I want to quit my job and follow my dream, but—

{ 121 comments }

If you’re miserable in your job, your fears are probably stopping you from taking a leap towards something better. Adventurers, artists, travelers, entrepreneurs and dream chasers have one thing in common: they take risks. They’ve cashed in something huge for their passions. They’ve chosen freedom over security. Here’s a list of common excuses with examples of people who have fought to break free:

“I can’t in this economy!”

The waters will never part for you, my non-Biblical friend. Taking bold risks will always be hard, and if it’s not the economy it’ll be something else. Instead of focusing on your disadvantages, focus on what you’re lucky enough to have right now: Loving support? Your good health? Youth? Maturity? Savings? First-world opportunities? Fluent English? Being alive? Don’t wait for ‘the right time’ because it’s nothing but a fantasy. Every moment you postpone, more doors close. BANG!

Inspiration: Kim and Brian from So Many Places are saving pennies so they can quit their jobs and ‘jump off the hamster wheel’ for a RTW trip. The couple plan to take a leap of faith in January 2012.


“I can’t afford it — I’m in debt!”

Nothing new and shiny is worth decades of being shackled to misery. Maybe you’re attempting to fill your unhappiness hole with shiny objects, nights out, treats, distractions. But spending traps you in debt, making your unhappiness hole bigger. Every time you get out the credit card, remember that objects cost more than just money — they cost happiness. Take an extra job, sell all the things you don’t need, and work harder than you ever have to begin digging your way to freedom.

Inspiration: Adam Baker of Man Vs Debt is working to pay off his dues, sell his crap and do what he loves: travel.


“My spouse won’t let me.”

If your life partner doesn’t support your decision to leave a job that makes you miserable, then you’re not in a loving relationship, you’re in a dictatorship. Nobody respects a whipped coward, especially not your spouse. But before you pawn your wedding ring, ask yourself if you’ve made it explicitly clear to your partner that you’re unhappy doing what you’re doing.

Inspiration: Ayngelina from Bacon Is Magic walked out on her job, apartment, friends and boyfriend in her mid-thirties for a solo escapade around South America.


“I have children.”

Do your children need buckets full of toys? Do they need a big home? Is having a backyard with a slide and a sandpit more important for children than having happy and fulfilled role models? If you’re suffering through a miserable job for them, you may only be succeeding to set a mediocre standard for them to mimic. Imagine your children as adults: what do you want for them? Happiness? Freedom? Courage? Be that person for them now.

Inspiration: John and Nancy Vogel from Family On Bikes just completed an epic cycling journey from Alaska to Argentina living out of their tiny bike panniers for three years … with two kids in tow!


“My parents will be upset.”

Unless you’re five, this shouldn’t be prohibitive. Thank your wonderful parents for their love and support and tell them you need to take responsibility for your own happiness from now on. Ask them to gently release the grip on your choke chain. It’s time for them trust in you to run through the grass, leash free.

Inspiration: Leif from The Runaway Guide left home at 16 to travel the world on the smell of an oily rag, and while my advice is: Don’t do this at home kids!! and Please wait until you’re 18 kids!! his website shows what a truly determined person is capable of.


“It’s not sensible to quit a steady job.”

None of the good things in life are sensible. Sex. Adventure. Walking on the moon. Love. Chocolate. Having babies. Art. Learn to recalibrate your filters by remembering that ‘sensible’ is a bad, bad word. Start following pursuits that are ‘unreasonable.’ Don’t make choices that are practical, make choices that get your skin tingling. (Go easy on the chocolate, though.)

Inspiration: Forgeover chronicles the unfolding journey of a family who are “bucking convention, and flouting common sense” to embark on an major sailing trip.


“It’s too hard. I’m scared. I’m not brave enough.”

Be careful of becoming a victim to your own circumstances. Life is your car and only you can take the driver’s seat. If you don’t grab the steering wheel and take control, you’re just careening blindly towards death with nobody manning the vehicle.

Inspiration: Lachlan Cotter from The Art Of Audacity dedicates his life to smashing his fears. He plans to motorcycle across Asia, despite a list of challenges that would put most people off.


 

What challenges are stopping you? Or, if you’ve broken free from a miserable place, what challenges did you fight against to find freedom?

Leave a Comment

  • Kim June 3, 2011, 3:31 am

    Thanks for mentioning us and thanks for sharing all of these other wonderful stories. You only get one life. Live it dammit!!

    Reply
    • Kim Handley June 14, 2011, 1:16 pm

      Kim I cannot find this link? where is it? I want to enter and give follow ups on my journey that starts today!

      Thanks x

      Reply
  • Nancy @Family on Bikes June 3, 2011, 3:37 am

    Thanks so much for using us an example of how having kids doesn’t have to stop you!

    But this part: “But before you pawn your wedding ring, ask yourself if you’ve made it explicitly clear to your partner that you’re unhappy doing what you’re doing.” hit home for me. Way back in 1993 I had had it with my husband (yes, the very same wonderful man I just cycled Alaska to Argentina with) and was on the verge of divorce. I mean – I was THIS close.

    I finally gave him an ultimatum of sorts – I was going to move overseas. He could come with me or not, but I was going. He quit his job and went with me in the end, but before he did that his response was, “We can’t move overseas. We can’t because we’re American and Americans work in America.” It had never occurred to him that not all Americans worked in America.

    It was such a simple thing, but one he had never considered. Moving overseas ultimately saved our marriage.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 3, 2011, 9:21 am

      Very interesting. Those inner-dialogues we have going with ourselves, the ones that say stuff like: “We can’t because we’re American and Americans work in America” are indoctrinated in us at some point but don’t necessarily make any sense. It’s a great example of how a silly excuse could’ve thwarted everything. And in the case of you guys, it would’ve resulted in some MAJOR lost opportunities.

      Reply
  • Tucker Bradford June 3, 2011, 3:44 am

    Hooray! I have found myself saying (several times recently) “This is not a dress rehearsal.” We only get one shot at this folks, let’s do it UP!

    Reply
  • ayngelina June 3, 2011, 3:48 am

    I love this round up of reasons. Oddly enough my boyfriend was probably the most supportive of me leaving, even though he knew it would be the end of our 5 year relationship. But you can’t live your life with regrets.

    Reply
  • brian June 3, 2011, 4:06 am

    Examples with real world examples of people actually doing it. Fantastic post and hopefully an eye-opener for people who say I don’t know anyone doing what I want to do.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 3, 2011, 6:53 am

      Yep. These people inspire me to no end. It’s nice to see what’s possible.

      Reply
  • Katie June 3, 2011, 4:09 am

    This is like a list of sledgehammers to be used for knocking down the brick walls that stand in the way of awesome things. Fantastic.

    Reply
  • Raymond June 3, 2011, 4:14 am

    I LOVE this post! I just left a job I disliked for a job I dislike even more for one reason — money. Take it from me, if you do it for the dough, you’re only selling yourself short. Now I’m counting the days until I get the courage to say shag it.

    Reply
  • Beware of Falling Coconuts June 3, 2011, 6:23 am

    Excellent advice. Time to strap the kids to a donkey and head for Brazil.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 3, 2011, 6:41 am

      I’m just imagining them slung over the donkey, flies around their faces, heads bouncing in unison with each trot. They’ll … love it …

      Reply
  • Adam @ SitDownDisco June 3, 2011, 6:40 am

    I quit my long term job and sold my house over the past 3 years to start a new life and I haven’t looked back (much). There were a couple of issues that would have held me back forever had I not figured them out. I just wasn’t going to take the big risks that many people talk about – namely, selling the house and quitting a job that pays really well for a future of financial insecurity. Everyone has their fears and mine was financial insecurity. I wrangled control of that in my own way and over time became OK with letting go of the house and the job. I’d advocate this approach to other prospective life changers too. :) That is, don’t just jump. Have a think about it first and be comfortable with it otherwise it could be incredibly stressful.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 3, 2011, 6:49 am

      Thanks for your comment, Adam. I agree — jumping straight into risk may be reckless. If you’re not fully inspired and committed, otherwise there may be damage! Getting comfortable with taking the leap (and feeling right about it) is very important. What’s not good is when people accept unhappy circumstances, become resigned and give in to an excuse.

      Well done for doing what you did. Sounds like it wasn’t easy.

      Reply
  • Renee Dien-wilson June 3, 2011, 7:00 am

    Well written, very inspiring and absolutely beautifully presented

    Reply
  • Monica June 3, 2011, 8:32 am

    wow, I love this. In other words, ‘Just do it!’ There will never be a right time and you only regret the things you didn’t do….
    Don’t wait until the ‘perfect time’ because you’ll never do anything with your life if you spend it waiting.

    Reply
  • Ekua June 3, 2011, 9:07 am

    Love how straightforward this advice is. I’ve gotten good at making trips and doing little things to achieve dreams, but I could definitely use an extra push to really go for it.

    Reply
  • Runaway Brit June 3, 2011, 9:36 am

    Great round up of excuses here! I have heard most of them from people who say they wish they could do what I have done.

    I also had to break free from debt to get where I am now (http://bit.ly/laBCsr ) It took a long time and I had to give up a lot of things but I am much happier now than I ever could be with Bailiffs calling me every five minutes!

    The only reasonable excuse I can think of to prevent travel is serious health issues, that’s why I intend to travel the world before they kick in!! Life is short and there’s no re-run so you have to do it now :-)

    Reply
    • John June 3, 2011, 11:42 am

      Changing career path in order to travel is often referred to as following your dream. It shouldn’t be. Dreams are what the travel companies market.

      Billions would like to quit their job and see the glossy image of travel as the answer to all of their problems. This is because the few weeks spent on vacation are often the happiest weeks of the year. There are other options, the key one is to get in control of your career.

      Unfortunately a number of blogs are now promoting a “Follow this travel blogging formula and you can follow your dream”. The truth is, that of the many thousands of people that would like to make a living from travel blogging, less than a hundred will be able to do so. That shouldn’t put you off if you are in that top 100 category, but be realistic, if you know you are not. Even if you do manage it, you will still be a hamster in a wheel Tweeting continuously to keep your Klout score high and always aware that the next blog post, videocast is due.

      If you want to travel the world there are many ways of achieving this, from volunteering to teaching English as a foreign language. It is even possible to work real hard and save for a pension and take early retirement to coincide with your children going to university. You have to have conviction in whatever you do an be prepared to make sacrifices and work hard. But hard work and sacrifices are not felt if you really enjoy what you are doing.

      If you really are unhappy in your present career path, then talk it through with some wise friends or pay a professional. As many have pointed out, life is not a rehearsal. But, don’t assume that travel is the answer because of a few idyllic vacation weeks.

      Reply
      • Torre DeRoche June 3, 2011, 12:50 pm

        Thanks for your thoughts, John. You make good points about travel blogs — those succeeding have their work cut out for them.

        There’s no such thing as the cocktail / pool lounge / trouble-free travel that you see in retirement ads. You’re always going to have to work for luxury. The energy you put in is the energy you get back. (The Four Hour Work Week is, IMO, a load of poop).

        Everything in life is yin and yang. When I sailed the Pacific, the benefit was the beautiful places, the absolute freedom, the peace, the sea life, the sunsets, the amazing highs. The bad aspects were being vulnerable to weather, boat problems, fear, loneliness, isolation, the horrible lows. The cost of having incredible beauty and freedom was extreme danger and a lot of hard work — that’s just the balance of life.

        I do feel that setting off traveling is (for some people) following a dream. Sometimes taking the leap away from a miserable situation will lead to new opportunities that you didn’t know existed before, but you have to surrender to the experience to find those opportunities. It’s also possible that you’ll return to the same job, but the experience will change you. I ADORE my job since returning after two years. I learned to stop taking life so seriously, and now work is fun.

        Of course, travel isn’t the answer for everyone. I once met a woman who quit her high-paying corporate job to work in a café. She radiated with happiness.

        Reply
  • Justin June 3, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Remember how you used to be scared of things as a kid. Same deal here. Just get out and start doing. You can make up all the exucses in the world, but these great examples here are just everyday average people who are simply DOING! Once you start doing, everything gets easier. Stuff falls into place.

    Who knows, you maybe taking a risk by not taking a risk. Letting your life blow by out of fear, that’s pretty risky as well.

    I have two small kids and we are in the process of quitting our jobs and heading off for a life of travel. I never would have imagined us doing this. My wife and I are couch loving, beer drinking suburbanites who thought a big retirement account and nice countertops would suit us best. That didn’t work. Getting up the courage to try something new is tough, but once you do it, your whole world changes.

    Remember: Your smart, you got this far. Forget the stats and know yourself.

    Get Going!

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 5, 2011, 2:42 am

      Thanks for your thoughts and story Justin. Remember: you can still be beer drinking, couch lovers … just on the road! :)

      Reply
      • Justin June 5, 2011, 2:50 am

        Beer drinking YES! But the couch? Maybe not the way we travel. Plus, I can’t seem to blog from a couch. And considering blogging is all I do at night . . .

        Love your blog!

        Reply
        • Torre DeRoche June 5, 2011, 3:09 am

          I can hunt down a couch anywhere in the world. A couch in paradise = perfection.

          Reply
  • Debbie Beardsley June 3, 2011, 5:05 pm

    This is a great list of people who have or are overcoming their challenges to follow their dreams and live the life they want. Thanks for putting this together! Some on this list I am already familiar but others I will definitely be looking into.

    Reply
  • Leah June 6, 2011, 11:02 am

    I have found your post really usefull and inspiring as these are all excuses I use not to take off and follow my travelling dreams – time to have a rethink! :-)

    Reply
  • Mark June 6, 2011, 1:31 pm

    First, elegant posting. Font/layout. Ashamed I’ve not been by before. I notice a two fears that thread these declinations : 1. other people; 2. death.

    I think there is so much fear about what people will think, the acclaim we’ll miss, the disappointments, the guilt/regret matrix.

    There’s an irony in this–we may hurt people initially. But when we treat our drams and with fidelity, we are more apt to love.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 7, 2011, 4:40 am

      Thanks, Mark. You make very insightful points. It’s hard for most people to break out of being the person that other people expect them to be — “What will people think if I’m suddenly a different person?” We’re often pinned to our identity by how other people see us, as though we’re scripted characters in our very own boring TV show. I like to move to a new country whenever I feel like transforming my identity, that way nobody gets confused :)

      Reply
  • Jessica Mans June 6, 2011, 4:02 pm

    I think you should find 30 excuses and write an e-book. I would buy it. And then I’d buy 6 more for all my friends. (Yes, I only have 6 friends). Thanks for such a great post.

    Reply
  • Andrea June 8, 2011, 11:48 pm

    Love these mythbusters! Excellent post =) I think many people let fear of what others think hold them back in life. It can be difficult to overcome, but very important if a person is going to live his or her own happy life.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 9, 2011, 6:48 am

      I agree. We’re all caring too much about what people think if the number one fear that people have is not death, but public speaking!

      Reply
  • Stephanie June 9, 2011, 6:41 am

    Beautifully written and well said!!

    Reply
  • bran June 10, 2011, 3:17 am

    This all sounds so great, but what words of wisdom do you have for when something bad happens or for when you get to old to sail. To just quit without planning and saving first is not only foolish but dangerous.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 10, 2011, 2:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Bran. Answering this question will require a whole blog post, but let’s start with Helen Keller’s famous quote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”

      There’s no such thing as a safe adventure. It’s an oxymoron.

      Since it’s not possible to have 100% safety and 100% adventure, what ratio you decide on is a personal choice. If you choose more adventure, you lose safety. If you choose more safety, you lose adventure. Whatever your choice, be happy with that decision.

      Reply
  • R Wayne Branch June 11, 2011, 5:04 am

    It took them leaving me to get me to see that I was orchestrating my own escape. For a lot of years I did what I should. I was safe, living a good life and a success. Then it crumbled, in my opinion because of petty jealousies, incompetence and the fact that my tolerance abandoned me giving me another chance to live my dreams. At 60, I am here. All here. I have no regrets. No wishes that I had done it sooner. God has given me what I have asked for, even when it was my heart doing the asking. I had to be ready. Not financially but spiritually. The way I see it, I am blessed that my heart forced my brain to take a back seat and let me live my passion.

    I am so blessed!!!

    Reply
  • Kim Handley June 14, 2011, 12:59 pm

    I have quit my job today!

    I thought of all the above things and they tortured me for months. I feel like a weight has lifted of my head! my poor head was in bits, stuck like a caged animal.
    Luckily I have no ties, and I am a dancer so pretty much can go any where and get a job! lucky me hey and I have learnt Spanish Language for 3 years to spur me on in my big move to Spain.
    My only advice to anyone is:
    - keep responsibilities to a minimum
    -dont invest in houses cars, kids, they are all massive twats!
    -live with parents or rent a room
    -steer clear of nights out, new clothes all the time, and any other pointless buying
    -save a few grand
    -GO!

    doing all the above has made me able to change my whole life for a £70 flight to palma non return!
    Adios and good luck to you all xx

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 20, 2011, 4:15 am

      Hey, Kim. Thanks for your comment and good luck with the next phase of your life! Exciting.

      Reply
  • Kirsten June 17, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the links to others following their dreams. We just sold our house last weekend, sold the cars and 1/2 our stuff to move the family to Hawaii for a year. We’re in a hotel now looking for a rental house to live and are figuring it out day by day. Its great to read about others who have done or are doing something similar!

    Keep up the great blog posts. Not all your followers that are spambots :)

    Kirsten

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 20, 2011, 4:16 am

      Congratulations. Hawaii will be absolutely beautiful. I’m glad to know you’re not a spambot, but maybe that’s something a spambot would say? Hmm …

      Reply
  • Greg June 18, 2011, 6:44 pm

    Going after your dream is a noble pursuit. Nice article. I have found a way to gradually increase my income and soon, I will be able to just rely on the so called side income! Good luck everyone.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche June 20, 2011, 4:17 am

      It takes a lot of courage and trust in the universe. Good luck with your plans!

      Reply
  • Lorna - the roamantics June 27, 2011, 6:00 pm

    First the last one, then #3, then #2. done, done, and done. Extremely hard, slow-going, and sad in the last case, but just 2.5 weeks into my big journey, worth each drop of sweat & tears. Great post Torre :)

    Reply
  • Rafael July 9, 2011, 4:48 pm

    I have always been an overachiever, graduated from law school at 24 and by 35 became a Vice President in my field of expertise with a nice six figure salary……but I was MISERABLE. Now at 36 the opportunity came and I took it, I quit my job. At first I was scared, I have a 7 year old daughter and 6 month – old twin boys, but I HAD TO DO IT! See what happens is that as you rise in corporate ranks you tend to lose yourself, and I did not want that. I enjoy my profession, but now I’m doing it as a consultant. Companies will seek out consultant to bring in fresh ideas and points of view, and that is what I’m banking on. I know I CAN do it and I know I WILL fine. The road to happiness and financial independence is filled with pain, but if many have done it, why can’t I? Don’t doubt yourself or you will lose yourself.

    Reply
  • Kate July 17, 2011, 10:17 pm

    Hi,

    I am so glad I came across this blog. It kinda funny because I just formed a discussion on my site about quitting your job. I think that people need to stop making excuses and realize that you can live your dream despite what the naysayers will tell you. I am on the path to living my dream and LOVE IT. I am a single parent, supervisor at my job, grad student, and have business ventures that I’m working on. You can do it people! Three simple words. ASK. BELIEVE. RECEIVE.
    http://positivething.net/forum/topics/i-want-to-quit-my-job
    http://positivething.net/profiles/blogs/three-simple-words

    Reply
  • Sueann August 1, 2011, 6:07 am

    This is a brilliant article. I love your conviction. It really shows that if one believes in something, she can insist on it and not be afraid of negative responses. I, too, believe in finding your own priorities over all the silly reasons not to quit.

    Reply
  • Carolyn November 19, 2011, 2:55 am

    Absolutely love your blog! This post spoke volumes to me:)
    No guts…no glory!
    Lyn

    Reply
  • Capn Bill December 28, 2011, 9:51 pm

    I’m cutting the ropes that tie me on the hampster wheel one by one. When I’m finished I will sail around the world. I have the boat picked out and the money to buy it. As soon as I unload the overpriced McMansion I live in, I’m gone.

    Reply
  • Louise February 5, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Thanks for mentioning about the parents! I really want to walk out of my job it’s so mind numbing!!

    Reply
  • The Moment February 28, 2012, 9:23 pm

    Hello,
    I’m working for the new USA Network TV show, The Moment. The show is based on people who are looking to pursue their dream jobs. We’re currently casting for the show’s first season. If you or anyone you know are interested, go to our website: http://www.mysticartpictures.com, click on NOW CASTING and view the information about the show under “The Moment”.

    Reply
  • Vanessa April 23, 2012, 5:59 am

    I’ve just started reading this article and am amazed! I’m 35 years old and work full-time. I’ve been in my job 20 years – since I was 14. I’m in such a rut in my life and don;t feel like I can accomplish anything else at my work. Also having coming out of a marriage 2 and half years ago I have decided I am sick and tired of living like this and am giving EVERYTHING up and and putting a bag in my car with enough clothes to last and am hitting the road. I am heading North and don’t know what I’ll do when I get there but I’m sick and tired of the conventional life and getting nowhere. It;s always been a dream of mine to do this but life has just sort of gotten in the way. It was just expected to have a career and get married and then when it has all ended I;ve sat down and thought what really is important to me and that is life and living one! I;ve had people say to me, “Oh you are so silly for doing”and even my boss said, “Well, if you really want to leave your job of 20 years, that’s your choice.” Damn right it’s my choice and it’s what I want to do! I haven’t felt this excited in anything in a loonngg time and can’t wait! When the day comes, I’ll be getting in my car and taking off and not looking back, at least not for a long time! I only live once and may only get one shot at this so I’m going to do it! As for the people who say I’m being silly, well, it’s not your life that you are doing this to so you really don’t have to worry! It’s me and my life and it’s me who has to worry! So stop worrying about my problems and start concentrating on your own! It’s just me and my car and I can’t wait! I’ll be sleeping in my car on the way and that is my only form of accommodation! Bring on June, this is when I leave and thankyou for this article and the inspiration for helping me do this!

    Reply
  • Amanda Jenner June 21, 2012, 8:44 pm

    Just started reading your blog – it’s inspirational. This post really hit home and I wish I’d read it before my recent downbeat post http://ajjenner.com/2012/06/17/just-a-dreamer/ as you’ve made me feel much more positive. Thanks :)

    Reply
  • Everett July 10, 2012, 6:52 pm

    While somewhat inspirational, none of these anecdotes or responses to common excuses actually solves any of the problems. Despite what you might think, lots of people who live frugally and don’t buy “shiny things” are still in debt. Student loans and even reasonable mortgages on a small home can make saving money nearly impossible for a lot of us. If you are a single breadwinner and have a spouse whose full time job it is to look after kids you are supporting three, four or more people. Two student loans, auto insurance, health insurance and a small mortgage are all it really takes – on top of food bills and other “real necessities” – to keep you on that month-to-month living treadmill. You are basically telling people to “just jump” but without a safety net jumping can mean losing your home and not being able to feed your family.

    While it makes for an uplifting blog post for some people, it makes others – such as myself – mumble “easier said than done” under their breath.

    Why not provide some real solutions to these problems? You can postpone your student loans for a year or more. You can use what little “free time” you have to build a small business that will help cushion your jump from the corporate ladder when the time comes. You can sell your home and rent for awhile, maybe even using your equity to finance your new venture, or just to keep in savings in case you don’t make it to the other side of your jump. You could move into an intentional community. You could expatriate to a country with decent healthcare. You could trade places with your spouse who may want to get back into the workforce while you take a much needed workforce-break and work on your next move while handling the equally demanding challenges of childcare and domestic management (I’m sorry, but there isn’t much “engineering” to it. Look up the word).

    I’m not trying to be a troll and bash a decent blog post just because I’m stuck in front of a computer right now and am in a bad mood. I’m trying to be constructive in my criticisms so the next time someone like me, who is indeed stuck in front of a computer and is in a bad mood, comes to read this post they might encounter some real solutions.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche July 28, 2012, 3:13 am

      Hi Everett (that’s my dad’s name).

      My post is talking directly to people who use fears or excuses to avoid going for their dreams. Excuses can be a convenient way to justify an unhappy situation to other people and to yourself. With this post, I wanted to cut through the excuses and speak bluntly to those who know deep down that they’re being held back by fear. Those people will know who they are.

      Your suggestions are very sensible, but they’re for another topic entirely.

      Reply
  • Niecy August 12, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Last year I quit my miserable job, my lease was up on my apartment so I didnt renew. I lost my car last year due to being behind on my car payments from having major surgery, my life was a mess. I got married in march of this year, everything was fine until my husband started being angry at me because I havent found a job by now. He does’nt understand that I just dont want any kind of job that has no meaning nor purpose in my life anymore. I dont want to put myself in that miserable state anymore, I left everything including my family to find a new and better life for me finally. I left to find my purpose in life and to start loving me. However I had good intentions to see a beautiful for me after 44 years of pure hell.
    Im lost, my husband treats me like Im nothing. He looks down on me, he gives me no emotional support, he ignores me all the time. I cry alone, Im a good hearted person, Im no way lazy, im smart and loving but my husband just dont believe in me, his spirit is so dark he uses it to have powrr over me because I have nothing. People out there I have no one to talk to because I left everything and everybody. Im to ashamed to face my family because I dont want them to look down on me. I pray and cry out to God to help me. My husband smiles and rejoice off of my pain, he makes fun of me not having nothing. All my life I had my own but just last year I decided to walk out on faith to see what God has for me but now I think God forgot about me so I cry silently in pain with a broken heart. I just want to die, I
    cannot bare this pain IM SO SERIOUS!!! I JUST DONT KNOW HOW

    TO MOVE THIS PAIN.

    Inow I jussomething better out there for me. I walked out on faith last year to follow God and to be FREE LIVE AND NOT DIE. But n

    Reply
    • Niecy August 12, 2012, 6:55 pm

      Please forgive the error on my letter, the system would not allow me to delete my typo on the bottom of my letter. Anyone out there that understands my heart, if so please help me see. Thank you from this little crying angel.

      Reply
      • Torre DeRoche August 13, 2012, 1:23 am

        Hi Niecy,

        I’m sorry that you’re going through all this. Let me first tell you that you need to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Tell the doctor what you told me (perhaps print what you’ve written and take it to them), and he/she will be able to refer you to someone you can talk to. I can understand that you feel stuck. There are people who can help you with this.

        You may benefit from anti-depressants because going up against this much uncertainty can trigger depression that becomes difficult to come out of without help. Depression can interfere with your decision-making and potentially block you from seeing what it is you want to be doing. So go to a doctor and tell them what you just told me. This is very important.

        I know that you want to find the perfect job, but in a situation like yours, you need to worry less about finding your purpose and more about getting yourself into a position in which you have power and you’re not dependant on somebody who is bullying you.

        If you keep waiting for the perfect job to come along, you will only become more and more buried in this situation. Why not apply for various jobs and see what comes of this? Follow several paths and see where they lead. Explore. It’s better to search for your purpose while you’re employed and able to take care of yourself. This alone will make you much, much less miserable, as you’ll have control over your life once again.

        It’s unfortunate that your husband is being this way and that he’s being cruel with you. My suggestion is to stop waiting for him to be the man you want him to be and work fiercely to focus on your own life and goals. Work hard, earn money, get yourself out of the relationship (if that is what you want).

        We each have to be our own saviours in this life. Nobody is responsible for your life, your happiness, and your wellbeing apart from you. You have to fight for yourself, Niecy. You have to keep on surviving and giving it everything you’ve got to thrive.

        Take care.

        Reply
  • Jay October 9, 2012, 7:22 am

    This article woke me up – particularly the line, “Don’t make choices that are practical, make choices that get your skin tingling.” Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
    • Bryony September 8, 2013, 7:59 am

      I totally agree! Also Torre’s comments here: “My post is talking directly to people who use fears or excuses to avoid going for their dreams. Excuses can be a convenient way to justify an unhappy situation to other people and to yourself. With this post, I wanted to cut through the excuses and speak bluntly to those who know deep down that they’re being held back by fear. Those people will know who they are.”

      The trouble I have is that my life is pretty sweet! Good job that pays really well and gives me freedom (however its within an industry that doesn’t really resonate with my heart or passions), lovely little rented cottage, chickens, cat and great friends and family. My fear to take the jump is not through unhappiness but a fear of leaving a rather comfortable life! However, every single day I feel that its not sitting quite right, that I need to break the routine/shackles and that to discover my full potential I need to actual step back outside my comfort zone again. One thing I’ll say is we all know that first leap is the hardest. But usually, its the right one. Whenever I’ve trusted my heart its not let me down! Good luck everyone considering a leap of faith. xx

      Reply
  • Ed November 5, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I’m 46 going on 47. I’ve work in “Public Service” for the past 14+ yrs and I am so burnt out and tired of not having a life and missing out on opportunities . My child is graduating college and the other is going off to college, I am divorced and have some money saved up in my retirement to pay off my debt and take off on some long overdue desires of the heart and soul. I just want to pursue my desires now that my kids are grown and find out what the world has to offer as far as life experience and love. I’m so tired of not having a life and I feel the strong need to go find it abroad. I am an avid Mountain Biker and plan on going to South America to fulfill my dreams. Others have told me the old saying that life is too short and in my experience it truly is . Never be afraid to seek what your inner voice tells you to go out and find.

    Reply
  • Vickie December 7, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Hi Torre,

    What a great post! I’m still a little afraid to let go of my day job, but I have at least made the decision to review in three months with the intention of taking the leap and following my lifelong dream of being a fulltime writer and speker. My passion to help transform the lives of my fellow Busy Chicks to achieve better life balance, better health and most impotantly, better happiness is passing me by as I only have limited time in which to give at the moment. (I think its about time I took some of my own advice! My health is suffering at the moment, and as you say, many of us just end up driving ourselves towards death, never taking the chance to fulfil the dream. As Kim says, you only get one life. Live it dammit!

    Reply
  • Nigel December 30, 2012, 7:15 am

    I completely agree with everything you’ve said. I’ve recently quit my ‘safe’ job and started doing what I love full time and all I can say is that my heart is at peace. This is what it’s all about. Sharing what you love with others. I wish you all the best.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche December 30, 2012, 7:45 am

      Congratulations, Nigel! All the best to you, too.

      Reply
  • Mathew January 6, 2013, 8:03 pm

    Hi miss De Roche, I ran into your site with this post and I’m sure I will become a daily reader, I’m in the quest right now to quit my job for a better life, but like your post, I stil have a couple of ‘buts’ to take care of, my main reason to quit, and to hold on until I find something better, is my 6 month old kid, he makes me want to change my life, I want to give him the best of my time, a nice house and good education, so working 12 – 14 hours a day is no longer an option. I started studying an MBA and looking for a better job and post like yours give me the courage to know I’m in the right direction, thank you so much and have a wonderful 2013

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche January 7, 2013, 8:56 am

      What a beautiful motivator you have, Mathew. I wish you all the best with your future.

      Reply
  • Lila R January 12, 2013, 2:38 am

    Hi! I really like your blog. I find it so interesting, funny and entertaining. English is not my first language, so pardon me. I came acorss your blog because I do want to quit my job, my present life and sail around the world!! But (sorry for the but as an excuse, but zero $$$) I am totally broke and I have debt. But (here is a good but) I am an adventureous person. I love challanges, I do not fear change, and I do not fear new places and people. My only phobia (I suffer from general anxiety disorder too) is of illness and health issues, but I´m working on it.

    So please, please give me inspiration and motivation. I am in a loving relationship (my boyfriend suggested we buy a sailing boat because he knows how much I love to travel and this seemed the best way). I have 2 kids but I sure want them to live this adventure with us, so no problem with that. The only big problem is $$$ I have a job in which I only have enough money to live by the day (that sucks) and NO money at the moment to buy a boat. How can I do this, sail around the world with my family? I will do anything!! I´m almost 40 years old( but I feel like 25) and do not want to waist time. I do not want to wait years and years until I save money or am retired. My bf and I have some property we can sell and with that maybe buy the boat, but how will we survive with no jobs??? How do people do it? Travel and have money or a job, while sailing?? We can live with just the very basics, no luxury but comfortable. We can adapt to most situations and as I said I am not afraid of anything except my phobia I mentioned before.

    Please anybody can give me ideas?? I am saving all I can at the moment, but it sure is not enough to keep us alive for long if we plan to travel the world for a very very long time. I can probably save 20k in 2 years but I know this will not be enough. People, please give me advice. Thanks a lot for reading me and for any advice given. Have a great day and smile :)

    P.D Oh, I´m Mexican-Canadian right now living in Canada. My bf is Mexican and ,my girls are American-Canadian-Mexican. I do not know if this info helps. Just in case,

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche January 14, 2013, 12:28 pm

      Hi Lila. Sorry for the slow reply to this. I suggest you head over to http://www.cruisersforum.com and paste your question in there.

      People often earn money along the way. You might sail from the US to NZ in one year, and get work in NZ over the hurricane season to refill the cruising kitty for the next year. Once you have a boat, the cost of living/travelling is relatively low. But 20K is probably not enough to buy a boat big enough for a family, and equip it for the sea. Many people sell up their homes in order to buy their boat. Many have no idea what they’re coming back to. I’ve met nobody so far who has regretted this decision.

      Ask the forum, though. They’ll probably have ideas for you. You could also try emailing Victoria and Tucker at forgeover.com. They’re doing it on the cheap with 2 kids.

      As for your phobia, perhaps consider doing a Wilderness First Responder course before you go. I did one at UCLA. It was 80 hours, and it made me feel confident to handle an enormous range of medical emergencies.

      Good luck!

      Reply
      • Lila R January 15, 2013, 2:26 am

        Hey! Thank you so muy for your reply and the tips. I will definitely look op the forum webapge and get in touch with this couple who are sailing the world. I did read most of their blog and I will sure get in touch with them to ask for their help on how to take off with our dream. I have sooooooo many questions I wouldn´t know where to start but I am starting some where and the best of all, I am so excited to start this project. Thanks again and have a delightful day :)

        Reply
  • Max January 24, 2013, 12:03 am

    What if you want to quit and do nothing? What if there is no inspiration? What if I am just letting my life go by.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche January 24, 2013, 1:04 am

      That wouldn’t be a good idea. If you don’t feel inspired, it might mean you’re depressed – being in a bad job will do that to you. Go speak with your doctor. If there’s anyone you can talk to – spouse, therapist, friend, then reach out to them for guidance. The first thing to do is get clear about what you want to be doing instead.

      Reply
  • Let's be Real March 20, 2013, 9:46 am

    Only married wives can quit their jobs to follow a traveling dream.

    We men, simply can’t.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche March 21, 2013, 2:11 am

      I don’t think that’s true, but I know that society’s gender biases might make you think that’s the case.

      Reply
      • Let's be Real March 22, 2013, 10:19 am

        Those biases are consequence of a reality:

        Men don’t have less choices: they have to work.

        On the other hand, even in these days, women have the choice to work or to become a housewives or something in between (part time job, home business…etc). The reason why men can’t take your advice is for the same reason why they can’t become househusbands, haha this word isn’t even much known in English. Single mothers are in the same shoes of married men in this case, they don’t have much choices and they rarely can pursue such dreams.

        A man, especially a married man, can only pursue your dream if it’s that his nature of job (requiring constant traveling), otherwise it’s impossible.

        Reply
        • Let's be real March 22, 2013, 10:21 am

          ^ my bad I mean “Men have less choices*” fixed

          Reply
        • Torre DeRoche March 23, 2013, 11:45 pm

          I know some househusbands. There’s nothing wrong with that.

          Some people’s situations are more difficult than others, sure, but the fact that you assume men are X and woman are Z is an attitude straight from the 50′s. I don’t think that needs to be the case anymore. I certainly don’t expect that from my man. Attitudes on this may vary depending on which part of the world you live in.

          Reply
          • Let's be Real March 26, 2013, 9:38 am

            There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s still widely not socially accepted, The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that less than 1% of fathers are stay-at-home dads.

            And Australia is a very liberal country.

          • Torre DeRoche March 31, 2013, 10:56 pm

            Be the change you want to see.

  • Let's be Real March 22, 2013, 10:23 am

    and have you noticed most of those who agreed with you are ladies? I doubt it’s a coincidence.

    Reply
  • Dianne March 28, 2013, 9:30 am

    Love your blog! Not sure about quitting a job but definitely have LOTS of dreams!!! :-) I’m very close to achieving one dream in 4 weeks and cannot wait. My debts will be forever gone (including uni fees)! ;-) Very excited! After that – other dreams will follow very shortly while I still work!

    Reply
  • Let's be Real April 4, 2013, 6:28 am

    Not much changed since the 50, Torre:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8237298/What-women-really-want-to-marry-a-rich-man.html

    “Be the change you want to see”

    Easier said than done.

    Reply
  • Let's be Real April 4, 2013, 6:39 am

    Anyway your article is inspirational for entrepreneurs and life change, but my mind can’t compute of quitting career in order to travel the world. How will I pay the tickets?

    Reply
  • Gayathri May 20, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Very well written! I do want to quit my job (and that is why I’m here!). Well, it’s time to do some serious thinking!
    Thanks for mentioning the real life examples!

    Reply
  • Iain June 11, 2013, 4:39 pm

    I read a comment on your spouse is not supporting me when i want to leave my job, “Thats Me, I am now 60, no debts, three kids all grown up and away from home, I live and work in Dubai but had enough, I had a Kidney removed was cancer, im ok now never felt better changed my life style, anyway I want to quiet my job, and drive to Thailand, I have a nice friend there whom took care of me when i was sick mentally, i want buy an appartment somewhere nice, I need to do this work is driving me crazy and Im fed up with the structure of the company, also I want to buy a morris 1000 and drive all round the UK take my time, I am scottish and never done it i left scotland when i was 21, what shall I do, its continually on my mind

    Reply
    • alexy August 5, 2013, 2:01 am

      I work 30 hours a week. Sometimes I work overtime I have two daughters and I’m a single mother, the father sees them once a month when he wants. I’m thankful I have a job and I get paid well but I’m unhappy there and every time I go to work I feel miserable!!!! I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression due to feeling depressed going to work plus taking care of my girls it’s not easy doing it by own. I want to go back to school and be a phlebotomist but its too much work school and my girls I been thinking about quitting I’m just to scared please give me the incouragment to quick!!

      Reply
      • Torre DeRoche August 7, 2013, 3:51 am

        Alexy, you’re probably in one of the trickiest life situations a person can be in. Hang in there. You’re a superhero.

        Is it possible for you to take up a course part-time? Is there anyone else in your life who can take care of your girls once a week while you study? Can they go to daycare, or an extra-curricular course that would give you more time? Is it possible for you to reduce your hours at work down to, say 20 hours per week? If you can find little ways to give yourself more time, then you might be able to fit in the study.

        Just remember to take good care of yourself. Your daughters need their mum to be happy and healthy more than they need your time, or presents, or the latest clothes, or anything else at all. Your wellbeing is THE most important thing to the whole family, so do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

        Reply
  • Reema August 27, 2013, 12:13 pm

    This is really good encouragement for people who stay stuck in jobs they dislike and I know because I am one amongst the lot. Money is necessary and of course it pays your bills but if the list of things you dislike is completely taking over the things you want to do and love, consider it a wake up call. Its very hard to take that step.. trust me.. I feel the weakest when it comes to making a decision involving risk but if you have the faith, the universe might just give that extra push you need.

    This article is that little push I needed today. Thanks xx

    Reply
  • neil August 28, 2013, 7:44 am

    Whatever people says to wipe out your own convictions, we just have to say “I’m not interesting about hearing your own fears bro ! “

    Reply
  • Bryony September 8, 2013, 7:48 am

    Wonderful! Yet more inspiration and blogs and articles to follow. Everyday I see and discover more amazing individuals stories that help me and my feeling of hopelessness confusion and fear about whether or not I’ll make the right choice. Thank you xxx

    Reply
  • Cristina Celli September 18, 2013, 12:17 am

    I am going to become a flamenco dancer at 36!!!

    Reply
  • Sam @ Green Global Travel October 20, 2013, 10:47 pm

    Great post! So many things can be excuses that hold us back. It takes courage to go for it

    Reply
  • sidepixel October 31, 2013, 12:52 pm

    Nice one… really nice one…
    it is motivating me to achieve something in my life!

    Reply
  • Zero Dean November 14, 2013, 4:07 am

    Great post. Thought I might mention that I, too, am one of the above people… you can read about my story here:

    http://zerodean.com/xp/about-zdxp/

    And “Why follow your passion is not bad career advice” here:

    http://blog.zerodean.com/2013/blog/why-follow-your-passion-is-not-bad-career-advice/

    Cheers!

    Zero Dean

    Reply
  • Gautham January 18, 2014, 1:29 am

    Sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase ‘em !!

    Reply
  • Pavan February 5, 2014, 1:32 pm

    I admire your thoughts.. very well articulated… And the most important factor in your writing its straight from heart… !!

    Reply
  • Chuy Fuerte March 1, 2014, 8:20 am

    Hello my name is Chuy Fuerte and I know what its like to work at an unfullfilling job…dreading to go to work…getting home too tired to do anything…and thinking…there has to be more to life than this…Well folks I am here to tell you that there is more to life than that!

    I want to help you leave your job and show you how to create the lifestyle your truly desire! Go to this Private link and check it out for yourself.

    http://www.freedom.makemoneywithchuyfuerte.com

    Welcome to the team!

    -Chuy Fuerte

    Reply
  • Suess Karlsson March 11, 2014, 3:21 pm

    Much needed wisdom. Much needed advice. I believe we do 100% of the time what we believe. I believe I will continue to write. To dream. To forgive. To let the journey of life mold and make me. thank you for sharing your journey. I am one who applauded today when I read your words.

    Reply
  • Anna Kay March 30, 2014, 5:32 pm

    Thank you for this website. I am honestly stuck in a situation where I am trying to please everyone else and get others justification while putting my feelings on the back burner. I am working at a job I have zero passion for. It’s in education. I am not getting paid enough for the work I am doing. The stress I am always under. The deadlines. The work environment. The kids/teachers I work with! I went to school for Political Science. I took this job for a few reasons:

    1. I needed a job and the money since I couldn’t collect unemployment
    2. It was the only job opportunity I was offered.
    3. Recent college grad with no experience – it gave me a way to expand my resume.
    4. I thought I could handle the work/challenge.

    There is not one day that goes by where I do not dred going to work. Not one. I’ve been at my current place of employment for 2 months. Some may say this is not enough time to determine anything. I say that it is. Within the first month, I felt like this was wrong. Even after my interview, I told myself this was not the job for me. However, again, I needed work so I took it and continued to look. I haven’t heard anything back yet from employers even though I have continued to apply to jobs. Ideally, I wanted to find and be hired before I quit however, at this point, I have to “chance” it. Things may get tough but being a woman of faith, I will put it all into God and let him take charge.

    I am putting in my 1 week noticed tonight so the email can be fresh on my supervisors mailbox. For my personal sanity. I must. My decision will surely disappoint my mother and boyfriend but it’s not my job to please them. I have to do what is best for me and I KNOW quitting is the best option.

    Reply
    • MsK May 1, 2014, 10:59 pm

      Anna Kay, I left the school system almost 2 years ago after 8 years of teaching; and you’re right, in this century, 2 months or 8 years do not make a difference. It has become such an overwhelming job, and this is coming from an individual who is very passionate about teaching and truly enjoy the children. Unfortunately, these days that has nothing to do with being a teacher; but mainly politics, testing and data analysis. So I finally had to let it go because it was devouring my whole life…not knowing what I would do next. It’s been almost 2 years, and even with a Masters degree, I have not been able to find a decent job. Yet, this single mother has no regrets. I have not compromised my integrity to sustain. I’ve continued on in faith, utilizing every financial benefit that has been available to me (unemployment benefits, retirement funds, income tax refunds, etc.). God has sustained me through it all. I have not missed a mortgage payment and all bills are still current. It’s not a piece of cake, but my faith and courage has been strengthened, and come what may, I still do not miss the misery I suffered on that job everyday. In my case, my “fear of remaining on that job” and losing my sanity was greater than my “fear of leaving the job” and not knowing how I would make ends meet!

      Reply
  • Thomas Andrews June 8, 2014, 8:15 am

    The moment I wanted to follow my dream I got seriously ill and lost my job. Am really bogged down in serious debt, personal bankruptcy followed. was recently evicted by the owner because they also went bankrupt, am only partially able to get through the legal process after the court case ruled in my favor. One disaster after another, faced by the possibility of being unable to pay for the new apartment. Seriously new fiascos because my parents, now long dead were messies that heaped material possessions. Found my soul mate, but it looks bleak, because she lives on the other side of the planet in NZ. I am really distraught, because I can barely find one single job and the chance of having benefits blocked for 12 weeks will destroy me, as I have 2 non working adult dependents to support. I tried for a divorce years back, but it also weakened me so badly that I gave up after facing obstacles from nearly everyone. Friends talk a lot, but the planet is empty when you have serious problems.

    Reply
  • NeedToGo December 2, 2014, 4:50 am

    I need to quit my job NOW, but do need to sell my house and figure how to take care of my cat. Please help me figure out the steps. thx

    Reply