This is an excerpt from my new book: Career Transition-make the shift-your 5 steps to successful career reinvention.
“Courage is fear that’s said its prayers”. Dorothy Bernard, author
I decided voluntarily to change my life and lifestyle in 2006, after living and working in the same place for several decades. I moved to take a career opportunity in a place where I didn’t know anyone. My friends and colleagues told me I was out of my mind and absolutely crazy, but they also told me how “gutsy” I was. I knew life as I had known it was going to change anyway and that it was time for a new chapter and adventure. I took the leap and have never looked back.
Fear is such a powerful and debilitating mental condition. I know that fear has kept me from doing many things.
False evidence appearing real
The unbelievable truth about fear is that it usually is not grounded in reality. Read any psychology 101 book, and it will tell you we build up most fears in our minds and make them into mountains. Our fears develop from our experiences, traumas, and situations, which are usually unresolved over many cycles and parts of our lives.
When I was in my twenties and thirties, I had a fear of my mother dying, so I decided to spend less time with her so I wouldn’t have to face those feelings. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, had to have chemotherapy and radiation, and ended up being a fourteen-year survivor! That moment, when I realized cancer did not have to be fatal, showed me how fear was keeping me from enjoying her now.
This is just one example of how fear robs us of living and experiencing life to its fullest. I have always been adventuresome and curious, and while I thrived on challenge and accomplishment, fear has held me back several times over my life when opportunity has knocked on my door. Thoughts like “I can’t,” “what will happen if I fail,” and “what will they think of me” pervade our thinking all the time.
To deal with fear realistically, I had to figure out whether a fear was what I call GIR (Grounded In Reality) or a NGIR (Not Grounded In Reality). This took years. I still have moments of paralysis, but they do not last very long. I focus on my capabilities, on the now, and on taking action.
List the key fears you have now in two columns: Grounded In Reality or Not Grounded In Reality.
Then, answer these questions with regard to each fear:
*Why do I have this fear?
*What’s the worst that can happen?
*Who can I reach out to for encouragement and support?
*Do I need some professional help?
Don’t let fear rule your life. Build and use a support team to talk it out and work it out. Get some professional help. Take small steps and do a few things that can make a big difference. Work on the fears that are holding you back now.
When you embrace career change more with a spirit of adventure and curiosity and put the fears in their proper place, you can actually have fun and discover possibilities that your unrealistic fears kept you from in the first place.
I guarantee that when you get to the other side and you look back at the mountain you made out of the molehill, you will be very proud of yourself!
Deborah Shane is an author, entrepreneur, radio host and expert. She is the heart and soul of her business education and professional development company, Train with Shane and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She writes for several national business, career and marketing blogs, and websites including smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, Internationalbusinesstimes.com, Smartbrief.com and teachstreet.com. Her new book Career Transition-make the shift-the 5 steps to successful career reinvention is available now on amazon.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalkradio @Deborah Shane, or visit www.deborahshane.com.