If you're feeling like you've lost your way and you're stuck in a job that doesn't inspire you there's a reason why. Something is holding you back from choosing a path, setting yourself a brilliant goal and working towards it.
For me, there was one big thing that that really held me back. It was something that kept me stuck where I was for years AND made me SO frustrated with myself.
It was fear.
For some reason, I couldn’t just take a deep breath and get on with things like most people around me seemed to be able to do. Instead I worried too much, kept chickening out of things and began to believe that I wasn’t capable of doing anything different with my life. Changing career and finding something I loved to do seemed like a BIG deal.
There was just too much risk and too many things that could go wrong!
What if I failed and it made me depressed?
What if everyone thought I was making the wrong decision and talked about me behind my back?
What if I did make the wrong decision and I left my job for one that was way worse and regretted the whole thing?
With thoughts like those, you can imagine, I was going nowhere fast. I kept having ideas of things I might enjoy but got too scared to try any of them out. I would book myself onto workshop and arrange appointments only to cancel them at the last minute. The more I did this, the more I lost confidence in myself and the more I lost confidence in myself, the more stuck I felt.
Having to actually take action to move forward became a big mental block. It wasn't until I actually identified that is was a fear of failure and worry about making the wrong decision that were keeping me stuck that I was able to finally move forward.
So that was my experience. What about you? Do you know what’s holding you back?
Here are 5 reasons why you haven't chosen your path yet (if you’re feeling stuck I guarantee it’s one of these 5 reasons that are keeping your there):
1. You’re worried that you won’t succeed
This is such a common reasons for staying where you are. Unfortunately as women, we are more likely to be held back by this fear of failure.
If you’re worried you won’t succeed or that things won’t work out the way you imagine, then fear of failure is the reason why you haven’t chosen your path yet.
The question I want to ask you is, what would you do even if you were going to fail? Is there something that you want to do so much that you would do it for the enjoyment and for the journey even if it didn’t work out?
Also when it comes to a failure,it's how you see it that matters. Something not working out right can be an indication that you need to change your path slightly or it could just be a test of your perseverance and resilience!
The key thing to remember is that the only way you can be 100% sure that you’re not going to fail is to stay exactly where you are and not try anything new. Is that how you want to live your life?
Take a moment to think about the absolute worse case scenario that could happen if you failed. What could you put into place to be prepared for that?
2. You’re concerned about making the wrong choice
This is holding you back if you’re:
- Worried about making the wrong decision and wasting time and money
- Choosing incorrectly
- Don’t know how you can limit it to one choice
- Worried about regretting your decision later on
This was me all over! The best thing to do is to write down those options and choices. I bet there’s not as many on paper as there are in your head. Then go through the list and try each of them out - make it into a fun project!
Also remember, this decision is not for the rest of your life. Think of it as a stepping stone that lasts a couple of years. A lifelong job just doesn’t exist anymore. There is always room to change.
3. You’re worried about money
In a recent survey I ran, 23% of readers said that financial concerns were holding them back from choosing their paths. So if you’re worried about having money to pay the bills while you get the ball rolling or choosing a career that enables you to earn a comfortable income, you’re not alone!
Money is a funny thing and it’s only recently that I realised how many weird hangups I have about it. How much is really enough? How much is too little? Often I let my emotions guide me with money when I should be dealing with the cold hard facts and I bet you’re doing the same.
So work out how much money you really need to live the lifestyle you want. Here’s a great article by Chris Guillebeau to help you out.
Money is also linked to confidence and self-worth. We might not need that much money to live a life we love but it’s SO easy to judge our worth by the amount we earn and then compare it with those around us.
If you’re worried about money while you get the ball rolling, start while you’re in the job you’re currently in. Use your free time, learn time management strategies and get going whilst you’ve got the income coming in. I’ve done this and it also helps you save money! You end up spending your free time working on your path instead of going out and spending! (Just make sure you keep time for yourself and relaxation- so important!)
4. You don’t feel like you have the confidence
Self-confidence is totally linked to the all of the three reasons above. If you’re doubting yourself and not believing in your abilities then your confidence is holding you back. This is also really related to what those around you are saying. If your family or friends aren’t supportive or understanding about your need to choose a different path, it can really make you feel unconfident about making it happen.
If this is you, I found that taking small steps and action really helps. Just do little things out of your comfort zone that are related to any career ideas that you have. By taking these little steps you’ll feel a sense of achievement and as the steps get bigger your confidence in your abilities will grow.
5. You have no idea what to do
Feeling confused with no idea where to start is so frustrating. You feel so stuck because you have no idea what to do or which direction to go in. Maybe you have no idea what you’re good at, what your passion is or your purpose.
When I was trying to choose my path I remember constantly thinking” If I knew what I wanted to do I would just do it!” I thought that I had to think up the perfect career and decide it in my head BEFORE taking any action. The thing is, I had it the wrong way round. I only started to get a sense of direction once I started taking action. If you have no idea what to do, try something new - anything!
In hindsight I can also see that I did know exactly what I wanted to do but I was scared about making it happen. This stopped me from admitting my goal to myself! If you suspect this might be you, work on building up your confidence and self-belief by starting small and taking action on things that interest you.
So what’s stopping you from choosing your path? You might find that only one or two of these reasons apply to you, or you might find that all of them do.
Whatever your situation, don't worry. Now you know what’s holding you back, you can do things differently:
- Start noticing when those feelings come up
- Realise why you're not making the decisions or taking the action you need to.
- Try and work on solutions and overcoming the barrier(s) that are holding you back If you didn’t get it from above, the best way to do this is to
TAKE SOME ACTION!
Start small, make a little commitment and see it through. Then repeat :)