Originally authored by April Klimkiewicz at Bliss Evolution
It’s been said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. So rather than buy into believing the false evidence at face value and catastrophizing, a current situation or future potential outcome, it’s important to take a step back.
One of the big reasons people don’t leave jobs is they can’t imagine they’ll find a job doing what they love for the money they make now. They are bound by golden handcuffs and the fear that if they make a move or a change for something they love, or even like, they will never make as much money.
Thinking like this leads to inaction, so rather than sitting in being stuck, here are ideas for dispelling fear and getting unstuck in your career.
Get Practical: Look for Exceptions
When you have a statement like “I’ll never make as much money doing x,” floating around in your head, challenge yourself to look for exceptions to that supposed fact. Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) and see how much people in that profession make. The OOH is connected to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and for this reason has updated information related to current professions and jobs. You’ll learn the median pay, what education (if any) is needed to get started, and more useful information, including similar occupations if you realize the original one you looked up isn’t a fit. Rather than giving in to fear, research and have information to fall back on.
Look Inside: Change How You Talk to Yourself
So many times, the little voice inside our heads is mean. It tells us we can’t, and we start to believe it until someone else outside of our heads tell us we can. Reprogram your brain and change how you talk to yourself. Try this quick exercise:
Now that you’ve found exceptions to the things like “I’ll never make as much money doing x,” rewrite the statement into a truer statement like this:
It may take some work and time, but I could make just as much money as I make now doing work that lights me up.” You cannot skip looking for exceptions and move straight to this step, or your brain will resist believing you. You need to really believe it and then write it down as a complete statement in order to truly change your mind.
If you need more help overcoming negative thoughts, it can’t hurt to talk to a professional. If they are career-related, I can help. If your thoughts are related to your self-worth, consider seeing a counselor who can help walk you through turning your thoughts around. If you’re in south Florida, I can recommend some really awesome people that I trust, so email me. If you are elsewhere, try Psychology Today.
Don’t Worry: Do Something!
The single most important piece of career advice I can give you is: Don’t Worry, and Do Something!
I find that people want to choose the perfect career, start right now, and never have it change ever. They want to decide right now what to do with the rest of their lives, and if they can’t, they are completely stuck making no decision at all.
Don’t worry about where you’re going to be 10 years from now. Figure out what you want to do now and for the next couple of years. Learn more; talk to people who do that work, or try it out through volunteering. When you’re doing this, a door you never thought of will open. You’ll walk through it. You’ll be surprised at what opportunities are out there if you quell the fear and put some effort into learning more.
There isn’t always a lightbulb moment when it comes to figuring out what you want to do for a career. If you’re waiting for a lightbulb moment, you might find yourself waiting a long time. Instead, it’s important to create a lightbulb moment. It might not be a flash, instead it might be a slow knowing…or growing towards knowing.