Hanging up the tie
Credit: William Stonewall Monroe

I lost my job yesterday morning.  I rode in to work, sat down, started to plan my day.  Not five minutes passed before my boss asked if we could chat.  Assuming that he wanted to talk regarding upcoming projects, I walked with him down the hall to a room where another member of management was already sitting.  Something was clearly up.  

Another half hour later and I was back on the bike, full backpack with personal effects, and a dizzying realization.

I was just laid off.

Worrisome, yes.  Devastating, yes.  Shocking, most definitely.

However, there are three, practical steps, that I am using to help myself stay positive, focused, and not let shame or insecurity wreck confidence.

1: Tell friends and family

It is precisely situations like this that friends and family can be of the most use.  Not only are they your first and best social network, they will keep you accountable and be your most passionate cheerleaders.  Shame, fear, and insecurity hate community.  They hate being talked about.  Be humble, share what you are going through with people that love you.  In my circumstance, this support has been invaluable in keeping a fighting spirit.

2: Exercise

The first temptation can be to cut off all of your activities.  Going in to "disaster mode," however, will only further the intensity of the current situation.  The "day after," I woke up at 5:00 AM, brain reeling, one million thoughts bouncing around and not letting me rest.  So I got up and went for a run with our dog.  Exercise leads to success in the physical arena of your life, offsetting what may seem like a failure in your career.  Such small successes lead to the confidence pre-requisite to finding your desired next position.

3: Feed your mind

Invest in some good books.  If you don't feel like you have the funds, use the local library's shelves as a resource.  Here is are two books that have been instrumental for me.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

This book will help you understand what to do with your natural shame, insecurity, and fear.

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller 

Practical steps to take each day.  This book is full of inspiration and good advice.

Persist.  Life is not over.

 

48 Days to the Work You Love
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(price as of May 1, 2015)