What’s Stopping You Leaving Your Corporate Job?
How to change life for the better by getting out of your own way
There are two types of obstacle to doing anything new in life - Practical Obstacles and Emotional/Mindset Obstacles.
The practical obstacles are the ones we tend to focus on:
I don’t have enough money
I don’t have enough time
I don’t have the qualifications
I don’t know the right people
I live in the wrong area
My partner won’t support this
I’m a single mum
My parents aren’t well
I don’t have a rich uncle…
And then there are the Emotional or Mindset Obstacles. These will be beliefs or ‘truths’, often things we say to ourselves privately, about ourselves or about the world:
I’m not confident enough
People will think I’m crazy
No one is going to trust me to do this
Things like this don’t happen to people like me
I’m too disorganised
What if my ideas are rubbish?
I don’t see things through
I’m not good enough…
The obstacles that are REALLY stopping you leaving your corporate job and creating more balance in your life are ALL in the second category.
Practical Obstacles are a Distraction
We tend to value logical thinking in our culture. We make pros and cons lists and think we can make a decision based on whether there are more pros or more cons. We do an informal survey, asking other people what they think and then make a decision based on majority opinion. We focus on overcoming the practical obstacles or we think that, unless we can overcome the practical obstacles there’s no point worrying about our beliefs and ‘truths’.
After all, if you don’t have the right qualifications that’s a complete deal-breaker. What does it matter if you also don’t believe that you’re too disorganised to make a go of it, even if you had the qualifications? Without qualifications you’re not even going to get started let alone have to worry about finishing.
Except that most decisions aren’t actually based on hard data. The pros and cons list comes back overwhelmingly in favour of “Cons”. Yet you decide to go for it anyway! All of your friends tell you you’re mad to try, but that just doesn’t change your instinct that this could be great for you. You may back down and climb in to your box again. But the idea just won’t go away.
Practical Obstacles are Emotional Obstacles in Disguise
In fact, all of your practical objections have their foundations in your limited beliefs and in your ‘truths’ about the world.
Very often, people will tell me they simply don’t have the money to pursue a particular dream. They aren’t lying about their financial situation. It’s not good!
However, there might be ways to do what they want to do on a very limited budget. When I started my business I had ZERO marketing budget. People were telling me to join networking groups and buy advertising and I couldn’t afford any of that. So I thought about how I could get as much exposure as possible without spending one penny.
I realised that rather than paying to advertise I could write articles for newspapers and magazines. Some might even pay me to do this! Rather than paying to speak at conferences I could try and get paid to speak...or simply speak for free if the audience were potential customers. Rather than joining expensive networking groups I decided to meet my current network for coffee one on one and see how they could help me grow my business.
Having no money was not an obstacle.
However, if I had believed “No one is going to buy from me”, “No one is going to take me seriously”, “No one is going to let me speak/write for them’ or “You need money to market your business” then I could not have generated those ideas.
The same issue came up when we wanted to travel around Europe in 2018. I had always imagined doing this with money. I would sell my business and, as a millionaire, be able to travel in luxury full time. When becoming a millionaire started to seem like a distant dream but the urge to travel had not abated, I started thinking about ways to travel WITHOUT much money.
It turned out to be possible. Yes, I had to adjust my rather grand plans. But it could be done.
I had to let go of some beliefs and ‘truths’ - the belief that you needed money to travel, the truth that it could only be done once I had retired, the belief that you only get to do something like that as a reward for nearly killing yourself for 30 years, the truth that it wasn’t safe as a single mum to travel with a young child. These were the real obstacles, not the money itself.
How could the practical obstacles you’ve identified actually be emotional obstacles in disguise?
Change Your Life for the Better and Escape the Rat Race for Life
I created our flagship A Brilliant Gamble Online programme while we were on the road in 2018. I tested all of the exercises with a fabulous group of people who were also undertaking major changes in their personal and professional lives. And it was as a result of that experience - my experiences and theirs - that I developed a process to help us all identify and then bust our limiting beliefs, the assumptions and ‘truths’ that were keeping us stuck and stopping us coming up with imaginative and practical solutions to the obstacles in our path.
It turned out that, for all of us, having been through this process of identifying and then busting our limiting beliefs, our dreams were completely realistic. The practical obstacles were either easy to overcome or un-necessary to overcome. We made it happen anyway.
And you can too.