When I got the axe from a company several years ago, amid the commiseration from my newly-ex co-workers, I heard various forms of these two things:
“This is for the best.”
“It happened for a reason.”
Logically, rationally, I knew they meant well; it’s hard for colleagues who have kept their jobs to know what to say.
I even dispassionately agreed that one day I’d find this out for myself.
But right then in that moment, I took no comfort in those words whatsoever.
This is because I had to get through it all first, connect the dots to get from axed to for-the-best, and I can tell you that those phrases weren’t among the things that helped.
What DOES help?
First, ignore everyone including yourself who says, “This will be for the best”—for right now.
Then do this:
Take things one day at a time.
I know, it’s another adage. But here’s why I think it works better:
When you’re in a situation where life or career feel derailed, chances are you’re also feeling less sure, less secure, and even a bit helpless.
What you’ve got to remember is that you are still everything you were before this happened.
You still have your skills, experience, and knowledge. This new and unwelcome experience can’t take that away from you.
So how do you take things one day at a time?
It’s natural to look at the big picture first. Goals are good things to have! But if you don’t break things up into sizable, doable chunks, you’re just going to feel overwhelmed and more stuck than before.
So yes, have that goal in mind, and then figure out the little steps you can do to reach it.
Looking to break into a new industry? Look up five LinkedIn profiles of people who are already in it and note their skills and qualifications. Then see what you can draw from your own experiences that match.
Or maybe you want to take your mind off of this particular subject for a little while. In that case…
Need to tackle all of your boxes in the attic or basement? Instead of looking at them as a collective, never-ending clump with fangs, start with ONE. Just one. (Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui is excellent to get you started.)
Making things manageable also gives you a clearer picture of what you need to do and where you need to go next.
More things you can do right now
Write positive words and messages down and stick them up everywhere so they’re in front of your eyeballs. Yes, on your mirror, too.
If you’re having trouble giving yourself positive reinforcement because there’s that little voice inside your head saying, “Yeah, but…,” learn to recognize it when it crops up and shove it to one side.
You are so not alone
We’re not born having all the answers. This is something I’d say all of us have fought through, are fighting through, and will fight through again and again. Focus your energies where they need to be focused: On YOU.
When something unfortunate has happened to you, what do you do to keep yourself going?