Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 12th 2016 Contents B8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Fear, in all its forms, is the single biggest fac-
tor standing between where you are and reach-
ing your dreams.
In my work with career reinvention clients, I have
noticed that more often than not, fear of changing
careers or fear of change at all rears its head early
on in the process. Some of the more common fears
I have heard explicitly and felt intuitively are:
• Fear of the unknown
• Fear of failure
• Fear of success
• Fear of what others might think
• Fear of not complying with other people's
• Fear of making a bad career change choice
Here are some tips to help you overcome your
fears and to help you move to the next stage in your
career and life.
Assess the Risk and Break It Down:
Think of a risk you would like to take in this career
reinvention, and then ask yourself these questions:
• What would you gain from taking it?
• What's frightening about it?
• What's the worst thing that could happen if it
turned out badly?
• If the worst happened, what would you do?
• What could you do to minimize this?
• What information would make this less risky?
If you broke the risk into small steps, what
would be the first step? When could you take it?
Do this for each step.
Fear Is a Normal Part of the Reinvention
Understand that fear is normal and acceptable as
you go through this process. You are not alone, as
most career changers feel afraid at some point in
the process. But, recognize when your fear turns to
self-doubt, inactivity, and paralysis.
Examine Your Fears:
What exactly are you afraid of in the reinvention
process? Have a good look at this, and decide if your
fear is realistic or irrational.
• Remember that most of the things you fear
won't actually happen.
• Reframe your fear by thinking:
• What is the worse that could happen?
• If your fears really came to pass, what would
Would you survive?
You might find that your worst fears are not really
as bad as you thought.
Take Small Steps:
This is a great approach for a fear that seems
overwhelming. Your initial reaction to a fear might
be to avoid what it is you are afraid of (public speak-
ing, hating a new field). I have found with clients
that if you can break what you are afraid of into
small steps, it helps avoid the paralysis and gets you
Identify your fear and then think about some
smaller steps you could take to build your confidence,
get more information, feel motivated, and move into
your comfort zone.
Does Failure Have to Be Negative?
Many clients get blocked in "fear" during the rein-
vention process because they are afraid of failure or
rejection. I help these clients understand and reframe
Failing at something, or not having a new career
work out, doesn't need to be a bad thing. Instead,
a potential failure can be an opportunity to gather
more information about what you like or don't like
so you can learn from it and make better
decisions in the future.
Think of failure simply as feedback on
what you need to improve. Listen to the
advice failure gives you, and you will
improve. And success will come.
Embrace Your Fear:
Many of my clients are not aware that
they are afraid as they go through the
reinvention process. I try to get them to
recognize the fear, feel it, and embrace
it. Just observe the feeling in your mind
and body without labelling or judging
it. If you let it in and embrace it, often-
times it will lessen in intensity.
Live in the Present:
Keep yourself in present time. Don't let
your thoughts and emotions run away to
the future or the past. Being in the present
means not dwelling and obsessing on what
has gone wrong and what could go wrong.
This runaway thinking will only heighten
your fear to the point that you might feel
unable to do anything. Instead, make your
plans, and move forward one baby step
at a time.
Considering a career reinvention can
be an anxious time for anyone. My
advice is to understand your fears,
address them, and take your career rein-
vention one step at a time. Life is a
learning experience, and so, too, is a
career reinvention. Addressing your fears,
learning about yourself, and believing
in yourself and your career dreams can
be a positive and life-changing experi-
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