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Don't let wet blankets smother your dreams: turn them into comfort quilts

You've embarked on a major career transition and your enthusiasm is growing. Just when you get a small fire going, someone comes along with a heavy wet blanket.
"You'll hate it."
"I turned down that job two years ago, but it's perfect for you."
"Nobody makes a living that way."

Strategies to Transform Wet Blankets into Comfort Quilts.

"Calm under pressure" is a skill you can learn, and it gives you power. I used to flinch when people were critical until I worked with Rick, an Air Force veteran who had seen more action than he cared to admit.

When a bullying administrator yelled, Rick would laugh.

"It's just noise," he would say, "not enemy aircraft."
And he'd bounce right back into his next idea.

Recognize the champion in the critic. . By investing time and energy to insult you, your critic acknowledges you have strength and power. Be proud!

The universe just sent you a coach! Dancers and athletes learn that coaches do not waste time on losers. Dancers get detailed "corrections" and researchers get vilified.

Pat Summitt, award-winning coach of Tennessee's Lady Vols, warns recruits that she yells only at the best players. It's when she stops yelling that you need to worry.

Use humor. When I told a colleague I was considering jobs outside academia, he suggested I visit the campus psychiatrist.

Next, he recommended a career guidance book designed for people seeking their very first full-time position after completing a doctoral degree.

I was insulted. Then I decided to have some fun. I surfed around and found reviews of half a dozen books that he could read. One was a mentoring guide for dummies.

He got the message, I felt great and we're still friends.

Pay attention to your own fears. "You'll hate living there," your friend predicts. And, privately, you wonder if he's right.

"What if there's nothing to do in that tiny little town? Can I handle eighty degrees and humid? What if I can't get another job?"

Your Inner Critic chimes in with, "What makes you think you can run your own business?" and your trusted advisors turn into wet blankets.

Finally, use imagery. . As you feel a wet blanket smother your fire, replace it with a soft, light, warm quilt. Be warm, comfortable and protected as you complete your journey.

Don't worry about saying "I told you so!" to the wet blankets. By the time you've achieved your dream, you'll have only dim memories of that soggy heap in the corner.

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com or call 505-534-4294.


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The obstacles you overcome