Too Scared to Change Careers? 7 Ways to Get Empowered

When you consider stepping into unknown territory in your life, you might develop a case of the "Yeahbuts," those fears that hold you back. Here are seven ways to reduce their power so you can effectively pursue your dream job. From The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, by Nicholas Lore.

The following methods focus on disarming the power the Yeahbuts have over you. They lose power when you know them for what they are: tapes being played by an automatic system. Everything you can do to reveal them as something other than your own proactively generated thoughts helps to break their spell. Whatever you do to deal with them, make it enjoyable. Have fun. Lighten up. When you can laugh at ghosts, they disappear. Pick methods that fit your personality. Here are some things you can do:

• Make a list of them. Don't bother with the little ones. Concentrate on the big guns, the ones that could shoot your dreams out of the sky. Carry the list around with you like you would carry the bird-identification field book with you on a birding excursion. Give them numbers or short names. When you have an attack, identify them by number. "Here comes old number 9." "Just as I expected, a Willie and a Pete arriving together."

• Allow them to come into your mind unopposed.
Do not fight or resist Yeahbuts. Let them be there, but don't dress them up and take them to the show. Fighting them or entertaining them makes them important.

• Learn mindfulness meditation, the most direct way of noticing that your thoughts just happen on their own, and that you have very little to do with what you think most of the time. When someone has actually experienced this, it is much easier to recognize that your Yeahbuts are completely automatic.

• Make displays that keep you present. A display is a sign or other graphic that reminds you of what you said you were going to do. I always have a large sign on the ceiling right above the office sofa where I relax. Every time I lean back, there is a reminder of that challenging project I said I was going to do. Put displays where you can't avoid seeing them: your medicine cabinet, your screen saver, above your bed. Once you stop noticing it, move it. Collages make great reminders. So does a friend's call to ask how it's going.

• Study them from a distance. Become a Yeahbut scholar. Treat them like bugs stuck on a pin.

• Pretend they are a voice coming over the radio rather than from inside your head.
Think them in the voice of a cartoon character instead of your own voice. Imagine what it would be like if your most persistent Yeahbuts occurred in SpongeBob's or Bugs Bunny's voice.

• Convert them to allies.
Turn them into a to‑do list. When you have an attack of Yeahbuts, write them down on a page of your notebook titled "Yeahbuts Converted to To‑Dos." Then speculate on strategies to resolve them. Thank them for their good advice. If none of the above works, you need to find a coach who is a master at dealing with Yeahbuts -or at least enlist someone you can trust completely to stand with you, to keep you awake to your commitments.

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