Imagine this: You can take any career-related risk and succeed at it.
Would this change the current course of your life? Does any one thing come to mind that you would want to pursue?
Fear of failure can block many promising and creative ideas. It is often why people lose motivation when contemplating a transition—they imagine that the idea won't work before they have fully thought it through. It’s puzzling why people tend to focus their attention on potential failures, or "worst case" scenarios when considering a transition, but it could have something to do with self-protection.
But, a false sense of safety gained from avoiding risks can come with a high price, as you trade off the possibility of realizing your dreams.
Here are a few steps to consider if you want to revive an idea that was once squashed by a failure mindset or give a new idea a chance:
- Listen to any response that comes from the question: What if you could not fail at a new work venture?
- What ideas emerge?
- What aspects of yourself would be engaged by such an idea (skills, interests, values)?
- What assumptions do you have about this idea?
- What else do you need to know about the feasibility of it and where or from whom can you find out what you need?
- What is one step you could take to move a little closer to this idea in order to see it more clearly?
After further exploration, are you more or less energized about it? If clarifying your idea increased your interest, think about what else you could do to continue its development.
Take things one step at a time in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by taking it too far into the future. At any point, you may find that you’ve crossed the threshold into your new career.
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