Woman ready to change patternsTransformation is painful. It is easier to be stuck in old patterns, going around and around, doing the same thing, than it is to break free and do something new. When you are doing a job you don’t like, it is easy to keep going to the same job because of the positive aspects. You might say to yourself, I need the money or I like (most of) the people I work with.

Sometimes you like your job, and everything about it, but you no longer have any passion, excitement or fun at work. Sometimes you don’t like your job, or even the people you work with, or the amount of money that you are making, but you are comfortable doing what you know. It is scary to change. The whole process can be stressful.

You might reinforce your tendency to stay stuck by saying: What would I do instead? What if no one else will hire me? Will they think I am too old? What if I can’t do that other job? What if they decide to lay me off or fire me soon after I take that job, and my old job is no longer available? What if I’m not good enough for that job? What if they think other people would be better at it than me, and hire them? I don’t have the qualifications for that job I want – should I even bother to apply?

When these thoughts come into your mind, you have some options. First think, “whose thought is that?” If it is not your original thought, but one that came from a parent or well-meaning friend, send the thought back to them! You don’t need negative thoughts that belong to other people – you have enough of your own.

Another way to get past the doubts and old patterns, is to nurture your hope for a different future. What you believe, you can achieve. I like to sing the phrase from the 1980’s Olivia Newton-John song, “you have to believe you are magic, nothing can stand in your way”. To build on the hope, you can write down some of your accomplishments from the past. How did you get your first job, or your current job?  What are some of the positive things that past managers, customers or co-workers have said about you? Consider talking to friends or relatives that have recently changed jobs. What did they do that helped them?

What has motivated you in the past? Was it a desire to help people? To have something? To prove something to someone? To compete against yourself and do better than you did before?Use that motivation now to get past the inertia. Start writing the reasons you want a different job into a notes app or journal, and look at them regularly. What will you have achieved once you obtain the job?  How will you feel? What are the benefits to you and those around you?

Working with a career coach will help you brainstorm, identify your strengths, and carve a path that is easy to follow and achievable. An unbiased outsider can help you see things with a different perspective.

Be willing to take the first step toward transformation.  Allow the old to die in order to create room for the new. Something better awaits.