How I overcame my fear to change my job
In my book, ‘How Life Really Works,’ I explain how to complete an exercise that I call the ‘Life Changing Exercise – Change Your Film‘. One of my dear friends (pictured next to me) has been brave enough share her experience with the exercise. She explains, ‘How I overcame my fear to change my job.’ Read on…
For seven years, I worked at the same company and loved my job. I enjoyed the people, the work and the flexibility of working from home. Furthermore, I was able to take my daughter to and from school – a daily routine that was important to me.
During the eighth year, however, everything changed. For various reasons I became more and more unhappy. One of the directors quit, the company became too large and impersonal and I felt unappreciated, bored and stressed.
I had a constant neck ache, regular headaches, and by the end of Friday all I wanted to do was sleep. Furthermore, I started to experience a pattern of crying every two weeks. I felt as if my health was declining – I feel unwell emotionally, mentally and physically.
The first thing I did to break out of the situation was to stop my busyness and simply take time to question myself. Rather than get caught up in my latest complaint, I started to question my motivation for staying at my job. I read Kim’s book ‘How Life Really Works,’ and followed the ‘Life Changing Exercise – Change Your Film’. As per the instructions, I noted on paper my current reality or state of mind as follows:
Beliefs: Finding an employer that will work around a mother’s schedule (and from home) is very difficult. I don’t think my skills are good enough to get another job. I’m not good enough.
Thoughts/Self-talk: I should be grateful that my job allows me to work around my child. Even though I know I’m good at my job, I’ve only ever done this role for this particular company…I don’t feel confident to be able to do the same thing in another company. Change scares me. I need money and the job I have now gives me that money.
Feelings (Mental, Physical): I feel depressed and blah. I feel hopeless. I have neck aches, headaches and feel mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the week. My immune system is low – I seemed to catch every cold going. While doing my job, and even over the weekends, I often felt edgy.
Memories: When I was eleven I had to take an exam which determined whether I went to the ‘Smart School’ or the ‘Failure School’ – I went to the ‘Failure School.’ Also, I was never told I could be successful/the best at whatever I wanted. My parents never put me down. They just said to ‘do the best you can,’ but I never thought they thought I could excel at anything.
Expectations: Depending on the day and who I am dealing with I either think things are getting better or things are getting worse. I feel like a yo-yo. Overall, I expected the worst and probably focus on anything problematic to prove my point.
Visuals: I can see how the next phone conference call is going to play out. Once again I’m going to voice my concerns only to be ignored. I also visualize myself working even longer hours than I do now because there’s no urgency to replace my co-worker’s position – I’ll have to take over most of her stuff on top of what I’m already doing. I see myself having a mental breakdown.
Doing the first couple pages of the ‘Life Changing Exercise – Change Your Film’ was quite an awakening experience. Until I sat down and filled out the template I never really organized my thoughts nor did I notice them. Once I was finished I looked at the paper with my scribbles and felt slightly removed from it. It’s as if I was looking at my mind but not getting caught up in it.
I then went on to do the second part of the exercise where I needed to create my ideal situation. At first I felt blank. What did I really want? I spent so much time and energy thinking about how ‘mistreated’ I thought I was that I never actually thought about what I really wanted.
My new reality had the following:
Beliefs: Finding an employer that will work around a mother’s schedule (and from home) is very easy. My skills are good enough to get another job.
Thoughts/Self-talk: [The personnel turnover within the company started to drastically increase so I thought] If they move on, then so can I. I tell people that hate their job to do something about it, so I need to lead by example.
Feelings (Mental, Physical): I feel energized, alive, challenged, excited and free. My neck and shoulders are relaxed and my head feels clear and bright.
Memories: I vividly remember telling my husband to ‘believe in himself’ when he was headhunted a year previously. At first he was too afraid of change or the unknown, but I kept pushing him to open up to opportunity. If I can support my husband that way, I can also support myself! I have several memories of being afraid to do something, doing it, and then thinking, ‘that wasn’t too hard!’ Also, looking back I have always done well in every job I have had, I even excelled in my part time job while at college, I started off as a shelf stacker and within a few months was assisting managers, helping out in the cash office (a very trusting job) and managing stock takes and staff.
Expectations: I expect that many employers would benefit by having me as a part of their team. I expect that I will have a flexible, good-paying, role in a company where I enjoy the work and the company enjoys my contribution.
Visuals: I stop working when my daughter gets home from school and we spend quality time together. I enjoy working with my co-workers. They’re always smiling at me and commending me on my abilities. I’m smiling and feeling enthusiastic about my new role.
How I overcame my fear to change my job
From me participating in the exercise, in addition to contemplating what I wanted my life, (rather than complain about what was wrong), a job opportunity soon came up. A friend called me to say that someone they knew needed someone with my skill set for their company and could they give them my details. Furthermore, the company was happy to employ someone from home and up for flexible hour arrangements.
At first, I was so scared but eventually said ‘yes’. The potential new employer called me and was so nice. Within minutes my fears went away and the conversation gave me a massive amount of confidence just by having a 10 minute phone call. We met the following week. He wanted me! ME!!! I had a feeling that I knew was deep in me. I knew that I was good at what I did and that I could move on – the feeling was there, but I just need help to bring it out of me.
When all is said and done, the moral of my story is this: you have to believe in yourself! To believe in yourself, you need to know what you believe about yourself in the first place! When I started out I believed that I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t believe that flexible work-from-home jobs were readily available!
By changing my belief about myself and the marketplace I opened up a new opportunity to create the life I wanted.
Yes it was scary to start with but it is so worth the outcome! If I can do it, anyone can and you will wonder why you had let your life go on the way it was for so long when you can now see how good things could be.
The way to change your outside world is to first find out what’s going on inside…change that…and then your outside world (or physical life) will in turn change. There’s nothing you need to force or push. There’s no need to be defeated after using painful willpower. When you change inside, willpower is no longer necessary.
Kim Brown helps people to find their life’s purpose and exponentially increase their fulfillment. To get started read Kim’s book, ‘How Life Really Works: The Answer to Finding your Purpose & Personal Fulfillment’