How to Overcome Fear and Find Your Career Path

Illustration by: Kelly Malka

Trying new things and leaving our comfort zone leads us to growing. What’s stopping us from trying new things is not the trying itself, but, well, our thoughts. Mainly, it’s fear that can lead us, or more accurately, misguide us, towards the direction we fear most.

In this world, where there’s so many uncertainties, trying to change our course of living can be quite difficult and frightening. So what do we do in this situation? Do we get stuck in a place that no longer fits us, just in order to prevent us being uncomfortable for a certain amount of time, or do we jump? It’s a tough question.

I bet some of you might say that staying put for a while or “until I feel certain enough” to take the leap would be the right answer. But the fact is — there’s no single answer for this question. In today’s world where we find ourselves burdened by so many tasks, such as self-fulfilment, strive to success, achieve well-being, educate and challenge ourselves and what not, sometimes the best decision is to just stop and be in the moment. Accept that there is no “one path” or “correct path”, there’s just the place you are in right now — only after we accept it can we move forward and start reaching our goals.

These past few months have been quite a roller coaster for me, but they taught me a few things I’d like to share with you:

1. Realize your goals. The main question (and the hardest one) you should deal with is: where do you want to be? What do you want to reach? Try to be as detailed as possible. Where do you work? what’s your position? what’s important to you when you search for a job? which type of companies? What kind of work rhythm? How do you want to feel when you go to work? After you have a clear vision of what exactly you are looking for, ask yourself — What needs to be happen so that I can reach it? Do you need to learn new skills or strengthen your existing ones? etc.

2. Create a weekly and daily schedule and take control of your time. Whether you currently have a job or not, don’t let the time slip form your hands. Build a clear schedule of what you plan to do, plan your work week and leave yourself a nice amount of time for studying and self-developing. Try to find at least ten companies that seem suitable for you and that will provide you the challenge, terms and the well-being you are looking for. Once you know where you aim, it will be easier to rule out workplaces that don’t answer your needs both as a person and as a professional.

3. I know it’s a cliché, but use your imagination. Let’s be honest, career decision making is difficult because it provokes a deep fear of failure — “If I do that, then…” So first thing’s first, imagine you already have all the things you want. Live in a world where everything works out for you. Isn’t it much more relaxing than panicking and chasing your tail? It was a lot easier for me to build my career path once I left all fears behind and began thinking clearly.

Final thoughts

Trying to build a career is not easy, and questions will arise along the way, especially when trying to reach the most accurate decision. Always remember that you are on a path, and though sometimes this path may be clear, at times it may be foggy. Nevertheless, you are still on your way towards reaching your goals.