You won’t regret changing your life and doing what you love. Don’t waste your life working in an area that doesn’t bring you joy.
Remember when you were young and ambitious? Remember when you knew you could accomplish anything you set your mind to do? What happened to you? You got married, maybe had a kid or six, and then settled. You settled into a job and followed the path of least resistance. What happened to the fire?
I see this all the time. I have lived it myself! You want the corner office; you want to do great things for your company, or move into another industry. Perhaps you want to jump into the entrepreneur life. But you don’t. You stay stuck, hoping one day that suddenly either you’ll be completely content, or things will magically change. But they won’t.
Many things could be holding you back. Below are four reasons you may have stagnated in your career…and how to get moving into the life you so strongly desire and richly deserve.
1. The Provider Syndrome
You married an amazing woman. Together, you started a family, whether that family is you and her or includes some wonderful children in the mix. At some point it hit you, I have to provide for these people! If I don’t work, they don’t eat. It’s all on me!
Brother, I have news for you. Your family is a shared responsibility. Your wife is an intelligent and capable person. You may or may not be the sole provider; I was for years as my wife stayed home when our children were small. Either way, that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. She loves you and wants you to be as happy as possible. Don’t let the provider syndrome keep you from a career you love. Money is never a sufficient reason to stay unhappy in your work. Not to mention the fact that perhaps she has a passion for something that provides as well. Don’t let male pride get in the way of changing your family dynamic for the better!
2. Fear of Looking Foolish
I’m a man too. I get it. None of us wants to look like an idiot because we tried something that crashed and burned. In the past, I had a business fail for that exact reason. I was afraid to call potential new clients because I believed they would think me a fool and laugh at my audacity.
Guess what? I DID crash and burn. The fear of looking foolish and failing kept me from talking to people, which caused the exact failure that I feared. Do you know how many times I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone to have any real success in changing my life? Do you think it was easy every time I went to my boss and asked for a raise because I believed I deserved it? Do you think when I launch a new business and start reaching out that I STILL don’t wonder who will laugh?
It happens every time! When I submit articles, I worry the editor will berate me for being an inexperienced hack, even though I have YEARS of experience writing. Here is the deal guys, fear of looking foolish will stop you…but only if you let it. I don’t care who thinks I’m clueless because they don’t contribute to my growth and sense of satisfaction. You need to feel the same way. So step out and go for it, leave the haters in your dust.
3. Waiting for Permission
I remember a few years ago I was agonizing over a possible job change. We were living in the town where we had met at college, gotten married, had children and remained for ten years. We loved the community, but the place I worked was toxic. Backbiting, gossip, legal problems, insufficient resources and the like. I had new opportunity, but it would mean moving to another community and starting over in every way. I didn’t know how to talk to my wife. I needed her permission and was waiting for it.
Except I hadn’t brought it up to her. How would I get permission without asking? What about you? Are you waiting for someone, your wife, your manager, your friends or anyone else to give you permission? Let me say two things here. Talk to your wife. Make a joint decision. Her input is all you need. You don’t have to get permission from anywhere.
In case you are interested, I did talk to my wife. She said, “Go for it.” That job change led to more new friends than I can remember…and eventually to you reading this post.
4. You Lover Her Too Much
This one is tricky; married men get easily trapped here. The internal argument is, “I love her too much to take a chance with a change. It would disturb our entire life and things could be a lot harder.” So what? Your wife’s number one desire is your happiness. Do you want to really love her? Then keep her happy by being happy yourself.
Let me help you here. When you change things almost certainly WILL be harder…for a time. But then as you work in the area where you have passion you will be MUCH happier, and therefore so will she. Also working in your area of passion generally brings more income, often a lot more. Because you love what you do, others will catch your enthusiasm and support you in many ways. Try it. You’ll see.
You won’t regret changing your life and doing what you love. Don’t waste your life working in an area that doesn’t bring you joy. Take your wife by the hand and launch out together. It will be the most exciting journey of your life. Just go for it!
Photo: Flickr/ Jeremy Price