That day job can be a killer. And often, it’s not just that you’re itching to work full time on your start-up. It’s that the day job is making you miserable all on its own.

We often talk about the Peter Principle, which holds that people get promoted to their level of incompetency. But there is another way, and it’s worse. Sometimes, we remain competent but fail in another and worse way. We become lifeless shells of our former selves, persevering in the name of personal growth and development…and hating it all the way.

Here are 10 telltale signs that you are ready to leave your day job. Mind you, these are not 10 signs that you are ready to be an entrepreneur. But they will tell you that your day job, at least, is not working out.

1. You’ve heard yourself say, repeatedly, “The pay just isn’t worth it”

2. Those nearest to you say you’ve changed, and not for the better

3. No matter what, you wake at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat, trying to solve a work-related problem

4. When you talk about your job, you get bored, break into a sweat, or change the subject

5. You’ve taken more sick days than vacation in the last year

6. You don’t want the day to start, making it a struggle to get out of bed

7. You start fantasizing about a car accident, serious illness, or some other event that would put you in the hospital for months, giving you, in effect, a guilt-free vacation

8. You’ve accepted the fact that you’re miserable, but you won’t even contemplate leaving because you’re worried about what will happen to others if you quit

9. You have persistent nausea or a heightened emotional state most days

10. Before arriving at the office, you take several deep, long breaths to steel yourself for the day--every day.

If you can see yourself in this list--if many of these resonate with you--you are harming yourself. Harming yourself is failure. You are failing to live a happy and productive life. 

One of my most competent friends said that her executive coach had to tell her to quit, repeatedly. She said she needed someone else to validate that it was OK to leave. Well, I’m happy to be that someone else. Print out this list and show it to your boss if you have to. Email me if you want me to sign it.