Get Out of Your Own Way

Today I'm going to talk about fear. It's a topic that I resurface from time to time because it's an important one. It's one of the most life-limiting and career-limiting factors any of us face and we face it daily. At least in some form.

It shows up when we start to consider a change. Any kind of change.

But especially when we consider a change associated with our career.

I have a couple of 'theories' on this and the one I see as the most influential is the imaginary person who we see interviewing us (in our minds) before we've even opened up our resume to make any updates.

Every move we make seems to be followed with a conscious or subconscious thought of "what will this look like on my resume?" "What will this imaginary hiring manager think?" "Will this make a recruiter overlook me?"

So we don't do it. We opt for the safe path. We choose to keep our career moving down this predictable yet unfulfilling path. We've, in essence, become a cog.

A cog of the hiring system. A cog of the resume-first system.

We're afraid of being 'unhireable.' In today's hiring system- especially in the larger tech-centric cities, you begin to be unhireable with each day you become older.

Stop thinking of the most irrational (and most unlikely) things that can happen to you if you decide to try a different role, to change industries or verticals, or strike out on your own. All of those things take courage.

If you're currently at a crossroads in your career and find yourself paralyzed by fear, try doing these things:

  • Write down all of your fears and concerns associated with making the leap
  • Write down *why* you would want to make the leap
  • Write down the good things that can come from making the leap
  • Go back through and give each idea (good and bad) a probability of happening

I think you'll be amazed at what happens. The act of getting your fears out of your head and onto paper or a screen works wonders. You'll probably realize just how stupid and unfounded your fears are. I did this recently, and I didn't even have to get to the next steps because I couldn't believe how dumb and irrational the things holding me back were.

Try it.  Tag me on LinkedIn or Twitter (@509marketer) and let me know what happened for you. You can also use the hashtag #fearprobability and I'll see it.