Any major change can be scary. Changing jobs, changing locations, changing your relationship status — the implications can be massive and you can't even always accurately project what they will be. That's why conquering your fear is less about preparing for every possible unknown (impossible) and more about getting yourself into a headspace that feels capable, confident, and excited.
Let's take changing careers as an example. What are some of the fright factors there? Well, not only are you entering a new industry or field; you've also got to deal with a new office (or not office), new co-workers a new routine, and probably learn a totally new skill set (or several).
No matter the transition you're facing, if you start by reframing your fears, the rest will be infinitely easier. Truthfully, the only way to move forward with purpose is to curb those lingering doubts.
Here are four simple ways to adjust your way of thinking that'll support and propel you through a career transition, or any major life change:
1. See the big picture, but take baby steps.
When you think about all the adjustments involved in a major change — new friends, possibly a move to a different city — you can frighten yourself into inaction. You can't see the future because it doesn't exist yet. Don't let science fiction scare you out of creating a better reality. Focus on the next small step you can take right now, and do it immediately. If you do this every time you get scared, you'll be making great progress before you even realize it.
2. Forget perfection and aim for progress.
You don’t have to get it right the first, second, or seventh time out. The goal is to shoot for where you want to be and take whatever steps get you closer along the way. If you refuse to jump two steps when what you want is four steps ahead, you'll never make it. If you jump the first two steps, the second two become infinitely more achievable. If you're taking small steps, it's that much easier to reassess and change course or redirect before you've gotten too far from where you want to be.
3. Be open to the unexpected.
It’s good to have a sense of your goals, but don’t get too bogged down in trying to make reality match expectations. Be open to new paths — they could lead to places you never imagined for yourself. And while you’re taking that different path, you'll have experiences and meet people who will teach you things you'd never have learned otherwise.
4. Share your journey.
You're doing something amazing by taking control of your life to build something you're passionate about. Let people feel your positive energy. Not only will your enthusiasm boost your chances of impressing a future employer (or partner), you might inspire someone to make that life change they’ve been pondering for some time.
Change will always be scary. That's because uncertainty breeds fear. But uncertainty also breeds creativity and possibility. If you really want to overcome your fears and embrace the possibilities ahead of you, creating a healthy mindset is imperative.
If you're considering a career change, take this Career Direction Quiz to gain more insight into how to get moving.