Overcoming Inertia: Moving Forward

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Overcoming Inertia: Moving Forward
To be  published  in The Flightpath News - Week of February 19, 2003
Overcoming Inertia: Moving Forward.

How does inertia prevent us from making the changes necessary to achieve greater job satisfaction?

You find inertia in a dictionary defined as resistance or disinclination to motion, action or change. In career terms, inertia translates as our fear of change, experiencing failure and disapproval or fear of  the new and unfamiliar. Inertia can keep us in jobs for which we have lost our enthusiasm and committment, while we try to justify to ourselves the reasons why we should stay.

Stress from overwork, lack of support, boredom and the gnawing feeling that we are not being true to our values can result in anxiety, worry and depression. This in turn can reinforce the feeling that nothing is likely to change and we end up in a long-term rut.

So, how do we break free from this self-defeating behaviour? It is important not to think like a victim. This requires a certain moral courage to rise above the limitations of the present through creating a mental image of a better future and being open to taking new directions. It is easy to blame employers, colleagues, family and life itself for our current state of affairs. The decision to take responsibility to make better progress however will begin to attract the events and the people who can help you to realize your vision. Taking small yet decisive steps will begin moving you in a more positive direction.

What changes or improvements do you want to make? Have you reached the limits of personal or career growth with your present employer? Are you incompatible with the people or culture? Is it the physical working environment or the time it takes to get there? Do you need to improve your education or take special training? Decide on your priorities then think about the steps needed to achieve your goal. Once you have identified your issues then you need to draw up a plan for action The act of planning itself will draw your attention away from your frustrations to focus on the possibilities and options. Shifting your focus to more positive tasks that serve your interests will help reduce your anxiety about the present.

Don’t expect to achieve everything at once. We become disillusioned when we try to force progress and find that instant solutions aren’t available or practical. Our society cultivates the ideas of quick fixes and fast, fast relief. When it comes to making career or job changes with long-term benefits in mind, there is often a different time frame and dynamic involved.

Impatience with the present situation can cause us to act impulsively and to make short-sighted decisions that affect long-range interests. Listen to inner guidance and be alert to the promptings of your intuition. The intention to follow your highest interest will often produce ideas and thoughts that come "out of the blue" and suggest actions and solutions that you haven’t thought of before. If you trust in this process, you will receive the insight you need to make the progress you want.

The decision then becomes how much effort and potential discomfort are you willing to accept to make the improvements you’ve decided upon? Whenever we make important changes there is always some price we have to pay. Accepting that reality helps us release the energies we need to sustain our efforts over the long haul.

You may experience continued inner resistance to change. This is normal as you are creating new patterns of action and thinking. Keep your goal foremost in mind. Exercise patience with yourself, with others who may question your decision and with the process itself.

Your commitment to improving your prospects and your willingness to make the efforts necessary will generate the right solutions at the right time.

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