“I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom - how great is that?”  Soledad O'Brien

Fear is a powerful emotion and is something that all of us has experienced. Sometimes its motivating – we get so scared of what might be that it encourages us to do something different. To make a change. But, then there is that other side of fear that stops us cold in our tracks, holding us back from doing anything.  

The element of fear can steer you away from your dream, it can take over your thoughts, clouding your judgement so you don’t do what you need to do. Fear is meant to protect us from harm; we sense something wrong and our instinct kicks in.

What if we are fearing something that could actually be good for us?

Let’s take changing careers. You know that you are unhappy, unsatisfied, or bored in your current line of work and, if you are being honest with yourself, you know that deep inside, that you need to make a change. That thought though, even though it is positive, makes you feel paralyzed and overwhelmed with self-doubt. Why? Because the brain biologically perceives changing jobs as a threat to its survival. Many studies have been done on this and it has been found that changing careers is categorized as a stressful life event. Even though you are feeling that gut-wrenching feeling of fear, you can get past it. You can overcome fear and pursue your dreams. Here are a few steps that will help:

Start with a vision

You don’t have to know the what at this point, but by focusing on what you want your life to be like and WHY. Sit down in a quiet space and imagine that you are at the end of life looking back. What do you see? Do you have a family? Have you built an empire that will carry through generations? Did you create something? Or did you have a successful career where you worked hard and was proud of yourself? Whatever it may be, creating this vision and knowing your why will help give you focus and motivation to tackle the hard things that will come up in your transition.

Find outside support

Navigating a career change by yourself is sure to send your fear into overdrive. You need support. Enlist the help of your friends and family member than can encourage you and hold you accountable. But just watch out for those you-can-do-no-wrong people in your life that won’t challenge you when needed.  

While the support of friends and family is 100% needed, enlist the help of a career coach or look into joining a group that can hold you accountable, provide smart ideas, and really help you achieve your goals.

Let your fear motivate you

Running away or hiding from your fear is not going to help. In fact, it will just make it worse and a bigger fear. So, embrace it and feel it. By acknowledging the fear, you give it less power and understanding why you are afraid will allow you to make smart, strategic decisions that get you to where you want to go.

Changing careers is scary, but don’t let fear stop you from pursuing what is right for you. Get out there and try to take a small step every day and soon enough, you will see that you took control of your own destiny.