When it comes time to think about a career transition or any big change, we are often our own worst enemies. For example: Has this sequence of thought ever occurred in your brain?
Angel: “Ugh. I’m so tired of my day job these days. The money is great, but I want to do something with more of a purpose…or at least that I feel more passionate about! And you know what I love? Pie. I LOVE pie. I should open a pie shop! YES!”
Devil: “You can’t open a pie shop! You would fail. You only know how to do your 9-5. Plus, you’d be poor and living on the street.”
Angel:”Ugh. I guess you are right.” *Kicks foot sadly*
I think our biggest fears about leaving our jobs can be summed up in this order:
1. If I leave my job, I’ll never replace my income (and then be homeless, with no ability to buy shoes/makeup).
2. If I leave my job, then what will I do? What if I hate the new job? Then where will I be? (Devil: “Probably homeless, with terrible makeup and ugly shoes”).
3. I’m good at this job, what if I suck at the next thing I want to try?
4. It’s too overwhelming — I don’t even know how to figure out what I want to do next!
5. How can I even find time to make the transition? I can’t find the time to do most things today!
So first I’m here to say that all of these fears are completely normal! Completely!! We, as humans, are designed to want stuff like food and shelter, and look for situations that provide us with these basic comforts. So, when you take a risk and your salary/lifestyle might be in jeopardy, then you start to feel afraid. And that is ok. So, you have my permission to not feel guilty about being afraid. (I know, I know! if it was only so easy as to have my permission, well, then we would all be a lot more successful! )
However, there are two things that I want you to keep in mind:
1. Recognize that the fear is not who you are — it’s just a piece of the puzzle. So, when you start to immediately jump to: “I can’t” versus “I can” – take a moment and relax. Is that you really talking, or is that the fear? And if it is just fear and not you, then you have a choice as to what you do next. You can set it aside (hey, it’s just the fear talking, not me. And that is ok), or you can let it shut you down. It’s your choice — YOU get to decide.