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You lay in bed every morning, groggily scrolling through job boards. As you search for work in sports, many job titles jump out as something you would be interested in. After a quick skim of the job descriptions, you hit the one-click apply button on everyone you can.

Or perhaps you’re not even putting that much effort into your job search anymore. After being stuck in a rut for so long, you feel defeated or, even worse, entitled and expect opportunities to come to you.

If this sounds familiar, unfortunately, you’ve officially resolved to being a lazy job seeker. Laziness doesn’t have a place in the sports world. If you aren’t being assertive in your search for work in sports, get comfortable sitting on the bench while the professionals play in the big leagues.

Why You’re Lazy

It’s hard to see your true self when you’re emotionally involved in your search for work in sports. You might feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort but if you’re not getting anywhere, it’s time to stop blaming the job market and start taking responsibility.

You simply aren’t taking responsibility when you’re fabricating excuses to make yourself feel better.

“The sports job market is too competitive.”

“I can’t find any sports jobs that fit me.”

“Nobody gives me a fair shot.”

These excuses revolve around fear — fear of failure, rejection, and embarrassment. It’s important to understand how these fears impact your job search and how to overcome them.

Failure

This is a natural part of the process for every career. The best baseball players don’t simply step up to the plate without butterflies in their stomach. Football players don’t run to the line of scrimmage without that pounding in their chest.

Athletes aren’t fearless; they take action while experiencing this fear of failure. Worrying about falling short of others’ expectations is normal, but when it prevents you from achieving your goals, it’s a problem. This phobia is called atychiphobia, and symptoms include being reluctant to face challenges, feeling low levels of confidence, and experiencing perfectionism and self-sabotage.  

The latter is the most paralyzing. Self-sabotage involves procrastination and never following through on your goals. In the case of the job search, you won’t apply to sports jobs outside your comfort zone, or you might pursue opportunities you’re overqualified for.

Rejection

Careers are rife with rejection. Your ideas will get shut down. You’ll be corrected. You will not get certain sports jobs. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to be successful.

However, the fear of rejection can be powerful and debilitating. You develop a core belief that you’re defective, unlikeable, and unacceptable as you are. These beliefs feel real because you look for them to be confirmed in your daily life.

The next time you don’t hear back on an application, you reinforce your belief of being a bad employee. In fact, you’re able to create a negative commentary in any interpersonal situation. So when the interviewer averts their eye contact, you see it as their disinterest in you.

Fear of rejection will hurt every aspect of your career, from applying and interviewing to negotiating your income.

Embarrassment

This fear is likely tied to a form of social anxiety disorder or social phobias. The underlying fear is that you’ll be judged and embarrassed in a public setting. You won’t measure up to others.

It’s important to recognize that this fear is irrational. However, it’s still difficult to overcome the anxiety symptoms, like excessive self-consciousness, intense worry, feeling dizzy, and shortness of breath.

While these fears and the experiences of them are indeed real, the worst approach to managing them is avoidance. They aren’t an excuse to hold yourself back from finding work in sports.

Break Out of the Lazy Mindset

There are several ways to adopt a healthier, more proactive mindset to your career. Your best approach depends on why you became lazy.

Take responsibility

If you simply don’t try hard because you’re supported financially by others, the solution is simple. Rethink your responsibilities.

Find direction

Some people procrastinate finding working in sports because they lack direction. Obviously, you don’t want to randomly find jobs just for a paycheck.

Determine how you want to contribute to the sports industry and society. This helps you find clarity in starting and managing the sports career you deserve.

A larger purpose motivates you. Fear and worry is overshadowed once you find the career you feel like you have to pursue.  

Practice refutations

Another powerful way to overcome fear and procrastination is doing Three Minute Refutations (TMR). This is a simple practice where you challenge your excuses.

For example, you think you need to avoid the discomfort of calling a hiring manager to follow up on an application. These excuses fuel the irrational belief that you have to avoid the discomfort of interacting with potential employers at all costs.

Then you rationalize it by saying that you will wait to reach out tomorrow or that you don’t want to impose. TMRs address the excuse, then refute it. Excuses make your procrastination reasonable, which is why they need to be challenged.

The TMR practice involves writing out your excuse, then listing 10 refutations stating why the excuse is self-destructive. Practice writing and reading these refutations multiple times each day so you memorize them.

Whenever you feel the urge to procrastinate, determine the excuse you’re making to yourself, then recite the refutations. Practice this consistently.

Finding work in sports requires an assertive, confident, proactive mentality. Overcoming your fears and following your purpose will help you finally overcome the lazy job seeker mindset and build the career of your dreams.

What fears hold you back from finding work in sports? Share in the comments!

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