You’re facing some huge challenges in your life right now and it sucks. It really does. Whether you are dealing with an incompetent co-worker who seems to be going out their way to trip you up, or you are in the middle of a job search for that next move that will catapult you into a new phase of your career, or you are dealing with the breakdown of something and/or someone you had come to believe would be there for you through thick and thin – you are not alone. You might have convinced yourself that you are, but you’re not.
Find the Courage to Share Your Story
I’ve had my sense of normality ripped out from underneath me several times, I’ve had friendships and relationships break down or drift away for many different reasons, and I’ve become far more familiar with job hunting than I ever thought I would be at this stage in my career. And there are more people like me out there. People who can share their stories of those dark moments when they weren’t sure whether there was a light at the end of the tunnel, never mind being able to see it. And those same people, like me, will probably tell many stories of what they held onto and learned during those times that helped them to eventually see that light and to keep moving towards it, and how glad they are now that they did.
You see, while no one knows exactly how you are feeling and how whatever is going on with you right now is affecting you, that doesn’t stop you or them from connecting over feelings of sadness, overwhelm, fear, and disappointment. When you can find some courage to share your stories, you give permission to others to have the courage to share theirs. And very quickly, you don’t feel so alone any more in your struggles.
Building Connection and Resilience
By having the courage to talk about it, you’ll learn what got others through their difficult times, what they learned from their experiences, and what advice they would give to themselves that would have helped along the way. They’ll tell you what they found to inspire them, reward themselves for progress made, or keep their motivation going. These are the things they found that gave them the resilience they needed to keep picking themselves back up and moving forwards.
There are many things that can help us to build our resilience. It might be a person (a child, significant other, friend), or an activity you enjoy (exercise, listening to music that inspires you, meeting friends for coffee), or honouring a commitment you have made, or staying true to yourself and embracing the journey of self-discovery you are on – seeing what you are currently facing as the most valuable opportunity to learn some life lessons and contribute to your wealth of experience and your growth.
You always have a choice. What’s happening to you right now probably sucks, and who you will become as a result of it is a powerful choice you get to make. Will you let your situation defeat you, or will you choose to accept it for what it is and find a way to fight through it that will allow you to eventually look back and know that it contributed to making you into the awesome person you are now?
It’s Never the End of the World – No Matter How Much You Try to Convince Yourself!
Getting laid off when on a work visa in the US, with a mortgage, and the world economy collapsing around me, and an apartment that was worth only half of what it was mortgaged for seemed like the end of the world for me six years ago. But I’d recently met someone who unknowingly provided me with inspiration and determination I needed to solve the unemployment problem and figure out a way to legally stay in the US. The side benefit was that I wasn’t going to default on my mortgage and lose all the money I’d got as inheritance that allowed me to buy my apartment in the first place. (Although to everyone else this was the main reason I was staying because it was just too ridiculous to admit to wanting to stay because I’d met someone ten days earlier who I intuitively knew would be very special to me).
I also wasn’t about to give up on myself and let the circumstances control me – so I fought. I gathered knowledge from many sources, intent that the answer had to be somewhere. I networked, I figured out my options, and pursued all of them as fully as I could, refusing to give up until immigration rules would force it.
And while that next job only lasted a year and I subsequently undertook an annual job search for the next four years, each time I found that having survived the last round, I had more resilience to do it all over again, to keep searching for something that fitted in with my overall concept of what I wanted for my career, for my life, and for myself, learning and adapting that concept along the way. And so far, it’s worked. Many things have changed in the mean time and I did eventually have to leave the US and return to the UK, but each of those decisions was taken at the right time, in the right way, and for the right reasons.
I’m now “back” to where I was six years ago – contributing and growing in my field of learning and development within a corporate environment – and I’ve learned and gathered so much experience along the way and had the opportunity to learn so many valuable life lessons. The adversity I faced on a professional and personal level has catapulted me into a whole new spectrum of my life and career, including introducing me to the world of coaching – and that is something I will never, ever, regret.
Share Your Insights
Now it’s your turn. What are some of the things that have provided you with the resilience you have needed to keep moving forward? Share with us in the comments section below.
Your First Stepping Stone
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