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  • Christine Hourd

One Strategy To Remove Limiting Beliefs for Career Changes At 40

Are you at a crossroads where you're not happy at your current job, and know there's something better out there for you? Many people in their 40s and 50s begin to reconsider their employment and wonder about the possibilities for a career change at 40 to something more enjoyable and fulfilling. But in order to do that you need to develop a strategy that will remove the limiting beliefs that prevent you from making a shift in employment. When you do this the chance for success greatly increases.

What's Holding You Back From Making A Career Change?

The issue is that many don't have a good strategy to move from a comfortable, reliable job to a new, uncertain career. The idea of starting over creates a lot of doubt in our mind, and this keeps us from moving forward in these ambitious goals. Many of us are excited about the prospect of making this change, yet there's this stronghold on us from our current job that's filled with comfort, even though it doesn't excite us anymore. Or maybe it never did. Some have ventured out and stepped over that threshold to a new and exciting career with great promise. Unfortunately, they didn't do it with an effective strategy to increase their success. Their momentum died along with their dream. Is changing your career at 40 or 50 risky? Heck ya! But it still can be successful if you have the resources and right mindset to achieve it.

How to overcome the limiting beliefs around career change

Many times the story you create for yourself is filled with obstacles that keep you from reaching your goals. But what if you rewrote that story exactly the way you want it to look, where do those obstacles go?

The story I'm talking about is the one you create about how you see yourself, how you interact with others, and how you handle situations. But sometimes that story isn't all that accurate and includes barriers or limits that keep you from reaching your goals.

You have restrictions that you impose on yourself, and these are intertwined into a story that you've scripted. You wrote every word and strategically put in the punctuation to have this story make the most impact and be the most believable. It's so believable that it becomes a true statement about your identity.

What's worse is that you tell others this story and try to convince them of your faults. Some even go as far as supporting this story by manipulating the situation to create evidence that this story is true! Do you have a friend who continually chooses to date the same type of person, it ends in a similar way, and then tells you they'll never find a good partner? "They'll never find a good parter," is imbedded deep into the story they've created, and that's one of their beliefs that hold them back.

"A limiting belief is a repetitive thought that you think over and over and over again." Mike J. Loser, Law of Attraction.

Start to Question The Doubts In Your Mind

Take a moment to think of one of your reasons for not making this life change, and fill out the following: "I can't change careers because _____________________ . " Maybe you can never go for the career you really want because it's too much work, or you're not sophisticated enough, or not knowledgeable enough. What I hear most from my clients who are 40 and over is that they're too old, or they have other priorities, like their kids, or this isn't the right time. Now write down the evidence that supports this reason you can't succeed. Is this really true? Or is it that you won't change careers because you're so committed to this belief?

Where To Find The Courage For Career Change

Consider that with every day you're alive you learn something new, and you create new experiences. You grow. As you fill your mind with new information your story changes. But by denying this new information and that it will change your story, you limit your growth.

Now change the statement from above to: "I can change careers because ___________________." Then dig up that supporting evidence. What have others said about you? Start to listen to that positive feedback, that in the past you'd right off as them "just being nice."

Begin to stack the evidence that you can do it and break that habit of listening to those reasons supporting failure. Make an effort to prove that story wrong. Because deep down you know that there's something more out there for you. This is where you find the courage to make that big move.

An Example of How Fear of Failure Can Keep You From Trying

In 2008, I wanted to go back to school and get a degree in human behaviour. That would mean four years of studies during the day—full time. This was just before I turned 40 and I had three boys of ages 2, 5 and 8.

Instead of applying at the university I told myself: I'm too old, four years is a long time, this is too much of a sacrifice for my family, my boys need me to be home, how would I fit in with those younger students, and am I smart enough to get good grades?

Fear of failure kept me from even looking into what was offered for courses! I didn't even try to go for it. This massive wall that I put up blocked me from imagining what my life would be like if I was to go after this degree, and what I could achieve—personally and professionally. It remained a dream.

As I began to change the way I thought about myself, I became more determined to reach my goals. I removed those obstacles that kept me from going after my dream. I created a positive story that made me smile, instead of feeling defeated. With that I found a way to get the education I needed to move forward and to achieve my goals.

What's the story you'd like to write for yourself? If you're going to change your career at 40, or 50 and go after those goals, you're going to have to script an amazing story that you'd love to play the lead role in. Dress it up with rich detail, make it as real, and as believable as possible. Understand that the story you told yourself in the past needs to be left there. If you found this useful please like and share!

Christine Hourd, ACC is a certified success and leadership coach in Calgary, Alberta who assists clients in removing obstacles that get in the way of changing careers or starting a new business. Talk to Christine and find out how the Success Mastery Program can help you reach your goals.

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