Are Your Fears Keeping You From Your Dream Job?
A long time ago, I saw this movie. I have forgotten the name of the movie and I don’t even remember what the movie was about. I only remember one scene from the movie. A woman is standing in an elevator with a man she been married to for years and unfortunately, the marriage has not worked for years. They have just finished a meeting with their divorce attorneys. During the meeting, the husband acted abhorrently. They descend in the elevator in silence. And in this silence the woman seems to have a realization. She turns to her husband, looks at him as if she is seeing him as he truly is, and asks, “what was I so afraid of that made you my best option”.
This question has stuck with me because it is such an open and honest question. In order to answer the question you must be willing to see the truth. In that moment in the film, the wife is asking herself ‘what was I so afraid of, that made me stay in a relationship that wasn’t good for me?’ And in asking the question, she is admitting that she knows that the relationship isn’t good for her.
I have found that this question “what am I so afraid of that (fill in the blank) is my best option’ is also a great question to ask ourselves about our work. What are we so afraid of that makes us stay in a role, in a job, with a company, that we know is not good for ourselves? Why do we stay and accept less than what we deserve?
If you are not happy with your role, job or company, it is time to have a moment of clarity like the woman in the movie and ask yourself ‘What am I so afraid of that keeps me stuck where I am unhappy’. When we ask this question, we need to be willing to look at what we are afraid of and be willing to overcome the fear.
In working with my clients, I have found some common reasons that keep people stuck in roles, jobs or companies that make them unhappy.
The first common reason is safety. There is a feeling safety in the familiar. You might not like your job or know that you deserve a better job BUT the fear of the unknown keeps you stuck.
Safety in the familiar means knowing what each day will bring. We might be at a job we hate but we know what it’s going to be like every day. It feels comfortable and safe knowing what each day will bring. This is a fact. However, it is important to understand the exchange you are making for the feeling of safety. I tell my clients it is important to know what you are saying YES to. By choosing the familiar you might be sacrificing fulfillment and potential.
Another common reason/fear that keeps us choosing what isn’t good for us is not knowing how to get what we really want.
Often, we hold ourselves back from our dreams because we don’t know how to achieve our dreams. We are not sure what steps to take or even if it is possible. As a result, we allow ourselves to stay stuck in bad and/or unfulfilling situations. And we wait……wait for a sign or the perfect moment or something to show us the way. Time passes us by because we are unsure of the next step.
Sometimes we have a feeling that we are meant for something more than what we currently are doing but cannot articulate what that ‘something more’ is. All of these situations can lead us to choose something other than our highest good. Instead, we choose something that is safe and familiar even if it isn’t good for us.
So if you find yourself in a situation like the woman in the movie, looking at your job or work and wonder what you were so afraid of that it is the better option, I encourage you to start a dialogue with your fear. Realizing that you are afraid and that you have chosen the lessor option, is actually a wonderful moment. Having this awareness opens you up to find out what you fear, and to understand why it holds you back.
When you have this awareness, be excited because now it is time to go deep within and explore. To locate the source of your fear and transform it, so you can move beyond it. And once you do move beyond it, you will start choosing options that lead you to your highest good.
Join me next month for Part II of this series. In Part II, I will show you how to uncover your fears, have a dialogue with your fears and be ready to move beyond them.
Peace and Light,
Rebecca Le Vine
Career Transition Specialist