Me? Change Careers? How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs About Career Change

by | May 21, 2024 | Career Transition

In today’s fast-changing world, the idea that someone will stay in the same position for their whole life is getting less common. Companies change, markets shift, and people change too. People seeking more satisfaction and meaning in their careers find switching to a different industry very appealing. But even with the temptation to change, many people are held back by strong inner limiting beliefs about career change that act as a barrier to making the move.

If you’re one of those individuals, this guide is for you. It will help you get past these mental blocks and become more open to switching careers.

The Prevalence of Career Dissatisfaction

Before we dive into the details of how to overcome limiting beliefs about career change, it’s important to acknowledge that being unhappy with your job is in fact quite common. Research indicates a large number of people are not satisfied with their jobs and many wish for something different but are scared to make a move.

A recent survey found that 47% of millennials regret the career path they chose when they were younger. Recognizing this reality highlights the significance of addressing the barriers that hinder individuals from pursuing careers that are a match for their skills and are fulfilling to them.

Understanding Limiting Beliefs

limiting beliefs about career change

Defining Limiting Beliefs in the Context of Career Change

A limiting belief is a strong thought or feeling that limits how someone sees their abilities and options. When thinking about changing careers, these beliefs usually show up as not trusting yourself or feeling scared to make a move.

These beliefs may lead you to think things like “I am too old to start again” or “I do not have the right skills for another field.” When we acknowledge these beliefs as limits, we place on ourselves, we can then start to take away their power over our thoughts and actions.

Common Limiting Beliefs Among Mid-Career Professionals

Business professionals who have been working for many years at the same job often struggle with specific negative thoughts that can make it hard for them to consider changing their careers. They might think they cannot get the same salary in a new job or fear starting over again after spending so much time mastering their present field.

When people recognize and handle these limiting beliefs about career change, they can clear a path for meaningful changes in their professional lives. Our free guide “7 Career Lies” can be a helpful resource on your career change journey to help you identify and fix the limiting beliefs that might be stopping your progress.

The Psychological Impact of Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs have a strong impact on what choices people make in their jobs and how they feel overall. If you don’t question your own limiting beliefs, they can cause self-trust issues, create feelings that you are not enough, and keep you from moving forward in life.

To understand why these thoughts have so much control, it is important to understand the reasons behind them. This way, you can take back the power over your work path.

Identifying Your Own Limiting Beliefs

limiting beliefs about career change

Techniques for Self-Reflection

Conquering self-doubt begins with introspection, an essential step in addressing the limiting beliefs that often hinder career transformation.

  • Embrace the power of self-reflection through consistent journaling, which allows you to unearth and confront the fears and uncertainties lurking beneath the surface.
  • Incorporate mindfulness practices that can further illuminate these hidden barriers, fostering a deeper awareness of your thoughts and emotions as they arise.
  • Seek support from experts, such as career coaches or therapists, who provide an external perspective that can help you challenge and reframe these limiting beliefs about career change. They can guide you in recognizing the stories you tell yourself that no longer serve your growth.

By setting aside a special time for reflecting, you can bring attention to all your beliefs and understand more clearly what is blocking you from reaching your goals.

Renee’s journey

One transformation that stands out for me is my client, Renee.  Renee’s journey embodies the essence of determination and the power of self-realization. From an early age, she was captivated by the law.  When I was watching reruns of Partridge Family, the Brady Bunch, and Star Trek, she was watching Perry Mason and then Matlock.   She pictured herself in the court room defending the innocent. She just loved it and couldn’t wait to one day become a lawyer. However, life as it sometime does, took her on a different path, leading her to excel in corporate marketing and build a family.

As Renee approached her 40s, the allure of her childhood dream resurfaced, echoing with regrets of missed opportunities. It was then that she sought my guidance, and our transformative journey together began.  Through introspection and our heartfelt conversations, Renee confronted her fears and redefined her perspective on time and priorities. Instead of dwelling on lost years, she learned to embrace the present moment and dared to pursue her long-held aspiration.

Though appearing too daunting initially, together, we crafted a strategic plan that allowed her to balance her responsibilities while pursuing her law degree. With unwavering determination, Renee tackled the LSAT and embarked on her legal education journey.

Four years later, Renee emerged triumphant, armed with her law degree and a renewed sense of purpose. She bid farewell to her corporate career and stepped into the courtroom, embodying the spirit of Ally McBeal (one of our favorite 90’s law dramas) with wisdom and grace.

Renee’s transformation serves as a beacon of inspiration, one that has reminded me over and over again with a range of clients, it’s never too late to chase our dreams. She took my guidance and through her own dedication and perseverance, she turned a dream into reality and embarked on a new fulfilling career path.

Strategies to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs About Career Change

limiting beliefs about career change

Challenging Negative Thought Patterns

At the heart of getting past beliefs that hold you back is trying to question negative thoughts and change them into something positive. If you take on a mindset where growing is key and see hard times as chances to get better, you can change your way of thinking and become stronger when dealing with tough situations.

Consistently carrying out practical activities and using thoughts and behavior methods can help you get rid of your self-trust issues feeling insecurities.

Importance of Mindset Shifts

To truly make continuous improvements in getting past beliefs that hold you back, it is important to develop meaningful ways of steering your own way of thinking.

By adopting an attitude focused on abundance instead of scarcity, more opportunities will cross your path. By nurturing a belief in your natural ability, you can go beyond the boundaries of any limiting ideas and plot a path to achievement and contentment.  By practicing new skills that at first may be uncomfortable, you can develop the mental muscle memory to do them with ease.

Overcoming Fear and Doubt

Exploring Common Fears Associated with Career Change

When contemplating a career change, fear and doubt often walk hand in hand. These emotions manifest as apprehension about the unknown and a fear of failure. However, when individuals acknowledge and explore these fears, they can gradually diminish their hold and reclaim a sense of empowerment. By looking inward, you can discover the root cause(s) of your worries and create an action plan to deal with them in a productive way.

Techniques for Fear Mitigation

Addressing specific fears becomes more effective when supported by a well-defined action plan and bolstered by mental resilience. Elements of your action plan should include things like financial planning, tactical steps for changing your career, and a backup plan if plan A doesn’t turn out as expected.

Preparedness fosters confidence, security, and readiness as you embark on your career transformation. Additionally, tapping into the expertise of specialist that help you with your

Action Steps to Move Beyond Negative Thoughts

limiting beliefs about career change

Crafting an Action Plan

If you’re considering a career change, it’s time to draft up actual steps so you have a clear strategy. Split big targets into smaller, more feasible tasks so you can visualize the roadmap for moving forward.

Establish SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—to track your achievements throughout the journey. This can be immensely rewarding, providing a clear path, and maintaining your resilience, especially during uncertain times.

Leveraging Support Systems

Changing career paths often presents numerous challenges, but you don’t have to face them alone. By seeking guidance from mentors, engaging in discussion groups, and leveraging the insights of advisors, you can tap into a wealth of wisdom and experience that will support your transition.

When you look for expert guidance or just someone to hear you out, these networks of help offer priceless motivation and perspective during times of uncertainty or hardship. Consulting with a professional career change coach is another great option for overcoming your limiting beliefs and career transition fears.

Cultivating Support Networks

Maintaining a hopeful outlook requires a strong support network of friends, family, and colleagues who provide encouragement and diverse perspectives during uncertain times. Cultivating these relationships and seeking advisors who believe in your potential can surround you in the positive energy necessary for progress.

Prioritizing Self-Care

Self-care is crucial during times of change, as it fortifies your emotional and physical resilience to handle forthcoming challenges.

Incorporating mindfulness practices, regular exercise, and engaging in hobbies can significantly lower stress levels and prevent burnout. Establishing boundaries between professional duties and personal life is essential to maintain stability and perspective amidst transitions.

Create a Path for a Positive Career Change

Embrace the challenge of career change as an empowering journey toward personal fulfillment. In a world where staying in one position is increasingly rare, overcoming the barriers of limiting beliefs is essential to unlocking your true potential. Remember, you’re not alone on this path. By confronting your fears, seeking support, and nurturing a growth mindset, you can break free from self-imposed constraints. Every step you take, no matter how small, brings you closer to a career that resonates with your passions and strengths. Now is the time to redefine your narrative and step boldly into the future you envision. The power to transform your career and life is within you. Embrace it wholeheartedly.

If you need additional advice or help as you move forward, download our free 5-Day Career Booster Course.  If you would like to discuss your career transformation more deeply, schedule a complimentary call with Erin.  Together, we can create a new narrative for your career and forge a practical path customized to you toward fulfillment and success.

Erin Duffy

Erin Duffy

Founder, InspirationSQRD

Erin Duffy is more than an Executive Stage Presence & Career Transformation Coach; she’s a catalyst for personal empowerment. Her mission? To guide individuals to steer their careers and step onto the stage with authenticity, confidence, and irresistible charisma to inspire. Erin’s expertise lies in helping clients clarify their why’s and embrace their unique personal stories. These stories, traits, and values guide a career transformation journey more in line with who they are today. They also become the cornerstone of their personal brand. She empowers individuals to own their narratives and harness them to amplify their stage presence.