Are you thinking about making some big changes in your life? Do you want to up your game at work despite having young kids? Are you looking for a change in careers altogether? Or maybe you dream of starting your own business? But all too often, something stops you in your tracks, even before you’ve started.
Often, the thing that is stopping you from making these positive changes is in fact your own mind and the stories that you tell yourself about why you can’t do it. To overcome these negative mindsets, you first need to become aware of the thoughts that act as barriers to change, and then learn how to reframe these so that they’re motivating instead. Here are 5 negative things we tend to tell ourselves when we’re faced with change, and how to combat them.
1. I don’t have the right experience.
Reframe: I have built up experience over a lifetime and can add the skills I need to do this.
When faced with doing something different, it can often leave you feeling as though you have no experience at all! Remember that throughout your life you have built up a wealth of knowledge that goes far beyond your professional career. Make a list of all the skills you have and experience you’ve gained, and then see how these can benefit you in your new pursuit. Identify the areas where you’re lacking and figure out how you can learn these new skills that you will need. Once you have a plan of action, the experience gap won’t seem so daunting anymore.
2. Now is not the right time to change.
Reframe: Now is as good a time as any to start creating the life and career I want.
Starting on a path of change can be daunting. It’s the reason why all too often you stop yourself before you’ve even started. If you give in to this thought, you’re bound to find a reason to justify it, no matter what stage of your life you’re in. Your kids are too young, you don’t have the money, or you’re about to get a promotion at work. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that you can start small and take little steps towards achieving your new goals today. Whether it’s as simple as working on your business plan, taking an online course, building your mailing list, or expanding your network, start moving in the right direction now, so that when the timing is right you will be in a better position to move forward.
3. I need a solid plan or nobody will take me seriously.
Reframe: I can do this step by step and start getting feedback from day one so that I can embark on my new adventure with confidence.
Asking for advice from people you trust is a great way to help you define your plan for change. Asking family and friends is often our first point of call. But remember that although they of course want to be helpful, sometimes they may have an invested interest in the outcome, which could influence the advice they offer. Often, a better direction to go is to get feedback from people who are in similar situations, as they will be able to offer valuable and relevant insights. If you don’t know anyone personally, head online to a career forum for some helpful advice.
4. I am too old to make a big change in my life.
Reframe: I am fortunate to have so much experience to draw from, which will help make the change easier.
When we finish high school, we’re all told that it’s time to choose a career path. What do you want to study? What job do you want to do? What career do you want for your life? But how are we supposed to make such enormous decisions, when we’re only just old enough to drive a car? As we grow older, our tastes, interests and passions develop and mature in ways that we could never predict when we’re younger. But the truth of the matter is that you’re never too old to make a change, and you’re never too old to live the life you dream of. Rather than using your age as an excuse, focus on the fact that you have valuable experience that will serve you well in your next pursuit. Rather than focusing on the past, look to the future by visualising where you are going and the steps you’ll need to take to get there.
5. I should be fearless.
Reframe: I respect my fear, but will not let it paralyse me from taking steps towards achieving my dreams.
Fear is not only natural but is also inevitable, and can even be useful in certain circumstances. We need fear. It stops us from taking unreasonable risks. But it shouldn’t be something that stops you from making positive changes. So, strip away the unrealistic belief that you should be fearless in the face of change and rather focus on finding ways to manage your fear so that it doesn’t get in the way of moving forward. Acknowledge your fear and try to understand where it is coming from, allowing you take charge of it. Choose to rather focus on more productive feelings or actions and your fear will soon become background noise to your positive mindset.
Getting your mind to work for you instead of against you can be a tricky thing. On Tuesday the 17th April 2018 I hosted a free mini-masterclass on the topic 'The 3 core elements of a thriving mind' it is still available in our Facebook group TAC She Sisterhood a group of likeminded women on a journey to create lives and careers we love, come and join us!
Have a wonderful day my friend!
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.