One of the best things you can do when you feel like a failure is challenge your perception.
When you have no job, feeling like a failure isn’t uncommon. The problem comes in when you give too much thought to your “lack of success” and failure becomes your identity. When this happens, failure weighs you down. The weight becomes so heavy, you find it hard to do what you can to better your situation and look ahead.
If you’ve been carrying the weight of failure while you’re unemployed, then here are 3 reasons you should release it.
1. The Weight Of Failure Makes You View It Negatively
You think failure is who you are when you carry this heavy weight. As a result, you go through a cycle of negativity. This negativity is destructive. Why? Because you forget an important truth: failure shows you tried.
You planned and executed your plan. Determined a university. Declared a major. Went to class for years. Graduated. Looked forward to getting a job in your field but haven’t yet accomplished this goal.
On the other hand, you might’ve gotten a job after college but now find yourself out of a job for some reason. You’ve been applying for jobs, but what’s been happening? So far, you’ve failed to land a job offer.
But guess what matters more? You took action along the way and continue to do so. You didn’t let thoughts of failure stop you from embarking on your journey to professionalism. And still don’t despite rejections and let downs.
It’s a disappointing experience, no doubt. However, it shows how courageous you are. All you can do is give the job search your best efforts. From there, you learn, better yourself, and start over — with the wisdom acquired.
2. The Weight Of Failure Makes You Forget You’re On Your Own Journey
Unemployment not only brings feelings of failure, but it also brings the comparison temptation.
How often do you compare yourself to others (online or offline) and feel discouraged? How often do you question how others are securing job offers and you’re not? How often do you wonder why others are advancing professionally but you’re failing?
If you answered “often,” then you’ve most likely fallen into the comparison trap. This isn’t a healthy activity because this type of comparison increases the weight of failure. It leaves you feeling worse than others.
In an article on the Coloradoan, Dr. Lloyd Thomas, a Licensed Psychologist, states:
“. . . As adults, when we compare ourselves to others, it is usually to evaluate ourselves as “worse than” or “better than” or “equal to” other people. When we measure ourselves against others, it causes us psychological harm.”
So, instead of engaging in unhealthy comparison behavior — and forgetting you’re on your own journey — consider the following tips:
- Adjust Your Thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts, take them captive and replace them with truth. This is an important tip because your thoughts affect your actions. If you believe you’ll never make money (again), then you’ll never explore every legitimate opportunity available.
- Accept Your Life And Career Journey (Including Your Failure). There might be similarities, but everyone has their own unique journeys in life. Don’t focus on the journeys of others. Instead, focus on your own and move forward courageously. Keep believing you can still succeed — or succeed again — at the right time.
- Be Grateful For Your Achievements To Date. Take time regularly and do the following: remind yourself about your accomplishments. Think about the compliments you received in previous roles and jobs. Think about the people you’ve helped along the way. When you do this, you’ll be grateful for what you’ve done without a focus on what you haven’t done yet.
3. The Weight Of Failure Makes You Forget (And Reject The Possibility Of) Other Successful Outcomes
Failing hurts. Rejections sting in the job hunting process. But please don’t forget your other accomplishments.
Sure, you haven’t yet met your expectation of quickly landing a job offer. But remember, you’ve been successful in other things along the way: entering and graduating from high school, college, and for some, graduate school. You’ve acquired knowledge and valuable skills along the way. You have natural talents, which allows you to help yourself and others.
Please don’t take these things for granted because you’ve failed to find a job.
It’s easier to focus on the negatives when you’re dealing with unemployment challenges. I know. Yet, the better choice is to focus on your past and present successes with gratitude.
You might’ve noticed I also said “present successes.” Here’s why: you can accomplish things while you’re unemployed. You know this, right?
In my case, if employers hadn’t rejected me, then I wouldn’t have started blogging. I wouldn’t have learned content writing, online marketing, and other skills.
I took the stings of rejection personally, but I didn’t let them stop my quest for professional knowledge and growth.
So to you: don’t let unemployment stop you from remembering past accomplishments. Additionally, don’t let unemployment leave you blinded to your accomplishments now. If you haven’t yet accomplished something because your failure has you down, please know failure isn’t the end unless you allow it to be. So, do what you can each day to move forward. Professionally, this might include:
- Determining your strengths and the ways they’ll benefit an employer
- Focusing on what you want to achieve in your career
- Tailoring your cover letter and resume (for a job you want) to better your chance of interviewing
- Trying something new (learning and applying a new skill, for example)
These steps are small, but this isn’t a problem. What matters is you’re moving forward with action and hope.
If you’ve been feeling like a failure while you’re looking for a job, then please believe this: you’re not a failure. In the words of Zig Ziglar,
“. . . failure is an event . . .”
It won’t negatively impact your career without your allowance. So, though it won’t be easy, make an effort to let go of this weight. Consider its benefits. Use it as a learning opportunity. Better yourself, do what you can to move on from your “lack of success,” and look onward.
Take things one day (and step) at a time, with your head held up high.
Featured photo credit: Milada Vigerova via unsplash.com