Changing Jobs: Dealing with anxiety, fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs
The desire of making a career change often comes with mixed feelings for many people. On the one hand, there is the excitement about a new chapter in life with all its opportunities and experiences. On the other hand, however, there is often doubt, uncertainty, and sometimes even fear and anxiety of taking this big step.
Fear of change is very common, especially when it’s about one’s career; After all, a regular fixed income, familiar work processes, common tasks, habits and routines give us a sense of security and structure.
However, when starting a new career or a new business, many and sometimes even all of these factors suddenly disappear. The outcome is uncertain and all the steps and processes have to be elaborated on in the beginning.
Scared to Change Jobs: What are you afraid of?
- I am already too old to make another career change.
- Changing the job means I’ll have to start from scratch in the new company.
- What if I will earn less or I realize I made the wrong decision?
- I don’t have enough savings to start my own business.
- I don’t have the skills and abilities that are necessary for this.
- I’ve never done anything else, how should I start something new?
- I don’t have a chance to pull this off successfully because…
- I am afraid to take responsibility for my decisions, actions, and their consequences.
Changing careers at 30 or 35 often brings up thoughts like…
- I have spent so much time on my education or studies and now I want to do something completely different? This would mean everything I’ve done so far was worthless? How will my parents and friends react?
- I want to start a family soon and need to have a stable job with a regular income. How should I manage that with a career change?
Changing careers at 40 or 45 brings up concerns like…
- I have a family and need to pay off the loan on my house. How should I do that and start my own business at the same time?
- How will my partner and my environment react if I start from scratch now?
Changing careers at 50 or 55 makes many people think like…
- I’ve been doing the same thing all my life and can’t do anything else.
- Starting all over again at my age? I have no idea where to begin and how to proceed.
- Taking such a risk so close to retirement is crazy.
The fear of change is present in every stage of life. Perhaps you have recognized yourself in one or the other statement or maybe you have completely different doubts and fears. If we are searching long enough we’ll always find reasons why exactly now it would be too risky to make a career change.
So before planning the change, it is important to become aware of your doubts and fears and face them.
Changing Career and Jobs: 3 Tips to Overcome Anxiety, Fears, Doubts, and Limiting Beliefs
1) Becoming aware of my anxiety, fears and doubts and acknowledging them
Many people tend to suppress their fears and don’t want to acknowledge them. Often, the fear is also hidden behind “logical arguments“ that prevent us from starting a business or changing our job.
Only if we become aware of our fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs, we can handle and overcome them.
Don’t just accept the fear as it is, but explore the reasons behind it.
Try to write down your fears, doubts, and worries to make them more tangible. Once you have done that, you should explore the reasons behind them instead of just accepting them.
The exercise included in the “Career Change” Toolkit is a great guide along the way.
2) Turning past experiences into inner strength
Moving from your hometown, splitting up with your partner, or changing a job. Recall the situations in which you already dared to start from scratch and remember what ultimately happened in each situation.
You may have failed in some cases, but at the same time gained a valuable experience or learned an important life lesson. In other situations, you will see that your decision was perfect and exactly what you needed to succeed and take the next step in life.
3) Change of perspective – See opportunities not risks
In our society, setbacks and defeats are often considered to be failures. This belief is so deeply anchored within us that we don’t even start many things just because we’re afraid to fail. Try to change your perspective.
Indeed, making a career change or starting your own business comes with a lot of risks and uncertainties, but it also comes with many opportunities. Even a failed attempt is giving you tremendous learnings that increase your chances of succeeding the next time you try something.
Many people tend to catastrophize. The thought of being unemployed or failing with their new business idea is so scary that most people stop their journey before even taking the first step.
Perfectionism – The Fear of Failure as a Roadblock to Success
The fear of failure or doing something wrong is closely related to perfectionism. Perfectionists do not want to make mistakes and often have the feeling that they are not good enough. This fear keeps many people in the analysis paralysis stage where they end up doing nothing.
Fear is normal and we all have it within us to some extent, but it should never stop us from chasing our dreams and desires. You must be aware of all your unique qualities, talents, and strengths and say “Stop“ to that inner voice that is constantly doubting.
A strong self-confidence ensures that these fears and doubts automatically disappear. The goal is to become aware of all your unique talents, strengths, and abilities and there will be no room left for fear or worries.