Article by Eleanor Tweddell, founder of Another Door and author of Why losing your job could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
When you first lose your job it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s a good thing. That awful gut-wrenching moment when you hear those words ‘we are going to have to let you go’.
The emptiness, confusion, muddle thoughts that follows. Then the panic, the worry, the overwhelming feeling of what to do next. And in amongst all these emotions you are trying to find a solution. A way through. Another job.
But. Could this moment be a chance? A chance to pause. Not so much a 4 week backpacking pause in Thailand. But just a pause and slowing down of your thoughts. A chance to get unbusy. Give yourself a break. Rest. Reflect.
When was the last time you paused and listened to yourself?
Could this be a moment where you are allowed to think. Not just worry thinking, but quality, deep thinking about you and what you want. Where your thinking might lead ideas, and that might turn into solutions and action, and in fact from that moment of despair turns into something good and exciting.
A change in your work is an opportunity for a change in your life. ‘But I was all good thanks’ you might say. But were you? We get busy. We all do it. We fill our lives with stuff that we think we have to do. To do lists. The Inbox. Rewriting, rethinking, redoing things that were actually good enough in the first place. We fill our time with doing. Losing your job gives you a chance to just be for a while.
Being given the time to think is a gift. It might not feel like it at first, and you will go through the grief curve and embrace your loss, but when you are ready to look forward you will see opportunity. You have to move forward so why not move forward with you fully in the driving seat. The moment you know you have a choice is the moment you take back control.
Five things you can do to help you
- Swap worry energy for stillness – of course your inner voices will be in panic zone, playing out worst possible scenarios, telling you this is a nightmare, reminding you that it’s not fair. These are your voices. You control them. Imagine if you swapped those voices for more calmness, telling you it’s going to be ok. Telling you to look after yourself, telling you to be kind to others, telling you to smile. How much better would you feel?
- Do the work on knowing facts – what is a fact, and what are you assuming, guessing, surmising, over analysing. Start with knowing your numbers, how much money do you need, do you have, when are bills due, what can you stop. Don’t waste energy on things you don’t know for sure. Use energy finding out and knowing facts.
- Be ok to wallow a bit – you do not have to push yourself to be positive, or to constantly take action, or constantly be busy. You can just feel a bit low for a while. Do things you love in this time, without guilt, without overthinking. Watch your favourite films, read your favourite books, go for walks – just do stuff you like. Enjoy your wallow time.
- Get a notebook and scribble stuff down – anything that comes into your head. How you feel, ideas, thoughts, what people have said, what’s annoying you, what made you smile. Write it all down. Journaling and writing has known therapeutic qualities, as well as helping the process of understanding what you actually want, and what is going on for you.
- Know your ideal scenario – Spend time thinking about what the best case scenario would be if your ideal situation came along tomorrow – what would it be, what’s going on, why is it the ideal scenario, how would you feel, what did you do for it to happen.
You have to work, slowly but surely, on your mind chatter. Each day moving yourself into a space of control and optimism, curiosity and open mindedness. You have to let go of things that aren’t helping you move on, and allow for room for good stuff to come in.
Losing your job is a shock – but once you’ve embraced the loss, you can see it as gifted space to think and breathe. Time to declutter your life mentally, and physically. Make room for the new stuff coming along.
Keep an open mind, remain hopeful, be optimistic. A door maybe closing for you, but if you give yourself space to think, allow ideas to roam, could it be, could it possibly be, a good thing could come out of this for you.
So maybe they did ‘have to let you go’ after all.
They had to let you go so that you can soar, so that you can fly so high that you may not be able to see or hear them anymore, so that you can go out there in the World and show it what you’ve got.
You can make losing your job a good thing. It’s not easy. But it is possible.
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