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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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Chris Ellis

Successful Author, Life Coach and Musician

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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