Do you have a tendency to think in absolutes? Is everything good or bad, black or white?
This type of thinking can severely limit your options. Or worse, prevent you from getting an accurate picture of what’s possible.
Most people are uncomfortable hanging out in the “I don’t know” space. The anxiety of not knowing triggers a rush to decision making. However, learning how to deal with periods of uncertainty while weighing your options will afford you the time to make a superior choice.
So how do you do this? Try a new approach and get support.
Broaden Your Reach
Suppose you wanted to explore career options. If you usually get advice from one or two people, instead make a list of every possible person who might provide information. If you get a knot in your stomach at the thought of contacting these people, you’re on the right track! You’re out of your comfort zone, and that’s good. To build up your courage before tackling this list, ask a trusted friend for encouragement and moral support.
As a further challenge, attempt to connect with a person who has achieved prominence in their field. While getting an appointment with a successful individual or receiving a return e-mail may take time, the effort could result in valuable insight and net you a future mentor.
Ideally, speak with one person working in each of the ranks (upper, middle and/or lower) of the career area you are exploring. Keep the information flowing by asking your contact for another name.
Besides getting a more detailed picture of what you can expect from this career choice, you’ll begin to get a view of all the permutations that are possible. Each person’s opinion will broaden your view and knowledge.
Explore The Gray Area
It is in this huge “gray area” where a wonderful new career might be waiting for you. You could even discover that you already possess many of the requisite skills, making a career transition easier than you thought.
In the end, the choices you make will improve if you do the research and take the time for reflection. Don’t panic or rush the process. In this case, faster is not better, slower is. And a wonderful by-product of this process is a newfound sense of self-confidence and fresh possibilities!
“Unlimit Your Life” by James Fadiman, Ph.D.
A wonderful book that helps you understand and remove the self-created blocks to personal fulfillment. For example, Fadiman teaches how to recognize your real limits and break through your imagined ones. It is easy to read and well organized.
“Managing Transitions” by William Bridges
Bridges provides insight into the human aspects of making changes. For example, transition starts with an ending; leaving the old situation behind. There are feelings of loss. Failure to identify and be ready for these changes hinders your ability to move forward. This is one of the best books I have read on preparing for transitions.