Fear around changing careers is incredibly common, I'd go as far as to say that every single one of my clients goes through two or three different stages of fear during their career change journeys.
Fear is a natural mechanism when we’re considering any kind of big life change – what’s important is that you can move through the fear with ease, so what is it that stops people from being able to do that?
When we’re thinking about a career change all sorts of mind gremlins can raise their heads – What if I make the wrong decision? What if this isn’t the right time to make a change? What if I’m too old to change careers?
What’s important is to dig underneath these surface fears to figure out what is really going on – which is usually that we have some self-limiting beliefs about ourselves or our capabilities.
I see a lot of clients who have had incredibly successful careers suddenly feel old negative thinking patterns coming up like “I don’t have what it takes” or “I’m not good enough”.
These limiting beliefs, or negative thinking patterns, may have been formed in childhood or from challenging experiences we’ve had in our lives. Our subconscious mind is an amazing thing but if we have negative thoughts about ourselves often enough it will automate these and they get stuck as a kind of ‘default mode’.
The great news is that you can choose to move on from these old stories, evolve past them and reprogramme your ‘default mode’.
How to Deal with Career Fear
Identify your limiting beliefs – What is underneath your fears? What negative things are you telling yourself? Just identifying your limiting beliefs and understanding where they came from is an excellent start to resetting your mindset.
What are they costing you? – What have these limiting beliefs cost you in the past? What are they costing you now? What will they cost you in the future if you don’t choose to change them?
What are you going to replace them with? – When you catch yourself repeating your old stories what new, powerful statement are you going to deliberately tell yourself instead? So instead of “I’m too old” how about “I have so much experience to offer”.
Now you have just one job: to catch yourself every time these fears and limiting beliefs raise their heads, remind yourself that this is just some old, outdated story and choose to direct your thinking towards your positive statement instead.
At times like this what we need to remind ourselves is that everything that is worth having in life is usually on the other side of fear – mastering your limiting beliefs will help you to push through this fear and achieve the career change you desire.