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What's Stopping You? The 5 Minute Career Coach October 2011 Update
October 15, 2011

Helping Career Changers Around The World

October 2011 Update


What's stopping you?

OK, so you hate your job.

You keep promising yourself that you really will do something about it...but that 'something' is always being put off to tomorrow.

So what's going on? How come taking action is so hard?

Something is stopping you – do you know what it is?

There are lots of things that can get in the way when we are trying to make progress with a significant change in our lives and career change is certainly one of those.

So let's take a look at the usual culprits

This is a biggie and it is often what underpins lack of action. But fear of what exactly? There can be a myriad of different fears that people cite, but they generally boil down to 2 broad issues.

Fear of doing something
Are you afraid of the actual process of changing career? Does it seem like an enormous task, so big you don't know how to tackle it? Do you think it may be too difficult for you? Do you doubt your ability to see it through?

Fear of the results of doing something
Perhaps the fear is more about the end result. You are afraid that when you do change career, you might not like it? What if I make the wrong choice? If I retrain, maybe my friends will desert me or I won't like the people in my new area of work.

You may be carrying one or several unhelpful beliefs about yourself that are getting in the way eg.

  • I am no good at managing money
  • I've never been the clever one
  • I'm just not the kind of person who takes risks
  • I always mess things up when the pressure’s on.

Other people
Someone else is getting in you way, either obstructing you actively or just subtly undermining or failing to give you the support you think you need.

Health & wellbeing
You are too stressed or tired to even think about it? Do you lack the energy to tackle a big project like career change?

Maybe you just don't know what steps to take. You lack the basic information you need to move forward with your ideas.

You think you lack a particular skill set to enable you to pursue a particular career idea.

Do you say to yourself 'I just can't afford it'. The cost of a new career or the sacrifice involved in a drop income seems an impossible hurdle.

You are so busy with your current job and with your family commitments that there never seems to be the time to devote to serious thinking about your career.

I wonder if any of these ring true for you?

So what to do about obstacles like these?

Try these three questions.

1. Is this a real obstacle or simply a justification?

Time to be honest with yourself and check if the 'obstacle' is more in your own head than a reality. Is it really an avoidance tactic rather then a genuinely insurmountable obstacle that prevents you from reaching your goal?

2. What am I assuming about this obstacle?

Are you assessing the 'obstacle' in a skewed way that means you see it as a bigger issue than it really is? Make sure you take an objective look at it - ask a friend to help you assess it if need be.

3. What am I going to do about it?

This will help you to move away from simply seeing the 'obstacle' as an immovable block and switch you into solution finding mode. This is another situation where a friend can help you come up with ideas.

At the end of the day, the only thing that stops you from taking action is your own decision not to act.

So what will you do tomorrow? Nothing? Or perhaps just take one small step in spite of the 'obstacles'?

With very best wishes

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