In the past few months, uncertainty and general fear about the future has plagued my daily life. Struggling to find solid employment but also fulfill my dreams is not within reach. Uncertainty, for the lack of a better word, has burrowed its way deep inside of me and I’m trying very hard to purge it. Panic ensues.
A resource that has and occasionally comes to my assistance is the book, Feeling Good by David D. Burns.
Suggested to me by counsellors, friends, and psychologists, it indeed helps with critically analyzing these daunting thoughts which can ultimately pull you down to the ground. Truthfully, it has helped with identifying and objectifying negative thoughts. In doing so, I give myself a time limit when I am allowed to think about such things.
I would like to highlight that I’m not ‘perfect’ and I’m not there yet. I have waves of positivity and equally, waves of negativity. These are the things that I am learning:
1. This will pass – don’t just say it, trust it. It will. This is just discomfort and it won’t last forever. In those dark moments, just remind yourself objectively what it is — a dark moment. Unemployment is not forever – even though it might seem like it.
2. This is not a bad thing. A few months ago when I was just new to the unemployment force and did it ever hit me. However, I had to face this at some point. I wasn’t going to stay in school forever and that period when I am not working, looking for a fulfilling job was going to come. Whatever struggle you are facing, your doing it now and it’s better facing it than not facing it.
3. Stop the comparison – we are all the same. It’s actually very funny that I write this now as this is probably one of my sorest spots. I am convinced that everyone is better off than me. Every where I go, I see people and I automatically assume that they are more successful, employed and therefore much happier than I am. The reality: You simply do not know the lives of others and just because someone may appear to be ‘happy’ or dressed a certain way does not mean they are. However, I realize that you cannot wipe these feelings of inadequacy away just like that. So what am I doing? Just what I said before: identifying when I begin to compare and objectify this negative comparison.
4. Find the warrior. Within us all, there lies this fighter that resists this negativity associated with uncertainty. This is the part inside of us that wants to change, browses through the self-help section in bookstores and reads blogs that can in one way or another inform us of ways to quash this contagious negativity. I have started to connect more with this warrior by letting it remind the negativity that its time is up. I give the warrior permission to defend me when the negativity is just too strong. I think you can too.
I do not know the answers for solving persistent negativity and uncertainty, but these are things that I am using to cope. I am not immune but these approaches are better than nothing.