Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fear of Change: Why It’s Hard for Us to Change Careers

Career decisions play an important role in our lives. However, many people don’t realize their desires in their professional lives and continue to stay in a boring job, thus endangering their health and not only their health. The reason for this is the fear of change, usually the fear of losing the usual income, insecurity, and uncertain prospects for development in a new profession.

Let’s find out why the approval of others is important for us and why it’s difficult to change professions, as well as what career crises many of us face and how to realize that it isn’t too late to make a decisive step into a new life.

Where the Fear of Mistakes Comes From and How It Prevents Us From Trying New Things

Understanding the causes in themselves already helps on the path of change. It becomes obvious that everyone lives out fears associated with change to some degree, which means it’s normal to be anxious. This reflection helps us take action.

Let’s explore fears and causes of indecision based on different studies. For example, research from Loyola University Chicago reveals the issue of difficulty in making career decisions. Or research from the Antwerp School of Management, which confirms that career-related decisions have a significant impact on a person’s life.

Let’s deal with the differences between fear and anxiety.

Fear has to do with a real danger in the outside world. It’s already happened.

Anxiety is related to a perceived unknown danger. It’s a subjective feeling about a situation that is perceived as dangerous.

Both the emotion of fear and the emotion of anxiety are designed to keep us safe, to help us deal with the immediate problem or predict that it will happen, and to take steps to prevent it.

Where Anxiety Comes From


Instructions for actions that were needed in certain circumstances and may have helped us avoid danger and survive are conveyed through language.

Examples of such phrases are:

  • “Keep your head down — be like everyone else”.
  • “Appreciate stability.”
  • “Initiative is punishable.”
  • “You can do what I couldn’t, so do more.”

Often, these messages are delivered to us by parents who haven’t fully realized themselves and are frustrated with their career path or a society going through a difficult period in history. It’s as if we are expected to do something more, and this causes tension, anxiety, and inflated expectations of our future.


“What if I had then…”

If you get upset about a missed job opportunity, it will be harder to respond to another one that seems less appealing. More regrets may be added to this if you discover a third job that you like even less.

Regrets are often accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame. Regrets about a mistake made or an opportunity missed can stop you from taking action for fear of making a mistake again and experiencing painful feelings again. By avoiding unpleasant emotions, we also avoid life.

Why Professional Status Becomes a Measure in Society

Belonging to a group was once the key to survival, as the tribe provided food and protection. We still have a need for social approval and admiration, as well as a paralyzing fear of being unloved.

Hence the need to be significant and have status. Today, the need to be accepted and gain approval becomes an impossible task, and achieving this goal is even harder than placing a successful bet via 22Bet Mozambique on a sport you know nothing about. In our modern tribe, there are no longer 40 people, but many more.

When we do what is accepted, it saves energy and reduces the risk of receiving disapproval.

The approval of others is important, while criticism or rejection hurts, and a study by American professor Naomi Eisenberger confirms this. The parts of the brain responsible for physical pain are activated when we begin to experience emotional distress, such as rejection or loss.

However, all this doesn’t eliminate our desire for self-actualization, and an internal conflict of interest ensues.

Why It’s Difficult to Change Careers


Throughout our lives, we make decisions on the following important questions:

What education to choose.

  • Where to go to work.
  • When to take on a new challenge — for example, a new project or position — and when to wait.
  • How to balance work and family life.

The answers to these questions have a significant and lasting impact on our financial situation, lifestyle, career opportunities, social connections, sense of satisfaction with our lives, and success.

When the decision is difficult and the outcome is uncertain, it’s natural to feel fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. We end up postponing the decision and leaving things as they are.


You may have vivid ideas about your perfect career future, but there is no guarantee that everything will turn out that way. What’s more, the more a new profession is idealized, the more one’s hands drop at the first difficulties, which is natural when we start doing something new.

The trap is that on the old career track, we get used to being successful. And on the new track, we immediately expect the same heights and speeds of career growth, often forgetting where we started.

Energy and Resources to Accomplish Everything

It takes many intermediate actions to realize the desired changes.

Decide on a profession, find training, and match your capabilities with the options on offer. It’s also important to coordinate the changes with the family and find time for everything.

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