When you’re starting to think about making a career move, you will inevitably feel fear. You might be afraid of failing, scared of not making enough money, or worried about deviating from the status quo. We call this loss aversion, and it’s what’s keeping you stuck in work you hate; what I affectionately call career jail.
Fear of change is what keeps people stuck.
One of the coaching exercises I use with my clients flips this fear on its head. I ask them to write down all the things they will lose if they don’t pursue their career dreams. In other words, if you stay the same and don’t change at all, what will you regret?
Common answers to the question include:
So ask yourself: “What will I lose if I don’t pursue my career dream?” and don’t edit! Let whatever pops into your mind flow onto the page and then read it back to yourself. Close your eyes and ask what it feels like to experience these losses. Can you feel it physically in your body? Can you identify the emotions that arise? Is it pain, depression, sadness, disappointment, or anger?
Taking the time to go through this simple exercise will help you to amplify the pain of not pursuing your dreams. Remember, our brains are wired to avoid danger and pain, so if you can associate extreme regret with not chasing your dream job, you will have more motivation to pull the escape chute from your current career.