Remember when you first started this job search? Or perhaps it wasn’t a job search so much as it was having ambitions of moving up in the organization? Let me jog your memory. You had drive, you had high hopes, you walked with purpose and your head was level. You looked people in the eyes, kept your focus on obtaining your goal of employment or advancement, and people commended you on your attitude.
Then something sinister found a small crack and crept in one day; nestled into your being and started its terrible reign. Self-Doubt. Call it by its wretched name. Oh it found its way there innocently enough; it was that one day you decided you didn’t want to look in the mirror, or when you kept clicking the ‘back’ button on the computer because that job needed some attribute you were no longer confident in, maybe that time you didn’t make love to your spouse because you thought your inadequacy in job searching might spread to the bedroom so you feigned a headache.
It was at that precise moment that Self-Doubt found a home and stroked your deepest feelings of insecurity. It slowly has nurtured those negative self-defeating feelings that had lain dormant so long you had never even remembered they existed at all. Your self-image at one time had been defined in part by the job you held, your position as the bread-winner, the provider, the contributor, and now Self-Doubt has suggested subtly that you are the leech, the burden, the ner’ do well. Unfortunately along the way it’s got easier to just give in and believe those negative images Self-Doubt has planted. Yet it has been done with such stealth that you haven’t even been aware of the degree of change that has happened.
Every once and awhile, you catch a glimpse of someone who reminds you of how you used to be, successfully carrying their coffee in one hand and their pride in the other as they confidently head off to work. You peer through curtained windows long after 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. on purpose because then you miss your neighbours all pulling their cars out of their garages and going off to have productive days. Yes, the Demon has placed all these suggestions in your brain, to keep you from re-kindling some small measure of hope.
Well, you have a choice…and the Demon doesn’t want you to believe this. You have a choice right here, right now to self-assess and make the changes that will cause the Demon to jerk back the hand that’s been stroking your inadequacies. To make it recess quickly you can start reverting back to your old confident self. For starters, make a mental or actual list of the things that do give you feelings of accomplishment. What small, simple, easy to do things could you do today that would at day’s end, give you some feeling of accomplishment?
Depending on how long that Demon has been nestled on a decaying throne in your mind, you might have to start with very basic, simple tasks. So if it’s just throwing on some clothes, getting out of the house and walking around the block do it; and remind yourself that the fresh air and exercise is healthy. Maybe you need to have a look at those clothes in your closet. Take every last pair of pants out and toss them on the bed. Now, one by one, try them all on. Anything that doesn’t fit, either donate them to charity or hang them in the spare room or the basement but get them out of your every day closet. You don’t need negative reminders of your change in weight or size. From now on, anything you try on will fit and no self-esteem woes there. If you need newer clothes, you just learned you have a new goal. Write it down.
As for your self appearance, shave if you’ve got lazy and grew a beard. Trim it up professionally if you want to keep it but have let it get out of hand. Shaving off the beard also usually makes a man look younger. The Demon is starting to take note of your behaviour and is slightly worrying. If you are a woman, shape up those eyebrows, look at the colour and condition of your hair. If you coloured it, would you feel younger, better, more confident? Do it yourself because it’s cheaper until you can afford to get it done professionally. Self-Doubt would much rather you note your wrinkles and lines…think of these now as war scars, but the battle has just begun because you’ve found reinforcements.
Don’t dust off your resume; start from scratch. Get a professional to help you but get started on your own. Read some earlier blogs of mine that offer support or those of others on the internet that you may find helpful. Watch a few good comedies in the evening that make you laugh and put you in a good mood. Put some effort into really making an enjoyable meal for dinner tonight that you can really be proud of.
Now the job market is competitive and getting a job or advancing in your career isn’t going to happen overnight. That’s to be expected. Knowing this, give yourself permission to not be successful immediately, but give yourself credit for doing what is necessary to make positive changes. Tell your family and friends about your plans and ask them to help keep you accountable but in a supportive way. So no yelling or telling you that your lazy any more. Surround yourself with people who are willing to help you out by asking how you are doing, and get going on gathering together some people you can use as references.
You can do this. You have the power to make the choice to change or to keep feeding this Demon. But know this…Every Demon has friends….let one take up residence and soon you’ll find others are with you constantly breeding. Spring is just around the corner, so get a head start on your Spring cleaning by starting INSIDE.