It starts with a little voice in the back of your head whispering, “That sounds fun!” or “I could totally do that!” And suddenly, you have a new dream.
The second the dream takes root you realise: “I’m soooo not happy with where I am right now. I want to be there instead!”
It’s a no-brainer to recognise where you want to be, but getting there...that’s a whole other thing.
The human mind is really weird at times.
When you think of a new career, or a fresh direction, and you know it would completely light you up, your brain right away gets to work tearing it down.
All this resistance appears (seemingly out of nowhere):
“Is this really going to work for me?”
“How can I do this when I don’t know the industry?”
“I’ve invested so much in my current career, I can’t just abandon it!”
And so you stop yourself from getting to where you want to be, and what you truly want to do.
What’s up with that??
Let’s dive in...
#1 You’re Waiting For…
There are three main blocks that get in people’s way, but this one is The Big One.
Committing to a career (or career change) is a lot like dating.
There are a lot of really cute prospects (the good ideas you have about careers you might like), but you’re waiting on ‘the one’.
The one career that’s going to be your thing.
So while these ideas look pretty attractive, you’re not interested. You’re waiting for the one career, the one idea, that smacks you upside the head like a sledgehammer.
The one that makes you dizzy with possibility.
You want the certainty that it’s definitely right for you, and definitely the right time; you need that before you commit to it.
This is especially true if you already have a career you’ve put a lot of time and effort into.
It’s...dating a guy you like, and have good time with, but there’s something missing. You know he isn’t your ‘forever’. But he’s a great guy, and he makes you laugh, so you’re in no rush to walk away from him.
It would take someone really special to make you sure. Someone you just knew, immediately, was perfect for you.
Your fate. Your destiny.
You want to hear the bells! *Ding Ding Ding! He’s THE ONE!*
Switching careers is no different. Your current situation might not be perfect, but it could be worse.
You need reassurance before you jump ship.
So you wait. You wait for the perfect time to make the move.
You wait for the bells!
What’s wrong with that?
I mean, it’s a big commitment after all, you don’t want into rush it. You should be sure, right?
Except... nothing is ever sure in life.
While you’re waiting for the perfect moment, for that sledgehammer to hit and those bells to ring, opportunities are passing you by.
You might very well meet your destiny, your forever, and not give them more than a glance, because you’re expecting a huge romantic event when you meet your elusive ‘one’.
It’s hard to imagine you might just bump into them one day, smile, say, “Sorry!” and that would be it.
The One should be bigger than that, right?
Not every great relationship (or brilliant business idea) start with a bang.
The Perfect Time Doesn’t Exist
Before I launched my business I was desperate for change, but it never seemed like the ‘perfect time’ to do it.
My job as a lawyer was overwhelming me. I needed change, but I was scared. I didn’t know where to start.
In the end I realised it was time to stop asking myself, “Why now?”, in an attempt to prove the perfect time was upon me, and instead ask, “Why not now?”
And to that question, I had no answer.
Since then, I hear people say some variant of, “I’m not sure it’s the right time!” about so many things.
They might be talking about taking a new direction in their career, starting a new biz, diving into a new relationship, or committing to a new health plan.
It doesn’t matter what they’re talking about, they’re all waiting for…
They’re not even sure what, they just feel they have to wait for it.
Such a momentous change should be heralded by an equally spectacular feeling, or a grand sign; the ringing of those bells.
As if the universe is going to do something to finally make it clear to you that, yes, now is The Perfect Time for change.
The truth is that any moment can be a time for change, if you choose to make it so.
You make it the perfect time when you decide to start.
But starting is something we really struggle with...
A while ago I was speaking to a woman about the new business she wanted to start.
Like many of the people who find me she had this big dream, and she was putting it off.
I asked her what she saw as the next step needed, in order to move forward with her business idea. I asked, “What’s keeping you from taking that step?”
“I need a designer to create a logo,” she told me. “And I can’t afford that right now, so I’m stuck.”
Immediately, I felt the side of my lips curl up into a smile. Not because I was laughing at her, but because I could see that she heard the absurdity of it the second the words left her mouth.
“Oh,” she said, "that sounds insane now I actually say it out loud!"
"Yup, sure does," I said. "Plus, it’s just not true. You don't need a logo to move forward. You don’t need a logo at all!"
You’re Really Just Procrastinating
If you're waiting on a logo that you can't afford, or you're waiting for some other event that’s outside your control, but you think you desperately need to happen before you take the next step, you're making excuses.
Let's call an audible on that, shall we?
Obsessing over logos and branding shouldn't be an excuse for not moving forward. Especially since you can create your own amazing visual brand yourself aaaaand develop your brand voice and message, really simply.
Of course, it's fantastic to have professional branding that fully encapsulates what you're doing, but it's not necessary when you're starting out.
And it definitely doesn't need to be your first step.
This isn’t a genuine reason to put off starting a business.
There’s nothing standing in your way, you’re simply procrastinating.
In fact, you’re procrastibranding (Yes, it’s such a common block there’s a word for it!)
I built my first website on weebly. That got me through my first handful of clients. It wasn’t fancy, but it did the job until I could afford a pretty site with professional branding.
Here's the big truth about branding:
Branding is just letting people know who you are.
When the right people know who you are, they want to know more.
As they get to know you, they start to like and trust you.
Once they know, like, and trust you, they're open to buying from you.
When they're open to buying from you, you can sell to them with ease.
They receive something of high value. You receive money.
Yes, there are other things to consider. But when you break it down to it's purest form, all branding does is help people get to know you.
The only thing you need to let people know you is yourself.
You already have that!
If you're just beginning to develop your brand and you approach it from this pure place, you're going to naturally accomplish the golden rule of branding: be real.
Procrastibranding is a really great example of how procrastination can hold you back, but it’s something we do about so many things in business.
Every time you ask yourself, “Why not now?” and come up with an answer, check it.
Is it something that is genuinely in your way, an insurmountable obstacle, or are you just procrastinating?
I’m willing to bet you can’t think of any excuse that isn’t some form of procrastination.
If you’re struggling with procrastibranding be sure to sign up for my FREE WORKSHOP How to Master Your Mindset & Marketing to Fully Book Your Creative, Coaching, or Online Biz, so you can learn the activities you should actually be focusing on and the actions you need to take now to move the needle forward in your business.
#2 You’re Stuck In A Limiting Mindset
Another challenge I faced when I started my business was my own limiting mindset.
I loved the new work I was doing, but it was hard for me to push past my own established limits. There were a lot of ideas I had about myself and the career path I had carved out as a lawyer, which I had to leave behind.
I’d worked so hard to get to where I was, only to realise it wasn’t where I wanted to be. When you’ve poured that much of yourself into something it’s really tough to let it go.
It’s like losing a part of yourself.
There aren’t many of us who can willingly let go of a pieces of ourselves, even if they’re pieces we no longer want.
They’re still a part of you, so you must need them, right?
And what if you change your mind?
What if you’re making a mistake?
Really what you’re thinking is, ‘What if i can’t be any more than I am, and by trying to do this, I become less?”
There’s this fear that by striving for more, you will end up with less.
It’s hard to see how important a step it is to let it go. It isn’t a loss. It doesn’t mean everything you’ve done so far was a waste of time. You’re simply continuing your journey in an unexpected direction.
It will take you somewhere you never expected to be, but that doesn’t mean where you were is any less vital.
You have to wrap your mind around the idea that everything we go through, we are meant to go through.
The lessons, skills, and experiences we are meant to have stay with us.
The path that I went down as a lawyer uniquely prepared me for what I do now. That experience is part of why I am a great coach.
Shine a light on your own worries and concerns. They are what’s holding you back. No one’s blackmailing you into staying in the job you hate.
You are the one stopping yourself.
#3 You Live By the Expectations of Others
Once you’ve moved past all the ways you’re getting in your own way, you need to deal with the expectations of others.
One of the hardest things to do is let go of other people’s ideas of what you should do, and do what’s best for you instead.
The things that have most held me back over have always been my fears surrounding the judgement of others and how they might perceive me.
It’s really tough when you have a passion for something, and are really enthusiastic about doing it, but it’s ‘just not done’.
When I decided I wanted to become a coach, I faced a lot of resistance. Coaching simply wasn’t something that was taken seriously. I mean, I was coming from law! That’s a respected and very well-established profession. Something your friends and family can understand.
Coaching was this new area with no regulations.
A lot of people don’t understand it, or they view it as being a bit sketchy.
I could have easily been crippled by other people’s expectations and views. Instead, I got the training, I started coaching on the side with no expectations of what it might become, and now, I’m a full-time coach.
Most of the people I work with are making some kind of transition.
They have a lot of concerns about how people are going to respond to the change.
And it’s true, people might not understand.
Everyone is used to taking traditional steps toward success. But that might not be the way for you.
You might be different, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
That’s what makes you amazing.
You know The Voice, the singing competition? Whenever a singer gets the chairs to turn around, I feel ridiculously happy for them. That’s how I feel when I coach and help people get what they really want.
When you find something that gives you that feeling, that makes you feel you have star quality, that you’re good enough to turn the chair, you quickly realize your feelings and the way you can serve others are more important than what other people think.
Give your new career dream a chance.
I guarantee, when you prove everyone wrong by becoming a huge success, all the people you were so worried about it will be trying to pretend they were behind you the whole time.
Recognize that many of your thoughts and beliefs about how other people are going to react are actually projections. The Work of Byron Katie is the most powerful and effective way of understanding and moving past this. Click here for more information as well as a step-by-step worksheet to move past others’ expectations.
If one of the dreams you’re blocking yourself from is creating your own business, then be sure to join me on November 28th, 29th, or 30th for a totally FREE live workshop on How to Master Your Mindset & Marketing to Fully Book Your Creative, Coaching, or Online Business (Even If You’re Still in a 9-5)