How to love yourself during an uncertain time.
Being unemployed is hard. It is scary and nerve wracking, challenging and at times depressing. It is easy to get discouraged. You may want to throw everything up in the air and give up. Sending resume and cover letters day after day can become mind numbing and frustrating. Getting an interview gives a much-needed burst of energy, and then the fear creeps in and the preparation phase begins. And then maybe you interview one, two, or three times and are told that you were really great for the position but that they just went with someone else. And so back to the drawing board we go. Does this sound like you?
Being unemployed is tough. Trust me, I get it. I’ve wanted to scream and then just cry. Why won’t someone pay me for my skills?!? However frustrating it has been at times, in my 6 months of post-college unemployment I have learned a great deal about the world and myself, and am stronger because of it.
It might be easy to see this time as wasted, as a period of life without direction. Reflect upon these 4 tips to nourish your soul while you job hunt. You will see that it isn’t all bad, and you might end up appreciating this special period of life.
1) Change the way you look at unemployment.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer
You can lay in bed all night thinking how much it sucks that you don’t have a job, going over your expenses over and over in your head, and driving yourself right into a state of complete exhaustion or depression solely through your negative mental chatter. You can do that OR you can CHOOSE to see things differently. Being unemployed means you have a lot of time on your hands, time that you probably won’t have again for a very long time once you find a job (and you will!). TIME is a GIFT. Recognize it as such. When will you have time like this again? Being employed is great, but realize NOW that once you are employed you might just miss all this time you had for YOURSELF!
So change your perception of how you view your unemployment and unemployment might not seem so bad. You might actually enjoy the journey!
2) Do things you have been putting off!
“Let us cultivate our garden” - Voltaire
Dive into your yoga practice, read those books you’ve always wanted to read, call your family every week (or everyday if that sounds nice) for a long conversation, or write that novel you’ve been thinking about for years. Learn something new. Enroll in that French class or learn how to cook. Go on an adventure every week or plant a garden. Write letters to old friends or volunteer to a cause you believe in. Explore all the coffee shops in your city or treat yourself to a date night. Dance around your home between job applications and learn how to feng shui. Discover who YOU are. Do one of these soul-enriching activities a day and I GUARANTEE you will not see unemployment as a waste of time. Further, you are taking the time to work on yourself and to love yourself, job or no job, and those skills and abilities will remain forever with you. Unemployment does not define you. Rather, you can choose to utilize it to SERVE YOU!
3) Believe that you can.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford
It is easy to become frustrated when receiving rejection after rejection (or maybe not hearing anything at all after submitting applications!) and to get down on yourself. Self-esteem is a tricky fellow, and you might find yourself on the low end. Don’t let this get to you. Remember that the people who read your application probably don’t really know you. A rejection isn’t a commentary of who you are as a person. Remember that YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER TO THIS WORLD and continue trying. Surround yourself with people that love you and encourage you. Believe the best things they say about you and then tell it to yourself.
4) Challenge that inner chatter: utilize mantras.
“Every thought we think is creating our future” – Louise Hay
Become aware of your inner dialogue. What does it say to you? The average person will think between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. What if each and every one of those thoughts was nourishing, self-affirming, kind and loving? What would your life look like? Instead of thinking “I hate this! I’m wasting my time!” try to repeat “I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing." Or instead of thinking “I’m not good enough” you state over and over again “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it”. Think of the life you can create for yourself. Feel it. Live as though you have already become what you strive to be. You can be your worst enemy or your best ally. Choose your thoughts wisely, as they become your reality.
Best of luck with the job hunt. And most of all, remember to love yourself throughout this journey.