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10 Career Beliefs You May Have That Could Waste Your Life

10 Career Beliefs You May Have That Could Waste Your Life

Choosing a career is one of the most angst filled processes of life. You may feel that you have to choose correctly now because if you mess this one up, you will pay for it for the rest of your life. This can result in a condition called Analysis Paralysis.

What is Analysis Paralysis? Wikipedia gives a very workable definition. “The phrase describes a situation where the opportunity cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits that could be gained by enacting some decision, or an informal or non-deterministic situation where the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision-making process itself, thus preventing a decision”.

You may not be in Analysis Paralysis at the beginning of your career. Perhaps you are looking at a career change but are afraid. Much of this paralysis can be avoided. There are false ideas about careers that can actually paralyze you to the point where you drift through life vaguely disappointed, dissatisfied and afraid to make a move.

Here is a list of some of the false ideas that you might have and may want to take another look at as you consider your new career.

1) You may believe that you have to somehow discover the perfect career for yourself immediately.

Many of the most successful people I have known have had several careers. With each career, they gain new skill sets and with each skill set, they have more options with regard to future careers. Don’t worry if your path is heading toward a career that is not completely perfect. As long as you are working in some capacity, you are moving forward and learning.

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2) You may believe that your perfect job would allow you to do whatever you want to and avoid doing things that you don’t want to.

Every job has things about it that are not as fun as other aspects of the job.

I am a Music teacher and I love teaching kids and digging into new methods of teaching to get a simpler and better product with my kids. It is the ideal job for me.

There are some aspects that are not my favorite.  I do not like scheduling students, collecting tuitions, accounting and some of the other aspects of my job. Unfortunately, I have to do them or I won’ t have any kids to teach. Happily, if you confront the less pleasant aspects of the job and get them done quickly instead of putting them off, you can have a lot more time to do what you love.

3) You may believe that if you find the perfect job, it will never feel like work.

While it is true that doing what you love feels less like work, there are days that will try your patience. Some days you might be under the weather or you might run into a client who is difficult to handle.

No job is without challenges and no job is always fun. If you have a job currently, look at how much time you spend enjoying it versus how much time you spend dreading it. If you spend more time enjoying it than dreading it, you probably have a good job. If you dread going into work, it is time to fix what is bothering you about the job or find a new one. The ideal job would be the one where you get to do what you love as much as possible.

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4) You may feel that because you have a degree in something, you can’t do anything else.

This is not true either. My brother is a great example. He wanted to become a vintner and got a degree in viticulture.

When he got out of college, he worked in a lab doing chemical research. A few years after that, he went back to school to get his law degree and is now a successful attorney in a start up company. He is happy and doing very well, but he is not a vintner. He does make a pretty killer beer though!

My point is that he had no idea what his path would ultimately be but it all worked out. His skills all came together to make him successful in his new career.

5) You may believe that you have to know right after high school what you will be doing for the rest of your life.

If you are in school and are starting to worry about making the all important career decision soon, don’t worry. Get some basic education and get started doing something, anything. With each job you get, you learn. Even if the only thing you learn is that you hate doing the job you have initially chosen, at least that gives you some information with which to make life changes.

6) You may believe that people only change careers because they somehow cannot make it in the first career they have chosen.

People make life changes for many different reasons. The people who are smart and resourceful are the ones who have the guts and self confidence to make the needed changes so that they can create a more happy life. Strong people are rarely “trapped in a career” that they hate simply because they refuse to be trapped into anything and make changes that untrap themselves.

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7) You may believe that people who make frequent job or career changes are irresponsible or flighty.

One person can never really understand what is going through another person’s mind or life and why they make the decisions that they do. A person who is searching for his correct purpose in life or a job that fits well with his lifestyle may be trying things out. Once he finds the correct fit, chances are, he will settle down. If this is you, don’t worry. As I mentioned previously, with each job you take, you learn new things and those things can help you in your future jobs and help you find the correct path.

8) You may believe that you have to go to school and learn what is taught there to be successful in any career.

I know for a fact that this is untrue because I know several people, including me, who are completely self-taught in many fields. Today, we have so much information at our fingertips. You can create your own educational program and put yourself through it. It can be a combination of formal classes and self study. Truly, the sky is the limit with regard to what you can do to train yourself for many careers.

9) You may believe that there has to be a job existing out there that is perfect for you.

Did it ever occur to you that you can create your own job or career path? There are so many things that are needed and wanted in society at this time.

You could simply write up everything you want in a job and then look at creating that job yourself. If there is a need for something, a job can be created to fulfill that need. What do people need and want in your area of interests? Figure out how you could fill the need and you may be extremely popular.

10) You may believe that you have to have something to fall back on while pursuing your passion.

The worst thing you could ever do in life is work just for a paycheck. If you are at the point in your life where you are looking for the best career for you, look inside yourself and find out what your true purpose is in life. What was it you REALLY wanted to do when you were little? Did you want to be an actor or a fireman or an astronaut? Look behind your desire to do these jobs and find what purpose you had when you made the decision that you wanted to be these things.

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A good hint is that most people have a purpose to help others in some way. A musician wants to entertain and make people happy. A fireman wants to rescue people. An astronaut wants to search out new worlds and make them accessible to other people. There is a purpose there. Once you find it, you will likely find that there are many different careers that will put you on the path of fulfilling that purpose.

Life is a learning experience. I believe that the most important thing in life is to extract the most learning that you can from it and use that knowledge to further your own personal purpose. As long as you keep these things as your focus, you will be OK.

Good luck!

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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