We humans are really good at convincing ourselves of things that aren’t true, and those lies sometimes have serious consequences.
“That voice we hear in our head recites some pretty interesting narratives so often and so frequently that we really start believing them after a while,” says career coach Theresa Sullivan in a recent LinkedIn post.
She says we’re especially guilty of telling ourselves things like, “I don’t like my job, but it pays the bills,” or, “I’ve got a family that is counting on me, so I have no choice but to stick with this job I hate for now.”
“The stories we tell often start out as protection for our ego,” says Sullivan. “But then they spiral into excuses and beliefs that have the potential to ruin us.”
Sullivan says these are two of the top lies she hears from the professionals she coaches:
1. “It’s too late to change direction now.”
“How many years of life do you think you have left?” Sullivan asks. “Now multiply that by 8,765, which is the number of hours in each year. Is that really too little time for you to change direction?”
Spoiler alert: It’s not!
She says you should never put off a goal because it may take a long time to accomplish. That time will pass anyway, so you might as well spend it working toward something — like a career change — that could make your life a bit (or a lot) more enjoyable.
2. “I hate my job now, but I will be happy as soon as I [get the promotion/finish the project/collect my bonus/get my degree].”
Is this really the one thing that is holding you back from happiness and liking your job?
There’s a good chance it isn’t.
“Change the story,” Sullivan says. “Instead of, ‘I’ll be happy when…,’ replace it with, ‘I could be happy now.'” And then go ahead and do whatever it takes to make yourself happier in your career.
Lesson learned: If you stay put in an awful job because you think it’s “too late to change” or because you’re convinced you’ll “be happier as soon as you get that next promotion,” you could be sabotaging your career and throwing away your happiness.
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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