It happens to all of us (a lot), yet we still try to avoid it. In fact, our brains work hard to keep us doing the same things over and over again. That's because this is much more efficient, as it requires thinking less and not using as much energy.

Given that our brains would rather stay on the same path than divert onto an alternate route, it's easy to become a victim of our bad habits and refuse to take part in the upheaval that real change requires. But ultimately, avoiding change just fosters stagnation, mediocrity, and sheer boredom.

So, if you want to grow, be more successful, and increase your joy at work, here are five signs that you need to overcome your fear of the new and unknown and take action.

1. You think about it all the time.

You daydream about being somewhere else, having another job or having a different life. Those daydreams turn into complaining about what you don't have to your friends and potentially some of your colleagues. If this is you, take note that you want something more and different--pronto. Your next step will need to be taking action.

2. You often feel bored or overwhelmed by work.

One of the key ingredients of great performance is being challenged in the best way possible. This means you are intellectually engaged with your work. When you're bored, you aren't being challenged enough, and being overwhelmed usually means that what is needed for you to succeed at your job isn't something you're necessarily good at. It could actually be your weakness. If this is happening, pay attention. Get clear on what you're experiencing. Both boredom and overwhelm are great signs that the work you're doing is not the right fit and action is required.

3. You're getting feedback that you need to work on strengthening your weaknesses.

You just had a review or got feedback from your manager or teammates that you need to step it up on some aspect of your work that you aren't good at. Rather than beat yourself up, feel like you're not good enough or kill yourself trying to strengthen a weakness, see this as another clear sign that you need to make a change.

4. You don't feel valued.

This one is so important, and it's often hard to pinpoint. Regardless, the feeling is clear. You don't feel like your input, your presence or your thoughts are valued. Whether it's a cultural misalignment or even worse, discrimination, it's something worth reporting and taking as a sign that it's not the right place for you.

5. You notice that you're not getting any joy from work.

Joy comes from loving the process of your work so much that you don't need the accolades that come from achieving great things. Sure, you can get them but the joy from the work is the best gift ever. If you are lacking joy and struggle to think of any projects, thinking or problem-solving that you truly enjoy, it's time to start putting your attention on making a change.

Ready to make a big change but not sure where to start? These 100 powerful questions will help you hone in one where you are versus where you want to be and take real steps toward a career (and life) you love