Do you want a fulfilling, purposeful life but are not sure you have the courage to change your existing life? In this series of blog posts so far I have written about motivation, inspiration and excitement and in combination they can provide the impetus for change.
If you can harness those three you can find the courage to change; simple yes, but not always easy.
Barriers that thwart your courage to change
Some motivational speakers and coaches would say there are no barriers and they will inspire you while you listen to them, but then the doubts creep in. You find yourself needing top ups of inspiration and motivation and yet each time you decide to change, you falter. Let’s be realistic; change is tough, frightening, uncomfortable and even risky. Yes, you DO have the power to change, but yes there are barriers to overcome.
Barrier Number One- Other people’s views
Be this loved ones, family, or work colleagues; there are plenty of doubting Thomas’s and Moaning Minnie’s out there. Have you noticed how some people absolutely delight in telling you what you cannot do and the dire consequences of your actions should you ignore their advice? “Change jobs in your fifties, are you crazy, what about your pension???” Hmmm, pensions are generally portable and ask yourself “if I absolutely loathe my current job, what about the health risks to me of staying there?”
For every objection others have – there is an answer, if you have thought this through. So, my advice when dealing with other viewpoints is to listen, process and find your counter argument. If you find yourself reacting with hurt, anger or sorrow, then examine whether it is advice they are giving or a personal attack. If it is the latter, waste no more time on it, this is irrelevant and coming from their own lack of courage to change. Some views, however, will have merit. If you are able to answer them, you are well on the way to building up your courage to change.
Maybe you used to like your job but have lost enthusiasm and much of your thinking is, “If only my boss would let me…” Simple (not easy) solution, actually ask your boss to let you do things differently, move to another area of the company, change to a part time job. Your employer is not a mind reader and assuming they will reject your suggestions is probably unfair. You never know until you try. Bosses may seem intimidating but generally speaking they are under pressure too and just want everyone to work hard, making the team look good and increasing productivity.
Perhaps your lack of courage to change reflects your uncertainty over your own worth? The job market is ever evolving, jobs we do today will not exist for our children and grandchildren. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that only the young can go after the exciting jobs in the market. Wrong…employers are finally beginning to realise the value of experienced more mature employees. Spare a thought for 16-24 year olds; in the UK they are three times more likely to be unemployed than other age groups. Around 26% of the working population is over 50 and the number is rising but long term unemployment for this age group is also rising, as too are redundancy rates.
It may be crucial to find the courage to change in this ever changing employment market and to find ways to be innovative about career choices. Do not see your age as a barrier, see it as an opportunity. You have the experience and wisdom to think through choices knowing all sides to the story. Your children are less of a concern as they make their own way in the world, although many still need support.
Barrier three – how you see yourself
If you have spent much of your working life, working for others, it can be difficult to be selfish. Take a moment to ask yourself- “If I could do any job in the world, what would it be?” Then ask yourself, what is ACTUALLY stopping you? There are limitless opportunities to learn in this internet age. New technologies do not have to be a threat, they can actually empower you.
It is within your power to change, if you want it enough. Don’t wait for external forces to create a need to change; it is so much better to make that decision yourself. Others may disapprove but they do not control you. Being realistic about the barriers does not mean you cannot dream, and work to make that dream a reality. Whether that be within your current job, or in a new direction, you can find the courage to change.
To find out more about Pam Warren (UK based motivational speaker)