I’m at the end of my rope. I have a degree in accounting and business administration, but I’ve been looking for a job for 18 months and can’t find one. We are deeply in debt and the creditors are at our door. My self-esteem is at rock bottom and I am really discouraged. I'm doing everything I can to fix my situation, but nothing is going right and my family is suffering. Do you have any advice for me?
There is plenty of information out there on finding a job; I want to give you something different. I want you to help you look at your situation in a different way, because changing your perspective can totally change the experience.
Here are some principles that might change your perspective:
Principle: This situation is not who you are.
Don't define yourself by this situation and let it affect your self-worth. This situation is a location on your journey through life; it is not who you are.
Think of it this way: If you were on vacation and driving through Texas, would that make you a Texan? No. Texas is just a location, and a location has nothing to do with who you are as a person.
This unemployment situation is not who you are, either. Don't tie your value to it. Choose to see this experience as a drive through a rough part of town. It will soon be over, and you are the same you, no matter where you are.
Principle: Challenges are in your life for a reason.
Have you ever seen a chick trying to hatch from an egg? You might be tempted to intervene and help the little guy. But you can’t do that. Do you know why? This struggle is a divine process designed to make him strong. If you intervene and help him out, he will die.
Your current situation may be facilitating the same kind of process for you. The universe may be letting you fight your way out of this one for a while in order to help you grow stronger. That may be the only reason help hasn't arrived.
The good news is, you are not meant to struggle forever. You are meant to get out of this. If you keep fighting and refuse to give up, you will make it through.
Principle: Don’t give this situation the power to hurt you.
You are an amazing, divine, incomparable human being. No situation or experience can take that away from you (and no location can diminish who you are, either). Nothing can change your infinite and absolute value -- not even the state of unemployment.
Imagine Superman stopping some bank robbers who pepper him with bullets. Imagine how he might laugh at their attempts to hurt him because their bullets have no effect on him. They bounce right off.
You can choose to let these difficult experiences and failures bounce off you, too. They don't change who you are. You are bigger than these setbacks, debts and challenges. Choose to be bulletproof and maintain confidence in your abilities. You cannot be diminished by a situation.
Principle: The past does not predict the future.
Just because you struggled yesterday does not mean you will struggle tomorrow. Choose to see your life as a fluid state that is always changing. If things have gone bad recently, then you have an upturn coming.
Principle: Optimism creates the best results.
Imagine your life as a journey around a mountain. Standing where you are, you cannot see what’s around the next corner. It could be a wonderful experience or it could be a disaster -- it is impossible to know which the universe has in store.
Standing in this place, you only have two options:
Choose to trust that good things are coming. Choose gratitude for what you have and believe a brighter future is around the corner. It may be the only positive choice you have. It is not easy to stay positive when the outlook is bleak, but you can do it, and it does help.
Keep practicing. Whenever you find yourself in a frustrating, defeated or depressing situation, remember that it is just a location on your journey. It is not who you are, it can’t diminish you, and it is in your life to help you grow.
Make sure you are seeing the situation accurately and then choose optimism, because the only other option is misery and only makes things worse.
You can do this.
Let’s perform a miracle together
If you read this article and have any suggestions or connections to get this young father a job interview, please contact Coach Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have visited with him and he's a competent, intelligent person and would be a great employee.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.