Stop Talking Yourself Out of Change

Your instinct is to reject an overhaul--but change goes step-by-step.

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In my work, people typically come to me when the pain of a job that doesn’t fit becomes greater than the discomfort they think they would experience making a change. That reluctance to commit to change has often kept them feeling frustrated and stuck for waaaaay longer than they need to.

Change can be uncomfortable, to be sure. Even painful at times. But it is almost never as bad as people project that it will be.

Why do they think it’s going to be so bad? Because when they look forward at the future, they see one big hairball of change. Every step, every unknown quantity, every fear of things both imagined and real, all clump together in one big mess. And people look at that giant cluster of gunk and say, “Uhhhh…no thanks.” It just feels too overwhelming and scary.

But here’s the reality. Change doesn’t happen all at once. Change happens bit-by-bit and step-by-step. And that means that if you’re looking at a potential change, you don’t need to deal with the whole cluster all at once. You take it on one piece at a time.

Not only that, when you take change one step at a time, many of the uncertainties you see at the starting line begin to resolve themselves naturally. Each step has the potential to provide answers to the unknown, and to create opportunity. Taking action in the present moment is one of the best ways to start dissolving that clump o' gunk.

Change isn’t a hairball. It’s a process. And that process starts with a single step.

What one step do you need to take?

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.

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