When was the last time you thought about finally quitting your dead-end job but talked yourself out of it? Or did you find yourself graduating from college and taking the first good job you could find, only to stay there unhappily for years?
We all have career goals, but achieving those goals usually takes a leap of faith. And, unfortunately, it’s that leap of faith that keeps most of us tied to bad situations. The fear of what may lie on the other side can stunt us to the point of no return. Fear was meant to alert us of dangerous situations, not to exist as a constant mental state. Many of us are simply stuck in a pattern that we have programmed ourselves to maintain. And these patterns can actually be changed.
As soon as we begin using our brains, from birth to adulthood, we are training our minds. With every new piece of information we learn and with every behavioral pattern and thought process we copy and repeat, we are developing the way our brains function, and, ultimately, wiring our own brains. From training the brain to reduce stress to learning how to avoid temptation, it is possible to actually gain control of our own mental state.
By re-training your brain and purposefully changing your daily actions, it is completely possible to change habits and outdated mind-sets to reach the goals you have always wanted to reach. So, why not re-wire a brain that is programmed to worry about career failure or change, to, instead, embrace it?
Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
Decide Who You Want to Be
While we are all born with particular dispositions and innate talents, we have complete control over the adults we become. In fact, every person can decide exactly who they want to be. It is only after realizing which behaviors are not working for you and determining which behaviors you would like to “keep” that you can make the transition into a more authentic version of yourself.
Fight the Emotional Craving
When we have created strong neural pathways of scattered, anxious and negative thoughts, these connections cannot be broken immediately. In fact, the longer we have been controlled by negative emotions, the more our bodies have accepted these states as equilibrium, to the point that our bodies crave the emotional rush. It’s important to recognize this and work to maintain control when the brain fights to retain the same patterns.
Catch Your Thoughts
The first step to controlling your thought patterns is to listen to them. Once you are aware of the thoughts streaming through your mind, you can more easily spot the ones that are irrational or simply harmful. Every time you catch a negative thought, stop, correct yourself, and change the pattern.
Make Time to Create
One of the main reasons we feel disconnected or frustrated in life is because we are not creating. You have to make the time to practice what you preach. If you want to become a designer, start designing. If you want to start your own accounting firm, make time every day to call potential clients. It is only with true action toward your goals that your anxiety will melt away.
Focus on Your Dreams Every Day
Do something every day to remind yourself of your goals and give yourself the motivation to keep working on them. Whether it’s hanging a quote on your wall, making a dream board, or keeping a journal, actively do something to visualize what you want.
ABOUT AUTHOR: Kate Willson is a blogger for Collegecruch.org. She is passionate about providing recent graduates with helpful and honest career advice and information.