The root of the word means to narrow your choices. That’s why decisions are hard. If I choose this, I can’t do that. Nobody likes limiting their possibilities, and yet, decisions are the way we move forward in our work, our families, our lives.
Not deciding or deciding over and over gets us stuck. I work with clients who commit to one decision long enough to complete a resume and then second-guess themselves out of using it.
- “They won’t hire me because I don’t have enough experience.” All of us started without experience, and someone took a chance on us. It will happen again.
- “They won’t hire me because I have too much experience.” Someone will recognize that as the bargain of the century.
The one sure reason no one will hire you is because you don’t apply.
Rather than talking yourself out of progress toward your goal, make a list of your priorities. Make a Plan A, Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C.
Give yourself a specific time limit for following Plan A. If it doesn’t work out, move to your next priority. Rinse, repeat.
I receive a lot of requests for “combination” resumes and LinkedIn profiles. “I can’t decide if I want to pursue accounting or fashion merchandising, so let’s include both in my resume and LinkedIn profile.”
Generally, I don’t recommend combining widely different goals because it confuses the reader. Concentrate on one thing at a time. If you’re wanting to combine very different goals, chances are you haven’t made enough decisions.
Ironically, making too many decisions can get you just as stuck. If you find yourself revisiting a decision instead of acting on it, you haven’t really decided. You must commit to your goal. Just trying it out, sticking your toe in the water, applying for a few positions, isn’t going to get you a new career. You need to really want that job before you’re likely to get it.
This doesn’t have to come naturally. If you’re apprehensive or worried about changing jobs or careers, admit it to yourself and do it anyway. If the worry is paralyzing you, get help dealing with it. Then, commit.
Make thinking about your goal all-consuming and unavoidable. Provide yourself with the opportunity to be absorbed in your goal 24 hours a day. Here are a few ideas for deepening your commitment to your goal:
- Make a new screensaver on your computer with your goal on it. Read it between documents or every time you check email. Picture it already accomplished and feel how the accomplishment feels.
- While you’re at it, put it on the screensaver on your phone, too. Read it before and after every call or text and visualize yourself having achieved your goal. How does that feel?
- If you’re not into screensavers, write your goal on sticky notes, and post them wherever you spend good amounts of time: kitchen cupboards, desktops, TV cabinets, vehicle dashboards. Every time you read a note, feel the sense of accomplishment.
- Write your goal on your bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker, and read it every time you wash your hands or do your hair. See yourself already having reached it and feel how proud it makes you feel.
- Write it on a piece of paper you keep on your night stand, and read it immediately before you go to sleep and immediately after awakening. Relish the feeling of accomplishment.
- Talk about your goal with your family and friends. Ask for their help with specific issues.
- Let trusted people know when you need encouragement toward your goal. Accept their positive support.
When you succeed in becoming obsessed with your goal, you will be on your way to achieving it.