Generally Speaking, Here’s THE Problem

It’s not failing to market yourself in a job interview, writing a poor cover letter that fails to grab their attention, fear of initiating a meeting with someone in the role you want or even agonizing over your career path that is the biggest problem for most people. Interestingly however, all these are tied to the fundamental one thing which holds back being successful. That one thing? Positive self-esteem.

Again and again I interact with people who question themselves, who see their abilities and skills as needing improvement. They often show their lack of self-esteem in the words they speak and write, often without even knowing that their choice of words reveals more about them then they realize. Their non-verbal communication also gives away their lack of belief in their abilities. Yes, “Believe In Yourself” is one of the best pieces of advice a person can be given. However, it’s one thing to know you should believe in yourself and quite another to actually do it.

Take the person who, upon sitting down in an interview, starts off by saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m really nervous, I’m going to try my best but…” Or the cover letter that says, “I believe I can do the job”, and not, “I know I can do the job”. Then the body language people use, often folding into themselves in trying to become invisible, or the doubt they reflect on their face as they speak, the weak handshakes, the lack of eye contact etc.

Poor or low self-esteem is robbing employer’s of great employees, and robbing people of wonderful opportunities in the workforce. It keeps people in entry-level jobs when they do get them, and can keep people from taking chances because their fear of failure outweighs their desire for success. It’s sad. It’s more than just sad actually and it’s got to change.

Now if you feel your self-esteem is low, it’s likely you’re not to blame. If you seldom got praised or supported as a child growing up – be it from parents, extended family and teachers etc., it naturally follows that these key authority figures in your early life did you a major disservice which now as an adult has you instinctively doubtful of yourself. Now as an adult, you might not believe others when they say you’re beautiful; being overly critical of minor flaws. You might not have the courage to stand up and tell your parents – even as an adult – that what you really want to do in life is ….

Here’s the good news. Just as years and years of never being complimented, encouraged and supported can do a great deal of damage to your self-esteem, the same can be said of the reverse. In other words, you can in fact improve your self-esteem. This is not something however that’s going to correct itself overnight. Just telling yourself that you’re going to believe in yourself isn’t going to undo decades of damage. Damage by the way might seem like a strong word to use, but honestly, if you’ve been put down or never even had words of encouragement from your parents and significant people in your life, they have in fact damaged you whether it was intentional or not.

Building your self-esteem and self-respect back up is something you can do however. When someone gives you a compliment, do yourself a favour and accept their assessment instead of automatically downplaying or disagreeing with their words. What someone has recognized in you as good and worthy of noting is a good thing. The choice is yours to say a simple thank you or deflect those words with your automatic, “What? This old thing?” or “I don’t see myself that way.”

The person you are now is a product of your past, and it’s equally true that the person you become in the future will be a product of both your present and your future. Yes, it takes time, but time alone won’t change things much. You really need a combination of time, surrounding yourself with positive people who recognize and voice the good in you, and a willingness on your part to be open to seeing yourself differently; a change in your attitude.

You deserve a positive future. You are worthy of the good things in life; the very things you want such as a good job, supportive and positive relationships, feeling good about who you are as a person and seeing yourself as a person of worth.

One thing you can consider is removing yourself from the constant influence of negative people; the one’s who tell you that you’ll never amount to much; that you should just settle in life and you’ll always be flawed. You’re so much better than how they see you! When these people happen to be in your family, you might consider telling them how hurtful their words are, and that they’ve got to get behind you or get out of your way. The person you’ve been is not the person you’re going to be.

Build on small successes. Sure it starts with being open to the, “Believe in Yourself” philosophy. When others say good things about you, accept that they see something in you that you yourself may not; and they just might be right, especially if you’ve heard this from others.

Self-esteem can be rebuilt and when it does, it’s a beautifully powerful thing.

A True Story About A Bullying Boss

I had a phone call yesterday from a former client of mine. It was exactly one year ago less a single day that she accepted an offer of employment through a job seeking workshop I ran. She’s out of work as of yesterday, and while she’s in shock, I’m just livid.

Now you have to understand this particular woman was one of those who truly impressed me. I mean she listened, put into practice the new skills she was exposed to, and while she questioned things she didn’t immediately grasp, she always did so respectfully and worked hard to earn her success. So it was that when she called me right out the blue yesterday, I could immediately recall her to mind.

It turns out that for the last year she’s not only found work, made enough to exit from the social services system that once provided her with food and rent funds, but she had rekindled her self-confidence in the process. Employment does that; so much more than just working for a living.

So the problem? Her boss. Her boss as it turned out was the son of the owner of the business, and the father is the one who had hired her. The son is a tragic example of all that is bad in people who have a taste of power and authority. She provided me with examples of how he would yell, curse, verbally abuse, belittle and demean not only her but others. Apparently there have been 5 people call in and report this person’s behaviour to the local Labour Relations Board in the past year alone.

When I spoke on the phone yesterday, she had just hours before taken all she could and things came to a climax. As she reports it, he ran out to her car and met her in the parking lot where he proceeded to tear a strip off her verbally. He yelled at her, telling her what she needed to do the second she got inside. Sure there was no one else in the parking lot, but what a start to your day. I mean who does that?

Once inside, she started to do the things he told her to do and then he kept on at her only this time in front of others. Up until yesterday she had taken all this verbal abuse because she needed the job and the income it provided her with. Yesterday however, she’d had enough and asked him not to speak to her that way. Well, not used to someone having a bit of a backbone, he told her loudly so that all could hear that he could talk to her anyway he pleased and added a few choice words to emphasize the point.

This intimidating, bullying behaviour continued and she then asked him to leave her alone to do the work, and that’s when he told her she was done and to get out; she was gone. Now in shock, publicly abused yet still clinging to some semblance of clarity, she went to the payroll person and asked for her ROE to be prepared for pick up or mailing and her last cheque. He came after her and told her she’d get it when he wanted her to get it and not before and if she didn’t leave he was calling the police. So she left.

And it was at that point she went home and not having any idea of what to really do, called me. Now it’s been a year as I say since I last spoke with her. I give her credit for having saved my contact information. By the time I’d called her back a few hours had passed. She told me she’d already got out all the handouts she’d been given by me a year ago and had started to re-read them to re-familiarize herself with good job search principles and actions. I was impressed anew.

She was still shaking, still in shock, crying a little, and it will be in the coming days that the full impact of things hits home. I shared with her what to do immediately, like call the Labour Board herself and make a report, file for Employment Insurance. I also told her that there’s two general things she could do for the next week; get right back into a job search or take a week off to mentally recover, compose herself and then set a target of next Monday to start looking for work. Depending on the person, either choice is the right one.

I made sure that she knew she had done the right thing, and that in no way should that kind of behaviour be tolerated in any workplace. Do you know the father who originally hired her actually called her to plead with her to come back to work? She had enough self-worth to decline this despite her financial worries. And she’d already called back to speak privately with the person in payroll to make sure if a reference called she could be assured that her employment dates would be verified.

She’s strong, resilient, deserves better and will succeed again. She’s going to stay in touch now, even though she’s no longer a client. And she needs a good answer to the future question, “Why did you leave your last job?” But I am dismayed this kind of person is still in a position of authority. No job is worth that kind of abuse.


“A Job Is Just A Way To Make Money”, He Says

I received the above comment from a fellow group member in one of my LinkedIn discussion groups yesterday when I was contrasting and comparing the process of obtaining a job to that of getting a relationship going.

One of the wonderful things that differentiates us from one another is that we have the capacity to think for ourselves and hold opinions different from one another. And while in some parts of the world having an opinion that varies from the larger society could be dangerous – even get you killed, I am thankful that where most of us live we are entitled to hold our own opinions.

Having acknowledged this, I must say that for me personally, and perhaps for you too, a job is so much more than just a way to make money. If a career is an occupation that one builds over a long period and in a particular line of work or field of study, than a job is by nature a shorter-term work assignment and not necessarily in a field that we received an education in.

A job for one thing is a mechanism for obtaining experience. When we are just starting out perhaps in high school and/or College or University, taking a job often reveals to us what we enjoy or dislike. As we accumulate experience in jobs, we start to form stronger opinions which if we pay attention to them, can help us decide which occupations and careers we might find most satisfying.

A 19-year-old girl I know is currently doing prep work in a restaurant chain, and while it provides money, it has also given her practical experience in a kitchen she didn’t have prior to that. A life-skill has been learned she can use in her personal life even when employed eventually in a field outside of Hospitality. Does she like the job she has? Absolutely not, and so moving forward, knowing what she doesn’t like will help in achieving a better fit in her future.

A job also provides stimulation for the brain, a sense of purpose and improves self-esteem. It’s not about the money for some, but a reason to get up, get dressed, get out and be connected to other people in some meaningful, purposeful way. One of the happiest clients I know is a Dishwasher. He took a ‘job’ washing dishes in a restaurant and found that the job was a good fit for him. It keeps him hustling the entire time he is working, has worked wonders on his self-esteem, improved his physical health too by the way. Instead of sitting around smoking, he’s hustling in a kitchen and quit smoking altogether eventually as there is no time to smoke!

Oh and consider this: If a job is only a way to make money, than surely anyone and everyone on social assistance who are in dire need of money would be motivated to take any job just to get the money; they don’t. The people receiving assistance I work with still have some pride with respect to what job they will take or have the skills to perform.

There is a perception among some that a career is always preferable to a job. Not so in my opinion. A job, or rather a series of jobs strung together is exactly what some people find stimulating. “I want to try all the jobs I can, it’s fun!”, a guy I worked with a few months ago said. He had done work in manufacturing, retail, carpentry, landscaping, renovations, construction, motorcycle repair, skate sharpening, tree pruning too as I recall. For him, all these jobs brought him into contact with people he’d otherwise not encounter in the same way. Money never entered our discussion.

And I think it true that for some folks in their mid 40’s to mid 50’s, there comes a time when the brain wants to continue to work at a certain job (usually physical in nature) but the body disagrees. Taking a job in some other line of work is a great way to keep the little grey brain cells stimulated, fight off Alzheimer’s, and regain self-confidence and restore ones’ pride.

And sure some seniors who are retired re-enter the workforce to supplement their incomes, but it is also the case that some people keep working past their retirement age out of the desire to keep busy, motivated, feeling connected and useful. Not so much about the money, although money itself isn’t so bad!

But yes, one is entitled to honestly feel that a job is solely a way to make money if they wish to see things this way. How do you view a job? Is a job somehow lower on the status scale than a career in your opinion? Are jobs of value whatsoever or are they in fact just ways to make money for you too?

I believe that there are a vast number of people – good, solid, interesting people who go about their daily lives performing what we commonly refer to as, ‘jobs’. These people I highly respect, and the work they do makes my life better, and I suspect yours too. Where would we be in this world if none of those ‘jobs’ were done because money alone wasn’t enough of a motivating factor for anyone to complete the work?

And that, as I am entitled, is just my opinion.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find Out What It Means

Okay so how many of you read the title of the blog and how many of you sang the title of the blog in Aretha Franklin style? If you did sing it, I bet you added the words, “to me” at the end of it. Notice however that I stopped short of adding those two words. Why? Well because it’s not important you find out what respect means to me, but rather you find out what it means for yourself.

Is respect something that is automatically given or is it something earned? Is it initially given until lost? You may find that your answer to these questions puts you in agreement or conflict when you interact with other people who either hold your view or take a differing perspective.

Respect is an acknowledgement of what is rather than what could be, and an acceptance of that. So you may well disagree with someone else’s point of view, but you can still respect the person. You can appreciate for example how they conduct themselves, how they argue their point with passion and conviction, but ultimately you don’t have to agree with them in order to respect them. One of the most common examples of this in action would be hearing politicians debate issues in parliament. Well, sometimes there’s not a lot of respect shown for each other come to think of it!

Respect is also something you can have for other people, rules, things, property and most importantly yourself. As for property, you may for example be taking a walk around the neighbourhood and notice that the sidewalk goes along the front of a home then makes a 90 degree turn and runs down the other side of the home. Do you follow the sidewalk or cut across the lawn of the homeowner because it’s the shortest route? If you do, you’re not respecting the property of the people who live there as you wear down a path which may cause them to erect a fence to discourage people from following your lead.

In a game, there are rules established so all the players know in advance the conditions they will play under. Break those rules, and you may be penalized in some fashion. This is true too if you have a dress code at work and don’t follow it. You might find yourself being told to leave and return when your clothing adheres to the rules.

But of all the things you can respect in your lifetime, the single most thing you should have respect for is yourself. And so it is unfortunate when someone presents with such low self-esteem that they have no self-respect. I’ve run across people like this; people who don’t see themselves as people of value. And without seeing themselves as a person of value, they consciously allow themselves to be used by others in ways that only reinforces in their own mind that they aren’t worth much.

Such lack of respect for themselves can be very self-destructive, and what’s equally worse is their own aspirations and confidence are low. When they engage in activities where success isn’t guaranteed, they assume from the start that they will fail; fail because it is after all – them. And they feel they don’t deserve to succeed. What a very sad sense of self-perception and lack of self-respect.

Am I describing you or someone you know or work with? If I am, you know how difficult it is to bring about change and learn to respect yourself. It isn’t as easy as just waking up one day and saying to yourself, “I guess I’ll respect myself today.” If this has been ingrained in the person over years, it takes some time to learn how to respect oneself, and to believe that you are really worthy.

So how to start? Start small. Little things for some are huge for others. Think about personal grooming you do daily. When you wake up do you shower or clean yourself? Brushing your teeth and hair, washing your face, putting on clean clothes; these are things that show you have respect for your appearance, even when you aren’t going out and don’t anticipate seeing anyone or having anyone see you. This isn’t about being pretty or handsome, good-looking etc., this is about personal hygiene and in the case of your teeth, it also preserves your oral health.

In the workplace, you often have to have respect for people in other roles, such as your boss. By acknowledging their role as your supervisor, you demonstrate respect for them when you hand in reports requested and in the timeframe given you, or by taking their direction and carrying out assigned tasks. If you are chronically late, take extended breaks, leave early without permission and spend your time doing personal things on the computer, you don’t demonstrate respect for company property and for the job you have. Eventually, this lack of respect could cost you your job.

You are a person of worth and a person to be valued. Whether you have to earn respect from others or find they respect you right from the beginning, I hope more than anything you come to respect yourself. And respect yourself not for what you accomplish necessarily, but just for being you. Yep, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means…

Giving Up On Finding A Job? Know What You’re Throwing Away

As human nature goes, we tend to go out of our way to get involved and do things that we find pleasurable and enjoyable. The opposite is also true, and we generally avoid doing things that we find unrewarding, difficult and stressful. So it’s no surprise that for most of us, continuing to put a lot of enthusiasm into a job search becomes harder and harder if the results we expect and hope for don’t materialize.

After a period of time, (and it will vary from person to person) you may become so frustrated and annoyed with getting little if any positive results from a job search, that the temptation to just pack it in and quit looking becomes pretty attractive. Instead of a lecture attempting to convince you to keep looking, I just want to illuminate the consequences of making a decision to stop seeking employment. You are an adult and can decide for yourself your course of action and have the right to choose.

To begin with, making a decision to quit looking for work, when you previously were engaged in trying to find a job is an admission of failure and it’s important to consciously recognize that. Failure in and of itself isn’t actually a bad thing though, and it’s important to also recognize this truism. Just as an Inventor fails and fails numerous times before eventually reaching success, each one of those failures provides a lesson; a tidbit of information that suggests doing something different, or a combination of different things to arrive at the desired result. So be brave enough, and wise enough, to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’ve failed” and think about why.

Along with failure, it’s only natural to tie in your self-esteem. When we fail, we tend to personalize the situation. “I’ve failed, I feel bad”. There are essentially two different responses having to do with self-esteem that can be associated with failure. One is to acknowledge failure and have lower self-esteem because you didn’t really put all that much effort into it in the first place. The second is to fail, but because of the sincere full-time effort you put in, you can actually feel higher self-esteem because your failure is for reasons beyond your control, not within your control. You can’t control the economy, the number of people competing for a job, the hiring decision, but you can control your attitude, effort and influence hiring decisions.

Unless you replace your daily activities with other things that bring you satisfaction and engagement, you will also be throwing away purpose. Purpose manifests itself in statements like, “I should be doing something”, “I don’t know what to do with myself”, or questions like, “Is this all there is?”, “What will I do with myself today?” A job gives you a reason to get up, get dressed, get out, get doing something productive that provides meaning to you personally. A job search if done correctly, provides that daily structure until it’s replaced with paid employment. If you pack in the job search, what will you replace it with?

Without a job, unless you have a healthy severance package, you will find money might be running out faster than you’d like. Money translates into social inclusion such as when we go out with friends dancing, for dinner, to movies, rock concerts, travel, shopping etc. Without money, you might find invitations to get together to do things steadily drops because people know you are financially strapped. The consequence is isolation.

You may also find that unintended, unsought and unwelcome feelings start seeding themselves in your consciousness. Over time you become depressed, experience social anxiety, become ill-at-ease in public spaces, doubt your abilities, label yourself as a loser, an idiot, dumb, stupid, a reject. All of these dark thoughts can, unless checked, lead to mental illness, and if they go far enough, to acts of self-mutilation and suicide.

But let’s back up before we go too far down that dark corridor. This piece is best intended for you the person out of work who is considering giving up; and while anyone might benefit from the content, you’ve got the power to decide on your immediate course of action. The responsibility is entirely yours, and yours alone as to whether or not you continue to job search with vigor and hope, or you opt to throw up your hands and give up. While this may seem daunting and overwhelming, look ahead to the day you land your next job, and imagine looking back to this very day – today – when you made a choice to re-energize your job search. It will be the decision YOU made that you can credit for future success.

Because job searching involves so many things; resume writing, interview skills, employer research, exploring career options, applications, follow-up calls, skills assessments, cover letters, networking, social media presence, temporary agencies, recruiters, references etc., don’t try to do it all in a day.
Start with small steps you can accomplish and then acknowledge your accomplishment no matter how small. Avoid saying things like, “Yeah but I still don’t have a job”. Say, “I’m one small step closer to finding a job”.

Depending how frustrated and stressed you are, it might take a little or a long time to turn things around. If Life is beating you up, my advice if you are open to it, is to avoid what seems easiest which is to quit. The harder thing to do is rekindle that small single flame of hope, purpose and self-respect and slowly fan it into a flame of pride, accomplishment and joy.

I Told Him The Truth And Called Him Out

Yesterday I found myself on one side of the desk, and an older, unemployed man on the other. However, before I tell you what happened next, you need some background to this scenario.

A couple of months ago, another Employment Counsellor with whom I share an office and I were talking. He said he had this guy in his class with a first and last name that really rolled off the tongue in his opinion and sounded really stately and impressive. I’d love to share it here so you’d understand but that would break confidentiality and I love my job!

More than a guy with a cool name, he presented well too.He dressed himself very neat and tidy, was well-groomed and really engaged in conversation and participated fully in the workshop. I had a few interactions myself with him in passing, and I concurred with my colleagues assessment.

Last week in our Resource Centre, I was sitting down helping another client when he walked past. I looked up and said hello without really saying anything else as I was helping this other client. What struck me in a five second look however was that he appeared rough however.

So I was surprised to learn that this man who appeared to have it all together and was on the surface quite confident about gaining employment was now enrolled in a life-skills workshop for the next three weeks that focuses not on job searching, but self-esteem, setting goals and getting one’s self together. I was even more surprised when the Facilitator of that workshop and my office colleague were discussing him and his poor behaviour. In fact, they were discussing removing him possibly, as he was being disruptive, talking out of turn, making remarks at inappropriate times etc. He apparently keeps sharing his age with everyone in the group and often.

I shared my brief assessment, and told them that in my opinion, something has happened that’s prompted a negative change. I suggested talking to him privately and finding out what’s going on because it could be anything from being rejected for a job due to age or a health scare. Who knows until you ask and kicking him out wouldn’t really do anything for him.

Ah so you can imagine my surprise when at lunch break, he plunks himself down in front of me in our Resource Centre just to say hello. So when opportunity walks in and sits down….and not being one to shy away from saying it like it is….

He told me within 30 seconds that he was 62 and didn’t think there was much left for him to do. So I asked him if I could be honest and frank with him and once receiving his permission, launched right in. I told him that when we first met, how impressed I had been and others with him. There had been pride in his appearance, a positive attitude and today he was sitting here in jeans and a sweat top, unshaven, hair unbrushed, and looking defeated. He told me that, ‘defeated’ was a good word, ‘deflated’ would be good too. “So what’s up?” I asked.

Sure enough, he was rejected from a job competition he had been in, and suspects his age might have played a factor. On top of this, he was told a month ago that his age wasn’t a problem by one person he respected, but then told he was too old and should just stop looking for work by someone else he also respected. Now I know both of the people he is referring to, and I suspect what he heard was not the message actually sent, but that’s how he’s interpreted it. How powerful an influence someone can have on another.

Interestingly, he told be that I was right when I told him that although he can’t change his age, he can change his own attitude and how he brands himself to an interviewer. In other words, talk about his life experience, maturity, a wealth of work experience, stability, freedom from child care commitments, networking and interpersonal skills.

This one little chat that lasted all of 4 or 5 minutes before I was pulled away with another client request for help, may or may not have a lasting impact. He did say however, that he’d be back to his former appearance when he arrives later today. I for one am going to make a point of hunting him down both to check for myself and if possible, to praise him in front of the class he’s in so he gets that boost of praise and public recognition.

This is more than just a nice story to read and move on. There are lessons here whichever side of the desk you sit on if you think for a few moments. From the job seekers point of view, take some pride in yourself all the time, act on suggestions for self-improvement, seek out multiple opinions and remember people are always watching you and you never know when an opportunity will be presented or you’ll be passed over because you make a poor impression.

As a professional, be reminded of the impact off-hand comments can make for good or bad. Your ability to influence is often in direct proportion to the fragility of the person you are interacting with.

To Sir, With Love

On the weekend, I was sitting inside watching the snow and wind howl around the house outside and resolved not to take a single step out the front door. Winds were gusting up to 95km and the little snow that actually fell was moving sideways by the window. So what to do?

One thing I did was flip on the television in the mid-afternoon and one of my favourite movies was playing. Sidney Portier starring in, “To Sir With Love” which also starred Lulu, a singer from the sixties who had a hit with the song of the same name. If you’ve not seen it, or it’s been awhile, you might want to check it out. It’s the kind of movie I’ve even contemplated showing in some of my three-week workshops to discuss after showing.

Essentially it’s about a black man teaching in a school in England and going through the experience of trying to educate some of his soon-to-be graduating students about the world they are soon to enter. He has to fight past a lot of attitude, anger, prejudice, ridicule and eventually wins over the class and the students; so much so that when offered a job and a new start that he’s been hoping for, he chucks it and remains at the school to teach.

For it’s time, it was edgy; a teacher tossing out text books and talking with students about anything they wanted; marriage, sex, life. Many issues from the film are very much alive today as issues that students are going through too. Of course one of the themes that plays a huge part in the film is preparing for the world of employment. To prepare for this, he admonishes the entire class for the lack of pride they take in their appearance, their language, their treatment of each other and th self-respect they have for themselves.

Self-respect; how you feel about yourself. What is your opinion or yourself? What do you like? What strengths do you have? In what areas do you wish to improve and what are you doing about them? A mirror can reflect back to you a fairly accurate image of your exterior but what is beneath that exterior is harder to see. You can bet that whether it’s on-the-job, at the interview, or during the job search itself, your self-perception will go a long way to determining your success.

So how do you improve your self-respect if it’s low? For starters, realize that having a healthy respect for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you are self-centered and full of conceit. Someone that just loves their outward appearance and is constantly looking at themself in mirrors as often as they can may actually have very poor self-respect and constantly need the reassurance that their outward appearance is perfect because their inner image is rather poor.

Think about your actions, your thoughts, your effort. So let’s say you are out of work, but you are really putting forth a top-notch effort to get a job. Every so often, you falter and get down on yourself when you catch yourself slacking off. It’s hard to maintain that 100% effort no matter who you are, so rather than allow yourself to take the view that you are some kind of loser, think rather of the effort you’ve been putting in. If you sought out some professional help, that’s not the sign of weakness that some suppose, but rather a sign of wisdom on your part to get some help. Good for you!

Back to the movie. There’s a scene in a stairwell with only the Teacher and the most challenging and unruly of the lot. Instead of berating the youth, the teacher asks him if he’d like a job coaching next year’s students on self-defence and boxing. This is something the student can’t initially understand because all he’s done is try to make the teacher’s life miserable. It’s a teachable moment however, in that the teacher builds up his self-esteem by complimenting his skills.

As you move forward today, if your own self-esteem and self-image are low, see if you can jot down on paper three things you really like about yourself – anything. Maybe it’s your hair, your posture, your attitude, your adding skills. If this is an easy exercise, go further and look at doing one thing; a single thing that you could do over the course of THIS day to feel proud of by 5:00p.m. This might be anything from doing some chore around the house, checking out the job bank, applying for a job, calling someone you’ve been putting off calling etc.

When you have accomplished this one single thing, congratulate yourself for having done it. Now that you’ve accomplished and feel good about doing something, repeat this tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll only do one thing again, or maybe you’ll add two things to your list. When you actually accomplish things, and you can see things getting done in black and white, you’ll start seeing movement in your life instead of stagnation. As a result, your self-image, self-respect is likely to rise and you’ll start feeling better about who you are and give yourself some credit for what you could accomplish in the future.

Have a wonderful day.