Whether you’re going through a job search, changing careers, or working toward any personal or professional goal, at some time in the process you’re going to get stuck. You can count on it.
Maybe you started out hopeful and full of energy, but then:
You procrastinate, and you tell yourself: you’re too old, too fat, too lazy, too broke, or too inexperienced. You tell yourself, I’m not ready, No one will hire me, It’s too risky, too hard, not the right time, and on, and on, and on. Before your know it you’re at an impasse.
Initially you were stymied because you lacked a plan, or knowledge, or a connection, or a resource, or an idea, or perhaps you had too many ideas, or competing ideas. And rather than solving your problem and moving forward you stopped, because change is uncomfortable. Change brings up fears, commonly of looking foolish, of losing a comforting sense of self, and of being rejected as not good enough.
Sometimes you can shake yourself out of your fears. Keeping a daily journal of your progress, exercising, and meditation can all be useful. But many times you need to allow others to help you move ahead.
Before you slide into a cycle of negativity and regret, be kind to yourself. Give yourself the gift of reaching out for structure and support.
In “How to Shave Time Off Your Job Search” I wrote about some of the more popular methods for getting structure and support for your change, working with:
Support and accountability partners
Coaches and counselors
I encourage you to read the article and consider your options. Whether you choose a formal arrangement for meetings for structure and support, or to reach out informally to your friends, look for:
With support you will multiply your chances of reaching your goals. Who will you ask for support?
Don’t fool yourself and think that with time your situation will improve or that - at a later time - change will be easier and your fears will fade. Usually that is not true, and, with inaction, your fears grow as well as your regrets for what might have been.
However, if you overcome inertia and take action your fears will begin to decrease. You’ll find that action toward your goals will increase your self-confidence and happiness.
All it takes is the willingness to step out of your comfort zone and experience some discomfort. If you want a future in which you feel fully alive, if you want to experience the joy that comes with overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals you need to move into action and stay in action. Action creates its own positive spiral.
Take heart from the third law of thermodynamics - A body at rest tends to remain at rest. A body in motion tends to remain in motion.
Phyllis Mufson is a career / business consultant and a certified life coach with over 25 years of experience. She has helped hundreds of clients successfully navigate career transitions. You can learn more about Phyllis and her practice at PhyllisMufson and follow Phyllis on Twitter @PhyllisMufson.