Why do I feel stuck in this job?
Multiple surveys show that a large percentage of workers in modern Western society are not happy in their current jobs, especially in the post-covid era.
On the other hand, when we find meaning in what we do, we experience flow, improved mood, creativity, we feel more fulfilled. But many of us do not find meaning in the work we do. How does this change?
Often the reasons we stay in a job we don’t love, lie in our way of thinking, our mindset, limiting beliefs and blind spots we don’t know are guiding our thinking.
Do these sound familiar:
I have no choice
The biggest change happens when we understand that the only person responsible for us is ourselves. We have our own responsibility and the sooner we realize how empowering and useful this is, the sooner we will start moving towards the life we want. If I am responsible for me, how do I imagine my life?
I’m afraid I won’t make it
A logical thought, but should we allow it to paralyze us? Dr. Carol Dweck, who studies the Growth & Fixed mindset, demonstrates that an “enemy” of not achieving what we want is the fear of failure. If we change our mindset and see “failure” (a bad and harsh word) as an opportunity to learn in our continuous journey to improve, then the intensity of it changes as well.
I do not have time
Learning something new takes time and patience. There may be parts of what you want to learn that you already know. You can start learning what you don’t know. We usually overestimate what we can achieve in the short term (I want to have it all tomorrow) but underestimate what we can achieve in the long term. You can start devoting a little time to concerted effort each day, a little time to build a future you want.
I don’t know anything about the new job
This way of thinking constitutes a Generalization and is a cognitive error that does not allow you to see the whole truth. If a friend of yours said this to you, wouldn’t you tell him that there are things he doesn’t see? In this way, you too do not see your skills/talents/values and qualifications that you have to offer. A thorough review and inventory of your talents and skills will go a long way.
I cannot go into jobs that are not what I’ve studied
Agreed. Many of us have invested years and money and effort into a field we chose and followed. But we chose this field some years ago, when we were a different person, with different information and different wants. Now we are different people, we want different things. Think about the outcome, your future self: when I retire, will I regret not changing jobs and trying? How do I want to feel in my life? Who do I want to be? And there is so much life experience and skills and knowledge I have taken up from other fields in my life. Each HR department can attest to the grave value of soft skills in nowadays workplaces.
I’m too old for this
And tomorrow you will be even older. If you are now 35 years old, you are less than halfway through your life. If you are older, you still have many years to live until retirement. Moreover, what you achieve the older you get is more meaningful for you, because you now have different criteria, needs and skills.
Who will hire me?
More and more companies hire on the basis to experience and soft skills, and transferrable soft skills you have plenty already. A good understanding of ourselves and an acceptance of our talents/skills/potentials clears up the landscape a lot. Also, it is now known that the human brain can keep learning until the day we die, so we can learn what we don’t have/don’t know.
Many of the above thoughts/beliefs are shared worldwidely. But just because because they are common, it makes it even harder for us to recognize them for what they are: limiting beliefs, and very limiting ones at that. We accept them as if they are a given and yet they are not.
Three exercises that will help you.
A. Make a list from the time you were 0 until today with all the things you thought you wouldn’t be able to do and in the end not only did you do, many are now second nature to you. For example: you learned to talk, walk, ride a bike, speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, drive, do your job, be a parent, be a good friend, etc. Make a thorough list of all the things you have achieved, all the things that make you proud of yourself.
B. Try to remember what you want to become when you were little, back when everything was possible. Being an astronaut? Piece of cake! Ending world hunger? I can so do it? Create the most bad-ass car and become super famous for it? Easy-peasy! Just allow yourself to tap into this mindset, the mindset of a clear horizon, where you are unstoppable and you can create everything
C. When you make this list (and not before), imagine yourself at the end of your life telling your life story to your beloved nephew who admires you. What would you like to say about your future from now on? Would it be a bittersweet and regretful story? Would it be an inspirational story? Get into the role and imagine it.
The noticeable difference with the past is that now there are ways and techniques, such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy, that help you change your mindset immediately and effectively.
Why stay stuck in a present we do not love, when we have the choice to create a future we love? Take the exercises and start your journey!
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams