*To reduce anxiety remember what you’ve already overcome
Being laid off can be one of the hardest experiences an adult can face. It often leads to questioning the point of it all while regret begins to surface as you second guess every major decision you’ve made in your life that brought you to where you currently are. This is on top of the fear and struggle of looking for a new job. Unless you’ve experienced this you can’t fully appreciate how painful it is because it attacks your self-worth and often leads to feelings of hopelessness. Even spouses can’t fully grasp the grimness of the situation; they may be scared by the financial situation this causes, but they don’t experience the same sense of failure and rejection as the person who lost his or her job. In addition, when you’re laid off because a company is restructuring, cutting back or moving it reduces your ability to trust the job market. Losing a job is in many ways like being dumped because a major part of your life is gone and you need to work on healing while trying to push forward. The worst part about this whole thing is with our present global economy more and more people are experiencing this reality where employment is temporary and not guaranteed. Talk about a grim topic… for the record, I’m not feeling down; I’m just addressing an important issue.
On the positive side, this topic becomes a great tool for better understanding how to overcome anxiety and hopelessness.
I’ve been laid off four times… not bragging. The first was because the theatre I worked at for five years was shut down… not my fault. Later, I was laid off from a big steel company and two churches all because the companies were having financial issues… again not my fault. Fortunately, my current layoff has been easier than the others. No, you don’t get used to it; it’s not like eating broccoli where if you force yourself to eat it, it eventually gets easier. What has helped me is this simple tool for reducing anxiety:
*Remember what you’ve already overcome
My other layoffs were brutal on me, but now I’m forcing myself to remember that every other time eventually led to a new and better position. When we’re anxious about something, we need to remember what we’ve been able to handle in the past because it can increase our courage: “I’ve done this before, so I can do it again.” We are stronger than we realize. We all have great strength; the question becomes are we willing to use it? In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, (fantastic book) he describes how our minds have a major impact on what we can do. This is particularly noticeable in bodybuilding because how much you can lift is largely connected to your mind. For instance, one day Arnold’s workout partner couldn’t lift his normal 500pds in squats. He was doing less weight with less reps, which he claimed was because he was just too tired to do more. Arnold then called a couple attractive girls over to watch his partner lift. Suddenly, this guy who was complaining he was too tired to lift his normal weight was now lifting more weight than he normally did for even more reps. How much we can do is largely the result of our mind. Thus, Arnold encourages people to push themselves and not let doubt or excuses hold them back. We are stronger than we realize.
To fight anxiety, especially when unemployed consider the following:
- Remember what you and others have overcome (this builds strength and hope)
- Look at what you need to do to encourage yourself (e.g. talk to friend, go over my life goals, etc)
- Look at what you need to do to resolve your problem (e.g. apply to jobs)
Ultimately, getting a job is like picking up a girl. If you’re positive and confident you’ll increase the likelihood of finding a job. Desperation scares opportunities away.
This week may you remember how capable you really are as a way to encourage yourself to new levels of success.
Rev Chad David, EmotionalSex.ca, ChadDavid.ca