3 Strategies To Shift From Career Pain to Power


“I’m paralyzed by fear.”

That’s the phrase I hear most often from the corporate women I coach, who desire a transition out of an unfulfilling job into their dream career.

Fear of failure.

Fear of money.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of learning new skill sets.

Fear of the unknown.

And the list goes on.

Here’s the thing:  The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow.

{Insert image of me wildly waving around my favorite book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways”.}  Susan Jeffers for the win!

This book was a game changer for me so many times in my life, whether I was on the cusp of a major cross-country move or a career change (or both.)

Here’s how you can leverage the principles of “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways”  when going after your dream career.

Retrain The Mind

When it comes to fear, you need to retrain the mind; to unlearn the thinking that is keeping you safe & small.

Instead of moving away from your fear…. Accept fear as simply a fact of life rather than a barrier to success.

Here’s what’s really beneath your fear: The belief that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you.

But, what if you knew that you could handle anything that came your way?

Then what would you possibly have to fear?


So, the key to diminishing fear is to change your underlying belief; to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.

I want you to grab the nearest sticky note right now and write out your new mantra:

“Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I can handle it!”

Now stick that puppy on your mirror. And when you are feeling the fear kick in about going after your dream career – read it three times fast, Beetlejuice-style.

But, instead of a scary looking Michael Keaton appearing in the mirror, you will instead see a confident woman who is ready for anything, smiling back at you.

Moving From Pain To Power

But get this, the real secret in handling fear is to move yourself from a position of pain (paralysis/depression/fear) to a position of power (energy, excitement.)

The fact that the fear is there, then becomes irrelevant.

Alright fellow career passion-seekers, my challenge to you (should you accept it) is to undertake one of three Pain to Power exercises below.

Challenge #1:  Pain-to-Power Chart

1.  Draw an enlargement of the below Pain-to-Power Chart and place it on your wall.

2.  Put a pin at the place on the chart where you see yourself situated at this moment in relation to your career.

3. Each day look at the chart and ask yourself, “Do I see myself at the same place or have I moved?” Move the pin accordingly.

4. Anytime you take any action (or inaction) regarding your career, ask yourself:  “Is this action (or inaction) moving me to a more powerful place?”

Reflection:  After one week of this challenge, what new awareness do you have on the choices you are making around your career? And did you end up changing any of your actions/inactions, once you realized which direction on the chart your action/inaction would move you?

Challenge #2:  Words Matter.

As a Communications Manager turned Career Coach… you know I have to reinforce to you that words matter.

This includes not just the words that come out of your mouth… but your internal dialogue as well.

To create some awareness around how you may be self-sabotaging, I want you to put a penny in a “Pain Jar” each time you say (or think) a pain phrase this week.

Reflection:  After one week of this challenge, were you surprised? How will you cultivate new beliefs to shift your inner and outer dialogue to power?

Challenge #3:  Out of the Comfort Zone

Ever notice that your comfort zone is exactly the one place where you no longer want to be.

“I’m no longer happy in my job, but it’s the devil I know.”

My suggestion:  Try one mini step (or “risk”) each day that will leave you feeling great after doing it because you are inching you towards your new zone of comfort (a/k/a your dream job.)

This could look like

  • Buying a ticket to a networking event.
  • Reaching out to a recruiter about a role you are interested in.
  • Requesting a complimentary session with a career coach.
  • Signing up for a new class or workshop to hone in on your dream job skill set.

Each time you move out of what feels comfortable, you become more powerful; your whole life expands.

Reflection:  What risk(s) did you take this week? How did it make you feel more powerful?

Let’s Do This.

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.

Alright gang, with this in mind… what challenge will you take on this week to move you from the pain of your current job to the power inherent in moving towards your dream career?

Shoot me a message and I’ll check back in with you to hold you accountable!

Not at this stage yet?

Do you need to do some groundwork on what your passion career is before you can start to move from pain to power?

I got you.

CLICK HERE for my Free Surefire Guide to Finding Your Passion.

Betty Kempa, CPC, ELI-MP, is a certified career coach helping corporate women transition out of unfulfilling jobs and into their dream careers.



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