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What If Your Career Ideas Feel Impossible?

What If Your Career Ideas Feel Impossible?

You can either listen to or read this post (5 minutes):

This is a common question. My answer is that you don’t even know what’s realistic or not until you explore some more. I have the kind of brain that thinks there is always a way to do something you love. Even if you don’t think like that, stay with me for a moment.

I’m very practical. This isn’t about blind faith or deciding things based purely on wishful thinking. 

I don’t believe in jumping off a cliff on blind faith. However, when I see a cliff, I know now that there’s always some stairs to get down. I just have to look around for the stairs or find some help with a ladder.

I hear people all the time stopping themselves from wanting what they want because they think it’s impossible or think it will be too big of a leap for them. Even before they have checked out all the possibilities. They end up stuck in a fog of the unknown.

In essence, they are thinking the devil they know is better than the one they don’t know. Think about that. The logic is flawed. It’s just that you don’t know yet.

The Devil You Know vs. the Devil You Don’t Know

That idea to stay with the “devil you know” comes from an inner fear voice that wants to stop you from trying anything new. It thinks it is keeping you safe. But it is just keeping you small… and unsatisfied.

Feeling stuck between staying or going, like the classic cat in the doorway syndrome? It doesn’t have to be so hard.

Wavering between what you want and what you’re afraid to check out is a place we could stay stuck forever if we don’t take some conscious action.

It’s like that funny thing cats do when they cry to go outside, but when you open the door to let them out, they freeze in the doorway, wondering whether to stay or go.

We laugh at them, or even get frustrated at the cat for not going ahead with what they said they wanted. But isn’t it just like us when we stop ourselves because we’re nervous to check out what’s out there?

I know I’ve done that. Yes, no, maybe, but yes, but no…. on and on. It’s classic human stuff, not just cat stuff.

How do we get out of that doorway when the unknown feels so daunting?

I’ll explain what I’ve discovered, and what many others have discovered, about how to move past the doorway, even when it feels scary.

The key is in exploring instead of leaping. Here’s how.

What looks like a cliff right now is actually a place to look around for the easy pathway. The pathway is there if you look for it and get creative.

Image - A cliff is not a dead end. It's a place to turn.
When you see a cliff or dead end, it’s not the end. The goal is not impossible because that one path didn’t work. It’s a place to turn or find the stairs.

For example, instead of taking a big step, like thinking you should sign up for a new college degree, take a small step like asking a few friends if they know someone in that field who you could interview. Or if that’s too big at first, start with researching the field online. There’s always a small bite you can manage.

It sounds so simple when you hear this, I bet, but for some reason it’s not what we tend to do. We beat ourselves up for not figuring things out or not taking big leaps, but what works is to take small steps, which we can do.

As you take each little step, notice how your heart feels as you take each step and follow what it is drawn to next. It will lead you in the right direction of what your heart and body are longing for. And each step is only one small doable step.

If you hit a “dead end,” it’s just a place to turn. There are no dead ends.

What If It Feels Confusing or Overwhelming?

If you don’t know which ideas to explore, how to explore it, or you’re worried about getting overwhelmed with any of it, I help with all that in my online course:
“Career Clarity Course: Simple Steps to Uncover the Best Use of You Now”

Learn more here >

Picture of Val Nelson

Val Nelson

I’ve been a self-employed career/business/purpose coach since 2009. I help introverts and HSPs (like me) who want to make a difference — in a way that fits our practical needs too.
Val Nelson | Coaching | Groups | Courses | Newsletter | LinkedIn

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