I was reading an Arthur Ashe quote on twitter the other day and it stuck with me. I had read the quote many times and I have tweeted it out myself too. This time was different. The quote was embedded in a picture of a small purple flower growing out of a crack in an asphalt parking lot. The plant even though contained by its growing conditions look lush and thriving. I have been thinking about that picture everyday since I have seen it. The seed that that plant grew from did not think; “I would be better off if I were in a flower pot.” It just started where it was and made the most of its opportunity and it became I thriving plant.
That plant gives me something to think about when things are not going right for me. Here is the Arthur Ashe quote: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
How are you going to be like that plant today?
Recently I was told that my department was no longer going to be doing its work in-house and that it would be jobbed out. For the first time in a long time I had to actively look for a job. I am going to share with you three things that I do to keep myself positive during this process.
First: Face Your Problem. Winston Churchill once said: “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!” Own up to the fact that you have to look for a job. No one likes looking for a job. But now you have too.
Second: Do something everyday that moves you closer to your next position. Nothing fights anxiety like action. Take some action everyday. It does not have to be major. Register for a company’s talent network. Send a resume to a company that may not be hiring. Or, go to a networking event.
Third: Eliminate Don’t, not and no from your self talk. Frame everything as a positive experience. It is ok if you did not get the job because the correct job is waiting for you.
Try these and other methods and you can turn a rough experience in to something nthat you can benefit from.
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
This is my first blog on the subject of “participation” awards. I suspect that I will have many more because I have several ideas on this subject. I have participated in many 5K, 10K, and other runs as part of my fitness plan. Many of these runs give medals to all who complete the run. I also have earned many medals for finishing first. second, or third in my age group. Often people will give you praise for one of the medals that I have for finishing in the top three and say nothing about the others. I have heard from people that they were “put down” for getting their “participation” medals. Their lots of reasons that this thinking is wrong. I will deal with three of them here:
First, I truly believe that the only competition that you have is with your last performance. If you are running a race, then your competition is your last race. If you are working, then your competition might be having better quality than you did on a previous project. Either way you deserve to be rewarded for improvement.
Second, success breeds success. How we talk to ourselves is so very important. Once you show yourself that you can hit a goal in one endeavor, it will give you confidence in other endeavors.
Third, you have done something that people often find difficult to do. You finished something. You set out to do something, and then you did it. This is also evidence to yourself that you finish what you start. Even if it is difficult.
Next time that you receive a medal, a ribbon, or a certificate for finishing something give it and yourself the respect that you and the award deserve.