“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”
‘Julie’s got a great job, look how well she has done for herself’
‘Sanjay is so smart. I wish I’d applied myself to my studies like he has’
‘Isabel has done really well for herself – just look at that great house and the holidays she goes on’
‘Marco and Tina have the perfect family life. I’m so jealous’
‘Brian’s so ballsy. Just look at how he reinvented himself and started that business of his’
‘Emma is so organised. I wish had the kind of work-life balance she’s achieved’
Comparing yourself to others is drilled into us from childhood and school. But it’s completely misplaced and irrelevant.
Here are 3 reasons why:
“We are dying from over-thinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap”
– Anthony Hopkins
Most people have a vague idea about the type of career or lifestyle change they’d like to make (even if they never share them with anyone else).
Some have aspirations for a completely new career. Some want a change in lifestyle and live in warmer climate or maybe in the countryside for a slower pace of life. Some dream of starting a small business or enjoying the flexibility of working part-time and enjoying a better work-life balance.
Despite these aspirations and very good intentions, most people never get their ideas off ground as they simply overthink things.
This over-thinking and over-planning usually results in overwhelm.
Which means they become paralyzed with indecision and do absolutely nothing. Over time the fear of change sets in and they become stuck until some major external event (e.g. redundancy, a health issue, a divorce or financial challenge) forces them to re-examine what it is they truly want.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Any major change process is never ever a linear, step by step process. By it’s very nature, ‘change’ has uncertainty and unpredictability built in. Which is precisely why it’s scary.
So whilst you can’t ‘plan’ such a change process in a linear, objective fashion, there is a more subjective methodology that will get you there much faster:
1. Have a broad direction in mind
Career Changer: “Sital, I need your advice.
I’m a qualified accountant but have taken a career break for a number of years for family reasons. I’m about to start a 12 month teacher training course and become a teacher. But I’m not too sure if I’m doing the right thing. What do you think?
Sital: “Firstly, tell me attracts you to teaching. What made you sign up for the course?”
Career Changer: “Well it’s the easy option”
Sital: “The easy option?”
Something happens which stops you in your tracks:
• Major changes at work which make you think… “Is this what I really want?”
• A major health problem (for you or a family member)
• The death of a close friend or family member
• A divorce or major a relationship break-up
• Financial difficulties
• Extended travel or volunteering activities that make you question what you’re doing with your life
• External factors that move you (e.g. 9/11, the tsunami in Asia, earthquake in Haiti)
Tip: Remember, everything happens for a reason. Some of the worst things that happen to you will teach you the biggest lessons. Sounds very clichéd – but in years to come, you’ll know them to be true.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman