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A Sample Chapter of Stop Playing Safe by Margie Warrell

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the past, and our innate aversion to what’s new, untested, unfamiliar and unpredictable.When casting your mind back to days gone by, your selective recall filters out the anxiety and stress you felt in ‘the good old days’ and focuses instead on the happier memories, the irony being that you will one day look back on today as ‘the good old days’.Why wait?

As difficult as change can sometimes be, we don’t always fear it. Most people I know enjoy variety. Many actively seek it. Even the most timid, change-averse people enjoy some semblance of it.We wear different clothes every day. Even men who wear dark suits and white shirts to work each day still change their tie just to mix things up a bit. I’ve been known to rearrange the furniture in my living room for no other reason than I grew tired of its configuration.After all, ‘change is as good as holiday’, and often far cheaper. Likewise, there are many people who never go to the same holiday destination twice because they want to explore new places and experience different cultures and climates: mountains one year; beaches the next.

Bold action in the face of uncertainty is not only terrifying, but necessary in the pursuit of great work. Jonathan Fields

The reason why so many people enjoy variety in their personal lives yet struggle with change in the workplace largely boils down to control. We like to feel that we have some control over our circumstances and yet in our jobs we often feel anything but. It’s our lack of control over the variables, and our uncertainty about what lies ahead,that can overwhelm us and trigger fear and anxiety. We like to make plans based on a future we can predict. When the terrain grows unfamiliar, undermining our ability to plan and predict, it gives rise to stress, chips away at our confidence and fuels our fear. Intellectualising why any change is good is not sufficient to arrest our fear. Emotions will trump logic every time. Unless you confront them, they will continue to fuel any residual resistance and rigidity. So as you read through the four main fears — fear of the unknown, failure, success and loss — consider which ones are at play as you look towards making the changes needed to create the career you truly want, and get off the default path that’s taking you somewhere you don’t want to be.

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