m trying to get started on another career, but time is so limited it is not going as quickly as I would like. And I’m also having to deal with the guilt of taking more and more time away from my kids.

      • Scott

        One of my biggest goals for Live Your Legend is to make it all of our support network – at least one of them. We are here to help! Much more on this coming soon with what I’m building for you all.

  • http://spunkyness.wordpress.com/ Jamie

    My biggest fear is that I will always have to have an unfulfilling day job to support myself… And in turn will not be able to fully dive into my dream of doing my art full time/start my own creative business. My family has never had a lot of money, and I grew up rather “poor.” I always have an underlying fear of not having enough money. I try to save, but there is always something that comes up when I do finally have savings… I am taking steps in the right direction, but I really hate that money holds me back.

  • Yancy

    Well, this is an easy one. I’m living pay check to pay check, trying to pay off debt, and facing losing my job in November. I’m a computer guy who doesn’t actually like to program. I’m good at system admining and networking, but all those positions are now becoming programming jobs. I also like to break things as a QA/Tester, but again… It’s all becoming programming jobs. I’m really not excited by computers much anymore.

    I also love music and would like to do something with that. Just not sure what. I don’t really play any instruments (I have a bass, but it’s been sitting for awhile..).

    So, I just don’t know what to do that would both make me happy and bring in enough money to pay the bills. It’s quite depressing, which of course also doesn’t help me figure out what to do. It’s hard to think straight when depressed.

    I’ve just recently found this site, so I haven’t had much of a chance to read through the posts. I’m working on it and hoping there’s some good tools that might help me figure out what my next step is.

  • BethanyBob

    You asked: “What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?”

    My answer: I am afraid of becoming homeless and losing my son.

    I don’t expect you to come up with a solution for this one. The back story is that I live with my in-laws: we barely tolerate each other, they’re not supportive, and they’ve been in the same miserable jobs for 24 and 25 years. My boyfriend and I are too broke and credit-less to leave. And if I leave (destination: homeless shelter) without the boyfriend, he and his parents will fight to keep our son.

    So, there. Admitting that fear took a lot.

    • http://www.luanamercy.com Luana Mercy

      Look at the courage you just displayed. Good on you. You’re in a tough spot to be sure. Is there anything you can do to improve the relationship between you and your inlaws? I live with my inlaws as well. Recently I started giving my mother-in-law a hug every morning. It’s difficult to be mad at someone when they are giving you hugs all the time. A small gesture, but it’s made a huge difference in the mood of the household. This is my example, but maybe you can think of something you can do to improve your situation as well.
      I hope so. :)

      • BethanyBob

        Thanks, Luana! It really is a tough situation, and the In-Laws are certainly not the touchy-feely type. I feel like I do a lot around the house, but it’s never enough and I end up on their S list, anyway.

        I don’t know. I keep trying. I’m still not getting anywhere with the work I want to do.

        • Scott

          Thanks for sharing Bethany and I love seeing you and Luana try to work through it. As for building the relationship, maybe you could pick up a copy of How To Win Friends and Influence People and start implementing some of that. That book is gold.

          As for the financial and job situation. You absolutely have to start small. Dedicate 1 hour a week or 20 min three times a week right when you wake up to moving in the direction you want to be. Then move up to 2 hrs, 3 and so on. Everything starts small. I’m here to help.

  • Linda

    My husband is not comfortable with what I would choose as my life’s work. I love him so I don’t take the path I would most like to take. He loves me so he is trying hard to understand why I would want to take that path. But he’s not there yet.

  • S

    The thing that’s holding me back: the necessity to generate a certain level of income per month. I don’t need ridiculously much, but so far, freelance work – particularly freelance work that I love – hasn’t brought in enough.

  • Katie

    The biggest challenge or fear keeping me from doing the work I love is money. I am a graduate student racking up student debt, medical debt (because I can’t get decent insurance) and barely making enough money to live off of. The only thing keeping me from being completely bankrupt is the assistance I get from my parents. I just started a job that I am hoping is what I love to do, but we’ll see!

  • http://ladyofdragons.deviantart.com Sarah H

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love? — Time Management. Not doing it– I already do– but choosing what to give up in order to find time to make real headway on my dreams.

    I’ve made intentional decisions to be sure all the activities I participate in are beneficial and constructive to me and my life in some way. I don’t want to give up the little bit of social and family time I have to keep those connections strong, (they are my support network). I don’t want to give up the time I take to stay healthy and active. I’d rather not give up the therapeutic hobbies that help me cope with emotional stress and give me sense of accomplishment when nothing else does. I’d like to work less than 40 hrs a week, but if I do that’s less capital/savings in the bank. I don’t know where else to cut back!

  • http://www.awholelotoflife.com Michelle @ a whole lot of life

    It took me a long time to accept that I wanted to spend my life writing and teaching and not doing something I felt I “should” be doing, like being a lawyer or marketer.

    Now that I’ve accepted what I want to do with my life, my biggest limitation is taking the leap from thinking and planning to DOING. Accepting that I will most certainly fail as I figure everything out. Knowing that it will take me awhile to make my dreams a reality.

    I had a huge epiphany when I realized that I am spending too much of my time doing things I don’t care about and managing the complexity of my life.

    Right now, I am simplifying my life and writing about it on my blog. It’s a start and I’m just proud that I’m finally taking baby steps to make it happen.

  • http://helentdiehl.posterous.com/ helen

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?………

    I don’t know how to make money from doing what I love!

    • Elle

      One of the main concerns here for most is money. We all need to live. Having gone through most of every scenerio people are talking about, (responsibility, no support, difficult situations) The first step is to get calm. Answers never come when you are in panic mode. I know from being there enough times. Start by knowing what you truly want. Then go research about it as much as you can. make contact with someone who has done what you wish to do (or similar if not exact). Start writing about your feelings…writing gets things out and can help to find answers. Mostly, Sometimes Now is NOT the right time. When it (your passion) gets inside of you like a fever that won`t subside and starts consistantly nagging at you, answers will start to come.

      Just be inquisitive about everything.

  • http://www.evolvescreenprinting.com Tiffany

    I’d like to answer question #2 – I, too, was afraid of taking the plunge to start my own business and work for myself. It actually took me a long time to realize that is what I needed to do anyway. My husband and I are good savers. We finally had enough saved to cover about one year of my salary. Even with that cushion there, I was still scared to quit my job (what if we don’t make any money?!?!), but I did it. I was willing to risk it in order to be happy. In the words of Charlie Bucket’s Grandpa “There’s plenty of money out there. They make more of it everyday!”

    Putting in my two week notice was the best day at work I’d ever had…until the last day of work in the cube! When I left to head in to the office on my last day, there was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. I took that as a sign that I was doing the right thing. I was excited and didn’t have any “regretful feelings” in my gut. I haven’t looked back since. I own a successful screen printing company with three other people and it’s going great! Sometimes you are the only thing standing in your way. I’m glad I got out of my own way!

    • Scott

      Hat’s off Tiffany. What a story!

  • http://coffeeandwarmshowers.wordpress.com/ Eric

    I think many of us fear the lack of money, failure, doing something we think we love only to figure out we don’t. For me, it’s the exact thing that I strive to be that I fear: being different.

    Living a life truly doing what you want to do, have a passion to do, is not the norm. At least, that’s not how society raised us. You hear stories of people quitting their day jobs and following their passion and to the majority of society, “they’re crazy.”

    Yet, turning off your lizard brain and taking the steps to find your passion and follow it is what I’ve learned is the most important hurdle of this crazy journey. Finding ultimate happiness is the goal for everyone. Unfortunately, some of us don’t recognize that happiness is a journey rather than a destination. I’m on that trek now, trying to debunk the “training” society has given me and documenting my findings on the way.

  • Kenia

    Just like Mike, I can’t jump ship, so the best route for me to take is to start an online business in parallel with my day job. Also just like him, I find that **time** is a big problem: I can’t find enough time to move my online business forward successfully unless I am spending most of my waking hours working.
    Here’s the thing: My relationships with close friends, my fiance, and my family are #1 priority. I *must* carve out the necessary time for those people each week. My health is another extremely high priority. I *must* carve out the necessary time for exercise each week. Getting out of student loan debt is a priority. I *must* continue my high-paying job in order to finish paying off my loans in 5 years (I’m paying above minimum. Otherwise I’d be paying them for another 11 years!!).
    So I can’t jump ship in my job (although I’m currently working on transitioning into another position within my company that I would find much more fulfilling). I can’t just “buckle down” and crank out the online business at the expense of my health and relationships. (Not to mention, there are still these things called “chores” and “errands” that take up time…and no i’m not talking about urgent and unimportant ones, I mean urgent and important ones.)
    TIME is the biggest hurtle. The second hurtle is finances: I’m still paying off the debt and building my emergency fund. Until those are accomplished, I don’t have much flexibility in terms of giving up my paycheck.

  • Nestor

    The biggest challenge for me is figuring out what I love the most. I have the desire to do something for myself. The “want” to build something from the ground up that has purpose and meaning. I want to be able to have a positive impact and inspire those around me. If I could only figure out the “what” then I wouldn’t think twice in taking the leap of faith. I know there is much more to life than sitting 9-5 collecting a pay check just to live (i.e. pay rent/mortgage, buy food & pay bills etc.). My biggest fear is regret. Regret that I might miss the opportunity to do something for myself because life, society and responsibility is pulling me in the other direction.

  • http://excitedtowork.blogspot.com Adam

    Long time reader, first time commentor!

    I have several challenges that seem to be working together in unison. These are indecision, security, and ability.

    Indecision: I have many passions. I am a musician who loves technology, computer programming, and gaming that loves a good story. In other words, I want to play music, develop software, write a book, and overall, leave a positive mark on the world by creating something that is meaningful to others. So, where do I go? What do I focus on? What is better to focus on as career material, while I let the others be hobbies? This then leads to the second issue…

    Security: By this I am referring to the lack of “fallback” in the event I decide to make a major move on one of the mentioned desires above. I have limited resources of time and money. I have a marriage that is my top priority to keep in good health. If I devote myself to following this path,can all of these take the strain? Because losing my wife is not an option, but I know I will meet failures on this road that will sap my time and money, which will in turn put stress on my marriage.This brings in the third part to this harmony…

    Ability: I have confidence in my capabilities. With hard work, time, and devotion, I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. The real issue with the “ability” concern is, not am I capable of achieving my dream, but when will I be sufficiently able? I’ve put in time studying computer programming in my spare time and have taken giants leaps in my ability, but have I reached the level of being to move forward in that role? Has my musical composition abilities been honed enough to rest my hopes and dreams on its shoulders? When will I be ready? When is the timing right to take that leap? And if I leap…

    Which direction doI leap? Now, I’ve come full circle. Then I go through the cycle again….

    So, I guess the real question is, how do I break the cycle?

    • Scott

      Thanks for sharing and welcome to the comments over here Adam! The key thing to remember with ability is that you’re likely ready and qualified to help people long before you think you are. We never give ourselves enough credit. Sure you might not be the best in the world but no one says you have to be. You just have to be skilled enough to help a subset of folks below you. The right people will still get massive value from what you have to offer. Sometimes people aren’t even looking for the best – that’s too intimidating for them. They want something a little further down. You can be that person sooner than you think. When it comes to ability, the time to take the leap is now. The world will tell you if you’re ready. Find the right people to help and you’ll be there. Do this small at first so you respect your other higher priorities. Watch where it takes you.

  • Brian

    I’d love to recognize the overarching or fundamental issue tripping me up, as I feel I’ve lost the ability to discern it. From my perspective, the challenge has several facets: How to reconcile emotional/mental burnout… with the realization that unfulfilled goals/dreams no longer excite or pull me in the same way the used to… with the financial cost of regrouping in order to restore my energy and enthusiasm as I re/find the right path.

    I’m in an IT staff job where I’ve become a lynchpin (I’m the goto guy for many things IT and non-IT). Beside the often unpredictability of the schedule, I just can’t seem to figure out how to structure time to accommodate the activities I feel I need to do on a consistent basis if I am to break orbit. At the same time, I haven’t yet figured out what else I could be doing as an alternative and the thought of simply changing locations but doing the same work is obviously not an answer. I feel I’ve reached the point in my life that whatever I do next it must absolutely be for me, not to further a misguided perception that it will support me, as I find those kinds of compromises tend to drain one’s vital resources (time, energy, creativity, life force). Although I don’t live high on the hog, my financial resources are presently limited enough that I don’t see how I can quit work for the extended period I feel I would need in order to fully ‘recover’ and reconnect with my passions. I’ve had points in my life where I lived on next to nothing, but I’ve made great strides in the last few years in my health via switching to a very clean, organic, mostly raw diet which costs a fair amount to sustain and I don’t want to compromise in that area. So here I am now, sensing that there’s so much more ‘out there’ for me, feeling like I’m sitting on top of tremendous potential with a unique, non-dilettante blend of technical, creative/artistic and writing abilities that I’ve proven myself in yet unable to figure out what I need to do to get out of this cycle. I’m not risk averse, but the passion or ‘great idea’ isn’t clear anymore and other factors (i.e. burnout) seem to muddy the water as I try to sort it all out.

    Scott, thanks for creating this forum and thanks to all who read through this.

    • Aydin

      Brian, your life situation speaks to me. read my comment below and see if it makes sense to you too. Thanks.

    • http://weighty-matters.blogspot.com CG-SC

      I understand — so trapped by the tyranny of the “urgent” (whether it really is or isn’t…) that you cannot get to the truly important things that would make some of the not-really-urgent things go away. Real maintenance always seems to take a backseat to the gotta-haves.

    • Scott

      Thanks for the deep response Brian. Being a linchpin (congrats on that!) realize how much power and leverage you have with your current employer. I’m not saying you should abuse it but you need to know that you have more power than you probably realize. Find a way to use that to your advantage to allow you to explore your passion a bit more and see what happens. This could start with work schedule changes, location changes, you name it.

  • http://www.stopandbreathe.com Jason @ Stop & Breathe

    Greatest fear…. While I was willing to take risks to pursue my dreams, I was fearful that I would be putting my family at risk of loosing the life they loved.

    Greatest realization… after talking with my family I realized that the life we had wasn’t nearly as important to them as wanting me to pursue my dreams.

  • Eva

    Biggest fear- that i will realize that it is, in fact, not that fabulous. That the hours and pressure would just be too much for me, and I would actually hate it.
    When is it better to keep your dream as just that; a dream?

  • Dennis Altman

    #1 Is this the right direction (screw it, it’s A direction)

    #2 Is leaving a “good job” worth the risk? “A bird in the hand..” was holding me back, till I realized the two in the bush were much meatier AND better for me, so I picked one and grabbed it with both hands.

  • Rosemary

    My biggest challenge is fear of not being capable of doing what is required to make it happen – I have started in so many directions with the biggest visions and even some solid plans but always lose my momentum, have a crisis of confidence, or start feeling that what seemed so worthwhile isn’t really at all.

  • Aydin

    I guess for me is uncertainty. These days I think about a lot of “things” that I think I’m passionate about and I notice that its not my thing since most of them didn’t turn into an action.

    I’m challenging myself to find a things I love. I only know that working in IT—which happened to be my job for past 11 years—is no more my thing.

    Thanks for the question.

    • Brian


      Yes, we definitely have the “is this all there is?” feeling in common. And, strangely enough, I started the IT job I want to exit 11 years ago, too. Must be something about the year 2000… As you read, I’m struggling with regaining balance, joy and purpose, so I only think I can offer philosophical advice and share some conclusions I’ve come to for myself.

      I realized that while the field of IT is of little interest to me now, what still appeals is putting stuff together and working with my hands. There’s an aspect of this that relates to computers. I also do enjoy using computers to work on MY creative projects. It all reflects an interest in BUILDING things (Note: A telling insight into the appeal of building was admitting that my two favorite stores to visit lately are Micro Center and Home Depot.)

      In my case, the problem is that what the computers I attend to at work are used for doesn’t interest me and the constant troubleshooting and repair has become tedious and tiresome. For someone who loves computers exclusively my job might be perfect. For me, it’s just one aspect of my personality and talent set. I’m a builder but I’m also one who is happiest working with many different ‘materials’. I have other areas of my right-brain that need exercise and stimulation (writing, filmmaking, graphic design, humor etc.). But, I recognize the value of my computer talents and narrow interest in that area and appreciate that I do actually enjoy working with them if it is for MY work, which supports MY values. It’s all about expending energy on what one deems meaningful–which is subjective, of course–and that’s what’s lacking from my current work: real meaning.

      You may be totally fed up and disinterested with computers, or maybe just the IT field like me. It’s worthwhile getting clear on that. If you have computer talent and that’s important to YOU then you’ll probably want to harness that and NOT let your present situation contaminate what once gave you joy and could very well play a vital role in a future endeavor. If, on the other hand, you went into the IT field because it seemed like a sensible decision but now you realize you’re totally sick of computer technology and need to do something quite the opposite, something more people-based, for example, then by all means clarify that with yourself and walk away if you need to.

      As a side note, I did freelance writing for 10 years. Working on my own after being on a staff job was liberating, but after a few years, the joy of the work wore off because I was essentially working on topics that were meaningless to me. It took me years to get the ‘poison’ out of my system. After I was cured I remembered I was a pretty good writer and that I actually enjoyed it when I was working on something I valued. Now I’m working on adding that back into my life (another aspect of the builder in me, but in this case words are the building material).

      Anyway, hope there’s something in there that helps or speaks to you. Keep the faith.

  • PJC

    I’m trying to get to the stage where I know what I would truly love to do as work. I am currently working in a respected profession that I find is destructive for me personally. And trying to find out what I want to do instead, after years of following the path of least resistance, is frankly daunting. It doesn’t mean I’m not going there. Finding that focus after decades of doing what I thought I “should” be doing is the first order of business right now.

  • Coy

    I know the question asks for one thing, but I have recently discovered 2 that have such a powerful grasp on me, I need to mention them.

    1. Sure, I can name fear of failure and fear of not making enough money to cover our extremely high monthly expenses, but I believe I am also somewhat scared of success. Because if I truly succeed doing something else, what else should I have done by now? This feels crazy to say. Nevertheless, it is an under-the-radar crippling fear.

    2. I’ve never really had an identity other than the smart kid. I’ve recently discovered that may be a reason I don’t take risks. If I bump up against my limits and fall back and fail, it clashes with the only identity I’ve ever know. I am in desperate need of a transportable self-esteem independent of intelligence.

    • http://stitchingalways.blogspot.com Phillipa

      Oh my dear Coy. You need a great big hug..Those are legitimate fears.
      Own them. Yes you feel that way.
      BUT you are stronger than than that damned little voice.
      Think of failure as ways to learn..we have all failed at all sorts of things.Its part of living.
      Just imagine if we were all perfect..Gawd what a boring place the world would be.
      How about you try and stop looking at the big picture and Look at the tiniest details. Maybe if you work out your teeny tiny Niche in the world, it will block out the “OMG! What are they doing/” voice.
      Think small for awhile. Try not to beat yourself up. We are all unique.
      Regards Phillipa

  • BB

    I have so many ideas swirling in my head, but I am afraid of failure so I rarely act on them. And when I do, I have a hard time asking for help because of the fear that if I do fail, I’ll be letting that person down.

    • http://stitchingalways.blogspot.com Phillipa

      If you are having trouble asking for help. Do what I do..Keep reading the posts from this site and any other “positive” sites,This is as good as asking for help.
      You must get rid of any negative. I now its hard to kick that damned little voice outa your head.
      Beat it by taking One idea, any idea and write a list of positives for it.
      I’m a great believer in pro n con lists.Start with only the Pro’s.
      Then do the next,then the next.
      Eventually you will keep returning to one of your ideas..Thats the one to pursue furthur.It will start to shine above the rest and say PICK ME, PICK ME
      The others are your “maybe’s” for the future.
      Even take it as far as pinning the lists on a wall where you see them all the time.
      Its amazing how an idea will pop up as you walk past.:)
      Regards Phillipa

  • Heather

    I worked in a job that my dad found for me,’it was the best of times and the worst of times’. I was retrenched 6 months ago which worked out well as I was wanting to leave anyway – that nudge is what I needed. I was always ‘go to’ person.

    I love to learn but find I dont implement enough of what I learn. I also found out I am a perfectionist rather than waiting to make something perfect first.

    I have a husband who doesn’t work and two children still at school. I think I would be doing things differently if it wasn’t for them and I do worry that I wont be able to support them.

    My biggest challenge is in trying to focus. I have endless errands to run and am permanently being interupted.

    I am also trying to write a book. I really want to add value to others and be paid for it. I just can’t get the momentum going,

    I am trying to set up an online business to earn passive income but it is taking forever. I battle to sift through all this ‘noise’.

  • http://www.gregcherry.com Greg

    My biggest issue has always been, I think, focus. I have a lot of good ideas and find it hard to focus on just one. To have a successful business, you really must be hyper-focused.
    I enjoy having a full-time job (one that offers me a lot of leniency), and then launching several side projects on the side. I try to launch them with outsourced help, and see what kind of feedback I get.
    I suppose I’m not completely fulfilled with my current job, and there are other opportunities that are more fulfilling. But I do enjoy the field of work that I’m in – nonprofit work, doing impactful things. And I feel that if I were to just quit my current job, it would make me look a lot more unattractive to future employers in future interviews.
    I would rather keep my current job, while keeping my ears open for new and better positions, and also maintaining websites and side projects that fulfill my creative desires. To me, a fulfilled life is a well-rounded one, with several different activities. I never want to be defined by the job I get paid for, but rather the impact I can have on others.

  • Gemma

    My biggest fear is having people think ill of me for leaving the organisation – I have recently returned from maternity leave and feel I have to ‘pay my dues’ before I strike out on my own.

  • http://stitchingalways.blogspot.com Phillipa

    After reading heaps of your advice and others advice,I worked out that my key skills are Stitching, sharing, and teaching beginners in my field and encouraging others.
    The problem was encouraging myself.
    I’m in my early 50’s and am having extreme trouble getting past the “you must have a REAL job”, that we have been brainwashed into.
    So I started small steps. Writing a blog about my passion of stitching, while producing some very simple patterns.
    My number of followers is slowly increasing and Ive sold my first pattern internationally.
    Getting my few followers and selling the first is an amazing ego boost and has told me that I AM doing the right thing.
    Following My Passion.
    Found my niche, and hope to develop it furthur with stitching as a re-link to the hands-on world of creativity while being soothing and meditative.
    Eco- friendlyish, simple and inexpensive to do.
    Just taking the first step was the hardest and all the other ideas have popped up as Ive gone along.
    All developing from the simple act of stitching.
    I encourage anyone to find your passion. Take it back to the smallest detail and then work forward again.Mine is stitching. What is yours?
    Oops , there I go..encouraging others.
    Is this another string to my bow.

    I’m definitely hoping to Live my Legend.
    Encouraging people to be creative while selling my patterns worldwide over the net, so I can then Live where I want to be.(Havn’t found that yet ;) )
    Sorry to ramble on.But Ive found that just writing this to you that my mind is a popping with ideas.
    Thanks for great posts
    Happy Stitching

    Phillipa in NZ

  • http://stronginsideout.com Amy

    “If you’re already doing work you love, what was the one event or realization that made it possible?”

    Finally being able to do what I love came after the moment I gave up my pride and a goal that wasn’t mine anymore.

    When I first came out to LA, I wanted to be an actress. I had always wanted to, ever since I was in 6th grade! I knew I wanted to be seen, and to be dramatic! Oh the drama!

    After a few years going to auditions, getting to know people in Hollywood, and doing the runaround submissions, I slowly adopted a hatred and negative attitude towards the industry. The constant rejection, helplessness, and rudeness I encountered were disheartening to say the least. It was killing my spirit to the point that I dreaded anything that had to do with Hollywood. It all felt like WORK.

    When I finally had the courage to face the fact that my dream had turned into a nightmare, and that the road toward success in that field was making me crumble inside, I was able to release it. Afterwards, it seemed like my world opened up to a whole new range of possibilities!

    I felt inspired again! I felt motivated!

    My God… I WAS HAPPY!

    Had I not swallowed my pride to look my denial in the face, I may still be forcing myself to achieve a dead end goal.

    Revisit your goals every so often and ask yourself, “Do I still really want this?”

    Thanks for the great post, Scott! Mind-provoking and gratitude-inspiring as always!

  • http://stitchingalways.blogspot.com Phillipa

    Hey Scott.
    Please excuse me butting in on a couple of the replys to you.
    Something is happening here.
    When I saw others replys to you, all these ideas and warm fuzzies have popped into my head on how to encourage peoples.
    Is this a result of reading yours and all those other positive blogs out there.
    is this my Real voice.
    Ok..Im off to make lists .
    Sstitching while encouraging..
    Maybe I can stitch the list. I find it Does help to focus the brain and slows it down,

    Thank-you Thank-you for asking for our opinions and allowing me to read what others are doing and coping with.
    Yahoooo!!! (Does a little dance)

    Love ya.

  • http://www.alessandrohaas.de Alessandro

    The best things I have done to discover my passions and to build up my lacking self-confidence (fear of embarrassment and failure) which was holding me back was to

    1. Travel alone to a faraway place over an extended period of time. (Taking time for myself without external expectations or responsibilities)

    2. Meet people who could see the potential in me and my ideas. (Sharing time with positive people)

    I am not yet there doing the work I love but I have good ideas in my backpack and am going to realize them when I return back from my travels.

    Then I will have to find a way to get enough money to get started and how to fight the “realism” that’s quite common among German people. So I will have to avoid negative people and build new relationships with the kind who know it can be done.

  • Sel

    I am a legal alien working for a financial institution in NYC. What stops me from pursuing my passion:

    – If I quit this job, I may not find another. Then I would have to go back home (Africa) where my options would be further diminished.

    – I worked had at a Masters’ degree to work at the drudgery that is my current work situation everyday. I would have wasted that effort.

    – I have two degrees in Engineering and quit a decent job as a Management Trainee to get the second one. No guarantees my passion will not be another casualty of my seemingly endless search.

    As a foreigner, I do not have as many options available to me as a citizen of this country does. One thing I have going for me is that I am young, unmarried and have no kids. I do not hesitate to say that if I got a green card tomorrow I would quit my job on the same day and go out and actively follow my dreams, led on by my passions (which include writing, reading, advocacy, humanitarianism, consulting).

  • John Beadle

    I think it’s important to point out that you can work on something you love while working another job. It does take time and some effort to get freedom from your 9-5 job, but it’s the small changes that can drastically build after a few months. Finding 20 minutes a day for your hobby or side project is plenty to grow something in a few months (as long as you stay on task). Sometimes it’s easier to take multiple baby steps instead of a leap of faith.

    • Jehan

      John, thanks for this. Exactly what I was wondering about and I’m glad to see this articulated by someone else.

      My theory is, you can even actually keep a 9-5 which is ‘just ok’ and fill the rest of your day with activities that are more meaningful to you, or just keep trying things out til you find something that really grabs you. Then eventually, it could lead to bigger changes down the line. If not, it’s ok, if you’re already happy by your standards then that’s awesome.

  • http://www.tameramartens.net Tamera

    I’m halfway to my dream. I’ve always wanted to be able to support myself by writing. I worked 25 years in the mental health field, which I enjoyed, but in the past five years, I’ve really questioned whether we’re helping anyone. This year I got my hours to part-time and spend the rest of the time writing. I’ve made some money writing, but the emotional and psychic drain of working in mental health can make it difficult to write. What I do know is, on the days when I can spend the day focused on building my writing business, I am very happy and feel really excited. I’m challenged with making the leap, and going for the writing full-time, as my part-time mental health gig pays the bills.

    • Brian


      I can relate to your challenge of how to balance what’s important with something that can be physically and emotionally draining (and thus depletes your creative reserves).

      I was freelancing years back doing corporate video scripts, brochures, etc. After a number of years I left that and went into IT.

      Now I’m working on reconnecting with the expressive part of it that gave me joy, primarily in the area of screenwriting and sketch comedy. The real challenge I find is giving it the energy it deserves around a full-time job that has its own demands. I believe consistency is necessary in order to make real progress in creative endeavors, particularly writing, so I appreciate what you’re up against.

      Anyway, kudos to you. It sounds like you’ve latched onto something that is giving you genuine joy, so that’s fantastic. Congratualations. If it’s very high on your list of values, then I have no doubt you’ll naturally find yourself spending more and more time at it until you suddenly realize one day (maybe not too far off) you can leave the other work behind. Best wishes.

  • Haley

    Identifying specifically what it is I’m good at is my biggest challenge.

  • Will

    Making ends meet is my biggest fear in doing what I love. Right now I feel like I am stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. I know what I enjoy but have not had any experience working for myself so it is a little scary “learning how to fish.” I guess that’s what this site is for! Push you over that edge and help you jump in.

    BTW, one of the people who I want to be like is Scott. His blog has provided answers to many questions I have had (unsolicited) the NEXT day in my inbox. I think it is more than coincidence. Thanks again, Scott.

  • Evon

    I am passionate about making a tangible difference and helping Bosnian women survivors of war rebuild their lives. I have signed up to be a Sponsor with Women for Women International WfWI), but I am frustrated by the progress. I was told by a WfWI representative that because I specifically requested to sponsor a Bosnian woman, the process might take a while. However, if I am agreeable to sponsoring a woman in Africa, they can match me with a “sister” as early as September.
    This is really disappointing because Zainab Salbi started WfWI because she was moved by the plight of Bosnian women during the war of 1992-1995. But it seems that the spotlight has now shifted to women in Congo and Rwanda. I am not saying that these women do not deserve to be helped, but I want to stress that WfWI started because of what was happening in Bosnia & Herzegovina and even though the war may be over, bullet-pocked buildings still stand in Sarajevo today, a grim reminder of the atrocities of the war.
    I came up with this wild idea of walking from Sarajevo to Srebenica, some 130km away, in 3 days – in return for WfWI ‘s sponsorship of one Bosnian woman for every kilometer walked. That is 130 women. That is my biggest dream right now – the mere thought of it lights a raging fire in me. My biggest challenge is this – I have this huge fear of being ostracized, of being ridiculed and accused of being mad for even thinking of such a thing. And this is so big I don’t even know how and where to start.
    Any assistance you can offer to help me get started is very much appreciated.

  • http://www.thenakedrunners.com/ Dave Robbo

    2. If you’re already doing work you love, what was the one event or realization that made it possible?

    I am only a small way down the road of being at a point where I’m doing the work I love (helping people find health and happiness through running).

    But the one realization that really kicked it into gear was, ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect’.

    I was procrastinating and delaying action because I wanted whatever ‘IT’ was to be perfect and awesome before it was launched.

    Instead, I now realise the benefits of making something happen and fine-tuning it along the way if you need.

    Thanks Scott. Great site.

    • http://wholelivingtoday.com/blog Tania Tyler | Whole Living Today

      Thank you for the reminder. Striving to be perfect or not bother has been a stumbling block for me.

      Just wrote “It doesn’t have to be perfect” where I will see it whenever I sit down to work.

    • Jehan

      ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect’

      Thank you Dave. This really struck a chord with me.

  • KAlaska

    1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    Probably the biggest obstacle is my lack of confidence and trust in myself. Do I really even trust that I know what I want to do? I’m afraid that I won’t follow through – do the necessary work to create what I want. I’m afraid I’m not smart enough, dedicated enough, disciplined enough to make anything important happen.

    Clearly, I am my own biggest obstacle. Depression had set in over the years, knowing I’m not living a life that I enjoy. With a wife and three kids, I don’t allow myself to take chances. I’ve been an approval seeker since childhood, measuring my own self-worth by what direction the wind blows.

    Lack of confidence and belief in myself is huge. At 51 years of age now, it’s hard to imagine starting anew and actually believing that I could “live my legend”.

  • Rebecca A

    There is an interesting contradiction in my life. I am doing the work I adore (family therapy). What made that possible was my independent determination, going it alone against the opposition of family members who were not supportive. Now, I find that I am not meeting my new goals (travel, writing, home renovations). What seems to be stopping me is that I lack the social support structures to create positive synergy for these goals. I resist tackling them with the independent self-starter spirit with which I approached my education years ago, even though I face the same kind of external resistance from others that I faced then. Are the problems different, requiring social support? Am I different, less motivated or more dependent? Are my expectations of the people around me different? I can’t figure out how to get my groove back.

  • Lipika

    Thanks for all your interesting blogs, that have inspired me a lot. I have done my strength analysis… very glad and surprise with the result. I would be glad to see more post on entrepreneurship.

  • http://www.thingsiown.blogspot.com Ramon

    The biggest Fear I have keeping me from doing the things I love 100% is losing. I have been fighting many demons and have defeated a lot of them. I have always wanted to do great things and knew I was destined to do great things but they would never happen. This led me to lose some confidence and accept the person I was being. In the last 6 months since finding more about myself and the reasons I make the decision I do I have transformed my life. I have become a vegetarian, started a blog, lost 25 lbs (I didn’t think I was overweight before but now realize I was), attracted the girl of my dreams, focused on my job and narrowed what I do, joined toastmasters and have become a great speaker, got an apartment by myself, become an early riser (waking up at 5:15am everyday). This list goes on and on and when I write this it makes me feel happy that I am living life. With that said I am still afraid to take further chances. I have a dream to invest in real estate and I have the resources and money to do it but something is holding me back. I know it is the fear of not succeeding but the potential greatness it can create exponentially outweighs the downside. I am working on this but know I will get there because it is my destiny. Take care. I enjoy your stuff Scott.

  • http://wholelivingtoday.com/blog Tania Tyler | Whole Living Today

    Love reading all the comments and replies!

    I guess my biggest challenge is maintaining focus or self-discipline on my passions. I know what they are and have been living them for some time now but I find that I don’t put 100% effort into them. In not doing so, I wind up taking other jobs to pay the bills. When I work for someone else, I give 110% of myself. Now, why don’t I do that for myself? I KNOW if I put my effort into my own endeavors the financial flow would be there. And, I KNOW they are what I am passionate about without a doubt. Could it be that when I’m working for myself that I have no one to be accountable to except myself?

    I think this goes along the same lines as Rebecca A’s comment.

  • http://www.thingsiownramon.blogspot.com Ramon

    fyi: I linked to the wrong blog. If you click on my name in this comment it will go there.

  • http://www.denvergourmettours.com Chelly

    I’d also like to answer question #2. I’d been debating leaving my easy-to-do, financially secure, but unfulfilling job for two years, but couldn’t make the leap for all of the reasons I’ve read here.
    I was at dinner with a friend and I started telling her about how much I loved discovering local food when I traveled, and I could feel myself light up as I spoke. I decided right there that every day I spent pursuing a job that didn’t light me up was a day wasted, and that was a trade-off I was no longer willing to make.
    It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve never regretted making the leap. :-)

  • http://jonwilburn.wordpress.com Jon Wilburn

    “What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?”

    Running from Responsibility!!! I was/have been scared/fearful of it. If you own something, you have to do something about it. I have in the past just ignored my responsibilities. I haven’t been “man” enough to face it head on. Thankfully, that is changing. But those things have kept me from moving forward. Also, I am a people pleaser. So I would avoid things to make others happy. In the end those two things have kept me from being a Legend.


  • GJ

    What’s the Biggest Challenge or Fear Keeping You From Doing Work You Love? –

    Feeling overwhelmed at what direction to take on top of giving up my vital income with just having a baby and another one on the way. I know if I could just pick the right steps to start with that I could be totally passionate and committed to something meaningful to me. Right now I just have a job that works and pays the bills, but nothing I enjoy or really care about.

  • Mandie

    Question #1: I have so many interests. I feel pulled in a number of directions and feel called to do work in a variety of fields. I’m paralyzed. It’s not a matter of fear for me, but the simplicity of making a decision on a direction and going for it. I think I’m comfortable making a change, but I don’t feel drawn to one particular motion.

  • http://happinesshabits.wordpress.com/ Jen cady

    I guess my biggest fear (False Evidence Appearing Real)or dilemma is that there are several things I want to do and I was of the thinking that I had to pick one. But in my research I am finding that I can incorporate several of my loves: dog walking/training, fitness, writing, reiki practitioner into my life. It is the time management aspect that gets me. I might miss something! (this was addressed on ZenHabits recently) Thanks Scott, LOVE your site.

    • http://www.luanamercy.com Luana Mercy

      I read the Zen Habits article as well. If you worry about missing something, you’ll miss what you already have. It is a good one. Made a lot of sense to me.

  • http://www.Mazzastick.com Justin | Mazzastick

    Hey Scott,
    It takes a change in mindset to do what we really love. The majority of us are programmed to be employees. To actually start our own business or service takes courage and commitment which unfortunately many do not have access to.

    I knew since I was young I wanted to be an entrepreneur and not another mindless employee in this world.

  • Rachael

    My biggest challenge in living a life I LOVE, is my perceived responsibility to my family and loved ones, too many interests to choose just one, and my lack of ability to focus and continue projects. Also,lack of a plan.

  • Omar

    Wow. I realize that I am not the only one with this kind of struggles. I’ve been fighting against my crazy habits, my thoughts, even emotions. So I’ve found answers in this sites, some good books, and some people like Scott, Leo, Tyler. The trip is long, but the important is be present and live each moment. I felt I wasn’t not happy, but what is happiness? I’ve been learning above (happiness project, zenhabits) and maybe some clue concepts I have, have been biased… In the other hand, what I want is to be creative in my work or do a creative work but I’ve realized I’m afraid of starting…

  • http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com Charlotte

    Money. My greatest love is writing fiction and to support myself while I do it, I ghostwrite and coach writers. Neither of which are bad jobs, I gotta say! In a perfect world, though, I’d have more time for writing fiction.

  • Dan

    Thank you so much for this work.The bottom line for me is that I can’t seem to narrow down or translate what my passion would be. I’ve done some work over the years in trying to “discover” what my true passion is, and have some vague ideas. How do I proceed?

  • Marci

    I’m a single mom of two… My youngest is autistic and requires alot of time and patience. I am the financial provider in the household working a dead end job that I detest but am limited to what I am able to do at this time. Even though I have these struggles I am happiest outside of my work environment. I haven’t lost all hope and have faith that I can one day do something that brings meaning to my life. It’s what gets me through my work days. What I would really love to do is help others. Something thst makes a difference in this world and the people that occupy it. Just not sure where to start or even if I can at this moment in life.

  • Matija

    My biggest challenge was (and to some degree still is) to overcome my insecurities and fears related to the things I love doing. To realise that I am worthy of becoming who I want to be.
    Since the day i started working on my emotions and my inner fears all things started to shift (and still is shifting).

  • Susie-Woo

    I am 77 years old, I am in excellent health and have plenty of energy for the things I love. I live itinerant; making the transition to that way of life was my Millennium goal in 2000. Following a writing career I still write a bit, but am more interested now in crafts and making unusual accessories, also in my regular housesittings in different parts of Europe. I would like to be selling craft things again, as I did in the 1970s. I have two main challenges and fears: one is that at my age I might not be commercially reliable, and I’d hate to let customers down. Also I live on a very tight budget, and hesitate about buying the extra materials and equipment that a sales program would require.

    I’m already doing some of the craft work that I love; I make things for Christmas and other gifts. The events that made this activity possible in the first place were that I did a 2-year Arts and Crafts course in the 1970s, and when friends who owned craft boutiques asked me for some items, I began selling regularly.

    I would not want a “big business” now, but I would really love to have this as a sideline, one of several income streams.

  • http://analytics.net.in Avadhut


    My Fear or Challenge,is I am a Career Coach and have my website http://www.analytics.net.in. I am giving my services as a finance career coach to the country I am in. I want to provide career consulting services to international audience.

    What should I do to make it truly global? Will people from the US hesitate to try my service?

  • Kate

    Scott, I cried myself to sleep over this question last night. I’m posting this before I read the article so I don’t lose my courage here – I’m scared of two things. First, I’m scared I won’t be able to replace my current income. I’m guessing that’s the most common fear.

    My second fear is what really gets me though – I’m afraid I’ll never figure out what I’m really passionate about. That stems from a basic part of my personality. I get VERY excited about something, throw myself into it, study it, live it, breathe it, create a blog or website, then then then… I lose momentum. I lose interest after a year or so. I can point to at least two projects that were quite popular that I let go of without ever monetizing. Thank goodness those are just my side project hobbies, but on a professional level, I’m almost 31, and I’m already sick of my second major career change. The first career lasted about 4 years. I’m into year 7 of this one, but I wanted to bail in the middle of year 6. I’m afraid this trait will make me miserable if I ever have kids, and I’d like to do that, but see Fear 1.

    Frankly, I’m starting to feel a little hopeless. I feel really stuck.

  • http://www.pianocareer.com Ilinca

    If you’re already doing work you love, what was the one event or realization that made it possible?

    I’m a professional pianist and a piano teacher. I enjoy what I do, but I have always felt that it is not enough, that there is something missing. I love many things besides music – and I discovered my passions mainly because of my need to overcome all the negative consequences of a musician’s typical lifestyle.

    Let me explain: learning to play an instrument is not easy. Yes, it is a rewarding process, but usually all future professionals have to sacrifice so many things for their practice! Anxiety, insecurity and frustrations (and many other physical and emotional problems created by a static, stressful lifestyle) arise on a regular basis – and until recently, I thought that there is no way to avoid this ‘professional suffering’.

    Here in my country (Moldova) we follow the traditions of the Russian piano school. We have wonderful piano teachers (I’m forever grateful to them!), but unfortunately they are not immune to the side-effects of ‘specialization': a piano professor teaches you how to play piano, but he/she cannot tell you how to find your true purpose and your balance, how to become happier, healthier, stronger, calmer, braver or how to develop your UNIQUE potential.

    The need to cope with the stress and the demands of my practice made me look for solutions outside my music classes. I began to study meditation and practice yoga (and other forms of trainings inspired from martial arts and crossfit), I became a vegan and I gradually started to discover that all the suffering in a musician’s life comes from lack of correct information.

    I also understood that being a good musician and playing well is not our true purpose. Our purpose is to find joy and fulfillment in our lives – music being just one of the many paths towards this outcome. Or, as Scott says – to change ourselves and the world by doing work we love!

    This change had two positive results:
    1. I began to feel better, to be stronger and happier;
    2. My piano playing improved considerably, because it was harmoniously compensated with other activities.

    There can be no music without silence. There can be no movement without stillness. There can be no concentration without relaxation.

    I understood that this is what I have been looking for my entire life and this is what I want to do – continue the quest I started and help others who are facing the same problems. I created a website dedicated to this new perspective on piano playing and I plan to develop it into a community of pianists and musicians who are willing to embrace a new, holistic approach on music and life.

    Of course, I have fears, insecurities and moments when I feel that I’m simply too tired to continue (besides my project, I also have 2 jobs and many financial worries, like everyone else in this situation). In such moments, I find inspiration in my family, my training and in inspirational books and websites such as this one.

    Scott, your site was a part of my realization! Your articles convinced me one more time that no matter how difficult it might seem (changing our life seems difficult because we’re often stuck in our old job-safety-routine inertia), I’m on the right path because I LOVE what I do and because sharing what I learned the hard way and helping people makes me feel truly wonderful!

    Thank you so much!!!


  • Ceci

    Wonderful post. It definitely makes me feel like I’m not alone, and it amazes me how all of us seem to coincide on our concerns. I guess it’s more proof that our fears and worries are something we create, rather than objective circumstances.

    My greatest fear is to be mediocre at the things I love. I know that what matters is to enjoy what I do, whatever my talent at it may be, but it’s so hard for me to accept this. It has made me avoid doing things that matter to me and instead only do whatever I knew I would excel at. Obviously, this has led me to make very boring and safe choices, not at all connected with who I am.

    I am on my way to change this now, I’ve started taking courses on everything I know I love. But my second problem is there’s too many things, as many of you have already said. I think I might be trying to cover too much ground, and I feel like I’m not making that much progress.

    Also, I find that I’m very intolerant to the whole learning process, because starting to learn something and sticking with it might mean I’ll discover if I’m good at it or not, and as I said, I am terribly afraid of that. That is why I always start things but abandon them quickly.

    I trust I will be able to overcome these things, though. At the very least, I know I’m trying really hard!

  • Guven Ilter

    I simply am not doing the job I love. The reasons are quite similar to those already said; first, I am scared that the income will disappear, and I have been in that situation once. Secondly, I am not sure what I would do instead will be something that I love.

    I am 46 and I sometimes feel that I am at a loss. I have been in and out of a lot of sectors and jobs; and the ones I loved were when I was fully responsible and producing results for making people’s lives easier. The sad thing is that those jobs were not poducing enough finances to support my family. I have also been surrounded with the wrong people in my business life, my partners in businesses that I liked were just not in the same wavelength.

    I have been questioning myself about what I love. I know what I don’t love, and I know for sure that when I do something that I don’t like, sooner or later I am bound to get away from that no matter what the income.

    I will get out of this vicious circle soon, and do something that I am really passionate about. Real soon now…

    Hey boss, listen, I’ve got something to tell you…

    • Aaron

      Guven: Ask yourself this question: What would you do for free for other people if you had the chance and not have to worry about your income or paying bills or anything else that worries you? Once you answer that question, start looking there and develop a plan beginning with the end in mind of how you’ll get to a career you’ll love. Good luck.

      • Guven Ilter

        Aaron, that might be the best advice I’ve heard in years. I produced a radio program for more than five years for free, and I loved it. I also play keyboards in a blues band which I do without any emphasis on finances, I just try to do my best. Maybe I should just start there…

  • Aaron

    Scott: The biggest fears I have from doing the work I love are three fold. First, I have a fear that my age (early forties) will prevent me from entering a field where “youth is served” (i.e., investment counseling). Second, while I have the customer service experience to serve me well in counseling clients, I do not have the necessary experience or education in finance that would allow me to make a smooth transition to a different field from the one I’m in, health care insurance. Finally, I fear I don’t have the social networking skills (tools?) needed to connect to the right people and show how qualified I’d be. So, there you have it…great post, looking forward to your response.

  • Suzanne

    Ok, this is going to be all over the place, but hopefully some of you can get something out of it.

    For those who say they don’t know what it is they would love to do, I say you haven’t asked yourself the question enough times. Keep asking yourself, “what do I love”. As you move throughout the day, take note of thoses things that bring your joy, keep a notebook, jot it down. Keep going, do not give up. The answer will come to you.

    Financially – sort it out. The only way to move forward is by not really having to rely on generating copious amounts of money to upkeep a lifestyle that you’re not truly into. You can’t be focused on finding out what it is you love when you need to get food on the table or the monthly payment on the latest tv you just brought.

    Which led me to here, doing what I love, ok its taken 22 years but I tell you, without doubt it is well worth it.

    There were lots of events that led me to doing work I love, but in the end it was the revelation that 1. I found something that I would love to do for ever 2. I have the skills and knowledge or can gain such to do the work I love for ever and 3. There is nothing, except what I could tell myself that would stop me from doing the work I love

    Good luck every one, I wish you only the best.

  • http://eddyazar.com Eddy Azar

    I’ve got two major things holding me back.

    1) There’s a million paths to take, and I can’t decide which will work for me.

    2) I’m afraid of leaving my comfort zone and risking a failure.

  • http://tiinity.tumblr.com/ Miia Klingstedt

    Remembering that it’s my opinions on desires and hope that matters, not someone else’s. When in doubt I find it hard to remember this since most of the people around me have very different goals from me for the moment.

    This is why I read many blogs online to find others who think in similar ways to me and it gives me strength for the days when I doubt that I have the right to do what I want in my life, when I want it and how I want it. And also that doing what is “right” and “safe” is not always the right and safe way.

    I guess these sentences can be expressed by: “Fear for what other people think of me and fear of being different from others”

  • Ela

    My fear is simply. I don’t think I’ll make enough to survive on. I don’t want to lose my house. It’s that simple.

  • http://www.pesawaterbang.wordpress.com immi

    I’m afraid I took the wrong choice that what I love is not the right thing to do and end up as a looser while all my friends have their success and happy life.

  • http://writinghappiness.com/ Marya | Writing Happiness

    Scott, what a fabulous post.

    I am a writer, I love nothing more than reading, learning, writing. The only thing that held me back from exploring my talent (if any) was the fact that I never had anyone rooting for me. I thought, aww, I am not into literary stuff so I can’t possibly be a good writer. Until I read something that changed my life forever – colloquial is good, conversational is good, being able to write something and sound like you are having a conversation with somebody, is good. There are different kinds of writing and different sorts of readers. You just have to find the ones who like you. Since then, I am pursuing what I love. I left my high powered job to take up teaching as my dayjob, and started my blog as my writing platform – and I am loving it. It’s the first step that’s always the hardest. Still, its nice to have people cheering for you. Thanks :)

  • Sam

    I’m not sure what exactly it is that I love. I love doing a lot of things, but none of which I know how to make a living from. All the blogs and websites I love have already beat me to it :) I believe money can’t buy you happiness, but it can help you do the things that make you happy. How do I leave a job that is eating away at me if I don’t know where to go?

  • Em

    My fear is being in front of people and stuttering. I do that sometimes when I’m nervous and I’m so worried that people will laugh at me. It sounds crazy probably, but it’s almost crippling. I’m very good at what I do, but this holds me back immensely.

  • RKWinner

    1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?
    My problem is that I do not know what I want! For career, I am unclear as to what my passion is. I am good at various things (at least I believe so) and not sure what I like the most. Even if I list them out, pursuing them daunts me as I am in a line which is totally different and I am almost settled with it. I like singing the most, but haven’t got any professional training or so. I like media related work like animation, illustration etc, but haven’t got any specialization there too. Confused! Thanks for this great share.

  • KK

    I love the job i am in now. But I am unable to do all that I want to at my workplace mainly because of lack of time. Or better said, I still have not learned to manage it well. I am passionate about my job and other things in life, for which I am unable to spend more time. As a new mom, I am finding it tuff to manage home, son and work. I have joined here because of my passion to improve and get better and improve in all I do. Dont know when will I hit that thing, which might completely change my life from good to best……..in all aspects.

  • Daybreak

    1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    Not knowing what I’m really passionate about combined with fear of not meeting family expectations. From preschool to about last year, I’ve always wanted to go into medicine. Whether it was to join Doctors Without Borders or be plastic surgeon to the stars, my goal was to be a doctor. When it became obvious that my grades were not competitive for med school, it forced to grapple with spending 3-4 years doing post-bac work/possibly a master’s degree to bring up my GPA to even have a SHOT at an admission, or do something else. After I graduated last December and started to apply to jobs suitable (on paper) for a biology major, I realized that I’m not really interested in science, either. Fast forward… it’s been almost a year of no job prospects, getting increasingly tired of watching TV at home, and no idea what I really want to do. It’s easier to tell people I’m thinking about grad school; both of my parents are PhD’s so it’s expected I’m going to continue schooling. I’m scared of what people will think when they learn I’m probably leaving the premed track for good… with no idea what’s ahead next. I’m scared of picking up a hobby, mistaking it for a passion and discarding it in a few months because I get distracted and move on to the next “cool” thing. I have so many interests that sound great in my head but I don’t know which ones to develop and which ones to give up. I’m ready to go out on my own and be an adult, but with no plans I’m scared I’m going to be dependent on my family for much longer than I thought.

  • Rahul

    I just want to do very few things in life. As of now, I am completely thoughtless about future, what excites me is learning new things.. but the blocking thing is “I am a real slow-learner.. I need my own time before I learn something new. And because of it, many times I start something and stops it in between.. fearing people will laugh..”. Am I afraid of my peers more than anything ?

  • megha

    at the moment, m totally freaked out as i dun knw what i want from my life… unable to identify what i love doing, where my interests lie.. i dun knw in which direction to go.. evn if few things excites me, it last only a day or two.. i wasnt like this a few years back, i was a champion..but now, m zero..n may b my biggest fear is that i fear taking the first step, working hard..i tend to lose my patience if i dun get result immediately.. or may b, now i wanna b assured of the result b4 i do something??can anybody please help me ???

  • http://www.excelez.ro Adelina

    I hade an opportunity and I decided to take the risk. I was so sick to work for someone else felling no purpose, no motivation – no nothing- just “I have to do it”

  • http://entersandland.com/ Kirsten

    I’ve been trying to figure out what to do when I grow up for my entire adult life. I LOVE to travel and experience new cultures and places but I have no idea how to turn that into a business. Plus I have young kids so traveling around a ton isn’t an option. I don’t want to do the usual travel related jobs – travel agent, write travel books – and there are a gazillion travel blogs out there so what else can I do?

    I recently moved to Hawaii with my family – sold the house, the cars and half our stuff – to try living here (so far its the best thing I’ve ever done). So I’d love to also help people reach their dreams of having adventure but no clue how.

    Thanks for all the advice!


    • Jehan

      Hi Kirsten,

      I’d like to suggest a book to you, it’s the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. Your post reminded me of an example described in that book, a family that managed to travel a LOT with their kids.

      About you moving to Hawaii — perhaps you can blog about it? It sounds like a big decision with lots of challenges that you’ve overcome. See what responses you’ll get.

      All the best..

  • Sue

    Like many people who have already commented, I find it difficult to know what it is I’d love to do. I have many different interests, and my current job was interesting for the first few years, but is now dull and predictable. How quickly will I get bored with the next thing?

    Also, at age 55, I am aware of all the time I’ve wasted, and feel I don’t have the time left to make any mistakes. And if I quit my job, I’m certain I will never find another (I have no relevant qualifications, and we live in an isolated rural area).

    Is it time to retire?

  • Sergio

    Fear of losing financial stability

  • http://www.sendoutcards.com/andgifts Joni V

    My biggest fear is that people don’t take me seriously. I suppose that says a lot about my self-esteem. I’m working on it….in baby steps.

  • Gary

    The biggest fear? How do I take care of financial responsibilities while getting the start up off the ground? Money is tight. I don’t want to be too far in debt from the launch. Second fear – sustaining the start up.
    Thanks for reading this…

  • Christa

    The two biggest challenges I have is, number 1 the funding I would need to open the organization of my dreams “An all natural wellness centre, life coaches with real life experience, tons of personal growth programs (natural addictions recovery, positive thinking, goal setting, anything that causes this world pain today etc.)yoga, reiki, naturopaths, organic market etc. etc.” I have an incredible vision with so many ideas and not a single cent to put into it.

    The second challenge is the fear of it not being supported….of it not working out.

  • Annie

    I see the need for my current income as the barrier to my ideal work life. I love the work I do and the way I am able to do it (flexible hours, working from home). It’s been great for me as a single parent and I’m proud of the work I did to set my job up this way, which took a lot of networking, risk-taking (quitting the “day job”) and hard work to achieve. However, in an ideal world I would work a lot less so that I had time for my creative interests (art, writing) and doing volunteer work, both of which are very important to me.

  • Anita

    3 Things – 1) My family obligations – both time and money. I had these kids, I need to take care of them even if they are young adults now. They are still at home, not in careers or self-supporting yet. 2) I feel too old and not as talented. The age fear is crazy in this day & age, I know. 3) What if I open a pastry shop and no one comes? And frankly, I am a very good accountant now. So, make that one – fear of failure.

  • anon

    Well, to lay it out straight, at 50, I’m finding it terrifying to think of ditching a paying job in this economy to pursue something a lot more artistic that I’d be much happier doing. What if? What if? What if I end up living under a bridge because of this decision? (only half kidding) :0

  • Mike

    I have to agree with Anita. I have family to support, and I make excellent money doing what I have gained skills and experience to excel at (even if it is a drain on my soul).

  • Kris

    My biggest fear, besides the money security, which is huge, is simply feeling that I don’t know enough to offer myself as an “expert” and ask for money for my time and services. I feel I’m still in the student stage and it’s hard to charge when I know “nothing” yet.

  • Chantal

    I am in the middle of starting up a small jewelry business (one of my passions) while working a full time job. Am I scared out of my pants? You bet. I don’t want to loose money and I want people to like my products as much as I do.

    I also renovate condos while I live in them and try to resell for a profit. I decided to follow this passion after working in the construction industry for several years and thinking “why can’t a girl do this just as well as any guy?” And I found out that I can do it and do it well.

    Jewelry and renovating? Strange combination but that is what I like. What was the single most motivating factor that made me jump? The fear of laying on my deathbed, looking back on my life while not being able to remember why I was too scared to try and why I wasted so much time.

  • Sasha

    I’ve discovered my greatest fear to be largely based on the expectations placed on me by others. It is these expectations which prevented me from ever really considering the idea of being passionate about work to begin with, and which caused me to formulate an early idea of success as mere financial independence and a steady paycheck.
    It has only been after entering a Masters degree program in engineering that my unique view of success has changed, and that I have become inspired by the people out there who are really in tune with their individual source of excitement. Now, I fear that I won’t have the courage to completely turn around and engage my new viewpoint 100%. I fear that I will be dragged back into the “security” of living by others’ expectations- parents, siblings, professors, academic advisors, peers…rather than adopting my own new path. I fear that I will fall into the trap of feeling like I must use my degree as others will probably suggest, for fear of having “wasted” my training and education. I’m working on actively devoting less energy to worrying about other people’s opinions of me.

  • http://tedgonder.com Ted

    my biggest fear: that I could be doing something I love more.

  • Amanda

    I only enjoy doing things when I can give it 100% and to do that I fear I will not be giving my young family 100% and I “signed up” for being a 100% mom. I’ve dabbled in a few things to help people out and I seem to end up more stressed over dividing myself than I actually achieve either personal or financial gain.

  • Marcus

    I am doing work that I love now and I will share my watershed moment, but there are still challenges that keep me from maximizing this work and I like to share those as well.

    I am a musician, however, when I got fired from my first job, a high powered, high paying hedge fund position, I was terrified of being broke. I had heard so much about how artists had to struggle, so instead I ventured into the realm of artist management and promotion, circling my dream but staying at the perimeter to avoid the risk. Party promotion was successful for a while and my partner and I decided to ramp up our efforts and throw an expensive, lavish rooftop event in the middle of times square. We had a massive guestlist and spent a significant portion of our Wall Street savings on it. Everything was in place.

    And it rained. It rained so hard it felt like it was raining up. Turnout was horrible and we lost big time. At that point I found myself broke (or at least as close to it as I had ever been) anyway so I figured I might as well be broke doing what I actually want to do instead of an emaciated, terrified, and broken replica. I started interning at a studio, playing at different places in the city, and bought myself a home recording set up.

    I am squarely in the heart of what I am doing. No lack of money, nor negative review, nor lack of turnout will deter me from spending my life making music. But I can see two challenges for myself now.

    1) I have an eclectic set of musical tastes and interests and I am talented enough that I could pursue several paths. Zeroing in on one style whether its my own or an existing one and committing to it is difficult because I don’t want to stop doing the other things that I love. Still I know from experience that wading around in the soup of indecision leads to lack of preparation which leads to unnecessary failure. Doesn’t make the process less challenging

    2) As a creative artist, I can be overly concerned about the craft to a point where I neglect the service. Ultimately, music is for the betterment of others’ lives. I don’t want to follow trends because thats not where my heart is, but being open enough to people and culture to really give my art as a gift, rather than just draw attention to however I’m feeling is no small task either.

  • http://jeffmunncoaching.com Jeff Munn

    I help busy professionals manage their stress, find their silence, and connect with their inner voice.

    My biggest fear was that if I put my beliefs out there that I would be laughed at. Leaving a high paying corporate job to pursue your dream is not looked at as a smart thing to do, especially in a down economy. But I’ve learned from people like you that there’s a whole group of us out there, addressing different audiences, all with a similar message. That life’s too short not to do what you love. And there are a lot of people who are looking for that message, and finding the power in their own voices.

    Thanks for creating and supporting this community. Your success is inspiring a lot of people, including me.


  • megan

    I’m constantly questioning if what i’m involved in working towards now are going to keep me interested 5-10 years down the road. I seem to have a short attention span….

  • Gary Stockburger

    My biggest fear is facing the unknown. It is like total darkness around me and with my flashlight I can only see one or two steps ahead of me.

  • katrin

    Fear of not being up for the callenge right now, being not prepared, the feeling that I just have do do more preparation before I could actually start and that the work might be so much better if I just did x, y and z before…

  • Marisol

    Fear, doubt, and the voice in my head that tells me I cannot accomplish what I really want to live a life I love.

  • http://www.spaupyourlife.com/heather2paiges Heather

    Fear of the unknown – the ‘how’
    I know where I am and where I want to be – it’s that gap between. I feel I need to know before I take action.

  • Chris

    The biggest challenge or fear keeping me from doing this is self confidence and feeling that I am not competent or good enough to see it through, even though other people seem to think that I am.

  • samyuktha

    The biggest fear is pursuing something that so many people are talented in – and not being recognized for that particular passion due to competition in that particular field.

  • http://www.servicesquare.com Babu Vincent

    After experiencing phenomenal success in the past, it has been a downhill journey for several years. And, failure has become a well trodden path. I have got used to it.

    I seem to know the answers and solutions intellectually after consuming many books.

    There is some eerie comfort in travelling along the well trodden path, even while knowing this comfort is suffocating.

    There is financial insecurity, fear of failure. It is like a good swimmer flailing one’s arms and legs frantically in the deep waters, having somehow forgotten how to swim.

  • Jaak

    My wife is disabled with a genetic disease and requires treatments that total $60,000 to $100,000 per month, sometimes more. My current job is demoralizing, but my insurance benefits are excellent. Most other companies would consider her uninsurable. I want to break away and follow my passions with my work, but I have a responsibility to ensure that my wife is cared for.

  • http://www.pmpcertificationacademy.com Eddy

    I have a habit of consuming and consuming without much action and i feel the thing that is holding me back is lack of initiative. I fear that i would start and then i will slack off and the thing would just fizzle off or that what i work on may not be a good idea.

  • http://mybabylovessauce.wordpress.com/ Bianca

    My biggest fear is losing my financial stability.

  • http://www.acustomtripplanning.com Beth

    My largest issues appears to be getting people to understand that what I am offering is NOT expensive. Yes, it costs. But it is a service that can reap so many benefits. Many people look only at the bottom line and do not analyze the quality of the experience they can gain.

  • Dallis

    My biggest fear is…not getting the right clients to value my service and be willing to pay for it. The need for financial stability is imperative to live in NYC.

  • Lilly

    My biggest challenge is working in a broken system and wanting to do more than what the system sets me up for. I am finishing my masters in counseling and love the work. I know it’s the right fit for me but my vision extends beyond the box that counselors in my state (AZ) are being put into. Most of our funding comes from one organization and most of the opportunities I’m finding are more case management and less quality care. I’m in the process of meeting all my licensure requirements while at the same time staying focused on my goals to make the career that I want. What keeps me going are two concepts: Integrity and Vision.

  • Joe

    The biggest thing that keeps me from acting is the fear of letting down my partner. She worked hard to help me through grad school, so I’m afraid to walk away from good pay at a job I don’t care for and risk having to put her in the situation of needing to support me again.

  • Jaydeep Singh

    It is hard to pinpoint just one challenge or fear that is keeping me from doing work that I love. As a Senior in High School, I have many duties and responsibilities towards my teachers, my classmates, my parents. In addition, being an active member and officer of many clubs on campus, I have duties towards them. This results in not enough time to do the work that I truly love, which at the moment is making a difference through social entrepreneurship.

    I don’t know what to do frankly.

    I guess that is my biggest fear, what’s next? Not necessarily in terms of money or food, I have parents for that, since I, luckily, do not have to sustain myself. At least, not yet. Rather, I have no idea, where to go, how to get there, and what to do when I do get there.

  • Chrissie White

    My biggest fear is failure. What if I’m not really as good or creative as I think I am. I also worry that I’m not pretty enough to be selling my things face to face with people. Both really stupid but both things stop me from reaching my potential.

  • Mark Dunnett

    1. First challenge is to find your purpose and your tools on Find your Passion are perfect.

    2. Second Challenge is financing living expenses while building up customers/business to point of financially independent. Answer – Start part time. Work for pay in a similar job. Do the work at night to set it up. Start marketing and do a few customers- get testimonies. Use testimonies/ facebook/ website etc to build more customers.

    3. Stay focused.

    Thanks for your site. You are doing great stuff.

  • Anne

    I’m so overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings even considering this question that I can’t identify just one fear, let alone the biggest one.

    This tells me that just naming a fear is possibly not a productive first step for me.

  • http://excel.schools.edu.sl/andwww.pinnaclesl.com ysisaysogbeh

    The biggest fear keeping me from doing the work I love is; panic and fear in the lack of security. The security in a paycheck, security in a schedule, security in some else’s responsibility. However I am finding my footing gaining the confidence, but most importantly the faith it take to make the leap.

  • http://about.me/davidnagy David

    Hey there,

    My biggest challenge is to bring on board people who are similarly committed to the project I’m working on, like I am.

  • http://www.paigeburkes.com Paige Burkes

    At first my challenge was “how.” It stopped me in my tracks. I bought Rich German’s “Monetize Your Passion” program and the pieces started to come together along with a supportive community. I wanted to outsource many aspects of my new idea but realized I didn’t have the funds. I knew nothing about the web but dedicated myself to figuring it out on a shoestring. I’m now very happy I did it all myself.

    Now that I’m “out there” my challenge is creating the time to create great content and products with a full time job & 3 little kids. I’m usually wiped out by 9pm but started realizing how much energy I burn up by stressing about all I have to get done and all I’m not getting done. I’m currently running an experiment to let things be as they are, not stress about what gets done each day and just do my best. So far I have much more energy which I use to stay up much later and work on my business. A win-win!

  • Jim Krenz

    I feel that I have many fears keeping me from doing work that I love. After some analysis, I think the primary one is choosing which work I am most passionate about.

  • Gerard

    Over the past year or so my self esteem, but mostly my confidence in myself has dimished to the point where it is almost zero.
    My biggest challenge at this moment is to get my confidence back up to the level where I tackle my issues, like being overweight and doing nothing.

  • Mike

    Owe far too much in student loans. I’ll never pay it and they are going to take it all.

  • Chuck

    Finding a topic I believe I’ll love strong enough to “do the hard work” and long enough to shepherd it for years.

  • gina

    What’s stopping me? Two things come to mind.
    1. Do I really have the talent that I think I have? is what is stopping me.
    2. And how do I take the next step? I need some practical advice on how to take the next step.

  • Rebecca Damin-Moss

    Not knowing what that work is. I am capable of many things,have tried many things, tried to determine my direction on my own. A counselor once told me, “just because you’re capable of doing something, doesn’t mean that’s what’s best for you to do.”


  • Christiane

    I’m working everyday passionately and determined on building a successful and sustainable coaching practice. My biggest challenge is that I’m still working 4 days per week in a job that pays the bills so my time to work on my passion is limited to evenings and weekends. Without sufficient savings I’m unable to leave my current job and I don’t know when I am eventually able to make it happen. I know I’m doing my best however I want to make it happen NOW!! Being able to work and making a difference to people from anywhere in the world is my ultimate dream! Any tips or ideas how I can make this happen even quicker? :-) Thank you!!

  • saranya

    hi scott:) Procastination /Laziness and distraction keeps us away from doin things.

  • http://N/A Jkh

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for asking for feedback. Your website (and posts) are one of my favourites. Not only are the insights you share very helpful and inspiring but also your unique personal touch. The most important for me is the way you share your journey with us in an open and honest way e.g. examples of your experiences, your goals, how you’ve connected/networked with people etc. and the importance of doing these in living the life you love.

    I’m half way to doing the work I love.
    For me the biggest challenges or fears that have kept me from doing the work I love is:
    1) Belief I can pull it off (even though I have been told how talented I am/would be great at it etc..) and
    2) If I do pull it off initially, will I be able to sustain this new venture/way of life? i.e. the ‘newness’ of having to continually create my own (new) work/projects and also handle the stresses that come with owning a business in a high risk industry that requires projects to be highly leveraged for specific periods of time with no guarantee of expected return. I’ll be out there on my own and will no longer have the security of a regular pay check in this comfort zone that doesn’t allow me to live my passion and also gives me a lifestyle I could definitely improve upon!

    I’m sure you’ve heard from countless people about these two main fears and probably why a lot of people remain stuck esp. if they didn’t come from a family of entrepreneurship/mentoring whereby certain beliefs would be naturally embedded.

    So I embarked on learning how to overcome these challenges: neuronal re-programming to change beliefs, learning more about the law of attraction (breathing meditation + gratitude + feeling good + visualisation + beliefs→ expectation + vibrational alignment→ attract into your life) and using specific technology to lay the foundation to increase my stress threshold to previously unknown heights (higher than the people around me) …permanently.

    The one event or realization that made it possible for me to kick start changes in my life was that I in 2005 I received a transcript of Steve Jobs Standford commencement speech. It woke me up and changed everything. Since then I have completed study if a totally different field and now am about to start my own company. Like you, I watch it regularly. It reminds me that life is short, and therefore why not have the courage to be true to myself and live the life I love.


  • Rod

    The job I fear the most and have failed many times over is getting fit and loosing weight. I have tried so many times with no luck. I know what to do, I just dont have the guts to stick with it. Now that I am retired I have all the time to reach this goal. Just need to get started for one final last time

  • http://www.oflauren.weebly.com Lauren

    What’s stopping you? I’m know the general area of what I want to do, but I’m having trouble coming up with the best strategy to reach it. Some of that is a lack of vision/creativity on my part, since it’s a developing field.

    SImultaneously, I’m also doing things that I love and truly enjoy. I started asking myself “why did you wake up today?”

  • Amelia

    The short answer for me is money. Being able to support myself without resorting to government help during the startup phase. I have no doubts I can do work I love and make a living from it, but I know starting out from nothing is tough financially.

  • Eliora

    Knowing what I love to do and then getting started – in terms of knowledge and motivation.

  • http://www.journalinabox.com Yvonne Root

    You asked what the one event or realization was that made it possible to do the work I love. It actually made me stop and think because there have been many things which took me to the point. So, after some thought, I believe the one thing, (the tipping point, if you will) was the enthusiasm, from day one, of my three partners.

    We’ve gone through many iterations, changes, gosh-awful moments. And yet, we have always been able to draw on the fact that all four of us have the same heart felt desire to make a difference in the lives of the people we touch through our business.

    It is not that we want to make a difference. It is that we want the people we serve to make a difference. Wild huh?

  • http://tranquilitynow.blog.com Tina Davis

    Money. I am always afraid of not being able to pay the bills (since I’m the only one working at the moment).

  • Aaron

    The biggest fear I have keeping me from doing work I love is not making enough money to support either myself and my family. If there were a way to slowly transition into doing my life’s work with passion and be paid to support my myself and my family, then I would be a lot more confident about starting a new “venture into the unknown”.

  • Ansis5

    Lack of confidence.

  • http://Www.stevemoakley.com Steve M

    I have tried to pinpoint response to this question, and I believe it comes down to two reasons. First, there is the fear of not being good enough. Working in a creative field (in my case, photography), there is a lot of competition and always people who know more than you do. Second, financial hurdles always lay in my path. I have debt and wan nothing more than to pay it off. Can i make enough income to accomplish that goal while pursuing a career in my chosen field? Those are my fears.

  • Jacob

    When you understand that there is a seed time, progression time, and harvest time, however doubt and worry will creep its way in during the progression time. To simply put it, it is the challenge of keeping the fire going when you know you are going through the progression time of your dream, which in my opinion is the most important part of the 3 and where you will write most of your story. To keep the fire, the joy, the faith, the inspiration, the conviction every single day is vital, and is exactly what I strive for.

  • http://www.kirajones.co.uk/blog Kira Withers-Jones

    I’m what’s stopping myself from doing the work I love. I start and then I lose confidence and stop or change direction, or faff around not doing anything useful. I also try to do too many different things at once because I’m not sure what is the most important to me and because I feel that I’m not currently enough. I have a tendency to pile on more work because I don’t want people to think I’m lazy.

  • http://www.byanymeansart.com Amanda

    My biggest fear that keeps me from doing what I love is that I will not pick the correct thing on which to focus, and that even if I do, I will fail.

  • Sam

    My biggest fear is meeting my financial commitments so it keeps me in this job that I dont like and dread every day I go.

  • Dan

    My biggest fear is feeling that I will start something AGAIN and not see it through to completion.

  • jackman

    My biggest challenge is I can’t stick to do one things till meeting goal. I always know how to do one thing and I always have excellent plan, but we will stop at first step or second, I can’t manage my time well and I am easily be attracted by others things and I always spend my spare time on computuer games, how can I save myself? A man always a beautiful plan& goal but seldom meet the goal.

  • Robin Liu

    I want to be a wildlife conservationist, but I don’t have the ability and capability to do that yet. I am working on it.

  • http://NA HeatherE

    I understand that expressing fears or simply talking about them enhances the chances of coping. So here I go:
    -paralysed of communicating with people
    -clarifying my goals very often so I can focus
    -I fear I will not be able to accomplish my goal (e.g.:I procrastinate instead of writing my dissertation)
    So to turn them positive I wrote the following in my notebook:
    1. I communicate with people easily
    2.My goals are crystal-clear, I am extremely focussed
    3. I am able to finish my dissertation in a month.I have finished it by 24 Nov 2011.

  • http://www.daniellefoxphotography.com danielle fox

    I am doing what I love. the crazy thing was for me that I started it when I was in a great career, but wanted to do something that was filling my soul as well. so I started my photography business. and it was not easy, but if you want it bad enough. do it. you can, no excuse! when I started I had 2 preemie twins, a 2 yr old, a 10 year old, we just moved into our home, had not sold our other home- still paying on it, I was not working and my husband was laid off. so what did I do. I started something I love. I just realized I wanted to be home more and a successful business woman. I wanted my kids to grow up happy because their mama was doing something happy. and it shows everyday with them. I think it takes drive, motivation, a lot of soul searching and finding who you are. I thought it was a lot easier than thought, even though we were beyond poor. no matter what time in your life, just do something you love. I had a very successful career of 12 years when I decided to changed. I had 4 kids and no money. what a better time to start something new. some of the most successful people I know started their business in a recession. just educate yourself any way you can, I mentored a great photographer friend, read a ton of books- go to the library and found all the ways that I could budget and find time to do what I loved. I was quite crazy as I would just stay away through half the night since I was up feeding anyway. it was a nice quiet time to research on the internet. believe me you can do it. I did! best. danielle fox

  • Carla

    Making less money than I do now is a fear, as well as not having health benefits, if I were to do something on my own. Also, I’m not sure what I could do to earn money, so finding a passion that can earn me money is probably the biggest obstacle to making a change in my career.

  • Zam

    My greatest fear is that I just honestly don’t know what I Love anymore. The last 4 years have shaken my life from it’s roots and I am now at a point where I don’t even know who I am anymore – a marketer by education and profession. Jobless – i quit a dead end low paying frustrating job. But now I’m lost. I’m a single parent with sole responsibility of a toddler. New in this country – but very grateful for being here and loving it.

    So that really is my greatest fear. I know that once undiscovered what I love, I could work through how to get going on it. Incidentally, i couldn’t even answer the 27 questions list to finding your passion :-(

  • Teresa

    How do I KNOW what I want to do for sure? There are so many things I’m interested in? How do I know I can actually make a living doing whatever I choose? I have a family to support…my biggest fear is not being able to take care of them and then having to start all over.

  • http://PeterWrightsBlog.com Peter Wright

    I was doing what I loved, farming in my country of Zimbabwe until the government decided it no longer wanted any commercial farmers, and took all our farms and equipment in a campaign of violence.

    In November 2002, I was taken off my farm by the police, interrogated for hours and put in a disgusting, overcrowded prison cell for 3 days until I agreed not to return to my farm.

    Many of my fellow farmers and their farm workers were brutally assaulted and some murdered, so I am grateful that I survived.

    Then I moved to Canada with just 2 suitcases and no money, worked at a farming job (doing what I used to employ people to do)while steadily losing money on all the common “build a part time income” and get rich quick schemes. I tried several network marketing companies, automated marketing systems, auto-blogging and others.

    Eventually, I started a blog, stopped spending money on acquiring even more information which was not helping me and set a goal to generate an income from internet marketing and writing.

    Working long hours at farming 7 days a week in summer, was not compatible with trying to build an online business, but I persevered.

    I survived a heart attack in September 2010 which immediately finished by farming work and my income. It was the motivation I needed to take the plunge and start building my own future again.

    Although I have had to do a few odd jobs at times to bring in some cash, a year later, I have survived, still have a roof over my head, food to eat and slightly less debt than a year ago. I still have a way to go to generate a good income, but I am making progress.

    To answer your question, What is stopping me from doing the work I love?

    Most of the time I am doing the work I love, I find though that I enjoy so many different facets of the internet business, social media, sales, writing and coaching, that I find it difficult to focus on 1 core business activity and tend to work on too many ideas.

    Please excuse the long answer, it is intended to show other readers that no matter what happens to you, it is what you do about it that counts.And also that it is never too late to start.

    Incidentally, I am 61 years old.

  • http://notyet.com holybout

    Hello guys,
    Oh my god, so many answered on this one ! Well I got to admit I share the biggest fear of a lot of you: Incompetence.
    I have been a financial controller for 8 years now and would like to start a business on my own. I would dream to be an excel trainer and consultant.
    I am now free of my job since I followed my wife to another region (in france) so all I got to do is take a leap. But still, I’m frightened to death about failure.
    Thanks for reading that

  • http://www.kzoomarketing.com Ben Davidson

    My biggest fear is failure, for sure. I am getting better at “just doing it” when I’ve found ways to mitigate risk, but it still freaks me out. How do you develop the habit of taking big risks for big wins?

  • http://crobjective.wordpress.com Chantelle

    Ever increasing debt, money basically. In order to advance in my career more education is required which equals more debt. I hope eventually it balances out by following my passion.

  • http://eddyazar.com Eddy Azar

    The biggest thing that started me toward my $80/hour copywriting business (and past), was discovering others who had already done it. Everyone tells you that it’s impossible to escape the work-till-retirement life, but when you find people who have and who teach you how, it changes everything.

  • Mark

    My biggest challenge was I had to work to support myself & even though I was proving my abilities, no one in authority believed enough in me because of my lack of experience & education in the field I wanted & so, having to totally support myself, I was forced into taking regular jobs to survive. I’ve really NEVER had choices to choose from. It’s always been do this or else. It took me years to realize the only choice I had was actually my attitue toward whatever was happening to me, so I made the best of it that I could.

  • Alicia

    1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    Money. I have a lot of people that depend on me financially. If I went to try to do what I’d love for a living and the money didn’t come in, I’d be unable to cope. :-/ It’s the one thing that stops me every time. My job, what I’ve done for the last 8 years is good, I like it and that’s a lot more than some people can say, it’s stable and steady and pays really well … The financial ledge seems so close. I don’t feel I can close my eyes and jump.

  • http://happinesshabits.wordpress.com/ Jen cady

    My own belief in my abilities.

  • Anon

    Debt. Specifically, feeling like I need to pay off all of my debt before I can make a living doing something that I love.

    Also, being afraid that no one needs what I want to do.

  • Andrej Rodionov

    List of fears why I’m not jumping head first into uncharted waters:

    1) Staying financially solvent while working on my project (which includes solely supporting my family)
    2) My tendency of clinging to such ideas that would require enormous R&D and human resources in order to develop them before you read somewhere that some corporation is in the final stages of development with a similar idea, and you’d be like: daymn!
    3) High expectations. I would probably give my right arm if I was now able to work in some lab doing amazing things with biotech and quantum-sized micro machines, but if I had to get another ed, how many more years I’d have to study just to get to that level.
    4) My optimism. I feel sometimes I have too much of it. Because I know I can do some “it”, and that I’ve done it before. It’s more about unrealistic expectations really, than the optimism. What I also mean, is that I might have a different vision of what’s involved in one job or another, but maybe it would end up to be something boring and stressful and pay a lousy wage.
    5) My ADHD. I even stopped telling two of my best buddies of some of the ideas I come up with, because it must be something wrong with the way they perceive me as a person, but might as well be the past experience in my own life. It is the pattern of setting my hopes bar really high (like it’s nothing!) only to eventually fall short, flat and hard later on. I mean I know It should’t bring me down, but the skepticism from their perspective really shows, and has been hard to swallow lately.
    And I understand it too – I mean – they knew me for many years and saw it all firsthand. All the crashes and the burns.
    Definitely, when I try to assess it from the realistic view – hell! if I was someone else, I would probably never ever ever trusted someone like me to produce anything as it was originally planned. And it erodes credibility a lot.

  • Tiffany

    My biggest block is a fear of commitment. Sounds ridiculous but if I’m doing things I’m luke-warm about, I’m free to leave it at any time because ‘it wasn’t really what I wanted to do anyway’ whereas if it’s something I genuinely love and something that lights me up, I have no excuse not to leave it. I’ve only recently realised this when I left my luke-warm job and went travelling alone for a while and I’ve realised what it’s costing me. So now I need to figure out how to make a living from my biggest passion, History, that doesn’t involve being a high school teacher!

  • http://www.knownoboundaries.org Ken Saveth

    The main reason or fear that is keeping me from doing what I love, what I am passionate about is the confidence that I have adequate business skills to be able to make a living at what I am passionate about. I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I would LOVE to do this & that I would be GREAT at doing this, but I am not sure HOW to go about properly & effectively monitizing it.

  • Jon Stielstra

    I’m questioning that I can find a starting point that will offer sufficient boot-strapping opportunity. I have thrived and added tons of value doing *data integration* work (and the often related business intelligence and reporting), but my experience is largely with a tool set limited to a specific application, not with a more widely-used high-powered tool set. My resumé and linkedin profile portray strengths not so directly supporting the path I aspire for. How to make the leap?

  • Kim

    Not knowing how to choose and concretely target and turn what I love, helping others, into something meaningful and impactful.

  • Sawan

    I come from India. I don’t know how much any of you are aware of the culture here. My society lays a lot of emphasis on education. We are told from a very young age that good education and only good education is the path to success (we are never told what success means. It is mostly taken to mean earning a respectable name in society). As such, parents put in all their savings to get their kids into the best of schools and colleges (the best of schools/colleges are defined as the ones that have the highest pass percentage and have the kids that secure upwards of 95% in high school). Once we are in, we are taught that we need to outsmart the guy sitting next to us. We are taught to compete rather than to cooperate and learn from each other. All the emphasis is on who earns the better grade. The lucky ones who do manage a good grade are supposed to end up being Doctors or Engineers. The not-so-lucky ones are deemed to take up the not-so-lucrative streams of Arts or Commerce. We are never allowed to pursue what we like to do even when we are young. Sure we can go out and play some sport or write a few lines but that’s only recreation. Come high school and all you are expected to do is study, study, study. As such, many of us end up not even figuring out what we like. We are not exposed to different experiences that allow us to gauge different avenues that are open to us. We are all in this mad rush of proving to be sincere children and then sincere adults in the eyes of the society. Very very few of us have the opportunity to explore outside of this tight spun web and feel liberated.

    My biggest challenge is this – being a part of the above explained madness, how do I liberate my mind and how do I gain the courage to do what I like? How do I stop caring to be a good engineer and what the society/family/peers make out of me and how do I start being all that I can be?

    • Ally

      I second your thoughts. But believe me, even engineers think why is this manager earning more than me? I should have done MBA…blah ..blah..blah. The burden of expectations from family and society is simply unbearable. Why can’t I just be me? Why do I have to just “fit in”?

  • Mal

    Failure, pursuing something and falling flat on my face.

  • Margaret

    (Wow, what a way to start a Monday. Zinger of a question!) I am not afraid of the work. I am also not afraid of the unknown or effing up. I have adopted a “leap before you think” approach through most of my life (guided largely by my heart and inner voice), so fear is not the issue. My biggest challenge presently is trying to figure out exactly what sort of work I do love. I can tell you what work I am good at, what work I have skills, credentials, experience, connections and access to. But I don’t think I want to do that anymore. Well, not all of it, but maybe there are parts of it I enjoy. But…a) I don’t know how to separate those parts and b) if they can be separated and c) how to FIND the work I love. I am working on answers the questions you have posted and hoping that will lead me somewhere. Right now, it just looks like a paper with a lot of words on it and not any sort of vision.

  • Mark

    I was going to college when I met my now wife some thirty two years ago. After working to support my family of seven, me and my wife and five children, I have all but forgotten what work I would love to do. I have wearied of the work trade I’ve been in for the last 35 years. At first, I loved what I was doing-but after years of just scraping by and business owners getting more and more for my work and not paying me more I find that my gross pay has been the same for the past 15 years. I am very good at what I do but the end result is disheartening. Looking for the work that can be done on my own and fulfilling also. Hope to get the drive to really find the “great work” that will help others and in turn help us.

  • Lisa

    Several fears: That I’ll end up broke and homeless if I leave the corporate world; that I’ll never be good enough; that I’m being unrealistic to want more out of life than a good job that I stopped enjoying years ago.

  • Elle

    My biggest fear is looking like an idiot. But more than anything. I do not know where or how to start.

    I have a great passion to help people with mental health issues. Such as anxiety, fears, depression. I have dealt with all of this professionally and personally. I am a Registered practical nurse. I have thought about having my own coaching business, such as a mental health coach(I would probably be the first). I know there are alot of people out there hurting and very confused. How do I even start and get momentum going??

    • Elle

      Found it, my momentum….just by letting go and let it happen. Getting out there, being vulnerable, (not caring if I look stupid, as usually that is just a mental neg thought). Found there are starts and stops, redirection, but definitely not boring.

  • BabyBoo

    Hey there!

    First of all, thank you very much for your work Scott. Your blog is truly helpful and inspiring!

    I’m currently in an “in-between situation”, meaning that I’m working on my passions but at the same time, a lot of things from my environment to my finances represent big blocks from me.

    I don’t have a very supportive nuclear family, except for my big bro who is my #1 fan. I still live at my mom’s but our relationship is difficult to say the least…
    I feel that if I had my own place, I could have the warm space I need to create and fully express myself as an artist. But then again, I decided to go on sabbatical to work on making my dreams come true…
    So, it seems that I can’t have that space I desperately need because I can’t afford it. Therefore, I’m kinda “forced” to stay where I am and try to rise above all the troubles and remain strong in spite of the fact that I can’t find understanding nor support.

    To sum it up, I’m afraid that if I get a job and my own place, it’s only gonna take longer for my dreams to manifest…and I can’t wait anymore. My purpose is what I breathe for…

    Should I just get a job even if I don’t like it and even if it means that I’m only gonna be working on my dreams (which include: singing, songwriting, composing, writing novels and short stories, drawing and painting)during evenings and week-ends? Or should I keep living where I live even if it’s not easy, until things start to work out for me?

    • Elle

      I believe living life will definitely help you with all your dreams. Life inspires you, not a cozy corner (so to speak). You can do all your desires if you keep feeling them, have them always at the back of your mind. Mostly, focus on one thing..singer/songwriter or painteror being a novelist. No wonder you are confused.

  • Mark Conger

    For me the answer really consists of two parts – not following my passion, and thinking nobody will really want to read my content since there are so many other sites that have so much content already.

    But, of late, I’ve made the decision to pursue my passion anyway (information technology which I have 25 years of experience with) and I’m targeting the person who has the same passion as mine but not the experience yet.

  • Angel de Silva

    The biggest fear is the fear of failure.

    Right now, though I’m unhappy with my job, my pay is sufficient to live a comfortable life for me and my family. I’m financially secure. Being the sole provider of the family, I feel responsible for my family members. If I fail to earn a sufficient income my family will also have to pay for my mistakes/ irresponsible decisions.

    The question that goes in my mind is, “What if I end up not getting a fixed amount of sufficient regular income?”

    • Mark Conger

      What if you get laid off? What if you get injured and can’t do the job you’re currently doing and they put you on medical leave?

      Time is not on our side. We must wake up from the slumber of false security.

  • Alixandrea

    The knowledge that SO MANY PEOPLE (many who – and I don’t think I’m big-headed saying this – are less good at what they do than I am) have tried, got much further than me, and then failed. The knowledge that there is so much competition to do what I want to do, that the way I want to do it is not ‘fashionable’, that it’s extremely rare for people to be able to make a living from it. Even one of my idols in my subject can’t make a living from it and does what I do (a dull office job) to make ends meet.

    Also, the fear that I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet. I have debts that I’m paying off and other (non-work-related) goals that I need money to achieve. I can’t afford to make the leap. I currently do the work I love as a hobby and it definitely costs more than it earns me.

  • Justa Wannabe

    I’m over 50 years old, so it’s not like I can start my life over.
    I didn’t want a boring office job all my life, but I never knew what I wanted instead. Even if I knew, at this point in my life, I wouldn’t know how to make the transition. I have lots of bills, so I can’t take a pay cut.
    When you’re young and without obligations, it’s easier to chase a dream and wait for the rewards to come. When you’re like me, it’s impossible. That’s why middle-age is when dreams start to die.
    When I was young, just starting adult life, no one ever told us that we should find work we loved, it was only important that you worked.

  • Greg

    I think for myself, at 53 years of age, the biggest fear I have is that of letting go of the familiar. I’ve been self employed designing and building things like homes, boats, furniture, etc. for 25 years or more. I love designing, but realistically it has been the building component that pays the bills. (and often consumes the most time) I think I’d like to design full time, but I never seem to create the space to only do that. (as I invariably get excited about building the designs I create and build them)

    So the familiar is to accept the invitation to build the design. The unfamiliar is to say no to the invitation from the client and invite myself to create another design. That also looks like a lot more work. IE generating projects every few weeks vs (in some instances) every few years.

  • Ally

    I was Mr. Genius during my school and college days.I found after graduating that the outside world works on different value sets.Discovering a true Passion seems to be running from one mirage to another. Now I am thoroughly tired, and a bit ashamed of myself too. I start something on high note and soon the energy level goes down. In a way I love Cosmology, but my maths is nowhere near the minimum expected level. I am not committing to this field because I do not want to discover one day that I was never interested in it. That would be a disaster for me. There are not much monetary rewards either. I hate myself for falling in love with this field. I could have chosen anything that pays handsomely like stock market/mass media/medical. I have almost given up on myself. C if you can help. :(

    • Elle

      I know the feeling only too well. To keep going believe inyourself. Believe and know you deserve the best life has to offer. You are soecial, and have special talents. If you are sad that you “love a difficult passion”, then maybe it is not the right one. Youu are probably close, but not quite there. Be inquisitive and open to anything. I find when I close my self to all possibilities, then I get stuck. If you love Cosmology, there is probably something to do with that but in a different way then what you see at present.

  • http://Lifeskillstoday.biz steve

    I’m torn. I work for a large school district and have been fortunate enough to be promoted to a great position. I do my own schedule, a lot of work from home, plus I get to work one on one with students from all over the county. I love it. The problem is…I always had a belief I was to start my own business.
    I have my blog and it is growing fast! I still do talks a lot of places but, it’s not full time.So I’m torn about taking the plunge and losing a great job but possibally living my dream.
    Wait a minute! haven’t you always said Live the Adventure. LOL Nevermind I guess I know what I need to do.
    So my answer would of been: the only thing in the way is me. I guess I’ll move out of the way.

  • Ernest

    Biggest problem for me is that I am good and successful at the unexciting work I am doing now. Secondly, TOO many amazing options out there – cant quite zero in on the one I feel MOST excited about…so, firstly hard to kill what I have success in, and secondly hard to know what I am excited enough about will keep me fighting after the “honeymoon” ends with inevitable kick in the teeth as with every new venture. Not scared of the kick, but scared of not wanting to get back up…

  • http://mcswainfowler.com McSwain Fowler

    First and foremost, I would love to write a blog like yours to teach train and motivate. I don’t think I have the writing skills that you and many others have so I have never attempted to even start my blog.
    Also, I would love to design and develop websites. It is probably the only thing I love so much, I would do it for free (I already do it just for myself – like a hobby). What keeps me from going for it is that I fear I would not be the very “best” at it. I rarely set out upon an endeavor unless I am sure I could be the best or among the very best.
    I have committed to a 3 stage plan; first, I am going to take online classes for Joomla website development. Within 3 months, I am going to start my business and offer to design and develop 5 basic websites for free just to get a portfolio. Third, I plan to be doing this at least part time in the next 6 months and full time in one year.

    Thank you so much for your blog. It has been more of an inspiration that you can possibly imagine!!

  • John

    Can’t decide what I would really love to do for work.

  • David

    The biggest challenge is identifying what I could wake up every morning sprinting out the door to do.

  • http://www.qigongoasis.com Suzie

    The fear was to die before sharing my passion with the community I live in – it’s about people and their health – actually, the getting out of the victim mentally, there’s no more excuses – I am doing it!!! Thank you for your inspiration Scott.


  • Sehnaz

    First of all I am afraid of the future. I have a job and I can afford my sales but if I have another job that I love, maybe ı could dnot afford my sales and other needs of me and my family. The other thing I do not know my favorite job and so I do not know on which way I should go.

  • Alexandra

    I think my biggest challenge keeping me from the work that I love is doubt. How can I be 100% sure that I’ll EVER find the work that I love? And what is the guarantee that I’ll TRULY love it? I don’t want to keep guessing anymore. I want to know for sure that I’ll be happy in my job/work for the rest of my life. No one deserves to be completely miserable when a large majority of their life is spent at work!

    Looking forward to getting started, and motivated to find out!

  • Kate

    The biggest challenge is having no idea what I want to be doing. That was why I signed up for your ecourse. I have become numb from years and years of doing what I hate, just because it earns enough money to support my financial obligations. I cannot even decide what I want to eat for dinner, let alone what I want to do with my life. I suspect, once I figure out what my passion is, my fear will be whether or not I will be able to support my financial obligations while pursuing it. However, I have come to the point where I’d rather be dead than doing what I am doing, so I need to make a huge change…soon. I cannot afford to let any challenges or fears stop me.

  • http://www.yattir.wordpress.com Tetu

    It is the fear of success. It is the question of, “What if all of this DOES work out?” Will it rob me of my freedom, my friends, my peace of mind? Will my enterprise get bigger than what I can handle?

  • Pingback: Is your greatest fear not knowing what to expect? | Theta Healing Evolutions

  • Ted

    It is daily execution, keeping the vision solid enough that it doesn’t get swamped in the noise.

  • Maria Jackson

    Biggest fear or challenge – well, at the moment, I don’t need to leave my job as my contract finishes in around half a year and I like the people I work with. I work for a charity and I quite enjoy it, though I want to work for myself. I could start now and that’s what I’d like to do – that’s why I’ve purchased the course (just finished my first read-through) and I guess… what’s making me fearful is the fear of doing it wrong. The fear of putting myself out there on a blog (which I already have) and people thinking it’s boring or something and… this is it: MAKING A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION and therefore ruining a chance at a second one. I haven’t read anything about this yet. What if (as I am) I network with a certain group of people – a niche market – and I fall flat on my face, and then when I pick myself back up with a second idea, they think, “Oh hey, there’s the girl that did that crappy [whatever]” and don’t take notice. Having just said that, the story of the 72 banks comes into my mind so I guess I don’t have any excuses. That’s one of the main fears. Another is that I don’t feel qualified. Again, in your course. Another is that I’m worried I’ll choose the wrong angle and end up not appealing to the widest bunch of people that I could. But then, money’s not my motivator so I guess that answers that question. I don’t want to be rich, I mean – I don’t want to follow my passion to be rich, but I’d like to live off it. For SURE. I’m just a worrier. But I can’t ignore my desire to make my own path. The only poster I had on my walls for years was: “Nothing in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” It was just because I liked the red rose behind the words. I only realised the true meaning of the word ‘passion’ once I found some of my own. Now that phrase means even more.

  • Terra

    I up and walked out of my job less than a week ago. It was deadend to begin with. I have never been without work and I’m petrified for survival. Over a year ago, I left my ex, and I’ve been couch hopping and staying numerous places. I’m currently staying with a family member but the feeling of being a burden to everyone is really getting to me. I consider myself young, only being 28 although I’m absolutely petrified of my life going nowhere. The job I left wasn’t much and literally I’m not missing out on much by leaving, although it was ensuring that I was able to give the family member the least they’ve been expecting. My being a burden is making me feel utterly selfish and now that I’m unemployed, I’m stressing about where the funds will come from to provide this roof over my head.
    As I said, its not even been a week yet. I left due to feeling disrespected and unvalued. I know I deserve so much more. At heart I am an entrepreneur and when I left, I felt it would give me the boot in the rear to get my act together. I’m in total fear of falling into a rut. I’ve been down before and afraid if I fall again, I won’t be able to get back up.
    Before I quit, I was hoping to get a place of my own to finally be able to have something to call my own, now that just seems so much further away. Deep down, though, I feel if I rejoin the corporate world again, I’ll be doomed for that life forever, and that I know I don’t want.
    I’d love to open a restaurant of some sort, although I’ve only begun to start aiding in the kitchen at home just recently, and that’s my boyfriend’s home. My confidence is lacking. I have so many dreams and ideas, I just don’t ever seem to have to discipline to continue working with them. Its been a depressive few years, actually ever since I left the nest at 18. The one thing I can say is that I feel I’ve put my neck out there but its doomed me to depending on so many people and I feel I’ve sacrificed all my independence.
    This could just be the emotional roller coaster of leaving my job, but its been a long time coming.
    My biggest fear is failure. I’ve already lost so much in my life. Financially, I’m entirely unstable. When I left my job, though, I knew in my heart it was what I had to do.
    Throughout my life, I’ve had 3 major goals: write a novel, own my own business and travel. I just can’t seem to sit down long enough to make a plan for any of it. I’m overthinkative and overly emotional at times. I talk myself out of many things.
    I’m not married, no children, and technically, shy of a student loan, my bills include light room and board. Technically I have nothing to lose. Why am I so scared to dip my toes into anything?
    I’m entirely lost right now.

    • sherri

      Hi, not sure if you will even see this, just saying, that for most people, these fears holding them back could be solved with something called “EFT”. Google it…it’s crazily effective- it’s my go-to source for almost any problem these days. I should take my own advice and go do some more EFT right now..!I’ve been putting it off, but it’s ridiculously easy, and it’s free!

  • Lessie

    Being in debt shows up on credit checks and limits resources I need to get to jobs and get hired. There is judgement on being petite and brown too. Help is needed.

  • Diane

    I’m worried that I will not be able to make enough money to afford my rent, student loans, and comfortable lifestyle.

  • http://dreamalittledreamof.me Deanna

    My biggest challenge is surrounding myself with passionate people. I am new to the Los Angeles area and find that it is tough to connect with people. After several transient friendships, where the friend disappeared from the friendship for reasons they don’t share, I have trouble finding the energy to put myself out there. I’m hoping that your suggestions will help me build a network in the area. I’ve got a great network throughout the world, but not so many that are nearby.

  • Ellen

    Finding some specific work to do that is in line with my values and what I’m passionate about, and which also plays on my strengths.

  • Danielle

    The demands of my job don’t always feel as though they’re worth the reward. On one hand, my clients are what make my profession special to me – working with them momentarily pushes the cost of effort out of mind. That said, my employer insists I work within a stringent framework; I must meet their expectations without the promise of personal recognition. With the clients only taking up a fraction of my workday, it’s difficult for me to justify (in my heart) all the other stuff, namely the hours of research, paperwork and overtime. Even if I could find the courage to up and leave my job, I’m not sure how I’d cope with the instability of limbo. I’m afraid of letting other people down… I can’t see how they’d continue supporting me if I went against the grain. I don’t want to be a stress to others. Being friendless and financially vulnerable? Definitely terrifying.

  • http://giddyfreckles.co.uk Rebecca

    Ditto Diane. I also worry about money. If I quit my pretty secure job with its guaranteed monthly salary, how will I afford to support my family?

  • Amy

    My biggest challenge is that I can’t find something I am PASSIONATE about. I love lots of things, have great interests, but nothing I’m absolutely PASSIONATE about.

  • Dinnah

    What’s the Biggest Challenge or Fear Keeping
    You From Doing Work You Love?

    Not enough money to sustain basic needs (rent, utilities and groceries).

  • Randall

    I am the sole supporter or two kids and that can make you risk adverse. I have a steady job I don’t hate where I make good money that i save up and use to build a nest egg of real estate. It’s hard to jump to an unknown passion when you can see the light at the end of the very long tunnel you are in. I have a plan to financial freedom if I stay the course, but it’s a long course. I am held back from trading in the solid course i have for a gamble of some work that has my passion.

  • Andy

    What’s the Biggest Challenge or Fear Keeping
    You From Doing Work You Love?

    I had a fairly successful biz for 8 years and sold it. But for the last ten years I have failed in several different types of businesses.
    1) Fear of another failed biz.
    2) I don’t like asking for help for fear of
    looking stupid.

  • http://www.chironarts.com Nina Gomes

    not making enough to pay for services due: rent, utilites, et al

  • jude

    Money and self confidence

  • Marvin

    What is my biggest challenge? The fear of the unknown and lack of security I now have. I’ve been in public education for 15 years, have great benefits and time off. I know I could be making much more in private practice, have a greater impact and experience more vocational freedom, but I’m afraid to make that jump since I’m the primary breadwinner for my family of 4. I’m trying to get a practice going with 6-9 client hours a week on the side but to no avail.

  • Ragu

    Fear of not know how to execute even though you have it up there in you
    Fear of Unknown

  • Ragu

    Fear of not knowing how to execute even though you have it up there in you
    Fear of Unknown

  • Jill

    Recent soul searching has uncovered how much a fear of failure impacts the choices I make in life. Even though I am now aware of the issue and how much its holding me back in life, it is not an easy problem for me overcome. Ditto with perfectionism.

  • J


  • Emily

    I’m not sure what I want to do yet. I enjoy many different subjects/activities, and at different points in my life I have thought that I have finally made a decision. Yet, as of a week or so ago, I feel as if I’m back at square one again. I am worried that if I take a risk and just stop and think about what I would want to do for awhile, I might just never do anything. Also, I am in college and my parents are convinced that school and classes are the way to find one’s path. I am not sure that taking classes is the most efficient or effective way of finding my passion, but I have to recognize their opinions.

  • http://www.postcollegesuccess.com Dan Holterhaus

    Hey Scott,

    Fear of what others think is big for me. I don’t always take rejection well and want to be liked. Overcoming this fear will be huge for my success.

  • Nicki

    One of my biggest problems is identifying what my passion is – like several previous posters I have a whole bunch of things I like doing but I can’t see how to make any of them pay bills, let alone figure out if I’m more passionate about one of them than the others.

    I do martial arts, and I love learning – but don’t like teaching, and my favourite martial art (Shorinji Kempo) is run entirely as a not-for-profit. I’m a Brownie leader (and I enjoy inspiring the children to be the best they can be) – but Girlguiding is a volunteer-run charity, no opportunity for money-making there! I like learning, especially languages, but again, not so much with the teaching.

    The second problem is psychological – I don’t want people to think I’ve wasted my degree and five years of professional training to become an Actuary (nearly – I’m not quite qualified). And I do enjoy my job, I just wish it took up less time!

    I’ve considered working part-time at the 9-5 job so I have more time to devote to the voluntary stuff, but it feels like it should be a stepping stone and would actually turn out to be a permanent state of being.

  • JAK

    What’s the Biggest Challenge or Fear Keeping
    You From Doing Work You Love?

    Like most of us it would have to been money, although I have no debt (besides mortgage) and some savings, is it enough to move on. I guess a sense on failure would be mixed in, which I need to get past. I feel im working for the man 12 hours a day, with only really 3 to myself. Im often stressed, and do find that solitude calms me down. I need to find my true interests and values which im working on. I dont really have much of a education to fall back on, traveled early on and never went back to school. Knowing that I will get there at some point is driving me, dont care to be rich but comfortable and happy is key!

  • Ponderosa

    The fear of failure, judgmental comments (why would anyone do that/waste time on such things? etc.), and not knowing where to start with minimal funds.

  • http://cleanshag.com Tom

    I believe I agree with some sentiments above. For me the biggest “sticking point” would be the follow through. I have too many amazing ideas which I inspire others to say, yeah! That is a great idea and either THEY go off and do it or I simply putt putt through it till I get bored and hop to the “next idea”.

    I also am aware it stems back to my childhood behaviors, have traced the root of the trauma that caused my “Anxiety” to complete the work: Fear of retribution for getting it “wrong”!

    Therefore my work/idea MUST be perfect or it is not worthy.

    Now, I put this out there and opened up my prognosis. Others may simply say just keep going, no matter if its “right or wrong”, just do it! I don’t like excuses, I won’t put up barriers. I work best with teams of people, the proper resources and need/require momentum- movement forward to keep me enthusiastic about the idea over the long run to completion!

    Hey, at least I KNOW my own behavior pattern and much like one of your responders above, I’ve looked back at 16 years of my work and found that it’s what I am good at but NOT my passion. Now THAT is motivating enough to wake up and really be aware what makes me really unstoppable. Stay tuned, you will be seeing a revolutionary service tied to the travel business… :)

  • http://www.honeybeeholistic.info Melissa Danielle

    I’m doing what I love, I just can’t seem to get paid for it. Something in my messaging appears to be telling people that I have a “real job” and my coaching and consulting practice is my hobby, specifically the consulting.

    From individuals to organizations, there’s an expectation that my services are free.

  • Renee

    Fear of not having enough money to pay bills while I get the business off the ground. Would also help to know exactly what I wanted to do, lol.

  • Kasey

    I am and have always been my own worst enemy. I’ve only just learned how to say “I’m a writer” as opposed to “I like to write”. Even that step, to begin taking my own goals and dreams seriously as more than just a hobby, was very difficult. So few people make a living writing that I think the sheer magnitude of it overwhelms me, even though I feel like I have the skill and I know I have the desire.
    The other major obstacle is that I live in a very isolated, small town. This tiny fact creates three problems: 1) I have a hard time finding people interested in shopping around or publishing my work. 2) It’s difficult to delve into new or exciting experiences when most avenues of exploration are pretty far away. 3) The biggest problem, quite possibly, is that I can’t find a potential mentor in the area whose success I can use for inspiration and motivation.
    That said, I love what you’re doing here and the message has done more to inspire me than anything has in a long time. Thank you!

  • Gunhild

    Mostly, I just agree with Renee above ;-).
    I just more or less decided to drop the master I’m taking to take another one, that I am more passionate about. I hope to build up an income on the side, starting a business of passion, but here’s what’s been holding me back:
    1) Ending up not having enough time for my two-year-old son and
    2) That pursuing my passion will put off my contributing to the family income and downpayment on the house we dream of buying.
    I will overcome those fears, though :-).


  • Matt

    For me the biggest fear about doing the work I love is losing the financial security I have at my current job. The biggest challenge is not knowing where to start. I have identified a small list of things in life that truly get me excited everyday, but coming up with a plan to turn those passions into an actionable living comes with a number of questions and of course the requirement to take some big chances.

  • Vickram

    Waiting for the best option. Of late, very recently, I realized that I would have been better off in so many ideas that sprang up and also the best option (when it comes).

    Then, I have realized that best option is the one that is going through my mind at this instant. :-).
    Your website really gave a good first push to my baby steps towards my goals.

  • Caroline

    My biggest challenge is having enough energy to spend time doing what I love. Though my day job is in my field, it is very demanding — it involves working long hours and lots of stress. And I’m already chronically sleep deprived so it’s been tough getting up early to work on my own project before the day gets away from me. I wish I could get up earlier and work longer on my own passion project but I don’t have enough energy.

  • http://www.cancerrunners.org Dan

    Pretty simple answer, making enough money to support myself and my family. I have a great position as an IT Project Manager, but I would love to be an entrepreneur/business partner. My passion is building something from an idea, I have a charity already. How do you get people to trust you to take you on as a partner or to come onto your team for no guaranteed paycheck?!?!

    P.S. Great site & great job here & at i2P!

  • http://www.simplemindfulness.com Paige Burkes | simple mindfulness

    My biggest issue was how to start. Before I found your blog, I bought another program that laid everything out, step by step. That was what finally got me moving. I didn’t know the first thing about blogging or creating online products before I started. I’ve learned a ton over the past year but that program gave me the confidence and the exact resources to use to get started.

    Today my biggest issue is finding/making the time. I still have a full time job and 3 little kids to take care of. Every day I’m learning more but sometimes I think that I spend too much time getting ready to get ready. My blog has been up for the past year and I’m working on my first product now. Maybe it’s just my impatience but I want it to all happen faster.

  • Anonymous

    In response to the first question, I fear that I will not feel legitimate. Actually, I fear that others will not view my path as legitimate. I am young enough that I can do anything I want. At the same time, I am at the point where every move I make is judged in comparison to others. It is difficult to overcome the self-conscious feeling that I will constantly have to defend myself and my life choices.

  • Steve Dunn

    I think the biggest challenge (and fear) for me comes from fear of reprisal. I work in a manufacturing environment in a position most comparable to a foreman, managing a team of a dozen or so people who are actually doing the real work. I really want to create an environment where all the members of my team can apply their unique skill sets, but my workplace just isn’t set up in a way that allows their potential to be tapped. How can one change a work environment from the bottom up without risking losing my job. I love the potential I feel it has, I just feel too boxed in at times by the “way we do things.”

  • Galina Angelova

    What I want is to find a way assisting people get from where they are to where they want to be.

    1. Am I good enough?
    2. I don’t have enough education.
    3. I’m affraid to stand in front of public (even though i’ve done it before and it didn’t bite)
    4. Can I find people interested?
    5. I don’t have enough connections…
    6. How do I start?
    7. Who can help me?
    8. Am I organized enough to put my thoughts and ideas nicely together?
    and many many more….

    I need support from people who are already where I want to be.
    Where do I start??

  • amanda

    It’s all about money for me. I net roughly what I do now and I just can’t see how to do that owning my own business…. yet.

  • Nemy

    The biggest challenge: Putting together a local team to make big projects happen within 2 months.

  • Bastian

    Just choosing/picking one thing. I got my company supplying me with a decent income. All I’d have to do was find out what my passion really is and do it.

  • http://www.scottishgenealogist.co.uk Jo Graham

    I love being self-employed in a job I love (genealogy research) but I desperately needed the financial “safety net” of a part-time job in the early years, just in case my idea didn’t fly. When my business reached the stage where I couldn’t afford the time to go to my part-time job, I resigned. It was terrifying and exciting!

  • Monica

    Every stone and rock in my life
    Has been a painful experience, but an outcome of strife.

  • Tomi

    Fear of not having enough money to succeed through all my dreams. But I am learning through this website and other resources that no amount of money will make me happy, so I am just beginning to relaise the potential that the fear is just a way of discovering myself more and a way to release all my resistences so I will be more abundant.

  • Gavin

    My greatest challenges:
    1. Lack of clarity – I have been on a career search for some time now without making much progress. Your website has helped me to recognize the necessity of nurturing my passions, strengths, and values.
    2. Lack of experience – I need to apply my passions and strengths to projects and volunteer work. I have not taken that step yet.
    3. Lack of confidence – I often feel that my work is not good enough. I think a fear of failure holds me back.

    I really enjoyed your article on learning something new everyday. I have felt “stuck” for quite a while now. The article provided some great resources for moving forward.

    Thanks for all the great articles!

  • Leanne

    for me, the main thing that is holding me back would be knowing my parents disapproval in choosing to do something that is not academic or secure. i have a great love for many things such as performing, designing, and baking,but in their eyes its simply not good enough and they would prefere it if i became a doctor. I have already told them that I wanted to become a Medical Illustrator since its a way to combine science and the arts, however whenever I think about it I’m just not excited, and I’m afraid that I will become as unhappy as other people in my family in choosing something that is not completely right for me, and when i would rather go to school for Musical theatre or Fashion Business.

  • Z.M.

    Responding to 1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    That I won’t succeed, and that I’ll waste money and time trying to do it. (Too, that I’ll find out I fail at what I think I could really be good at, and have that soul-crushing feeling. Though I realize if I don’t try to pursue the work I love then it’s a variation of the soul-crushing…)

  • Kristine Adamsone

    My biggest challenge is to find finances for fullfilling my dream and I love to do so many things so its a bit chalanging to find what exactly is the right job for me from all those other passions.And one I know my real passion I just need money to fulfill my dream!!! I am not afraid of doing something wrong cause all those steps I make even if they are wrong brings me closer to my dream:))

  • Amy

    For me, it’s loosing my medical/health benefits.
    Working in a high-stress corporate job in just 5 years has cost me a lot of irreversible health damage that I need to take medications for, and have the coverage.
    My only solution I can think of, so far, is to switch positions in the company to less hours…yet still be covered, and the rest of my hours pursuing my passion. Then, loosing income becomes the issue should things not work out. I won’t give up trying! But, I feel so trapped.

  • http://cathlenebell.blogspot.com Cathlene Bell

    The thing I recognize as currently hindering my from living out my dreams is the circumstances I am presently in. I am 23 years old, fresh out of college with a double degree in Communications and Global Peace & Justice Studies. I would love to pursue Media Literacy, with an emphasis on creativity in service to humanity as a response to negative media messaging. However, my mom just passed away, leaving me responsible for my special needs older brother, as our father passed away 20 years ago, and she never remarried. Caring for my brother is a huge responsibility, and one that requires numerous major decisions.

    I am happily married to a wonderful man, but unfortunately my husband’s responsibilities in his home country of Switzerland and my current responsibilities in the US are keeping us apart, and it’s tough to get through each day without him being by my side. I was just starting to live in Europe in the months before my mom’s rapid deterioration of health, which is hard enough, considering the process of finding my own way there.

    Forgive me if you feel I’m sharing too much personal information; part of my own healing from this major and painful change in my life is being able to articulate my challenges. It is very hard to balance giving my brother the care he needs and providing for my own soul’s self-care. I crave to do something, anything creative, but my spirit is still so shocked by all this new responsibility, that it’s hard to pull that creativity out of me, even though I think it might be incredibly good for me.

    Anyway, all this to say, I’m in a bleak time, though I keep as hopeful as I can. And in searching for a way that I can do the work I love, that is a real challenge.

  • Claire Kelly

    Either I don’t know what my passion is or I can’t choose from the couple of things I think are my passions. I think I’m afraid to commit time, energy and love to something that will ultimately disappoint me and that I won’t be able to make a good living doing. What I can say is now that I’m 50, I’m tired of not knowing what to do when I grow up. I am open to finding out what it is and working on making it materialize.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • anna


  • http://www.nohelphere.com Sarah Goshman

    My biggest problem is finding focus. I love so many different things, and sometimes I love doing something today and then don’t love it tomorrow because I’m on to something new that excites me. I’m trying to find the underlying threads and keep enough variety in my projects that I don’t get bored without being completely unfocused and not getting anything done. It’s a hard line to walk!

  • Cathy

    Due to the economic downturn, I (and hundreds of others) was let go from my job in an international investment bank in 2009. I took advantage of the situation to get a degree in Digital Media Arts (something that I have loved to do – and not boring). I have an A.A.S. and graduated Magna Cum Laude. The problem I am having is that I have no real work experience. No one seems to want to hire anyone without “…3-5 years experience working for _____ (fill in with extremely specific client/company type)in a professional capacity…”
    The other obstacle I discovered while in my last semester of obtaining my Associates was that many of the positions that had once only required that degree, now require a Bachelors. I decided to directly attend a 4 year college to obtain the 38 credits needed to get a BFA.
    The final obstacle I have encountered is that I ran out of money to live on. So, following the advice of many, I went to HRA (public assistance) to at least help me keep my rent paid, while I finish the semester, look for part-time work, or at the very least, try to get a work-study position on campus. HRA requires all recipients to participate in a M-F, 9-5 job-search. Participants can attend training programs, but obtaining a Bachelors is not an eligible activity. No matter how many credits, or what your GPA is (I walked away from the Spring 2011 semester to comply with the work requirements having a 3.92 GPA).
    HRA does have a listing of “eligible training providers” so I figured I would take a web design/coding course so I can hone up on my coding skills, and hopefully get a job faster.
    BUT I was just told that only people without a HS diploma or non-degree holders are the ones who are eligible for these trainings (I will try & see what happens).
    So now what?
    I am applying for receptionist/ad-min positions like the one I previously held at the bank. I really don’t want to do these kinds of work anymore, but I need to work, so I will take it if it is offered to me. Hopefully the schedule won’t be so tight – I will probably transfer to a cheaper (and much further away) college and attend at night & weekends so I can get the coveted degree, but I will still need some professional/internship experience.
    The biggest obstacle is the need to financially exist while getting the degree that will enable me to earn much, much more- financially & mentally.

    • julene

      Cathy my situation is very similar to yours having studied design for digital media also. My issue was that I excelled more so on the research, development and theory side of the work rather than the technical skills required to produce that winning portfolio to get you in. My current aim is to save money to buy my own machine and software then head to “lynda.com” and simply work my way through the tutorials in my free time. After that some freelance work on “elance” or something similar may help us to get some experience.
      All the best

  • http://www.writerviews.com Michael Alexis

    Top of my mind says “the fear of pursuing something for weeks or months then finding out I don’t really like it all that much”.

    Middle of my mind says “the fear of stagnating and never progressing from where I am”.

    And the deepest part of it says… “the fear that I’ll never have the impact I need to in the world, and never be able to help enough people”.


  • elly

    I was a talented student and I wanted to become a doctor. an accident occured for my mom I had to stay with her and studied accounting instead which I didnt like. now its 10 years I am working and I am 29 years old,I like invention,research and get PHD in my second major IT.Engineering and Have my own company but my current job ,economy matters of society made me put most of my time for my current job and lose chances to get what i really enjoy!on hand losing job is not good other hand if i do what i love i would really feel good.Dont know what to do at first!lots of energy and power and ideas and less time and chances to make them real!Many told me in todays economy accounting is best u studid .like logicaly i did best but i dont like it myself although i could do it well. now I have BA of accounting and studying to finish 2nd BA.IT.engineering and working in a big company about 10 years which kept us with a temproray contract and pay me salary that is not so much other hand out i may find other good jobs with higher salary but no assurance would be that their activity doesnt fail because of economy problems.all these are my ????! to choose best i can do to live my legend!

  • Jim

    OK, I’ll jump in and put some of my fears out here regarding doing work I love…

    I’m aching to get back into working in a creative field. I really keep leaning toward something related to animation, although I can see myself creating static art (illustration, graphic design, web design). I keep reading its best to focus or visualize on the most specific outcome you want in order to know if you’re getting closer to that target. Deciding on that clear target while foregoing all others is my first main difficulty. I wish I knew with clarity what that was, and that efforts spent to get there would pay off (e.g. animation may take longer to learn and execute and may not have as many open positions or opportunities for). Or maybe that’s an unrealistic view and I have to find a way to just decide on a course and be “OK” with the feeling of risk that it may not pay off….?

    So there’s that, fear of taking the “wrong” course of action.
    Fear of rejection.
    Fear of getting into what I think at first is a great job, but it being either the wrong place or depression setting in (its happened before).
    Fear of getting that dream job but not being good enough or not performing well (due to factors like stress, social anxiety, distraction, poor time management, etc.)

    I must say I wrote this first, and now before hitting Submit, I’ve glanced at a few other’s comments and see a lot of the same feelings out there. I can relate with many and really feel for those I see in tougher circumstances than I. Stay strong all, I hope we can get some answers and insights to action here.

  • julene

    The replies seem to be a resounding “Which direction do I go in?” or “Will I make the right decision?” This I can empathise with fully, with a lack of confidence in my own decision making abilities being something I’d like to work on.
    Other things I’m struggling with are conflicting ideals like work experience vs values or conflicting ideas about where I want to be. To top it off I can’t stop thinking about how to do something that will really make a difference to others’ lives….which brings me back to my, and many peoples’, first point….”which direction to go in?” I must say it’s nice to hear I’m not alone in this quest but here’s hoping we’ll find the answer soon.

  • J. P.

    Not being sure if that’s what i really want to do for the rest of my days, or at least for a long period of time. Not knowing if that’s going to please me strong enough and long enough to keep doing it no matter the adversitys, and just for the pleasure of doing it.

    Do not know where to start.

    Not to know if that is a good mony-making chance.

    Fear of the reproaches that will come if it doesn’t work (from my familiy)

    – Sorry about my grammar everyone. English isn’t my mother tongue -

  • http://www.thehomeschoolclub.org Laura

    It’s not so much a challenge than it is a huge obstacle. I put in months of work into a new project only to stack off as soon as I see signs of success: each and every time!

  • Catherine McKinney

    As I read the comments I find I am not alone. We all share the concern of being seen as frauds, no matter how much talent or expertise we bring with us to the job. And this basic fear prevents us from chasing the dream of combining passion and compensation.
    The question often is, what makes me think I can have the dream job when so many around me are not achieving their dream? Who am I?
    We all fear failure, embarrassment, being seen as selfish and irresponsible. And we fear our dreams do not have a place in the marketplace. We fear we may not be able to support ourselves, let alone our dreams. How do we finance the beginning?
    And if we fail at the dream, what happens next?
    If we succeed, was success a weird moment, do I have more creativity to tap into, another idea, consistent offerings? Can I have another dream?
    I am grateful to all of the people who took the time to comment and share. I am glad I am not alone as I take a giant leap forward.

  • http://www.herviewphotography.com Darlene

    I relate to what your issue is Scott and the example you gave from Mike. So I agree we do all have some of the same problems and challenges, this is a great idea. I’m really glad I’ve stumbled across your blog.

    My biggest challenge is money and time. I never seem to have enough of either to get to my legend type projects. I work a part-time job, and my husband has now started working full-time (he was also self employed so sometimes we had enough to pay bills sometimes we didn’t). I’ve been an entrepreneur in some form since 1991, both full-time and part-time. I totally understand fluctuating income and uncertainty and for the most part I’m okay with that because it also comes with more freedom than a regular job does, so for me it’s a trade off. But I’d really like to get more passive income (have almost nil right now) happening and be able to travel and “work” from anywhere I want.

    **Side note: right now it’s -30c (-22f) and I’d really like to be somewhere else, like say Costa Rica, for winter!**

    I’m working through the goal sheets on your site and that’s helping, I really like the Warren Buffet thing of focus on 5 goals only, forget the rest. I think it would be helpful to hear from people who’ve had the same struggle and how they over came it.

  • http://www.creativityforlife.com Deborah

    My biggest obstacle was fear, but then within six months I became jobless, lost my home to foreclosure, had to declare bankruptcy and really downsize my life. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I had hit rock bottom and there was no place to go but up! It was freeing. Now, my biggest issue is concentrating my efforts to become more effective.

  • http://asimplygoodlife.com Vanessa Williams

    Insurance. With a pre-existing condition (not a big deal one either) I am unable to get insurance. Even with the new healthcare plan, I must be without health insurance for 6 months before I become eligible for state run insurance. Frankly this is an annoying stumbling block as I’ve overcome so much of my other fears – failure, money etc.

    I think a friend from England put it best when she said “So when you lose your job in the states, you lose your right to live?”

    It may be harsh to put it in such black and white terms, but it’s true.

  • Van

    Mu biggest thing was fear I lost my job

  • mike

    I just graduated last summer with a degree in business which I chose because I was unsure of what I wanted. As I looked for jobs people would normally get with this degree in the corporate world, I realized I’m not cut out for that life. This is probably why I haven’t been as committed to the job search.

    My dream job is either television/novel writing or music but I fear that I won’t make the right choice. I also fear that I may not have the social skills to succeed in an industry built on networking.

    There’s this show that has helped me get past the fear though called Bakuman. It’s about these guys that take the risk to become manga artists but it can be applied to anything you want to do. It deals with most of the fears I’ve read on this site. Here’s a quote from the show.

    “I don’t mind the regret if I fail in an attempt to achieve my dreams. What I don’t want to regret is not chasing after those dreams.”

    The story is really strong and inspiring. Don’t let the fact that its an animation fool you. You’ll want to hit the ground running after each episode. I advise anyone dealing with fear to at least checkout the first episode.


  • Ella

    My biggest challenge is being in a field where a lot of educational credentials are required. My main interest is in forensic linguistics, which is my major at Uni (college). I have plenty of time to build expertise in the area, however I feel like I can’t profit from my skills until I graduate. As a result, I feel myself constantly looking into the future rather than being able to focus on and act in the present.

  • Heidi

    Lack of faith in my abilities/skills/talents

  • Romana

    Hi Scott, my biggest challenge, that is keeping me from following my life purpose (which happens to be the plain and simple ‘world-changing’, quite common in these revolutionary times) is, that I’m struggling to see, what is the point of such a pursuit.
    Seriously, how does a happy person explain to a person, who’s been very disappointed with the whole humanity, that there is a point to all this struggle, other than making it more bearable.
    From what I’ve learned so far, it seems, that happy people simply don’t ask the question ‘What’s the point.’ They have no reason to ask, because they are enjoying themselves. So the obvious answer would be, get happy and you will stop asking such silly questions :-)
    I guess, it’s just my ego-mind going in circles to prevent me from making the decision to change. I don’t know.
    It would be great if someone could shed some light on this for me, as I’ve been pondering this for way too long and still not getting anywhere with it.
    I guess, once I figure out, what exactly is my particular offer to the world, then I’ll stop asking too. I’m working on it but it is rather slow process, when you lack the motivation.
    Anyway, it’s great to see people like you, who’ve made it. May you shine for many years to come!

  • Tyler

    The biggest challenge for me is the ability to continue paying off my student loans as quickly as possible. I spent a bunch of money going to college to get a degree so I could get I job I don’t like, just to make enough money to pay back the loans. I guess my plan is to do something I love as soon as the debt is gone, but that continues to be my current challenge and prevents me from dropping everything right now.

  • Arunagiri

    I am unable to have consistent commitment to complete my targets of my goals.Also lack of focus is one of the reasons. I fave come across your website a few days back and downloaded your articles and workbooks.I am working on the goal setting ideas to restrict my goals to five in numbers and I am working on them – ARUNAGIRI

    • Jeremy

      I’m in the same boat as Arunagiri above. It’s an issue of commitment, I believe. I have always had a hard time with committing to anything; never mind what I want to be when I grow up. There’s an element of finality in my mind, that if I commit to a change, or a direction, I’m stuck with it, that there’s no chance later to change course. Trying to convince myself that it’s ok to start something now and change my mind later is a herculean task, it seems like. Reality is, if I decide my current course not where I want to be, using it as a learning experience is not an exercise in wasting my time. Making myself truly believe that is insurmountable at times.

  • http://www.horizontola.wordpress.com trusha navalkar

    A line that jumped out at me from this post was ‘Leave just a sentence and use a fake name if you must’. I decided to be brave and use my real name…most of my fears revolve around the fact that I mostly feel clueless about the world and the way things work and businesses are run. I am still a student and all I’ve ever learnt is how to study, not work. I am not street smart and do not possess any worldly skills required to make a living. Also, I’m shy which makes networking and socialising hellishly intimidating and difficult. That’s another problem. I get intimidated very easily and I always think I’m not good enough at something. This attitude also affects my performance in college. I’m afraid of failure and ridicule and criticism…that’s a lot of fears there! But that’s not it. I’m also enrolled in a course (Bachelor of Media Studies) that’ll enable to do the work I love. I fought against the world for 2 years to be here and I’m proud of it. I’ve taken the first step- I’ve braved all odds to make doing the work I love a possibility. Now I need to step further and overcome the above mentioned challenges. I just don’t know how…m still figuring them out and trying to be courageous and getting rid of my fears…little by little :)

  • Matthew Spiegel

    I’m currently in the process of planning out a website/blog, while working a part time job and practicing daily to become a better musician. While my fear affects almost all areas of my life, what it’s affecting most is my music career. I’ve been playing trumpet for about 11 years now and have been told by many that I’m very good at it. The problem I’m having is getting out and meeting new people and making connections to further my music career. I’ve never been diagnosed but it’s clear that I have social anxiety. It paralyzes me at times, keeping me home instead of going out to “sit in” and connect with other musicians at their gigs. When I do go out I find myself watching every word I say, often not saying much at all in fear of someone not liking me.

    • Jay

      Yah I have social anxiety too and it sucks that I’m leaning towards the entertainment industry because its notoriously built on connections. Its like we have an added handicap in pursuing our dreams.

  • http://26tolife.net Jeff Greenland

    I think my biggest obstacle is fear itself.

    It seems that every step of the way, I’ll come to something that, for one reason or another, is terrifying to me. It’ll take me a while to work up the courage to get past that, and I’ll be cruising for a while, and then something else will come up, slowing me down again.

    I need a method for quickly and effectively overcoming fear.

    • sherri

      try googling “EFT”
      sounds a little crazy at first but one of those things that just works. completely free..

  • Christina

    I bet that my biggest fear/challenge is the same for lots of other people. I have to maintain my full-time job to live, so having the time to first find my passion and then figure out a way to capitalize on it and consistently work toward it is my biggest challenge. And my biggest fear is just as debilitating: what if I can’t make enough money doing something I enjoy to support my family? If I’m going to make a leap, I want to know I can at least make enough to cover our expenses.

  • Dave

    I guess you could call my biggest obstacle a fear of failure, but it’s more complicated than that.

    For a start, my dream job is by necessity extremely competetive, and to even make a living from it would require a huge amount of work (which brings up the question – what if I put in all this work, and then fail anyway?).

    Then there is the fact that there is no real support for that profession where I currently live, which means that I’m going to have to make some pretty big sacrifices to even get moderately good at it (and still with the very real possibility of failure?).

    Next, the person who is acknowledged as being the best in the field is my age, and I’ve only just graduated from university! (And this guy shows no signs of slowing down – how can I hope to match that?)

    Finally, the area I want to devote myself to is under very real threat – It’s highly unlikely that people will work professionally in that field 50 to 100 years from now (So even if I make all of those sacrifices and succeed against all odds, the profession may implode before I reach where I want to be!).

    I’ve deliberately not mentioned what my aim is, in order to avoid trivialising the problems here.

  • http://jaredakers.com Jared

    The event was desperation. Then the willingness to do what ever it took to not only live, but find true happiness. To overcome my own biggest challenge in life and then dedicating the rest of it to helping others going through something similar. It’s my work inspired by love.

  • http://www.moebiusnoodles.com Yelena

    The biggest challenge right now is time and money. In fact, make it just money. I have a lot of debt that I’m trying to repay. So while I’m already working on something I love (the website I linked to in the form), I can’t devote as much time to it as I wish. Otherwise I won’t make enough money to pay the bills. But I am working on my passion already and, although progress is very slow, it’s a progress. Besides, by the end of the year with a huge chunk of debt paid off, I will be in a position to devote more hours to this project (Moebius Noodles).

  • Melissa

    My biggest challenge is getting crystal clear on what I Love. I have a diverse work history, yet it always circled around the same few subject/fields. My personal hobbies and interests need a bit of excavation and resuscitation as I’ve fell into the habit of neglecting most of them.
    My biggest fears revolve around my 11 year ordeal with having Multiple Sclerosis. My confidence and ability to trust my abilities has sustained a major blow especially in the last four years. One of the unique challenges of any person with a chronic health condition is the absolute need to accept and quickly adjust to what you can’t control while continuously seeking solutions and support structures to control what you can if you have any chance for success in any area of life. My Mantra has become “be like water” flow over it, around it, through it and when needed, be still. Fluidity is how I think I will overcome my fears and hang ups.

  • http://davidamoore.com David Moore

    Not really a fear. But unless others really understand blogs, blog communities, etc., they think that any time spent here or developing your own blog is pointless. Especially when there is no money in it (initially or possibly ever). They don’t understand that the act of blogging and connecting has benefits in it’s own right. So “hiding” the blogging business is the biggest hurdle.

  • http://hangupyourjewelry.com Kelly Blenus

    My biggest fear in taking the leap into doing what I love has always been as simple as money. What I have realized in the past 6 months is that baby steps are better than no steps at all. In accepting that, with little monetary investment at all I have started my own business and am in the process of launching 2 blogs. While doing all of this, I’m continuing with my full-time work to maintain the income I am used to…is it a lot of work? Hell yes! Will it be worth it in the end? With absolute certainty, YES.

    The process of creating things that make people happy, whether it be the written word or a fantastic place to hang their jewelry truly makes me happy. If I can do that someday and make enough profit to live my life, nothing could be better.

    Use your fear as a sort of challenge or fuel to motivate you…scared to lose money? Find a way to succeed with minimal investment!

  • Diana

    I left my job where I worked for a year one month ago. I had been thinking about it for a few months, and honestly one of the things that motivated me to quit was your article “The one thing you must do th moment you quit…” Thank you for that! I don’t regret it at all :) After two weeks at home I have realised that I will never be happy working for someone else, I need to work for myself. However, as usual nothing is that easy!

    The main problem for me is probably a fear of failure. I live in the country where entrepreneurship has only been developing for the past I’d say 20 years. So the system of starting your own business is still not so smooth and stable. Here it’s all about connections and even more so about money. I have two different businesses on my mind right now that I would be interested to start. And I get all excited when I think about it and do the research. However, when I think of actually going out there and taking action, I get sort of panicky. Both of the things I am thinking of are connected to the industries not so developed in our country. And it’s a very narrow circle of people. I’d say it’s sort of a mafia (well, not THAT bad, don’t take me wrong) where everybody knows everybody. So entering that circle of people doing business in those spheres is a little scary.

    Another thing is that my father used to have his own business for quite a long time but went bancrupt during the recession. And I know that there will be a lot of misunderstanding from my family about the fact that I’m even thinking of running my own business. And this, of course, will also make it hard for me.

    Thanks in advance! And thank you for your website, it’s really inspiring! You can be proud that it’s not only read in the English-speaking countries.. ;)

    All the kindest regards,


  • Paris

    I’m not entirely sure what that “the work I love” is. I’ve spent the last several years working jobs that seemed interesting, and seemed in line with my larger interests and values, but I really haven’t liked them as much in the end. I know that experience is the best teacher, but my fear is that I’ll waste time gaining experience (especially since you can’t just jump job-to-job quickly), and not really advancing my career (or pay!)…

  • http://www.lcaron.max.com Lucie

    After 40 years of passionnated works in Health adminstration (and 25 years in Africa), I thought I would never find a New Passion to keep me on for the rest of my life. For 4 years, I have invested myself part time in a wonderful company, that help me to support people’s health,… and get a residual income.
    Since some months.. I am doing it Full time… and MY FEAR… THE REAL ONE… is the PHONE !! I have the skills, the words to talk to people… BUT taking the PHONE to do it… keep me out of my Goal (to get my financial freedom). Some friends who started in same time than me… are already there… being on the phone all the time.
    Why is this ? I know this is what STOP me actually to get to the point !
    I feel close to consider that I am “not good at”… when people consider I am THE BEST !!

  • http://personalgrowthpeople.com Judith

    I love personal growth and my blog on that topic, a lot of what holds me back is knowledge of growing it online. Making a great looking website, and developing people’s awareness of it. I’ve been learning and studying the how’s of online business and it is the overwhelm of information you see and what you need to know to make it happen!

  • Tag Ng

    The biggest fear is loosing that steady paycheck that may be difficult to replace quick enough!

  • http://herharlee.blogspot.com sherry turner

    I have a product that I would like to make a reality but I dont know how to go about finding someone to impliment the product…Plus how to get a patent is very important too…help

  • Candice

    Quitting my current job without having a solid plan. How can I find a way to make decent money doing what I love? And how do I know that I’m choosing the right “passion”?

  • Bill

    The biggest challenge for me is the fear of ending up on the street. Right now I am unemployed and have been for the most part since 2008. I have so many bills that once unemployment runs out in a couple months I will be on the street. I have not given up finding a job even though I will be 67 this summer. I guess I have to say that although doing what you love is appealing it is a luxury I can not afford right now.

    I also have a homeless family of four living with me in my one bedroom one bathroom apartment. It is hell and I don’t recommend it, but it did keep them off the streets for now.

    In summary maybe now is not the time for finding my dream occupation. It is more of a time of survival.

  • Sheron

    Not knowing what I love to do anymore.

  • doug

    Being so divorced/estranged from who I actually am that I choose something for who I am not; making the choice out of ego instead of out of soul; making the choice to please someone else/live out their dream, and not knowing I am doing so; etc. (all different ways of saying the same thing)

    • http://www.gladpike.blogspot.com Sara

      I love your comment.

  • Anonymous

    My biggest fear is that I think I haven’t got enough in me to reach my goals. People in the field that I want to work are seriously talented, and those who started younger (those who knew what they wanted to do quite earlier than me) are quite ahead of me, and I don’t know if I will ever catch up. This is an objective assessment, and not just worrying too much. I would like to excel at what I want to do, and I have fear that at the best I will be mediocre.

  • Kevin

    Biggest Challenge: Focusing all my free time on building an audience for my passion, when I desperately need to be making more money (doing freelance work on the side) right now. I’m pretty sure my passion will be the better long term investment. But I have tons of debt and need to get out of it ASAP.

  • Kuldip Singh

    The following quote:
    I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
    Ettiene De Grellet

  • QuintaScentuelle

    Biggest challenge keeping me from doing work I love? Overcoming my negative self-beliefs, trying to identify my niche and passions, then positioning myself into that role, whether it is working for someone else or myself. I fear working for myself with no-one else to bounce ideas off, I’d rapidly lose motivation and self-confidence, withdrawing from reality to build sandcastles in the air in some little bubble of denial and impotence. Or is that the old me just thinking out loud?! I feel like I may achieving my goals in tiny steps lately and am very boosted by positive mental images like your blog and similar…as long as I can keep the momentum going, I could be finding myself living my dream sooner than I think!

  • http://www.sparktostartover.com Libby

    Hi Scott,
    Thank you for the question…as always your questions help me focus! With your amazing and generous help, I am pressing forward with a big dream of mine despite fears and challenges.

    I would say that the biggest challenge for me, and one I still need help with, is in finding and surrounding myself with people who will be a positive influence. I mean the people you talk about who are already doing it, and who have already made all the mistakes I am about to make…I live in a small town and I still struggle to connect with people living their lives outside of the traditional mold. It’s scary!

    I see so many websites online full of flashy promises and more ads than content, so many people on and off line going for the fast buck. The last time I went to a car dealership in my town, I came away sick at heart for the tactics they are now using.

    The people who truly stand behind what they are doing and believe in it and want to do it authentically, who have met with great success because they worked hard and well. I want to meet them! Where do I hang out in small town America? That’s my challenge. Thanks again!!

  • Cat

    Oh wow – biggest challenge/fear. People. I’m somewhat shy and an introvert so dealing with people from just meeting them to asking them questions to selling something. I always feel like I’m an inconvenience or fear them being mean or rude to me or not being able to live up to their expectations. I like people, I’m afraid they don’t like me maybe?

    • http://www.sparktostartover.com Libby

      Haha, Cat, I like you already and I’ve only read a few sentences of yours! So we can dispel that thought right now. You’re absolutely right, people can be scary. They’re impossible to control. (I teach 8th grade, so I know what I’m talking about there!)

      Your genuine humility, your candidness and good humor. These are gifts that the world can benefit from. I just know you will find an amazing way to share them, if you haven’t already. Keep the faith!

  • Beth Bradshaw

    The main thing keeping me from doing what I should be doing is not knowing what it is I should be doing. The economy don’t have much to offer in jobs at this point. I would like my own business, or to be able to work from home. There are scams out there on work from home websites, and the surveys for money are not fun and impossible to earn enough money to live on.

  • Anba

    Unwanted fears and lack of prioritization has prevented me from achieving what i am capable of achieving.

  • http://Dawniellecastledine.com Dawnielle

    My biggest barrier is finding the work I love. I roughly know what is exciting and interesting to me but I don’t know how it translates into work.

  • Kent

    The biggest challenge for me is finding the work I love and possibly taking a large pay cut. This is why I have joined this group so I can find that passion.

  • http://qutestudio.etsy.com Susan

    My fear is two-pronged: I need to make enough money to live (and I live frugally). Will I be able to do that?? My passion involves art, and you know the phrase “starving artist.”

    The second involved time. I see other posts about this, too: working full-time at a demanding job eats up the time available for my start up. My work schedule directly conflicts with the peak times to market my products for the start up….. AARRGGHHH!!!

  • Fab

    The matter is simple!!

    If you don’t do the work you love, it simply depends on:

    1)You haven’t been creative enough.

    ( my case )

    2)You haven’t striven yourself with might and main to make it.

    In other words, in a matter like doing the work you love, you must always consider these 4 factors:

    1) Desired Situation.

    2) Actual Situation.

    3) Available Resources.

    4) Blocks.

    If the solution doesn’t depend on moving mental blocks, the only string you can play on is your mental creativity because if for example you have selected three excellent solutions but they can’t be realized for several reasons ( market, money and so on.. ), you must be able to be far more creative to find a fourth excellent solution that can be effectively put into practice!!

    Anyway, I’ve already sent you a couple of emails about the importance of creativity!!

    All the best!!

    Fab, greetings from Italy.

  • http://www.movingtonahariya.blogspot.com Selah

    I struggled for years to both find, and settle in, work that I loved doing. My problem was having a limited attention span; when I had deeply explored a field and had achieved enough competence in it to be satisfied, I would quickly get bored. My performance level would drop and I’d quit the field and get involved in something else. This has hurt me professionally, financially, and has made me think less of myself for not being able to “stay the course.”

    I am in a mid-life career transtion at the moment, and am having difficulty identifying what it is I actually love doing enough to want to work at it for a living. What I REALLY love doing is what I’m doing now, which is being a new immigrant in a foreign country. I’m studying Hebrew and blogging about life here, and LOVE doing that, but I haven’t made any money from it yet.

  • Iris

    What scares me the most is that I just don’t know where to start. I feel so overwhelmed by all the books and websites out there, by all the advice and the things that might need to be considered before even taking the first step.
    I want to start a blog, because I love writing, but I don’t really know what to talk about. I feel like this is a silly problem, but I am not sure, which one is my biggest passion and what I am experienced enough to talk about. I did your Find Your Passion workbook and it helped me a lot, but I didn’t find the one passion I absolutely need to work on.

    In short, I am confused and my biggest fear is to do something wrong, because I missed up on some important advice or haven’t thought it through enough.

    Thanks, Scott.

  • Antti

    I started to work on what I loved (engineering) ~15 years ago. It was awesome at the beginning, getting good money for doing something I’d do for free (and still do from time to time). Overtime, however, industry changed and perhaps I changed, I moved to management and later moved to work on technologies that didn’t inspire me too much but paid even better. Now it feels I’m just slaving for a pay check, wasting my life in a cubicle with people I’d not care to deal with.

    Now what I fear… 1. axing my steady income, of course. I’ve family to feed. 2. What should I do then — tech industry has lost most of it’s appeal, it is not what it used to be. 3. My family and peers think I’m successful and doing pretty good (and in a way I am). It just does not seem rational to leave my career.

  • Courtney

    My biggest fear that keeps me from doing the work I love is the fear that I will be financially unstable. I love to make art/beautiful things, and travel but if there’s no money…how can I have either?

    I’m trying to overcome it by starting my own business, though this fear coupled with finishing college is a little overwhelming. I wish I had someone to say, “This is what you need to do!”

    Thanks Scott! I just found your blog a few days ago, Love it!


  • http://notperfectyet.wordpress.com Jules

    I think the biggest challenge for me is just believing that it is possible to make enough money doing what I love to support myself. Other challenges include knowing how to get started, the fear of failing, and finding time to work on my pursuit of meaningful income while working at a soul sucking job.

  • FL

    I come from an extremely restrictive culture with irrational, controlling parents. Every action I take, especially when it’s something as simple as going out for a couple of hours gets questioned and filled with suspicion. It has stopped me from going out. I’ve stopped living my life and stuck myself at home because I can’t deal with having to argue and fight over every movement I make. I get questioned about what I’m doing even if I walk into my own kitchen at night and accused of things that are entirely baseless. The pressure and stress from all of that led me to drop out of college in my final year. In some families honesty is the best policy but in mine it only creates stricter boundaries. My biggest challenge is not allowing my parents reactions over everything I do affect/deter me from doing what I want to do.

    I know from a Western perspective, most would determine leaving home is the best way to go but this conflicts with my own values. Plus, I tried it out twice (though half heartedly) and it didn’t last long and it was an extremely stressful time.

    Oh and of course, my other biggest fear is failing because that’s all my life has consisted of for the past 8 years.

    • http://www.gladpike.blogspot.com Sara

      Failure is a good thing, because it means you have been trying to achieve something… Keep at it, and you will get there eventually.

      • Pix

        This is sound advice, Sara

  • art

    THe biggest challenge is money. Fear, that I will lose my lousy, but higly paid work and will have tough times without money.

  • Danny


    My biggest fear actually is about earning a living through it. It seems difficult though not impossible though.


  • Paul


    My biggest challenge keeping me from doing work I love right now is somewhat of an information overload. It is having a passion to find my passion, and because of that, taking courses, reading books, attending webinars, etc. and finding that I am throwing myself into 10 things at a time that each require dedicated time put into them. What happens is that I try to give them each dedication, but the inevitable burnout happens, causing me to sometimes not finish any of them, and definitely not finish all of them. It is the searching (frantic at times) of many different paths to see what can give me the financial freedom and time freedom I seek while still giving me a good income, and realizing I sometimes get caught up in the searching, not taking the time to reflect and slow down and take my time.

    There are so many guides, programs, etc. that are designed to help, which is great, but it also causes me at times to want to do them all at once. This would be the main thing for me right now.


  • http://www.gladpike.blogspot.com Sara

    It’s fear that if I change careers, then I might just end up not liking it again, like my current field (optometrist). I like my job enough, never have loved it. I hated the graduate education leading up to it (thought it was the most boring schooling I’ve ever had to push myself thru & I’ve historically loved school), yet continued on because “I’m not a quitter” (whether this is good or bad, I don’t know) and I had scholarships.

    So I’m eleven years now into my field. The first six I spent in one job; the last four years, I’ve taken over a year and a half off (two separate stints) between jobs to travel and visit family and enjoy life (much to the chagrin of possible future employers). I forget that I’m an optometrist when I’m not working.

    My career brings me enough satisfaction and money to continue in it, but it would also bring me enough to fund an arts degree while working a couple days a week, or enough to live off of while doing what I wanted the rest of the time. Truthfully, I’ve dreamed of not working in this field for a long time, but the freedom it affords is hard to walk away from… so I will continue on most likely, and use it for what it’s worth, and try not to get into a full time 40 hr/wk job this time around.

  • Pauline

    My biggest fear is finances. If it all went pear shaped I don’t have the financial resources to take the hit and stay standing. So I think of the worse case scenario to see if I can live with that….. and I think I can. So then…
    My second fear isn’t really a fear, it’s that I have no one to play with. I don’t currently move in the circles of the industry I’d like to be in, so I have no one to get excited with. If I actually started, then that would probably change which would be great. So then….
    My third fear is fear of failure. This is closely associated with my biggest fear (finances). But also has that added personal self esteem thing attached. So would I be resilient enough to stand up and give it another go if I failed? I’d probably have no choice because going back to what I do now would just make me feel sick. So then, what is it????
    Fear of success? Maybe I’m just a little scared of how good things could be!

  • Gabriel Goyo

    My biggest challeng and enemy has always been myself. I always get on my own way. Fear of success.

    • http://www.vurgejewellery.com Tessa

      Hi Gabriel,

      I am just like you, I can visualise and dream of being successful but than get stage fright when I try to get started! The best thing I did was network and work with other business owners, they helped build my confidence :) Good luck.

  • http://LiveyourLegend Wendy

    One of my greatest fears that is keeping me from doing the work I love, it the fact that it might not exist.

  • http://www.vurgejewellery.com Tessa

    I am another lucky one that is already loving working for myself on our online business (hubby and wife team) and recently we are now living in Thailand (another dream on our list) while we grow it. The biggest driver for us was standing back and watching what our lives (and our friends lives) were becoming. We made the decision that we wanted something very different and we were prepared to go without gadgets and fine dinning to get there.

  • Olly

    I’m in debt. My partner is also in debt and a student. I’m slowly paying it off but I need a good income to do so meaning that I can’t quit this job.

  • http://facebook.com/DiscoMaulvi Aly Balagamwala (@DiscoMaulvi)

    I don’t know my passion.
    I don’t have the courage to leave the safety of my family business.

  • http://softwaredesignchatter.com Linda

    My biggest fear or reason is “golden handcuffs”. I currently make a really great living and diving into the unknown of doing things on my own without the great paycheck scares the bageebies out of me. I have now begun the start a blog that matters course, and I am subscribed and reading everything that you and Corbett put out. I will get there.. but it does scare me to be unlocked from the Corporate lifestyle..and the Corporate Paycheck.

  • James

    My biggest fear that keeps me from doing what I love for a living is providing for my family. I live paycheck to paycheck NOW. But my health benefits are awesome. I have five children. One off my kids has a genetic condition that requires her to be on 5 different prescriptions as well as a daily injection of medicine. The cost of the medication alone without insurance is $3892.89. With my insurance – 180 dollars a month. I live in fear as it that my company downsizes or increases or portion of medical copays and premiums. My family’s well being and health is my top priority.

  • Guru

    My biggest challenge: I get bored with my own passion. Crazy! it sounds but I am so frustrated with myself for being that lazy bum who can not even peruse one’s own interests. I am too comfortable in my day job that i can always let go my passion as a hobby but not more than that. This makes me feel stuck and makes me wonder whether i have ever identified my real passion at all. I just don’t want o die searching for my passion throughout my life! SOS

  • Jen

    I don’t know what work I’ll love to do!!

  • bill

    not sure that i know what my passion is. how do i find it?

  • v

    Combination of not knowing how best to make money doing the things I am interested in and believing those things can’t really pay/be viable longer term.

  • http://www.30yearoldninja.com Izzy

    Hello Everyone :)

    My biggest challenge is hands down finding a way to make my passion financially viable. My passion is martial arts, traveling and inspiring others to lead an awesome life.

    Right now, I am starting a blog that discusses all of this. Actually, I quit my job in America, moved to Japan, and am following my childhood dream to become a ninja :)

    I am blogging the whole experience and hoping to inspire others to make the most of their lives. I am really excited about it. But the biggest challenge for me, is turning this into something that I can generate money with. Though, I just started blogging about a month or so ago. (If you are interested you can check it out at: http://www.30yearoldninja.com)

    I also am taking Corbett Barr’s Traffic School class which is phenomenal! This is making a huge difference and allowing me to take big steps towards making this all happen.

    I have saved up a lot of money to make this happen and am currently still working as an English Teacher to support this. Though, I recently told my employer that I will be leaving the job and am planning to purse this dream full time.

    I figure the best way to learn to make money from it is to put the feet to the fire :)

    -Izzy (The 30 Year Old Ninja)

  • tom o.

    I worry that what I am passionate about will not lead to enough income.

  • Manny

    Fear o failure. Fear of getting embarrassed. Not having balls to proceed.

  • Bk

    Fear/Challenge – Being able to sustain my self. Unemployed from a W2 job for a year, previous financial obligations and not currently generating cash flow. I must maintain in order to move forward. How do i move beyond this?

  • Bob C

    I think the biggest challenge would have to be knowing as much as possible about your strengths and weaknesses where it applies to doing work you love. To me the best place to begin would be using the 80-20 principal, and there is now software for excel that can measure any list of text or numbers.So I would use this and sort out what are my top 20 strengths and weaknesses, and then run it again, on that top 20 to get my top strengths. In addition one of the things you reccomended was “Strengths Finder” by Tom Rath and I bought and read the book and took the assesment test on line which showed me my best top 5 strengths. This was out of a possible 32 and was very accurate in my opinion. By combining these two tools, you have a big leg up on how to overcome the challenges,and fears of doing the work you love.

  • Gary

    Lack of money.

  • aldho

    i feel old for start university ,
    i quit to my job , im from mexico , i have 27 i feel mentally tired to start or not ?

  • Daniel

    Very easy to answer… MONEY!!!

    Pursuing a “career” after college just got me further in debt because all I could find was contract work. Now, I haven’t worked for several years despite applying for over 250 jobs.

    I’ve used up most of my favors with friends and family, so consequently I’m looking at possibly being homeless in 4-6 months.

    Best case scenario I’m looking at 10-15+ years before I have positive cash flow.

    How do you pursue dreams and passions when you can’t even support yourself?

  • http://Iwish Jo in Birmingham UK

    Incertainty and indecision. Which may well equate to the evil twins fear of failure and lack of self confidence.
    I have ideas. I have skills. I just don’t seem to be able to take the leap. How do you know when the latest idea is “The One”?

  • http://rohishetty,blogspot.com Rohi

    My biggest blocks:

    Lack of focus
    Lack of structure
    Unable to stick to my plans

    They are interdependent.

    Thanks for all you do.

  • Noelle

    The block I still have is pressure from my parents to get a real job. I’m afraid that if I try to make money off my art as an illustrator and web comic artist, it will fail and they’ll always remind me of how I should have taken their advice, how I would have been better off if I had. I’m scared that I won’t be able to move out because I don’t make enough money, and I’ll be that kid they make jokes about at family reunions.

    The block I got past is my intense perfectionism. Because I think I have to do everything right the first time, I tend to over plan and procrastinate. My fear being wrong destroys my ability to act.
    My drawing teacher told me something that’s been helping me to get past that. He said, “There’s nothing that can’t be fixed.”
    It’s true, and whenever I feel afraid of doing something wrong, I just repeat that to myself until I start moving forward again.
    Because of his advice, I’ve been able to get past my perfectionism and enjoy drawing and writing again.

  • Roseann

    My biggest challenge is picking one thing and sticking with it long enough to make it worthwhile. I have tons of ideas and I’m a “jill of all trades”. I have interests that are all over the place. I really admire people that can apply a laser-like focus to just one area and become expert at it. I haven’t figured out how to do that.

  • Leah Russell

    What was keeping me from doing what I love was money. So i wasted a lot of time and got myself into a lot of debt I’ll never get out of by going to college to try to become a sociologist. Writing was what I wanted to do, but I wanted a stable “career”–the security and family and love that money brings. Well, my grants for college have run out. The only way to contuine college now for me is to take out more loans, which I refuse to do. So guess what? Now I’m working on my writing. Talk about wasting your life running around in a circle. Oh well. The only thing that upsets me more than being up to my neck in debt are all the years I wasted learning about the stupid Middle Ages, how to analyze “art,” and how to find the value of “x”. If I could say one thing to my nineteen year old self, it would be, “Keep writing, and don’t even try college.”

  • Brittany

    The hardest part about figuring out the path to doing what I love is narrowing down the interests that I have or trying to come up with a way to combine a few of my interests so I don’t have to pick just one. I have a wide gamut of passions from photography to film production to meditation and fitness. It’s so hard for me to choose what I think will be the right thing to focus on.

  • Lion LaValle

    Sometimes I feel like it will take too much time to make it work and that meanwhile I’m going to run out of energy.

  • Rebecca Lashley

    I’m in my 40’s and have already had several careers. While never really knowing what I ultimately want to ‘do’, I enjoy the ‘doing’ along the way, learning and developing and enriching my experience of life. I have always ‘felt’ that the path I’m on is either moving me in the right or wrong direction and try to listen to my intuition while evaluating the potential risks in an objective manner. I know I have taken risks and have encountered setback and loss as a result but have fortunately remained resilient and confident that the choices have been the right ones and the rewards great. I remember as a child not being prepared to wait around for people to come to do the things I wanted to do, so I just got on with them. Certainly independent in nature, I am so pleased I have loved ones and friends that now want to share our journeys. I have always found it difficult to ask for help when I have needed it and have fortunately come to realize that we can achieve so much more ‘together’ than as individuals.

  • Tee

    My dream is to have a family business that I can pass down. The one I have in mind consists of things I am interested in like books, cultural arts and renewing one’s self by meditating, qi gong and healthy lifestyles. The challenge for me is to clean up my financial crap and knowing that will probably stop me from achieving this dream. Why do we have to have credit scores?
    I don’t think I would ever get tired of this type of business, it would make me happy and feel like I have achieved something everyday. If only I could get it to working before I get any older.
    Of course, I have other things I want to accomplish by writing a book and sharing my life of lessons with other women in the world.
    I would like to get all of these accomplished. So I guess my challenges would be financial and time.

  • http://learntoadd.com Amanda

    My biggest fear is having the focus to keep going. I have all of these great ideas for content and I’m just starting out so I have all these ideas of things that I want to put out there. But I’m worried that once I’ve exhausted what’s in my head right now, I will lose focus and not continue. Or that even the things I know I want to write right now, I won’t have the focus to sit down and get them readable for my site because I’m focused on juggling my other “job”, family etc.

  • Uberschizo

    1. Not being educated enough.
    2. Not bing able to crack the exams i need to get the education I have


  • Arlene

    I have a pension plan at work. The golden handcuffs. I am 43 and have 10 years invested. I suck with money management ( at least that”s what’s keep telling myself) so its my only real form of savings. I also have about $30K in consumer debt that I know I have to pay off first.
    So I am going to sell my car to help pay things down. It’s gonna be uncomfortable but it has to be done. Butnifnit gtd me closer to have freedom from debt then that’s what I must do.

    But each day goes by and the little inner voice isn’t so little. Everyday it seems to get louder and louder. I can’t seems to find the right thing to do without thinking, oh someone’s done this already. Is there room for another? I have so many ideas it’s crazy ! I am watching my life float on by and watching my sons life float by as well. I feel pressure from myself to get this ship rolling.

  • Daryle

    My biggest fear has always been what others may think of me

  • http://www.creativemuse365.wordpress.com Cheryl

    My biggest challenge is filtering – removing distraction and siphening out the gunk that gets in the way of discovering and living my purpose.

  • Kelly

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    I don’t know what I love.

    I grew up thinking I wanted to be a computer programmer. I became one. For roughly 10 or 12 years I did pretty much any job you can think of with computers and networks and websites, including 2 failed attempts at being self employed. I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. I figured out everyone else wanted me to be a computer programmer. I had just accepted that and went along for the ride.

    So I’ve been looking for what I should do when I grow up for probably 15 years now.

    I’m 42. My kids are almost out of high school. I’ve got a ton of debt and a mother-in-law that I am responsible for. My wife doesn’t seem to understand what the issue is, or why it’s an issue at all. I have almost no hope that it will get better, and I often wonder why I’m even looking anymore.

    I came here to look at the 27 Questions list, and quickly became frustrated and depressed. I just have no answers…

  • Bravo

    Two weeks ago i realized my biggest fear is fear of success. I graduated a year ago, and work in a field that completely out of my expertise, because i fear that if i achieve success, it means i have to commit, people would expect more of me. For this reason i have not updated my resume, and get anxious anytime i think about contacting some of the shakers and movers in my city. I realize i’m in a rut and my current mindset is interfering with my dreams of how i want to live. Realizing i’m stuck is still not enough to create action to move forward.

  • Diaan

    Well, I have a little bit of both worlds, I’m doing what I like, to make the money needed to do what I REALLY want one day…
    Money is thus keeping me back at this time.

  • http://www.eutopia.co.nz Raewyn

    Changing habits that dont serve my vision for a fulfilling life. I think I get impatient to do more stuff towards my goal and dont keep up the work I need to do on my ability to enjoy each moment as it happens. I am sure that this ability will contribute to my vision to come into being, but I have days of forgetting!

  • http://www.entertainmentbase100.blogspot.com David

    The fear keeping me from doing the work you love is that i will not do things that will get me bored and at the same time do a work that i won’t gain anything from.

    What made it possible is the passion i have for the work and at the same time i want to earn a passive income from what i do.

  • Mary

    My biggest fears are the money to start it up and that someone is already doing it, and if they are, they are doing it better than I or are more established than I.

  • Cristina

    When I was a kid and told my father what I wanted to be when I grew up he told me that part of being grown up was understanding that sometimes you have to give up on things you want so you can get the things you need.
    I thought then that the only problem of working in something I love would be financial stability.
    Now I have student loans to pay, so I have to postpone whatever dreams I have until I finish paying them.
    While doing that I found other interests and I just have no idea what I want to do anymore. And everyone makes sure to remind me that I’m still young and have time to figure that out, but the possibility of only figuring it out when I’m already stuck at some job I hate kinda scares me.

  • Derek

    My biggest challenge is figuring out what I want to do.

    I’ve always had many interests which I have pursued with varying degrees of intensity during different periods of my life. I was recently reading “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvon Chouinard and came across this passage which is a perfect explanation of my experience:

    “I’ve always thought of myself as an 80 percenter. I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach 80 percent proficiency level. To go beyond that requires an obsession and degree of specialization that doesn’t appeal to me.”

    “Jack of all trades, master of none” seems to me both a blessing and a curse. There are many paths open before me but which one do I really want to take? How do I focus solely on that path at the exclusion of the others? This indecision leads to inaction.

  • Martin

    Hey Scott. I think you could compare doing work you love with adults who want to learn a new instrument.
    We immediately think of a dream like scenario where things work out remarkably easy.”I d love to play saxophone, nice n funky!” Our expectations are high and we want to sound like Maceo Parker. But hey it doesn t sound like Maceo. Damn and it s not even nearly there. Is it really the right thing for me to learn the saxophone…?
    My point is that adults have naturally high expectations and want to see success quickly. It sounds simple but actually doing things to let your dream come true is hard and not always fun.
    -> taking action(start)
    -> cope with high expectations

    Greetings from munich

  • Keith

    Hi Scott,

    Nothing different or unique about what is stopping me, and from the comments I have read it is the same fears and obstacles:

    1. Paying the mortgage
    2. Providing for my children
    3. Being used to having life’s little luxuries (although now I think about it those luxuries can’t be making me happyborni wouldn’t be here :) )
    4. Fear of failure
    5. What will others think of me?
    6. Is it the right choice? Will I be good at it?

    Looking forward to what you write next.


  • Kecia

    The biggest fear I have about doing work I really have a passion for is the fear of complete independence. If I go out and do what I want to do, there is no guaranteed paycheck, there is no one to fall back on if things don’t work out, there is certainly no one to foist responsibility onto if I fail. It is just me… out there on my own.

  • Tabitha

    Great question!
    I’m finding that right now my biggest challenge is time–every hour of the day I have to choose between doing work that will pay me for sure for that hour and work that is making another brick for the business I’m building….and of course, everything else in my life (family, friends, school-work, relaxation/sleep, etc.)

    Since I haven’t yet figured out how to make more hours in the day, clone myself, or do anything productive on less than 6 hours of sleep, I’m just trying to cut out anything that isn’t fulfilling the big goals of my life. But even then, taking time to think about what those are and keeping myself in line with them takes TIME.

    Bottom line right now– trying to be less *busy* and more *productive*! Trying to take a least one little step -toward- something every day.

  • Andrew

    I am thinking I am in a happy place. Playing it relatively safe i.e in my comfortable zone has paid off to some extent. I am not a natural risk taker. I am not sure I could be passionate about a career promotion. I am a middle manager in a secondary school. A promotion would mean a few thousand pounds year more but I am not sure I would enjoy the job more than my current job. I am 45 and guess if I dont get promoted soon then my age will prevent a promotion.

  • Sune

    The biggest fear is the risk of leaving the course of safety there is in a sure and steady income from an employed job. Leaving it would mean a great deal of uncertainty of whether and when I could start earning enough to support my family.

  • http://www.entreprenews.com.ng Olufemi Omotayo

    How will I make money?

    • Pix

      You don’t always need money.
      If you have skills, trade them with people you meet. Go hitch-hiking and couchsurfing. Teach them origami, or teach them singing techniques, or make them a grass necklace in return for their knowledge and money – it’s as cheap as it gets!
      Then all you need is the money for food and replacements. You can grow your own food if you’ve settled down, or while couchsurfing how about cooking for you and your hosts? They can’t make you pay for the food you used when you put the effort into preparing it.

  • ko

    Self doubt creeps in and then it just becomes toxic (for myself that is). I have such high doubts that I’ll ever succeed and start doubting every little step and then over analyse things and start looking to cover every potential error that may appear. It really becomes a paralysing state… ultimately it leads to a fear to even attempt anything..

    A lack of self belief and not knowing how to change my negative thinking is probably one of the biggest killers of taking any prospective steps

  • justin hills

    My only real fear is not being able to support my family in the immediate 12 months. That only really comes down to that fact my wife is 1yr in to her business and I am the only bread winner.

    I am getting there. Finding ways to supplement income, but without additional finances it will be tough.

  • Yannick P

    I discover my purpose by a revelation from God!
    “Découvrir son appel et accomplir son rêve” YVAN CASTANOU (www.impactcentrechretien.com) can help!

  • Scott

    The greatest challenge… uncovering the purpose and passion that seems to be deeply buried within the heart.

  • Scarlatina

    My fear is that what if I cannot find the satisfaction even at another type of work as well, as people tell ” love the work yo do”, rather than ” do the work you love”. Another fear is that I do not know where to start to find the work I like and I do not know how to find resources/ people to help me. Up to now, I have gone with the flow ; followed studies and find the job that bring the money and helped me continue living abroad after my studies.

    I know that at my current job, I start loosing my motivation everyday and I do not feel any ownership and commitment anymore. I immediately need a change.

  • Linda

    Either fear of failure or fear of success. I can’t decide which.

  • Julie

    Fear of the unknown… Being in a place where it takes courage, gutts, self-confidence.
    I’ve been battling a severe depression for many years now and I’ve come to realize I wasn’t at my place at work even though I was very appreciated by my students, the parents, my collegues and my boss…Everybody were telling me how great I was as a teacher but deep inside, I felt at the wrong place.
    I want to start a business: Café-Bistro. It scares me so much but I know, this is what I want to do. It is very risky financially…

  • David

    I want to get back into a field I’ve been away from for decades, namely acting and singing, and I have absolutely no contacts anymore. It was my dream to become and actor, but it is the world’s most cutthroat, competitive businesses, and I’m afraid of even trying, though I have confidence in my talents.

  • Hassan

    I’m having a hard time making up my mind, as to what it is that I want to do, which path do I follow as a career. I have an interest in coaching(self improvement), technology software programming and I’m a nature lover with a deep interest in alternative energy.Plus i’m currently a student, who is not seeing the value in the education that he is receiving.I have no idea whither I should take the leap and drop out of college..Any advice?

    • Theofrastus

      I would finish since you already started. A degree will give you more options when you finally decide. It will also make it easier to move to different countries if need be. Maybe change your major.

    • Pix

      What do you study?

  • http://www.intelligentchallenge.com Mark Smith

    Biggest challenge – working out what the hell it is I’m meant to be doing. I’m pretty confident I could align my career path and purpose if I knew what my damn purpose was!

  • KSO

    My biggest challenge was to figure out what I was really passionate about. After years of searching and struggling, I have just recently discovered it, which was made me endlessly happy and full of energy and motivation!

    But now there’s the fear… How do I get started? What if I can’t do it? What if I can do it, but I can’t make money doing it? etc. etc.

    Thankfully I’m naturally optimistic, determined and eager to learn. Plus, I have wonderful family and friends supporting me no matter what.

    So, I suppose the only thing to do now is to get started. Wish me luck!

  • Sander

    My biggest fear is to take that leap of faith and doing what I love. It’s stopping with the known and going to the unknown. It’s quittiing my job and go traveling again. But the fear of leaving my comfort zone is the one I haven’t overcome (yet).

  • Harry Becker

    One word, Procrastination.
    – the work you love, you want it to be perfect so it’s hard to start. Paralysis.
    – fear of success, again, it’s easier to procrastinate.
    – excuses and not being proactive.

  • Susie

    I am in a fantastic position. I have taken the previous year off to take stock, focus on looking after our small children and literally getting our house in order. In September I’ll be ‘starting work again’. I work from home, selling fabric online. Trouble is I don’t really like it, it’s not my passion. I chose it because I thought it would be fairly lucrative and I could work it round the children. Even when it was going well, it was well, boring. In fact, it was when it was at it most successful that it was at it’s most tedious as all I was doing was cutting and shipping fabric.
    This past year has enabled me to try some life-long ambitions and to discover that some of the things I always wanted to do was not all it was cracked up to be either! However at least I do know what really interests me – only problem, I don’t think it’s going to raise enough money – my interests are in areas that are traditionally low paid.
    Oh, and the other thing I’m scared about trying (yet another) thing, spending ages giving it a go only to find it was a waste of time and I’m getting too old to try again!

  • ronen

    Debt. I have ~$140k in student loan debt and a stable job. It is very difficult to leave it in order to start doing something that will make me happier, knowing that it would be much more difficult to pay back the over $1,500 in payments I make every month, plus afford basic living expenses.

  • Jerri

    What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?
    It’s two-fold. One is that I’m concerned that what I want to do wouldn’t generate enough income to cover my living expenses in California. The other is that I feel like I need to get better at it before offering it to others for money.

  • Bruno A. Pradal

    Hi Scott! Thanks for asking.

    Lets see, the biggest challenge was to be clueless about how to do it. Then it was the fear of failing.

    The one event that made it possible were actually two:
    1. Ask for support -emotional and financial-.
    2. Research until I had a clear picture of what was available and what I wanted to do, what not to do and what could work.

    Now I’m loving what I’m doing and also starting to taste little success mixed with failure, which is unavoidable.

    That’s it.
    Have a good one Scott!

  • Pamela

    The biggest challenge or fear that keeps me from doing work I love is procrastination. And I procrastinate most when it comes to the things I love doing the most–writing. How can I get over that?!

  • Scott

    Wow. I just spent about 9 hours reading back through every one of your responses to this question. Literally every one.

    THANK YOU all for being so open, honest and vulnerable. Your stories, worries and roadblocks are more front of mind than ever. And I am working hard to incorporate the main themes into what’s to come on Live Your Legend and our future products.

    Also, over the past few years as I’ve heard so many of your stories, I built a course that directly focuses on the biggest pains so many of us seem to experience in doing work we love: not knowing your passion and not knowing how to make money from it. The course is called Live Off Your Passion. You can check out the full details here if curious. I think it can help a lot!

    Thank you all for your openness and for being a part of our community. It would be nothing without you!

    To living our legends…

  • http://Emmabrooke.co.uk Emma Brooke

    Probably my biggest fear is giving up my successful career to do something unproven and that if I do and fail, I’ll have start all over again.

  • Megan

    My biggest challenge is that I am 25 and want to be financially independent without getting suckered in to a boring 9-5 job. I don’t know where to start because I don’t know yet exactly what I want to do in life… I only know what I don’t want.

  • http://rohit05kumar.blogspot.com Rohit

    When I was working as an IT engineer in Asia’s largest firm and was given with best of the ratings in my appraisals, I knew one thing: It’s not right to be awarded as best when there’s still so much in you to come out. I wasn’t doing my best there, still they called me best. It started settling down upon me. This was the same time, i started volunteering to teach few kids from low income communities and I realized this was so damn more challenging than my routine job. It took me months and at times years to get across a concept to my students but when I did I felt an amazing sense of achievement. and no one else needed it to validate for me. I just felt it. It was also around the same time, that for the first time in my life, I started deliberating and engaging myself as an adult in my country’s problems. I started discussing it with people – what does India needs most? It was this time that realized my true calling in life – To be a teacher… full time.

    But in India, like most of the world, teacher is not a respectable profession, definitely not when it comes to economic status. Teachers in India are paid poorly, like most of the world. Despite the fact that while a teacher build the future generations for a country and humanity he/she has to suffer in misery whereas a software engineer who builds some shoddy software that will crash 100 times before it can actually work (there are some good software engineers also, but they are a rare breed), teachers are highly neglected.

    But then this was another challenge – To take up a profession that needs you and live up the misery with respect. And the biggest struggle for me was my family. They thought I have gone nuts. I was taking about leaving the high paying job for doing what? Teaching some kids from the slums?

    But then I had to plan and strategize :) as they say in the corporate world. I moved internally into my CSR department first… that helped me understand the nuisances of the development sector… it was the easiest step… as my parents were ok me doing whatever till I stay with the big corp tag… i thought, great!! if that works for them… I didn’t wish to hurt them in my journey of life… But then a point came where i felt I was grossly constrained in a Corporate for doing what I want… they have their own limitation on vision for development… after all they have to make profits (and I dont say profits are bad things)… So here was another junction…. where I had to make a choice… and I did.. I decided to apply for a masters course in elementary education from the best college in India (I could only make thru it in my 3rd attempt :P)… and had a detailed conversation with my parents and my sisters… I told them how eternally happy it makes me, day in and day out… morning and evening and night… when I am working with a bunch of children… I talked and explained and listened and times just sat with them… to ensure that thy understand why it is so important for me… I am not sure if they completely understand it… and I take that failure on my part… but they let me do it… now I am pursuing my masters and am teaching a bunch of XI graders… social sciences and service learning…

    I won’t say its easy… I have to now think twice before I buy a new dress or a pair of shoes… I have to budget my daily food routine… and rent expenses… but I think at the end of it all… it worth it… It’s all worth it.

  • http://dougringer.com Doug

    My biggest fear is losing my current income and the resulting financial failure. My family depends on my income for survival.

    I believe I have more to offer the business community than what I can in the the roles I have had recently and will continue to write and offer assistance where I can.

  • http://www.astroasha.com K Ramakrishnan

    Not being able to make enough money to support my wife and two young sons who need to be put through a good education which is quite expensive in India these days.

  • rahul

    Current financial situation… its one thing to say that you want to do what you love…its another to do it…

    And sometimes you do have to think of the people who depend on you!

    That’s more or less to me..!!

  • Ms Brown

    Afraid to take the risk in case I’m not any good and look like an idiot. Even though it’s something I love.
    Finding out that I’m not actually good at it, and it’s not what I’m meant to be doing. Finding that out after years of believing this was what I was meant to do would be devastating.

  • http://mpgamez.pl Markoss

    The bigest fear: Is it be as much profitable as I want. Just the first thing that jumped into my head.

  • Gordon

    1. Biggest challenge: Avoiding being locked into my mother’s dictum “get a secure job that pays good money then do what you really want to do in your spare time”.

    2. The events that led to me beginning to do what I want: the realisation that I was almost totally unsuited to be an employee; the Alexander Technique and NLP that helped to redefine who I am; finding out how to free myself from layers of ideas, beliefs, fears, and self-images that were major obstructions within me; finding a way of understanding and being part of the world that makes sense to me, and works too.

  • Monica

    I feel as if doing the impossible is not for me because when I read he stories people tell they are usually over achievers already that simply decided to quit what they were doing to beggin something else.
    I have never accomplished something important in my life, I have no self discipline, I have no big financial challenges to over come, I don’t even know quite sure which direction should I follow since I still have no clear understanding of what my life purpose is, or even what makes me happy. All I know is i am not content with what I have, I know I want to do more but I don’t know where to start.

  • http://www.CritterWisdom.com Carmelo

    It was an epiphany in a way. A realization. I finally said: I need nothing else other than what I have and don’t need to be anyone else than who I am now:

    I didn’t need another person, strategy, tactic, piece of technology, idea, or website. I didn’t need another tomorrow, more knowledge or education.

    When I finally realized there was no such thing as later, I got busy “today.” I asked myself – what can I do now with what I’ve got and i did it. Simplicity! I don’t have to do “all that!” I just have to do “this.” And I did it.

    Then I took the next step the very same way. A simple realization yes, but it worked!

  • Alena

    I don’t know yet what ‘the work I love’ means for me.
    In fact, I tried quite a lot of stuff, and somewhere deep in my heart I fear that it’s because of me, because I’m lazy or just now willing to work. So say some people around me. I don’t think so, I hope it’s not true, but sometimes I just doubt…

  • Stephanie

    I am currently in my last semester of uni. I spend all these uni years thinking about what would be my dream job, my passion. I considered medicine, veterinary, psychology, scientist (I am graduating with a double major in biomedical science and psychology). I’ve arrived at the conclusion that I do not fit any of the careers, and that my dream job is not going to be a “traditional”, “getting-hired” job. Ideally, I would be my own boss and work independently. So I would have to create something out of my strongest interests (personal development and spirituality). But it is this creating something out of nowhere and making it profitably that is a challenge and scares me.
    Getting a job is in a certain way kind of passive: there is a slot available and you just fill it. Being on your own means making way into the world, you need to create your own path, and that can be exciting but also scary.

  • Nico L.

    The biggest thing that keeps me from doing work I love is: Getting overwhelmed by all the options, the choices. Which path to take. Turning each decision into a big dang deal, so big that I can’t make the decision. Bogged down in details – there’s this, there’s this, there’s this, but then Oh wait, there’s That, and what if This? I become like a dog chasing his tail. Going nowhere. Fast.

    • Pix

      I agree, and I think it would be great if there was a choice to do everything. I want to be able to live my life constantly learning and teaching new things. One thing is not for me. If only I could find my way through the countless web pages to find an answer.
      I mean, couchsurfing and then hoping to get money through leaving gifts I’ve made would be great, but I have no way of knowing if it would work.

  • Christina

    My biggest challenge is trying to network and find people/places who are interested in my work. I don’t have a problem doing what I love. I am in limbo right now converting into an artist, but I just don’t know anyone, and I don’t have a huge group of people to surround myself with.
    I am also new to illustration and graphic design.

    Art isn’t new to me, but the change is. A year go I decided to go into Graphic Design, and I have since re-enrolled for associates. So obviously I am making a big change. I wanted to do something I am good at and enjoy.I got tired of putting out tons of work applications, and not hearing a thing. It was really disheartening. So I went back to college, to make something of my skills and talents.

    The one thing I have noticed, that I find very difficult, is meeting people I can work with, to show me the ropes, and push me along when I need it. I’m brand new to this whole thing and sometimes it feels like your drowning trying to keep up.I’m not quite sure where my foothold is, since I don’t know very many people like myself that I can ask questions and share things with.

    It’s not easy to get “out there”, and more often then not I feel like giving up.

    I know if I keep trying, I’ll get there…it’s just that one hurdle I’m having a tough time jumping over.

  • http://debrasblogpureandsimple.blogspot.com/ Debra

    Here’s the question: What’s the Biggest Challenge or Fear Keeping
    You From Doing Work You Love?

    For me, it’s the dichotomy between platforming and writing the books that are demanding to be written. How much time to spend on each? I feel like the networking is distracting me from spending time on the memoirs, but at the same time all I hear is build the tribe. How does one balance the two?

  • http://SuccessClubIntl.com Steve

    Lack of clear goals.

    When I am truly honest, this is the reason. I have accomplished things in the past and they were always because I became clear about achieving those things.

    I am now working on being clear about achieving more things.

    • Pix

      Lack of goals that you set yourself, or that you’re expected to achieve?
      The goals that I set myself are things that I enjoy doing, but in the long run will probably get me nowhere. They are also completely different from what school says I should be able to do.

  • Pix

    The biggest problem for me is that I don’t know people who do what I want to do – everything. I don’t see how I can live my life as a jack-of-all-trades…

  • Zack

    matching a usefull niche to my passions so i can do good + do well.

  • Anatolia

    The biggest challenge for me in following my passion is that I make minimum wage at a part-time job, I have student debt and I live with my parents. I
    have no assets, no savings and piles of debt: how am I supposed to pursue my passion when I’m barely scraping by. I also live with my parents because I can’t afford to live on my own and my parents are completely not supportive of me following a passion as a career. They want me to find a “proper” & “secure” career and will cease to help and support me if I don’t do what they want. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place and I don’t know what to do to improve my situation.

  • Jim Halpin

    Being able to make enough money at it.

  • http://yourbestcup.com Ben

    THE DETAILS! I have had many ideas, and tried a few, but the details are where I get bogged down.

  • Manas

    Feasibility. I think what would happen to my job/family/social life, if I do this or that or any of my other dreams.

  • Drew Levitt

    Shortage of money/fear of financial instability! It seems easier to start a hustle when you have some savings to fall back on, but I’ve just finished paying off my student loans and don’t have much in my accounts.

  • Lara Terblanche

    I’m always on a roller-coaster ride with ideas and passions and then start but never finish! Maybe I’m lazy but can never stick to one idea and roll with it! I’m also always scared to express my new ideas or new found passion as Iv’e always had many and of course people just think I’m a nut hahhahaha!!! I have worked for other companies but I can never stick to just my job, I always want to do more and be more, of course theses companies take advangae of my willingness to work above and beyond, so I started my own business and was very successful for awhile but hit a financial blow and since then worked for one more company finding myself unmotivated, not being able to give 100% kills me. Now I’m unemployed and just don’t know if I should start up again or follow my new passion for small holding farming which is a far cry from what I used to do, Marketing and Event Management. (I know anything I do I can be successfully if I could just commit 100%) I am at a stage in my life that no job is worth more than being happy giving back to our world instead of doing mindless work for a pay cheque that has no scenes of accomplishment behind it! Now just to get cracking on my Dream!!! Eish (like we say in SA)

  • Jean-Michel

    We are 7 at home. I can’t just drop down my actual job and pay to pursue my dreams right now. I take all the responsibilities for that. I’ve missed opportunities in life. I did it in full awareness. Because I have to do what I have to do first. I will do what I want to do as soon as possible. Always searching a way to do so.

  • Tony

    1. What’s the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?

    with 4 kids (from 11 down to 5) and a large mortgage – how do I step off the career I have? Good career but not what I love, but then again what is it I love?

    Most stories I see are of young people without kids and little commitments holding them in one place.

  • Angel

    I need a degree to teach, and I’m not willing to return to the university and listening mostly to things I know and not being able to skip all that crap and just going to the schools and student teach it just demotivates me. I wanna be a school teacher but I’m not willing to return to the university.

  • Matan

    I believe the biggest fear or challenge concerning working on something I’m passionate about is the decision what my passion is. I believe each person has the ability to love and admire so many areas, i.e music, art, movies, interest in a specific area of knowledge and such. This diversity makes me wonder at times- do I love it enough to call it passion? Can I believe that’s what I want to do during my life? Will I really fulfill my potential and make a difference doing x?

  • Jim

    My biggest fear is that after leaving my job I won’t earn money.

  • http://www.recyardmuse.com David

    Two things, the fear that I will jump in only to find out that I don’t have the ability(skills) necessary to accomplish the goal and figuring out if the desires of my heart, the things I want to do so greatly, can be turned into a profit making venture. These have help me prisoner of procrastination for years.

  • Michele

    Fear is what is holding me back. The ease of having the weekly paycheck, stability and knowing what to expect is keeping me in a place I know I don’t want to be. The fear of not be successful, has been keeping me back, but slowly the fear of not trying is taking its place and pushing me forward- one step at a time.

  • Dan

    #1 challenge: How to I select one of my many loves and then find a way to create enough money to support my family using it. That’s the biggest issue. If I knew I could support my family out on my own I’d exit corporate stage left tomorrow.

  • Laura

    My biggest concern is “ruining” the thing I love. If I take something that I 100% enjoy as a hobby or way to relax and turn it into a business, it is no longer something I can just “do when I feel like it”. Instead it becomes a requirement, a chore, a task. I’m worried that a dynamic like that would spoil my love of it. I’d rather keep a hobby I love, than get paid doing what I love, only to find out that adding the financial element means I no longer love it.

    That said, I’m sure there are jobs I would love that don’t involve one of my hobbies (at least not directly.) That would be a matter of hunting to find something I would enjoy. I guess that means I’m echoing what many have said here – how would I choose which love to pursue?

  • http://www.telepresencerobots.com Mike

    Time is holding me back right now. I like, but don’t necessarily love my current job, mostly due to the multitudes of other people I have to work with who consider their job just a paycheck and not a means to serve others. Their lack of enthusiasm can be heartbreaking some days. That’s when I spend a few more hours in the evening devising a plan to get out, thinking it could not be any worse. I am trying to prioritize my time towards my day job as the payoff could be worthwhile, and I feel bad if I don’t give it my best effort.

  • http://otitijasmine.com Otiti

    My biggest challenge is an absence of funds coupled with no credit facilities. I’ve had poor emotional health for some years now, so I haven’t worked since college and have no savings.

    Do I want to make an impact on the world as I own the brilliance at my core and live the life I desire? Sure, but how do I make it happen with an empty bank account?

    I’m working on clarifying my passion and doing what I can to move forward each day, but it’s tough, you know?

  • Stephanie

    That I’m really just mediocre. I’ve made some big mistakes in my life which resulted in me letting go of my dreams. Now I feel ashamed. I have to find a way to push through it though. I am working through everything here, I only get one life.

  • http://interviewsenzo.wordpress.com Martinique

    My biggest fear is my biggest challenge. I don’t believe I’m good enough in the things I truly love doing: writing and photography. I want to be self employed and as I don’t really believe in myself I’m afraid I won’t succeed. But I’m going to give it a try anyway.

  • Michael Nienhaus

    Less Energy After doing my Daily 9 to 5 Job (and spend 2 hours per Day in my car to get to work and back home).

  • http://www.superheld.nu Justin Junier

    That I have to take my ‘passion’ seriously.

  • Connie

    Four things:
    1.I don’t know where to begin, or at least I like to tell myself that.
    2.I don’t trust that the world will support me to discover work that I love,
    3.that even if I had the resources I thought I needed in terms of money and time that I would be able to stay motivated and focused with so much freedom.
    4.I’ve gotten so used to my prison that I like the bars! The safety and security of the known, even if I hate it.

  • Anna

    I’ve always thought that being an actress is a really amazing and incredible job (and not because of fame or money, BTW). However, I’m not quite sure that I’ve got what it takes – beauty, talent and acquaintances in the industry. Plus, I’m rather shy, which also doesn’t help. And I guess I depend on others’ opinions too much.

  • http://flavors.me/bovermyer Ben Overmyer

    My biggest challenge? That’s easy.

    The work I really love doing is game design. In addition to my day job as an IT director for a marketing company, I co-own a tabletop game company called Silver Gryphon Games.

    At present, I can only afford to spend limited hours on the company. By the time I get home from my day job, I’m so drained that I can’t focus enough to work on SGG tasks for long, so I end up losing most of my weekend to catching up.

    However, the tabletop game industry – specifically, role-playing games, like Dungeons & Dragons – is not known for its profitability. The margins are extremely tight to begin with, and the best in the industry only earn about half what I make currently in the IT world.

    If I quit my day job to work on Silver Gryphon Games full time, the massively reduced income would probably end my family financially. I can’t allow that.

    So I’m stuck in the career circle, chained to a job that doesn’t suck but isn’t my passion. How do I escape?

  • http://www.danastrotheide.com Dana

    I agree with a lot of the previous posters. I have more than one challenge. I’m afraid of failure, of not being able to make money, and support myself. I’m worried that I’m not following the right passion either.

  • Gabriela

    My biggest fear is not being able to be present for my family. In the past I had difficulty creating real boundaries around my work, and this seeped into my family life and adversely affected my relationships with my family members. In the past it felt like I could only “juggle” so many balls before I dropped one, and I didn’t enjoy hte feeling of having to chose between work and being available at short notice to my daughter. When work and family commitments conflict, I believe I need a better way to navigate the question of which is really more important to me in the moment, and how I minimize the impact of stepping away from the commitment I cannot honour.
    Thank you for any insights you might be able to provide into this.

  • irene

    My biggest fear is the lost of financial independence. To pursue my passion would take time and money which I do not have at this present moment. But I still believe anything is possible when I work towards that.

  • Nika Juricic

    I’m afraid that if I pursue my passion, I won’t earn very much money.

  • John Lakeman

    I’m struggling with many fears too. I’ve been there. Being able to live from my passion… Since I was a little boy I’ve been dreaming about making it in the music world. ‘To be a pop star.’ Traveling the world with my guitar. At the age of thirty, after working for many years, I got my break. I did give up many other things I loved, when working so hard to break through: I did not have many friends, didn’t go out much, didn’t read much (which I love), did not travel a lot, worked every night, broke with many girlfriends who got tired of the boring live. Signing to a major record company, my band released a first record. It was modestly successful in sales, but I got the chance to play major gigs, festivals, tour in foreign countries, record in major studios, work with the best people in the business in my country etc. I was able to live two years from that modest success. Along the way I met my wife and we started a family (we have three children now). Because of my songwriting skills I was able to start my own recording business/studio. This is one aspect that I really love about music. I used to be the songwriter, but was always jealous of the other band members who had so much fun recording their parts to my songs. I always had strong ideas about my songs, but I’m not Prince; I can’t play all the instruments, I wasn’t trained as a recording engineer etc. The idea of being able to do this all on my own and to write AND record the songs myself was really attractive. I’m pretty successful in this business and was able to build an amazing home and studio for myself. Many of my friends are really jealous of my studio and the work I’m doing now, which is recording for other people and publishing firms. So, my band got on a sidetrack along the way. It’s always easier to attack a project with a deadline and the prospect of getting paid at the end, than to sit down and write songs for myself. Although now I understand that only writing songs and performing them for people made me really happy.

    So my fears now are:
    – Do people only get one chance at their dreamjob?
    – I fear that, when I got my break, I didn’t give it my all.
    – I fear that I’m just a failure. I still get asked about my band daily and that really hurts: I fear that people will consider me a loser.
    – Considering the highly competitive world I want to be in ( you have to have a perfect body, be a confident person and be very fluent and charismatic: am I not too old (I’m over 40 now) to still get a chance at this?
    – Is it possible to combine a job in show-business (or any high profile job) with a family? I’m always reading about other artists life stories, and it struck me that, when they start a family, their career tends to slow down. (Unless of course they have a zillion nannies and staff to take care of their home and family).
    – I fear that I’m missing essential skills to do my dream job and I’m learning multiple instruments, studying techniques etc. It seems that the more I study, the more I realize that I don’t know anything, and that there are people who would do the job much better. Should I just commit to the one thing I know best and do best (writing songs and sing)? And instead of learning all these instruments and recording techniques myself, should I rely more on other people who are experts on their instrument or in their field? I get really lost in this world full of learning opportunities and the wealth of info one can find now on the internet about your passion. It seems that one can spend many lifetimes only learning and studying instead of going out and actually DO the job…
    – Like many people here, my fear is; can I drop my current job and still make enough money to support my current lifestyle and family? The more, because, many people consider that what I do now to be their dreamjob and say that I’m crazy that I’m not content with what I have.
    – My biggest fear is that I will never be truly happy again (If that exists? Or do people only get glimses now and then?). Will I look back at my life on my death bed and realize that I did not have the guts to pursue my talent? More and more, I start to blame my kids and wife for ‘holding me back’. I start to believe that, If I didn’t have a family I would have the financial freedom to take more risks and have plenty of time and freedom to ‘go for it’. This is starting to weigh on our relationship more and more…

  • Matt

    I don’t know what I love.

  • http://thetiniestfootprints.blogspot.com Mama C

    I’m afraid of leaving the familiar. I love so many things that I’m not sure where to begin. I’m a lover of people and want to see people reach their potential but don’t know how to focus that into a living on my own.

  • Terri

    I don’t know what my passion/ purpose is (unless I’m pulling the wool over my own eyes). I quit my job a year ago. I was overworked, exhausted and under rewarded. The future just held more of the same. I felt I was selling my life short to settle for this. The solution seemed to be to take a bold move – to quit, try to work out what I’d like to do and pursue that. You know – make space for somthing exciting to happen, somehow opportunities would open up.

    My passion wasn’t unveiled. I’m interested in (but not necessarily passionate about) many things – so I’ve been applying for a range of jobs some more interesting than others.I have applied for jobs that looked to be a step in the right direction – but nothing – no interviews – and mostly no responses to my applications. Increasingly recruiters want X years experience in a particular field, making it difficult to transfer even if you have transferable skills. It’s lazy recruiting and limiting for career changers. I’m getting a bit concerned that time is running out & that I’ll have to settle – in order to have an income. Others seem to have successful career changes – any advice welcome. Clearly I’m doing something wrong.

  • Nikki

    I suppose you could define my underlying fear as the cliche “fear of failure,” but for me, it’s more than that. I recently graduated college, and am realizing that I have zero interest into conforming to the “next step in life,” which is to get a full time, fun-sucking job. I want to own my own business. Part of my fear is that I haven’t yet decided what kind of business that would be. I have some options, but there isn’t one particular thing I’m extremely good at or passionate about, which makes the decision tough. The other fear I have is that I won’t be taken seriously when I try to buy a business or apply for loans, as I am a 22 year old with no real work experience. Finally, MONEY. I’m already in debt from my four years of excellent, but seemingly unnecessary education, and I don’t find it feasible to add to that debt on something that could quickly and embarrassingly go under. I know I’ll take the leap at some point in my life, but I just haven’t decided if I’m courageous enough to do it now.

  • Ian

    Late to the party, but…

    My biggest fear/challenge right now is dealing with the potential fallout of a career shift right now.

    For context: I am a video game developer. Have been since I was a kid, will probably still be doing it until the day I kick the bucket. I love this stuff, and I can’t get enough of it. I would love nothing more than to do this sort of stuff all the time… in fact, I’m currently working on a game project with a few other people on my weekends that’s showing a LOT of promise, and which is a joy to work on.

    The complicating factor is my job. I got a job 6 months ago in the training simulation industry, largely as a result of my work on this personal project. As an off-shoot of the game development industry, it’s an excellent fit for my skill sets, but I’m not engaged by the subject matter, and it’s sucking up a LOT of my time and energy I’d rather be putting towards my game. In fact, it’s quickly becoming clear to me that my job and my personal project can’t really coexist without slowing down the other to a crawl that I fear will cause it to wither and die.

    If this was a job I hated, a corporate hell that sucked out my soul every day, this would be an easy decision. I’ve got the savings to make a real go at things and have no dependents, so a paycheck doesn’t have much hold on me. But this isn’t a job I hate… in fact, there are days I genuinely enjoy my job. I’ve learned a lot, and I like the people I work with. I may not be thrilled by the kinds of projects I work on, and I may be drained of energy by the time I finally crawl home from my 1.25 hr commute, but this is easily the best job I’ve ever had the good fortune to work, with some of the best and most talented people I’ve ever worked alongside. What’s more, my skills, accomplishments, and input are all appreciated. For most people, this would be a dream job. In fact, I’m fairly certain that for many of my coworkers, it is. I feel a little guilty for being dissatisfied by it when I clearly have it so good.

    So, while I know that what I’m doing is far removed from where my passion lies–and, in fact, that it’s actively harming the projects I do care about by sucking up time and energy–I’m afraid of upsetting that status quo. I’m afraid of upsetting the coworkers who I’ve grown to respect and who seem to hold me in high esteem. I’m afraid that I’m limiting my opportunities for learning more within my field by walking away from the experienced mentors who have already helped me grow by leaps and bounds. I’m afraid that I’ll be judged poorly–maybe even viewed as a parasite–by having joined the company for only 6 months, taken advantage of their investment in training, money, and mentoring, and then jumping ship to do my own thing. I’m also afraid that I’ll be burning important bridges for the future… the local game development community–of which my employer is a part–is small and tightly knit.

    My problem isn’t knowing where I want to be, but in knowing how to make the transition, and deal with/avoid all the fallout that might result from that. Something has to change, though…

  • Sonya

    My biggest fear in making the transition to doing what I love is that I am not sure that others will find it unique enough or valuable enough. I write copy for businesses like brochures, advertising, websites, etc. My fear is that so many people do it and do it well. I am worried that it is a saturated function. I sometimes worry that I won’t sell it enough to keep myself busy and therefore continue to get paid.

  • http://truthwalkers.net Morgan

    I don’t trust myself to know what I am passionate about and that it will matter to anyone. I’m afraid it won’t make any money. And I’m afraid that I’ll succeed, become a jerk, and accidentally destroy the world.

  • Denise

    I’m a single mom. I am afraid of not being good enough at what I want to do, in order to make enough money to support my family.

  • Maus Ameli

    I’ve been following Scott Dinsmore for two months now, and you’ve never ceased from impressing me greatly; inspiring me to trend the waters of self-styled academia with the MIT open courses.

    Now my biggest challenge is my education as an Artist. What makes a great designer or illustrator? Technical Skill, Creativity, Being an savy business person would naturally all factor into it. But while at a decent college with skilled Teaching team, I can’t help but if I could push myself a little further.

    Besides a few highly prized books, like Betty Edwards “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” theres few that take a holistic approach to becoming a professional artist. Each seems to deal with a niche aspect, leaving a hodgepodge journey with poor signposting marking our progress. I’ve made attempts such as setting up an “Art Gauntlet” marked by an obstacle course of progressively difficult tasks; centred around Anatomy, Perspective and Composition, each intermingled with Light/Colour of this make-shift trinity. Yet as I build the sets of exercises it just looks ridiculous and arbitrary.

    How can I live my own legend, if I can’t even recognise it?

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    Not knowing if I have the skills needed and knowledge of how to go from a dead end job to getting the business I want off the ground.

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