Being a career collective blogger gives me a monthly reminder that people living with illness face the same issues as healthy people. This month’s questions are (you can find links to my fellow blogger posts at the end of this article):
What do you do when you’re really, really, really discouraged about your unsuccessful job search?
How do you overcome the negative aspects of a job search?
Unemployment, like illness, can be a highly negative force in a person’s life. Facing either or both can be daunting. It’s easy to feel like you’re sinking in quicksand.
But it doesn’t have to devastate. And that’s the challenge, isn’t it?
We, human beings, have the mental ability to figure out how to overcome even the nastiest situations. But we can also get undone by our own negative thoughts.
Take a moment and think back to a time in your life when all seemed hopeless. What helped you move from that place? We attribute a lot to luck but more often it was your mental attitude that made it happen.
When I was my 20’s, there was a phrase – and book – that became popular, “Be here now.” I thought it meant don’t worry about the future or dwell on the past. It was appealing but felt out of my reach.
Living with unpredictable and debilitating illness, I’ve developed my skills to “be here now” (although far from mastery!) and learned to appreciate what this thinking can do. Simply put, if you can only feel worry when you think about the future, you’re not improving a situation. But when you consider what’s ahead and think about how to meet it, you’re more likely to stay balanced, strong and confident.
Similarly, when you can only think about past deeds and “beat up” yourself or others for what went wrong, you’re wasting your time and draining your energy. But when you use what has happened to form plans based on that knowledge, you are maximizing your resources.
In other words, when you think strategically, you can let go of the worry and negativity that pull you down. That allows you to feel hope and let the positive energy be heard.
Yes, easier said than done. That’s why I’m giving you some 2 tactics that can help you get your strategic thinking skill moving:
When you start to dwell on the bad things that have happened, list on paper what you’ve tried in your search, what has worked and why, what has not worked and why, and what can you learn from this.
When you start to dwell on the bleak outlook that you see ahead, list on paper what you’ve tried that you might do differently, what you haven’t tried, what it would take and what you can do to make it happen.
It’s not a magic bullet. But there is magic when we can see the opportunities that help us climb out – or better yet, avoid – the quicksand.
Want to read more on this topic?Here are titles and links to the other careercollective bloggers: