Perhaps you have often wondered where you should be in life. The idea of a career pivot has most likely been on your mind. You may even decide to start following your dreams one of these days.

Fear is one of the basic human emotions and it may be keeping you from acting. Unfortunately, you are wired to fear loss. Losing money, time, or social status is among the most distressing fears. It can become so controlling that it may prevent you from moving outside of your comfort zone. It is totally understandable that you may resist a career change.  Many studies have found that people presented with two choices having similar potential outcomes typically pick the “safer” option.

Fear and Self-Doubt are entirely natural, but you can beat them

Besides fear, our biggest enemy is self-doubt, which causes stress and keeps you from going forward. A recent study has shown that changing careers ranks just below the death of someone close in contributing to stress levels. That presents a real challenge. And where stress shows itself, most of us freeze. It is the typical fight-or-flight response that is so hard-wired in your brain. The fundamental fear of “losing everything” drains your energy and makes it hard to move forward. So, if you have decided to give yourself a chance to reach your dreams, and the only thing keeping you is fear, do not worry. This article will help you crush your fear and self-doubt.

Many people freeze with uncertainty when they encounter a situation before moving forward. This response is helpful and serves a great purpose. This moment gives you the chance to fight harmful self-doubt and check in with your goals and motivation again. It is when you must decide to clear the fog of uncertainty and accept the change. This might be scary because we are wired to fear that a career change might also change our identity.

But here is the truth: you do not have to change who you are; you can only change where you are.  Here are some valuable tips to help you silence that annoying little voice of fear.

Your fear is your ally – understand it and use it to your advantage

Pretending you are not afraid is not going to get you anywhere. You might be acting it in public, but please do not lie to yourself. Ignoring your basic instinct is not effective. It is the other way around – fear can be your mentor and your motivator. Look at it as an ally and ask yourself exactly what it is that you are afraid of? Think about the actual risks and potential outcomes, as well as strategies to overcome them. Facing your fear puts you in control, and that is incredibly productive.

Know who you really are

It is time for some self-exploration. Do some in-depth research on yourself, focusing on understanding your desires, expectations, values, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. This is one of the basic steps in any career pivot, and no change will start without your doing this step. When you have found your answers, it is time to imagine your new life. Make an optimistic vision of your career change to help promote your future success.

Small steps for great lengths

Do not make the mistake of setting too big a goal. Dare to dream big, but also be realistic. Setting up big goals may open the door for paralyzing fear. You should keep track of the smaller steps in your journal. This action is essential because it moves you from planning mode to doing mode. Checking your first steps as you accomplish them will build your confidence immensely. They will also confirm whether this change is something you really want, so make time for it.

Share the news

Networking is one of the vital efforts when contemplating a career pivot. First, it is helpful to share your ideas with others because they can provide invaluable feedback that will be of help.  We all need one another and we do our best when we help one another. Your former colleagues, family, friends, friends of your friends – all can advise and support you. Emotional support and external motivation are some of the best weapons against fear. Use them. You never know where help might come from and where it will get you. And remember, pay it forward.

Take the leap

Once you have made the decision and have done all the research, it is time to jump. At the end of the day, you just need to do it. The irrefutable truth is – change is the only constant in life. Not deciding is also a decision, after all.  So if you have that gut feeling that it’s time to take the leap, simply jump. If you don’t, you might end up with regret, which is ultimately worse than failure.