Overcoming Fear and Mental Hurdles
Each person’s situation and fears are different, but most often our fears of career break and sabbatical travel fall into four main areas:
• Financial: I don’t have enough money – you have to be rich to travel
• Societal: What will others think if I leave my job to travel – my family, friends and peers won’t be supportive
• Career: I will ruin my career with a gap on my resume
• Safety: fear of travel in general (health, safety, theft)
You may relate to one or all of these fears to varying degrees. But an important first step is to recognize that these hurdles and thoughts are really stories you have created about yourself. They are not necessarily true, but they can have self-fulfilling consequences.
Best Case Scenario and Positive Thinking
We usually default to assuming the worst-case scenario will come true. But we challenge you to think about “What if everything goes right?” for a change. That’s right – just close your eyes and think about those perceived hurdles as opportunities.
• Financial: I can learn how to better save money & budget which will benefit me/my family in the long run. I will also realize that I don’t need as much money as I think to be happy.
• Societal: Others will love hearing my story of following my passions and I will inspire others to do the same.
• Career: By taking this career break I will be more knowledgeable of the world and it’s cultures, a better communicator, able to work in a variety of environments, and demonstrate great flexibility that will make me stand out in interviews and cover letters.
• Safety: I will learn ways to remain safe no matter where I am in the world and will see that how people & places are perceived in the media is not necessarily true for entire countries.
There is always a way to over get hurdles – always. Positive thinking is just a start.
Time is On Your Side
Keeping your fears all bottled up inside makes them turn into irrational monsters. Simply confronting and talking about your fears over time is another way to climb over the hurdles. Just listen to Kim Dinan, a future career breaker, speak about how her and her husband have been working through their obstacles over time:
Research the Fear
Another way to overcome hurdles is to educate yourself. It’s easy to jump to conclusions; it’s hard to do research. Instead of letting the fears spiral out of control, stay calm, do some research, and see if your fears are real or not. Adam Seper’s initial fear was that they didn’t have enough money to take a career break and travel, however once he started researching it and reading about others who have done it, he realized the fears were unfounded.
Through this course, we will help you confront these hurdles and leap over them. Most importantly we will introduce you to and surround you with people who have overcome these perceived hurdles. People who have done it and whose lives are better because of their breaks. It may not be an easy process, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.
Of all the risks you can take in your life, the one that stands out the most is the risk never taken at all.
A simple exercise to overcoming your fears;
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEARS
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing, which you think you cannot do. “ – Eleanor Roosevelt
Writing down your fears creates awareness and choice. Make a list of all of your fears you have about taking a career break or sabbatical and traveling. Write as fast as you can in a brainstorming format. Include EVERY fear, however small or irrational. Then read them aloud, suspending judgment. Allow yourself to feel the fear without letting it spiral you into negativity. Notice that being afraid does not have to mean being pulled off center and losing ground.
If it feels comfortable, share your list with a friend. Before sharing your list, explain that you simply want a witness, that you are playing with how it is to acknowledge your fears without being pulled off center by them. Be clear that you are not asking for help and that you do not need advice. You do not need to be ‘fixed’. Ask your friend to simply listen, and to acknowledge you for being conscious of your fears.