Do You Fear Making The Wrong Choice?

Many career changers get stuck, waiting to figure out the 'right' new career for them. Satu Kreula explains how this attitude holds you back and how to overcome your fear of making the 'wrong' choice.

I come across quite a few people who have played the ‘escaping game' many times. They have ‘escaped' from one wrong job to another without taking time to think through what they really wanted. They're now so burnt out that they have a fear of making 'yet another wrong move'.

I've also met people who haven't changed jobs much, but who are also fearful of making the wrong choice. They seem to mostly be fuelled by well-meaning friends and family members who are telling them to stick to what's safe and what they know.

Either sound familiar?

One of my favourite quotes is by Mark Twain:

‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the resistance of fear.'

We often wait to feel fearlessness to move on but, as Susan Jeffers writes in her best-selling book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway', sitting around waiting for this to happen is a sure-fire recipe for never doing anything even mildly out of our comfort zones.

There's no one ‘right choice'

When I started working for myself four years ago, I was agonising over my life's purpose. Lisa, my coach at the time, said that I could either sit on my couch and wait for the right purpose (whatever that was) to appear, or I could live my life connecting with what felt like ‘the most right thing' for me to be working with in every moment.  'The thing' might change along the way; over time it probably would. But at least I could look back and know that I was engaging with the world with what I felt was the best contribution I could be in every moment.

It got me into action. And it's been pretty much how I've led my life ever since.

Ways to overcome this fear

  • View life as a journey, not a destination. Everything we do is part of a process but we are so programmed to ‘get there' that we don't enjoy and realize that the process is ‘there'.
  • Realise that the journey may have some bumps, but that's great. The Japanese have a saying that the difference between a masterful and a poor warrior is that both will get knocked down seven times, but the masterful warrior will still keep getting up after each knock.
  • Start with small steps to be able to make a more informed, less risky-feeling choice. We're often programmed to think that change is one massive change as opposed to thousands of small steps. If you read through the Escape Stories ( I've collected in the past few years of people who have changed careers, rarely was it a case of jumping into an abyss, it usually consisted of a lot of small changes that amounted to a big one.
  • Take action. Any action. That's the best way to discover what's right for you. Sitting around thinking about it will rarely, on its own, yield any answers.

So - get cracking!

How will you take action to move forward, even if you're not a hundred percent sure it is 'right'? Leave a comment below.

Satu is an executive and personal career coach who works with people who are externally successful but who are internally unhappy, dissatisfied or even bored. She helps her clients figure what it is that they are passionate about, how this translates into jobs, and what they need to do to get the work they want, including getting over any fears or limiting beliefs that stand in her clients' ways. She has had clients from around the world, including continental Europe, India, South Africa, Brazil and the United States. She has a Masters degree in Organisational Behaviour and Intercultural Communication, she's a graduate of Coach University (one of the world's oldest coaching schools) and is an accredited member of the International Coach Federation. email: