Facing Fear And Taking On That Career Change


There is a major difference between the woman who dreams and the woman who takes action and makes her dream become her reality.

The first woman will die with regret because she never pushed through her fear to make the move or change needed to achieve her dream.  While the second woman will conquer all of her dreams because she has learned the formula and applies it in her life continuously.

Fear is both immobilizing and liberating.

Are you the woman who jumps in with both feet and never looks back or do you play it safe because it is comfortable? The choice is always yours. Every time I take a risk and make a radical change in my life the adrenaline rush is exhilarating and terrifying. An elderly man gave me a simple bit of wisdom. He said it is important to change careers, houses or in my case men every seven years to keep life interesting.  The funny thing is that whenever I make a major move in my life I always think about those words and see what area it is that is changing.

Change can be scary, but also extremely exciting.

We all have varying levels of comfort and once you understand how you feel about change it is a lot easier to manage. I actually see myself resisting change all the time. Sometimes it is something as simple as where to move the fire pit in my yard or making the purchase of a new vehicle, but I initially always say no and I am irrational. We have all heard the expression if it isn’t broken then don’t change it. However, in my experience, you may not even realize it’s broken until you make the move.

Sometimes we cannot see an open door until the other door is shut behind us.

This holds true for career moves, relationship moves, and even physical moves. We don’t always have clear judgement until after we make the move and things work out or they don’t…but we always, always learn as we go. The clarity comes after the transition. I have had so many career changes in my life that I stopped telling people because they don’t believe I could have such a diverse background at my age. Let me just say that I know a thing or two about quitting a job.

Why are you staying in that career where you are miserable, stagnant and simply passing time?

This is not what life should be about. Life is about finding your dream and embracing it.  The world is changing rapidly and if you do not understand how to implement and cope with change then you will be left behind. So why is it that so many of us stay stuck at a job when there’s no chance for growth and won’t make a change that could lead us to happiness? It’s the same narrative that keeps us from moving forward and it is fear. Fear of not being good enough and fear of failure. Having the ability to see these things and deal with them as they creep into our thoughts can make things a whole lot easier.

I tell the women I’ve worked with that when they’re silently freaking out inside their head about a change there are some strategic things to do to justify our decisions and transform our thinking. For humans it’s natural to be an emotional thinker, so having some strategies to help analyze the move makes it well executed instead of merely a whim decision.

career fear

To begin with I ask them to take a piece of paper and pen. Fold it in half, listing the positives on one side and the negatives on the other of staying in your current position then do the same for taking your dream job offer and put on one side your dream job offer listing all the positives and negatives and on the other staying in your current position. Trust me those letters will be staring back at you screaming what direction you need to go. It sounds simple but it works and it is a great first step. I even did this exercise when I was deciding to marry my husband. Lucky for him the list of positives far outnumbered the negatives.

Decisions, especially important life decisions that entail going after your dream must be well thought out and have a plan behind them to be successful. The 2nd thing I coach women in this situation to do is to always think of the very worst thing that could happen should they make the move. I know it sounds negative, but when you realize all of the worst case examples you can brainstorm are things you can live with, then it makes the decision much easier. Further, by analyzing the costs associated around me staying in the job where I am complacent and how that will affect me long term can be enough of a motivator to make the move.  How does that decision affect my mental health and my family?

By comparing the costs of staying or moving you will develop complete clarity around your decision. By investing in this thought process you will alleviate much of the fear surrounding your decision.

finding your own truth

You are given this one life to live. Spread those wings, get out of that cocoon and see what awaits you on the other side. By embracing change, you will grow and start to really understand what it is that you want in life. We all need the terrible relationship or the boring job to dig deep and truly understand what we should be doing with our lives.

At an early age, I was a clerk at a grocery store. It was a union job and I was paid well. I remember the day I quit to start my own business.  My co-workers, friends, and even my family could not understand why I would leave the security of that company. I was nervous, but I had a hunger far greater than I could explain. I knew if I stayed I would be miserable and not fulfilling the potential I was given, so I knew I had to go. Sometimes, It is more important to walk alone than to stay put. I walked through the sliding doors my last shift and never looked back.

There is not one day that has gone by where I wished that I was still a clerk in that store making that comfortable union wage.  You must have the unfulfilling job to understand where you are meant to be. Both financially and mentally I have grown far beyond what that silly union job could have provided for me and I am so thankful I had the courage to walk. The confidence comes from owning the decision and moving forward. This brings me to speak about failure, which often is perceived as a negative.


The triumph is not in the wins, but in the failures.

When the failures, heart breaks, and discontentment become greater than the fear it propels us forward. Change is uncomfortable. Sometimes the catalyst is a life event. We get fired from our job, divorced, or end up in the hospital with a loved one, now we are forced to embrace the fear and implement the change needed to fulfill the dream.  During these life changing events we feel like we are drowning, but once we get through it and we look back and wish we did it sooner.  Don’t wait for a life event to follow your dream. Do it now because you deserve it.  You owe it to yourself because the world is waiting for what you have to offer. We need it now, we need it more than ever.

If you fail as you likely will because success is always tied to failure, then pull yourself up with all that insight and forge ahead. Be the change you want to model for your children and conquer the fear because you can. There is only one direction to getting that dream done and that is forward.  hese are exciting times where change can be exactly what you need.  The time is now for new beginnings and for you to start making decisions and implementing the changes needed, so that you are building your own dream. Although it will always be difficult, you will never regret going after your dream.

This guest post was authored by Sherri Lee

 Sherri is an expert entrepreneur and renowned life strategist. She’s a specialist at motivating women in transition to succeed at everything they’ve been putting off and helps take them from dream to done. Learn more at: http://dreamtodonecoaching.com/

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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