We must take time for ourselves, but it’s difficult to commit time, especially when you are working a full-time job. We’re taught to put others needs and wants before our own and often wind up tired, overscheduled and with no energy for ourselves. Schedule daily appointments with yourself in order to take time away from your busy life and become clear on where to direct your energy and time.
2. Fear of change and success
Many people enjoy the status quo and don’t want to make a change to become more successful. Though they state that they do indeed want success, they choose to stay in their comfort zone. Success is the unknown and the unknown is often feared. Increased success means change and an increased level of responsibility. It takes courage and risk for most of us to take the leap and find a fulfilling job. After we’ve achieved success, we must maintain that success and that takes effort. We must live with a new reality, a new view of ourselves and a new way of relating to the world. It is so much easier to daydream about “someday” than it is to actually take the steps to make “someday” a reality and live it on a day to day basis. That requires work and commitment and many of us find it easier to live in the daydream of “what if” than to make it “what is”.
3. Fear of failure
The most common fear of them all. We fear so many things about failure. We fear making a fool out of ourselves, we fear losing our security, we fear stepping backwards instead of forward, we fear making the wrong decision, we fear not being able to live up to standards (whether they are ours or society’s), we fear being labeled a failure or a loser. There can be so much fear that it is often paralyzing. We have no idea where to begin to deal with all the fears that we just simply stay where we are.
4. Isolation and lack of support
Isolation is a dream job killer. We all need support to land the job of our dreams. Daring ourselves and moving forward are often facilitated when we have a great support system. When we find ourselves trying to go it alone, it’s more likely that we’ll have setbacks and just stay where we are. In many cases, understanding who you are and what you enjoy doing is enhanced with the help of others. If we don’t have support, it’s often too overwhelming and easier to just play it safe and stay at our current level of mediocrity.
5. Shoulds from family and society
Throughout our lives, we hear many messages about how we should act. We become conditioned and socialized to act in acceptable ways that may not always be in our best interests. We often live a life doing what others tell us we should. We’re told/taught “Don’t rock the boat,” “Fit in, be like everyone else”, “This is how it’s done” and more. Being like everyone else may not be where our greatness lies and we wind up not even knowing what we want in a dream job. We fear rejection so much that we often play small just to fit in. We take our place as one of the mindless worker ants, trudging through the same routines, complaining about the same problems and realizing the same small results. We must move from our shoulds to our genuine wants or desires.
6. Financial obligations and fear of poverty
Financial obligations such as mortgages, credit card bills, college savings for children and more can restrain us. If your survival depends on your income alone, this is a fear you may experience when facing dramatic changes in your life. Recognize that you have control over the changes you wish to bring about and can do so gradually while maintaining a secure income from a familiar source. Thus, you can ease into the life you want one step at a time and reduce the threat of poverty.
7. Comparing and Despairing
There will always be someone who is “better”. Someone who has more, lives better, is more fulfilled, etc. Comparison is a losing game. It lets us run round in endless circles and provides many excuses for not doing anything more – “I’ll never be as good an actor as Meryl Streep so why should I even go on any auditions?”, “I’ll never be able to get a recording contract like Garth Brooks so why should I work on my singing career?”. The fact that acting is your passion or singing speaks to your soul gets lost somehow.
8. Self Doubt
This article about career planning will help with self-doubt. We see ourselves as less than who we really are and feel we are unworthy to receive all that we deserve. Our own fears, limitations and mental criticisms alienate us from our goal. Self-doubt is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving our dreams. We often ignore ourselves in favor of others. We value their opinions too highly and our own too little. The only real approval that matters is that which comes from inside ourselves. We’re the only people who know what we truly need and want. This makes us our own best judge of whether or not what we’re doing is right and good for us. We must shift from self doubt to belief. If we tap into our true gifts and unleash our essence, we come from a place of strength. It is possible to be all we can during the dream job process.
9. Not knowing what you would love to do
Most people don’t know what they want or what they enjoy doing. They don’t know what they value or believe in. They aren’t sure where they are going and how to get there. This frustration of not knowing freezes people from taking the risk and having the courage to find out what they would love to do.
10. Fear of making the wrong decision
Each decision you make will lead you down a unique path with challenges and opportunities of its own. You may have several options you would like to try and worry that only one will be the right one and spend endless time trying to decide which is best. Thinking a situation through in a thorough manner is a good thing. We weigh pros and cons and find the best way to achieve our goals. However, analyzing can be used to avoid action. We can make endless lists, but if items never get checked off the list, what good is it? It’s easy to get lost in the details and never get around to doing anything because you’re too busy planning for every possible contingency. Life is not so easily split into right or wrong, black or white. It is made up of many shades of gray. Don’t allow analysis to become an excuse for inaction.
Helen Keller said, “The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”
Copyright ©1998 - 2015 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
JOEL GARFINKLE is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Land Your Dream Job. He provides a step-by-step Dream Job process that has guided thousands of clients to find the perfect job and reach career fulfillment. For Career Coaching Services, visit Dream Job Coaching.
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