Tell me if any of this sounds like you?
- Are you in a job that you used to love, but your passion has faded and now you're just going through the motions?
- Are you sticking with the status quo, only because you're scared of taking a leap into the unknown?
- In your personal life, do you tend to hang on to things e.g old possessions or relationships, even if they're not making a positive contritbution to your life anymore?
Then you might be experiencing something called 'loss aversion'.
I first read about this in Psychologies magazine, and discovered that it can be a big factor in holding you back from changing career.
Some people are more resistant to change than others, and don't want to let go of things for fear that the alternative may be worse. However, sometimes this means that they don't recognise that their current situation isn't doing them any good either.
So what can you do about it?
Well ask yourself these two questions:
- If you were applying for your current job now, how badly would you want it?
- If your boss came in tomorrow and said that you were being moved to another department to do a completely different job, how would you feel?
If your response to either of those is lukewarm or apathetic, then it might well be time to look for something new! Sticking with it in the hope that things will improve, could result in even greater losses in the long run, because you are wasting your valuable skills, time, emotions and even money.
You could drastically improve your levels of joy, fulfilment, work/life balance and even salary, if you found a career or business idea that matched your strengths and values perfectly.
So how to begin the process of change?
The key to embracing the process of change is to break it down into small steps.
Starting your own business is a great example. You could start to attend networking groups and evening classes, and do your market research, all in your spare time whilst you are still in your 9 to 5.
Or go part time first, allowing you to test your services or products, create your website, and start to market yourself, all whilst keeping a regular salary coming in.
And remember, you can always change your mind. You may begin to take steps towards change, and in the process re-discover certain aspects of your job or your company, that you do actually like and value.
But unless you take action and stir the pot a bit, you will stay stuck and won't be any closer to clarity.