The Top 26 Reasons People Keep Doing Work They Hate (& 5 ways to kill the excuses)

Written by Scott March 7, 2012

i hate my job

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.”

-Mark Twain

Let’s talk about why people keep doing work they hate.

By now I’m sure you know the terrifying stat: Over 80% of people don’t enjoy their work and nearly 75% don’t know their passion. 

These two numbers kill me. But thanks to our work here at Live Your Legend, it’s getting better by the day (congrats to so many of you who’ve made massive change – it’s not easy, but I bet it was worth it)!

But for the rest of the world, it’s crazy to think that so many people are willing continue to act in a way that doesn’t make them happy.

And trust me, by now I feel like I’ve seen it all…yet I continue to be surprised.

What 8 years and thousands of comments, clients and readers have told me…

In the past two years, thousands of people have gone through our Live Off Your Passion Guided Discovery course. That alone leaves me in awe.

On top of that, since I started doing this stuff eight years ago, I’ve had the chance to literally hear from thousands upon thousands of people – many of them in terrible pain due to the work they keep doing that they can’t stand. And thankfully from many others, who used to hate their work, but have since successfully made the transition.

The awesome thing is that when you have upwards of 100,000 passionate people from 180+ countries interact with your work on a monthly basis (that’s all of you guys!), you can actually collect some meaningful data. That starts to get pretty powerful.

So why don’t more people do something about their situation?

The fascinating thing is most people have the same stories.

I’ve heard every reason under the sun for why their situation is different. Why they are unable to break the chains and do something that actually excites them. The great majority come back to the same few reasons.

I wanted to share them with you to see if perhaps similar things are holding you back.

After all, the first step is identifying the problem. Next step is doing something about it.

Side note: Believe me, I know making the transition can be unbelievably challenging. I never mean to discredit that. But there are still examples everywhere of people in worse situations than you, who still manage to find their way. I know because I hear about them almost daily. You just have to keep an eye and ear out. 

With that said…

Do any of these sound familiar?

1. I don’t know what I’m passionate about.

2. I don’t know how to make money from my passion.

3. The people around me will think I’m crazy.

4. I don’t have anyone to go to for advice, support or encouragement.

5. Work is just a part of life. It’s not something meant to be enjoyed.

6. It’s not possible to do what you love and make a living from it.

7. I can’t find the courage to start.

8. What if I fail?

9. Nobody around me enjoys their job.

10. I have a family, mortgage and obligations to be responsible for.

11. My passion is not the kind of thing you can make money from; it’s just a
little hobby.

12. I’m not qualified enough. There are plenty of experts in my field with more
experience than me.

13. Between my current job, my family, trying to stay healthy and all the other
things I have to do, I don’t have any time to work on my passion.

14. I can’t find a job that allows me to leverage my natural strengths.

15. It’s too risky. In this economy I need to keep any job security I can find.

16. I have too many passions and interests. There’s no way I could choose just
one. And if I did, what if I realize it’s the wrong choice in six or 12 months?

17. I can’t find the initiative.

18. I have a terrible time following through.

19. I’ve never heard of someone who’s been able to make a living off my
specific passion.

20. There’s too much competition.

21. I’m too old and waited too long. I wish I had thought about this 25 years
ago.

22. I spent eight years studying something in university that I can’t stand
doing now. But it would be way too much of a waste to switch.

23. I have to be really savvy with the Internet and I don’t know a lot of the
modern tools and technology.

24. I’m not creative enough.

25. Finding and keeping a job is hard enough, let alone finding one I love
doing.

26. I don’t know anyone who actually makes a living doing what they love.

I want to quit my job

I’ll ask again – Do any of these sound familiar?

Take another minute and look back through them. Mark the ones you know you’ve played in your head over and over.

Why do you believe this?

Do you really have enough data and experience to believe there isn’t another way?

I doubt it.

Just look around you – Look around our community at Live Your Legend. Look around at the successes in most industries.

The right stories are everywhere if you want to see them.

And I have news for you. Every one of the above ‘reasons’ is nothing more than an excuse.

It’s an assumption that needs to be tested and proven wrong.

We do that, and we can start to move mountains.

Here are five things you can do right now to turn those excuses on their head:

  1. Find someone who’s already doing it – make friends with them or read everything you can about their life and process.
  2. Identify your values and learn what you’re good at – take the Strengths Finder 2.0 test or start by asking a few people close to you what they see as your gifts.
  3. Get lost in a passion – if you don’t know yours, then just take a day off with nothing on the calendar and see where it takes you.
  4. Lower the hurdle – Make a list of the things that actually make you happy (and the things most people assume will) – you’ll find you probably don’t need as much money or as many things as you think.
  5. Help someone with something – and start to charge them for it! We are all experts at something.
And for bonus points: Call in sick (or take a personal day) one day next week and spend a few minutes doing one of the above. If you haven’t done it yet, then you’ve waited too long.

Doing Work You Love Is a Right

It was hearing these 26 sentences (and many more), play on endless repeat from readers, friends, clients and nearly every person I seemed to meet, that finally caused us to create the Live Off Your Passion Guided-Discovery Course. We all desperately need a roadmap and tools to take us from a list of reason we shouldn’t, to every reason why we MUST (why YOU must) – and the step-by-step process to go with it.

That’s why I spent hundreds of hours compiling statistics, interviews and case studies from around the would. It’s why I wrote hundreds of pages of content, lessons and exercises into our interactive workbooks and videos. It’s also why I tracked down 14 different top-notch experts and Living Legends to cover all the most important areas and stumbling points of actually doing work that matters.

Live Off Your Passion was designed to test every one of the above. It covers them all and more.

And thousands have used it to kill the above excuses as a result.

I could not be happier. And I know we’re just getting started.

If you need more in-depth guidance with this stuff, I strongly suggest you look over the course materials. Part of the reason I stopped taking new coaching clients was to pour all my energy into deep resources that could be helpful to more of our community at once. That’s why I created Live Off Your Passion. With the Discover Your Passion (and make money from it) Guarantee, there really is nothing to lose. As it should be.

If you’re curious, more course details can be found here.

Remember, everything was impossible until someone did it.

Excuses are not fact. They are not set in stone. They’re anything but.

They are a figment of our imagination.

Just thoughts – nothing more.

But they are the most dangerous thoughts in the world. 

Believing them can kill a dream in a heartbeat.

But disproving them is what changes the world.

Living a life of purpose and passion is just that, a way of life. Those who wake up excited aren’t just the lucky ones, they condition themselves to experience and deserve it.

So I’ll ask you one more time…

Which of the above 26 have you been telling yourself?

Let’s see if we can do something about it.

You and I both know we can do better.

May today be your last excuse.

-Scott

_____

Image courtesy of MiiiSH

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