Functional fixedness is a cognitive bias that refers to our tendency to "see an object only in the way it is traditionally used'.
This bias has been shown to apply to our own identities, hence our tendency to think that we can only do what we've always done. Not a great strategy when what we've always done has made us miserable...
To offset functional fixedness, career change must involve a creative process. We need to sneak up on the mind to think anew about our options.
Many people think of creativity as a skill, or a talent. Yet creativity is really neither - it is a choice. At the heart of this choice is a willingness to sit with ambiguity and imperfection. Although creativity often sounds sexy and analysis dull, in reality our mind far prefers analysis. It craves certainty.
Yet if we reach for certainty too early, we terminate a conversation with ourselves just at the point when it's getting interesting.