First comes denial. Then anger. You even try to bargain. When that does not work, you become discouraged. Finally, you accept it: You are not as satisfied with your work as you want to be.
It could be your job, your office environment or even extenuating circumstances in your personal life. Whatever the case—you are not alone. A recent study showed that 52.3% of people want more from their work. So what can you do to remedy the situation? The first step to solving a problem is figuring out the root cause.
Related: What was your worst job?
Here are five of the biggest things keeping you from being happy at work—and what you can do about them:
1. You don’t feel passionate.
If you feel a lack of passion at your job, you might want to ask yourself —“Am I good at my job?” Seriously, answer this question as honestly as you can. Some jobs grow on you over time. Proficiency may be the key to unlocking passion at work.
Then again, it might not be. It could very well be the case that you are good at your job but also dispassionate about it. If that is the case, examine the underlying cause. Is it that A) you are not passionate about what you are doing? If so, the solution is simple: Find a job you are passionate about that also earns you money.
Or is it that B) you may have been passionate about work, but realized there are too many deal-breakers? If so, can you fix any of them? If you can not, it is time to move on.
2. You aren’t challenging yourself.
When it comes down to it, work is a lot like a relationship. And one of the biggest deal-breakers in both relationships and business is boredom.
There is nothing wrong with being bored once in awhile—that is totally normal. But when you find yourself looking for reasons to leave your desk or consciously finding ways to kill time whenever your manager is not looking, that is a red flag.
This applies even if you are busy and have your nose to the grindstone. Being busy does not mean you wo not be bored. In other words, challenging work is not the same as interesting work. For example, can you imagine being at college every day of your life until you retire? What about high school? Life is about learning, improving, and changing—not stagnating.
3. You don’t get along with your colleagues.
Have you ever felt like your co-workers dislike you for no reason? Because they just might.
Work can be one of the most hostile environments in the world if the culture is bad. Whether they are actively talking over you during meetings, ignoring you in the office or forming cliques that do not include you, a petty workplace can and will drag you down. Some people relish high school-esque drama. If you are a normal, decent human being, you probably do not.
If you work in a hostile environment, you have two choices. You can either confront and deal with your problematic co-workers, or you can leave. If the culture is broken and you are not in a place of power to fix it, accept that you cannot—and move on. Whatever you do, do not assimilate into that culture—that will do far more harm than good.
4. You don’t feel optimistic about your career.
You can have a decent salary, pleasant co-workers, and a job you like reasonably well. Yet, oddly enough, you do not feel a sense of security, progress or hope in your career.
Maybe you are working more but earning the same. Or maybe you have already seen what is at the top of the ladder—but did not particularly like the view. Whatever the case, you need to be able to see an optimistic future to keep going strong.
Stop telling yourself things will get better, and do not let a scarcity mentality make you afraid to leave. Instead, accept that you are stuck in an unfulfilling relationship you do not really want to be in, simply because it is not toxic. Not yet, at least.
5. You’re meant for more.
It may be that none of these problems are your problems. Maybe you are just stuck at your job, and you are not sure why. Or perhaps you have never been such a poor employee in your current role. It could be because you are not aiming high enough.
If decades of human resources wisdom have taught us anything, it is that star employees are not always management material—and that management material would not always be found among the star employees.
So do not put yourself down. If you have not been doing great at work, it may not be because you are not smart, disciplined, and reliable. It may be that you need to make your own way instead. What that means is up to you.
Copyright © 2016 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors
Photo from Thinkstock