By Geeta RamaKrishnan
Our life is filled with challenges, and with COVID, we have even more challenges and changes thrown at us whether we like it or not. As women, we take on and juggle multiple roles as daughters, mothers, spouses, housekeepers, caregivers, professionals, and now default homeschooling teachers, cooks, and handymen to name a few. And in this juggling act, we often give priority to work, family, and last to ‘Me’.
With these demands and wanting to be seen as capable and confident, we bring on a lot of anxiety and stress in our lives and at work. While a little bit of anxiety is good as it pushes us to perform, being anxious 24/7 causes the logical thinking capacity of our brains to shut down. It also affects our physical and mental health. But with COVID comes the fear of losing our jobs, worrying about our next EMI, and these are real threats.
And what do you do when the worst happens to you and you are laid off from your job. What can you do that will help?
a. Acknowledge our Emotions
It is ok to feel that pain, some sadness, the rejection, and the fear thereafter. Acknowledging is the first big step. We are all humans and it is ok to fail. We cannot be superheroes all the time. Once we acknowledge the emotions, and the reality sinks in, our mind is better prepared to handle the next best step.
b. Embrace your imperfection.
Tell yourself that you are not perfect, and it is ok to fail. ‘Words’ play an important role in conveying the emotion to the mind making it more acceptable. Tell yourself I am up to taking this ‘challenge’ instead of telling yourself, ‘this always happens to me, what will I do now. There are only two choices in such situations: to complain, blame everyone around you, or to accept the situation and now learn to handle it. Embracing your imperfection opens your mind to a flexible learning mindset.
c. Look at Failure as an Opportunity
Articulate ‘failure is an opportunity. You lost your job, and you think you will not get such a similar dream job again in this failing market. So have you tried exploring different types of jobs? Is monetary gain the only criterion? Questioning your thought process will challenge your brain to expand. Be curious to try out new things, learn new skills. The worst that will happen is you will fail again, accepting that reality will give you an opportunity to do better. Many times the loss of a job could be a golden opportunity to explore something you always wanted to do but hadn’t gotten to yet. I came across a creative head of a corporate company, who lost his job and had a family to support, he finally got a push to become an entrepreneur. And that is a success story…because he did not give up.
d. Change is Learning is Growth
Change is never an easy road, especially if we don’t get to choose it. But with change comes learning and growth. The important takeaway is to think: What can I learn from my failure? There is always a lesson if we look for it. Trying new things opens our minds, makes us more flexible, and lets us enjoy the process. But often it is what society, our friends, our loved ones will think of us, is what puts us down and we put ourselves down. The people around you will be more inspired with your ‘never give up attitude, and you can inspire them. This only translates to your increase in self-confidence vs your loss of self-esteem you bring upon yourself.
e. Acceptance and Flexibility brings a Positive Attitude
Let us take the ‘RESPONSE-ABILITY’ of the situation into our hands, rather than play the blame game and play victim of the situation. Automatically you are adapting to acceptance and a positive attitude. Most of the time we set our vision in stone. We want our dream job, we want our dream house, our dream partner, and even our dream pet. We have it all in our mind, how success should look like. And dreaming is important as without any vision or goals, you can feel stuck in life. But even when one of these fails, we are shattered and feel dejected. Now having a positive attitude, an attitude of ‘I will succeed no matter what is what helps brings flexibility, openness, and a sense of ‘being brave to try different things even if it fails’ attitude. Our brain functions to its optimum in this positive attitude, opening up its creative problem-solving side, helping us adapt and change our goalpost to an updated version, in tune with today.