SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? – A common career dilemma


Making a proactive career choice is like designedly paving the road of your professional life.  The dilemma of staying put or switching directions by making a career move either by applying for a more senior role, changing companies, becoming a contractor or a consultant within your chosen field or pursuing something different altogether could put a halt to building the perfect career path.

Your personal identity is entangled with your professional life which makes the choice of holding onto what you have or exploring the unknown, even harder. 


3 clients – different ages – different professions – same dilemma


Simon is in his 20s with a post graduate diploma working in what he considers to be a dead end job.  He feels underappreciated and underpaid and works every hour God sent hoping to be landed a project that could kick-start his career.  He is acutely aware that he must change companies in order to progress and to fulfil his desire of being part of something meaningful that benefits society.  Familiarity, fear of failure and lack of confidence in his abilities however present him with a conundrum.


Michael is in his 30s and working within the finance industry.  He feels burnt out, overloaded and despondent.  He is considering three different options; staying where he is now, becoming self-employed and do contract work within his field or pursuing his life ambition of becoming a writer.  

Although he has no job satisfaction in his current role he has financial security, which is especially important as he has a young family. He acknowledges his dissatisfaction with his current role but paralysed with fear when thinking about risking financial security. He feels stuck and unable to make a decision.


Paul is in his 40s and works for an IT company in a senior role.  He is working long hours and sits on the commuter train day in day out and longs for bigger financial rewards and for a leadership/managerial role.  He is uncertain about staying with his current company where he has been working for the past 10 years or jumping ship and  work  for a different company.  Stepping out of his comfort zone fills him with fear and keeps him stuck.


In each case the dilemma is fuelled by one common denominator:  fear.  Although fear and doubt have their place in life they rarely create anything motivating or inspiring instead they hold you back from experiencing a more fulfilled life.  Fear of change, fear of failure and fear of the unknown often lead to self-sabotage and unwillingness to make sacrifices.  Any form of change including career change carry their own risks however it is almost impossible to progress in life without taking calculated risks. 



In order to make an informed decision the following must be considered:


  •  Motivation – What am I trying to escape from?  What appeals to me about a new opportunity?  What is truly important to me in life and why?
  • Challenge and face fears – What is the worst that can happen? What am I afraid of the most? If the worst happened how could I cope and what strategies I could employ?
  • Limiting beliefs – What do I believe about myself and the situation that holds me back from making a decision?


    Stepping up to the plate and having an honest conversation with Yourself or with a Life Coach can be daunting but at the same time amazingly liberating. Suddenly it is all out in the open and you know what you want and why.


    The next stage in the decision making process is finding out the facts.


  • Staying put

    It could allow you to progress within the company and climb the corporate ladder or it could hinder personal and professional growth.


  • Choosing to work for a different company

    It could open up new opportunities, increased learning potential and acquirement of new skills and could bring greater financial reward.  Before deciding to jump ship it is always wise to do a thorough research and the find out the corporate culture, leadership and financial stability of the company you would like to work for as well as making sure that there is an opportunity for progression within the company.


  • Becoming self-employed carries the most risk with its unpredictability and at the same time offers the biggest rewards such as unlimited earning potential, control over your life, time and career.  Investigating the potential for your ideas and possibilities and considering routes to your target market and the aspects of demand and value will aid you in the decision making process.



    If after checking out the facts you are still considering a career move then do some planning.  Creating a goal focused, realistic and doable plan is your final card to play in the decision making process.  By planning you take care of all the ‘What ifs’ by taking a solution focused direction and come up with a solution in advance for possible setbacks.   Of course, no matter how thorough your plan is things can still go wrong and can feel overwhelming and difficult  hence it is best to  mentally prepare yourself for resilience.


    3 clients – same dilemma – 3 different decisions


    Simon overcame his self-doubt by challenging his limiting beliefs and decided to trust in his abilities. He applied for positions that supported professional growth and were better paid. His long term plan is to do free-lance work however he knows that before that can happen he needs to gather more experience and learn new skills.  He is no longer afraid of failure or paralysed by the fear of inadequacy because he found a way to start to believe in himself and also has a solid plan of action to follow.


    Michael decided to put the dream of becoming a writer on hold for now as his priority lied with providing for his family.  He however came to understand himself, his motives and desires and embarked on a new adventure of contracting with in his field of work, using the connections he made while working for different companies.  He did not make this decision lightly and it took over 2 months to let go of fear, to research his options, to make a plan and to resign.


    Paul is still working for the same company but became more open to the idea of making a move when the time felt right for him.


    Moving on you see might not be the best option for everyone hence the importance of self-evaluation and self-understanding.  I urge you to cast your fears aside and listen to your intuition and do what feels right for you. In reality no-one can advise you better than you can advise yourself. You know who you are and what your values, ambitions and inspirations are. You just need to have the courage to stand by tem.  There is always a choice in life and you have the power to choose to stay put or to change career. Choose what is best for you.






Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem can be the manifestations of fear. Fear of change, fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of being hurt and fear of discomfort are all powerful contributors. Feeling fearful is a natural human emotion and it can be useful in certain circumstances; however it also chains us to disempowerment. We feel paralysed and unable to change our behaviours and circumstances, which lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life. In order to loosen our chains, become more empowered and regain our confidence we must do ourselves a huge favour and that is to stare fear in the face. Well yes, it is easier said than done you say. I agree, facing our fears can be daunting, so I put together a list of 7 powerful tools you can use to overcome your fears and build your self-confidence.




 Take a few minutes to think about all that you like and value about yourself. It is important that you pose self-judgment for a few minutes here and truly see all that is great about you. You can put things like being a loyal friend, patience, courage, persistence or even qualifications you achieved or physical beauty you are proud of on your list. Don’t hold back. Don’t worry this is not about developing an overinflated ego but about reaching inside and realising your own self- worth.  When you are aware of your own worth then it is easier to overcome your fears.  Knowing your self-worth is also an essential building block to self-confidence.




Now, think about all the times in your life when you proved to yourself that you were mentally and emotionally strong. When I ask my clients to do this sometimes they tell me that they have never been strong, however after talking about it in more detail and examining life events, it always turns out that they had shown courage and strength many times before. So, I am asking you to dig deep and find your inner strength. To help you with that I suggest you ask yourself the following:


 How and when did/do I show strength  in my life?
 What life lessons have I learnt?
 How could I use them as tools to build my inner strength, confidence and self-esteem?   




Clarity is vital when you are working on disarming fear. You need to ask yourself the following:


What is it that I want the most?
If I had it, how would it change my life?
Write down what you came up with. 






Fear thrives on negative/limiting beliefs.  When you stop limiting beliefs to run your life you cut off the fear’s life supply.  You can silence your inner gremlins by questioning your limiting beliefs. You can ask yourself the following:


 Is it really true that I won’t be able to succeed?
Where is the evidence for that?
Am I assuming? If so, then I need to remind myself that assumptions are not reality.
How is it helping me to think this way?




Start to focus your mind to how it is possible to make whatever you want in life happen.  It is essential that you believe that is possible, as without that fear will come out triumphant.




Create a plan of action that you will find easy enough to follow and stick to. Make small changes at first building up to more daring ones. If you need support at this stage then don’t be afraid to ask for it!




It is a cliché I know, but the only way to overcome fear is to face it. Start with the least scary thing first then as you gather your courage, challenge your bigger fears. What is important here is that you make the first step and step out of your comfort zone. If you have done the groundwork and know your inner strength and that you can deal with your negative beliefs then making the first step of stepping into unknown territory will be an exciting rather than a scary experience.


 You might have thought that you have to be confident before you can make changes to your life but in fact it is the opposite, you become confident by changing your life, or to be more precise by changing the way you think and the way you act. You will find that as you make changes to your life, gradually your confidence will grow. 




Setting up and growing a therapy business is exciting and at the same time it can be a challenging experience.   Newly qualified therapists are eager to unleash their gifts with which to transform the lives of others.  They are however often unaware of the level of determination and psychological resilience required and the extent they will need to rely upon their confidence in order to create a therapy business that is personally fulfilling and at the same time financially rewarding. 


There are two ways to improve self-confidence and that is through thoughts and actions.




In order to get the business and career you want you must adopt what I call a ‘Success Mindset’.  The ‘Success Mindset’ can be defined as psychological resilience and solution focused thinking.  Achieving a mindset that is programmed to success is simpler than you think.  Let me show you two easy ways to do it:


 Engage in positive self-dialogue


 Self-dialogue refers to your inner chatter, in other words, the internal conversation you have with yourself.  Yes, we all have a chat with ourselves on a daily bases however the tone of these conversations will determine your experiences.  You might encounter the inner critic that throws words of judgment at you and make you question your abilities and self-worth.  You can disarm your inner critic and build your confidence by following these steps:




  • Become aware of your internal dialogue by monitoring your thoughts
  • Question the validity of your thoughts just like you were testing a hypothesis
    Is this really true?  -  Where is my evidence? – Is it realistic/logical to think this?
  • Use encouraging, kind and  compassionate language with yourself


 Shift your focus


 You can control the focus of your mind by choosing where to direct your attention.   A simple but powerful technique to direct your attention to the solution is to ask the following three questions. 

What can I do to ..?        How can I do it?            Who can help me? 







We are often led to believe that you need to be confident before attempting something new in fact the opposite is true.  You become confident as a result of going out and doing the thing you are not confident about and you grow your confidence through practice.  There are two important action steps to take to build your confidence and with that your therapy business.


 Keep stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone


 I know from personal experience that the only way to grow a business is to challenge yourself regularly by doing at least one activity per month that feels a little scary and it is


something   you have not done before.  Activities that might make you slightly anxious but you know when completed will take your business forward.  Listen, stepping outside of your comfort zone is not mean to be comfortable; it is called the comfort zone after all.  It is inevitable that you will feel discomfort when attempting doing things you have not done before however the more you do them the easier they will become.  


 Draw up a business plan and take action consistently


 Once you have a clear vision for your business and  have  a detailed plan that include your marketing strategy and the action steps you need to take you will feel more confident about the future of your business  immediately.  All that remains to do is to work toward your business dreams incrementally by taking action consistently. 






























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