Recently I was working with someone planning her career change.
She had chosen to leave her organization and to move on to a different type of job. Switching from a more technical job, where she had been building her self-worth on her expertise, she decided to take up a job requiring her to travel and engage with people. She was somewhat doubtful about it as she could see how the new job might not fit her perception of herself as an introvert.
To reassure herself she framed the shift as one where she would try the new job for a while to see if it fitted her or not. She was protecting herself by promising herself to disengage from the job if needed.
In her effort to break free from previous limitations, she was seeking to fully dive into a new adventure.
However, this is a risky approach.
She was connecting the new job with her introversion and her sense of self-worth, putting both at stake.
In taking that approach she was putting her hope into the idea that her job could fit her.
Using that perspective, she was making it hard on herself to focus on what she could do to be successful at her new job. Instead of developing ideas as to what she could do, she was making it about herself.
It’s a reaction that people seeking to change their sense of self-worth often will take. They find it hard to develop a plan as to what qualities they need to develop for a new job or what they might need to learn to succeed.
Instead, it is the desire to break free that receives the focus. Once hope is established well enough they jump and take the risk. Building up the energy to leap, they lack the time and energy to prepare for the leap.
Environments rarely adapt to us. It is up to us to learn what it takes to succeed in them.
Should it be beyond reach, it helps to go step by step in that direction.