Why do so many people avoid making a “mid-career” course change, avoid switching companies, jumping to new industries, starting their own company, or even avoid moving to a new department within the same company?
They probably won’t admit it, but the fear shows in their “I can’t” phrases (excuses):
- “I can’t afford to start at the bottom at this stage of my career.”
- “The only thing I recognized at that company was the restroom sign. Everything else was foreign. I’ll never survive over there.”
- “The learning curve is way too steep! I’m not a technical person anyway, so I’ll just stick it out in this department.”
- “I may not like what I’m doing, but at least I know everything there is to know about this job. I’d have to start at ground zero over there.”
- “I was surrounded by a bunch of kids just out of college. I can’t relate to them. I definitely don’t understand what they’re saying.”
What if the “I can’t” phrases were replaced with “I can’t wait!” phrases:
- “I can’t wait to dig into a new industry!”
- “I can’t wait to learn how these new machines work!”
- “I can’t wait to exercise my curiosity again!”
- “I can’t wait to forgive myself for not knowing everything!”
- “I can’t wait to understand the perspectives of a new generation!”
- “I can’t wait to grow and stretch!”
- “I can’t wait to give myself permission to fail…every day!”
- “I can’t wait to bring my experience and talents into this new arena!”
- “I can’t wait to make a profound difference in a new field!”
- “I can’t wait to surprise myself!”
I don’t remember who said it first: “Hire the attitude, train for skill.”
Who would you rather hire? The candidate who seems scared, confused, and overwhelmed…or the candidate who CAN’T WAIT to learn, who CAN’T WAIT to start, who CAN’T WAIT to become a valued contributor in your company?
I’ll take the “I can’t wait” candidate every time.
Fear is a normal part of life. But, courage… Courage is what happens when you decide to act in the face of that fear.
When you can’t wait to explore, can’t wait to challenge, and can’t wait to learn, you’ll be one step closer to harnessing your fear and embracing your courage.
By the way, adopting the “I can’t wait” mantra is a good idea at any stage of your life.