It is one thing to feel a sense of personal power when things are going well for you, but it is when you know how to keep personal power during traumatic life events that you are able to surf the ups and downs of life with more grace and ease. Being able to do this is actually a type of maturity. Learning the skills associated with how to keep personal power under any circumstances is both grounding and liberating.
When we face any kind of trauma in our lives –the loss of a loved one, an illness, a major setback, etc. -we experience intense emotions associated with the events. This might be grief or anger. These heavy negative emotions are a normal and healthy part of the traumatic event, but, over time, can begin to warp our perspective and impact our ability to move forward. It is necessary to feel and honor these emotions as well as connect to a deeper sense of personal truth and faith.
Emotions associated with traumatic events need time, space, and holding. We can recognize that they come in waves. That we need to be willing to sit with them, or thrash with them, or whatever else, depending on the requirements. That we need to make sure to give them the time they need to be felt and honored and to run their course.
We benefit from putting ourselves in situations and around people who can be with us and our emotional experience, so that we do not run the risk of re-wounding ourselves. This support helps us avoid the pitfalls of a lonesome mind that might convince us that we are alone or unlovable because of how we are feeling. We also benefit from recognizing when the emotional process needs to come to a close and allowing ourselves to rise up again.
Regardless of what is going on in our emotional process, we are in a simultaneous process of the further refinement of our personal power. The two are not separate. They are intended to influence each other. However, we often get stuck in the emotional processing and fail to see the opportunities for growth and power that are inherent in the circumstances we are facing. We lose contact with our own sense of personal power.
To access our personal power we need to begin to believe that all events in life are conspiring to bring us home to ourselves. That, regardless of circumstances, our own heart and truth is able to be revealed to us. That we can take deliberate action to move towards what we most deeply want.
Clarify how we want to feel: When all is said and done, what matters more than outcomes is how we feel before and after we achieve those outcomes. By figuring out how you want to feel on a day-to-day – or even situational – basis, we deepen our personal power in our life.
Envision what we want to create: While how we feel in the now is of infinite importance, it is still helpful to know what we are moving towards. This does not mean that we need to be ready to take action to move ourselves in that direction (we may or may not be). Just knowing where we are headed is often enough. This shows us that our circumstance is temporary and a larger unfolding is imminent.
Foster these states: To fully claim our personal power, we can foster the states of being that support our intended outcome, or take action in that direction. These actions give us a sense of agency in our lives. The results of our efforts teach us about how much power we have to create what we want in our lives.
Pay attention to where we are going: There are numerous signs along the road of life. When we start to pay attention to what is going on around us, when we begin to move in the direction of what feels good to us, when we claim the things that align with our vision based on these signs… we remember that life is on our side and that, no matter the current challenge, we can find our way to something better.
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Whether you lost your job because of a company cut back, a major mistake, or a personal issue, losing your job can cut to the core of how you feel about yourself and can seriously affect your ability to carry on with life as usual. As with any difficult time, it is incredibly important to take action that affirms who you are and allows you to regain personal power after losing your job.
This list of practices will help you figure out how to regain your power after losing your job, but it isn’t only that! This is a list to keep someplace you will see it every day — to remind you to keep doing things that will help you stay on track, pick yourself up, and move on with your life after challenges.
Give yourself a moment to breath: Like any loss, grief is a healthy part of the process of losing your job. It is all too easy to move on too quickly and not give ourselves a moment to feel the impact of what has happened. When you bolt from pain like this it actually holds you back later on in life. Taking some time to grieve now will mean that you will be less likely to get really off track when you start moving forward.Focus on what you did right: Without being defensive or negative, remember that even if you lost your job, there were many things that went right for you and that you did, in fact, do right. Take stock of how you were successful and effective in your job. This will help you to feel better and to better represent yourself when looking for future work.
Learn from your mistakes: Again, without being defensive or negative, take an honest inventory of where you might have done better or what you might have done differently. Any “failed” situation provides us with new insights into how we might change our behavior to get better results. Yes, there are situation that are totally out of our control, but it can never hurt to consider how you might do things differently going forward.
Get support: You will need support in many ways to continue to move forward: emotional support from family and friends, professional development support in getting yourself ready to get back in the job market, networking support in contact the right people, and so on. Independence and self-isolation are not the same thing. You cannot do this alone and it is counterproductive to your empowerment and happiness for you to try. Embrace the resources around you!
Take action: There is a time to pause and a time to take action. If you want another job, you will benefit from creating an action plan and strategy for getting a new job and moving forward. When you take action you will feel more powerful and capable in your life. This will result in both short and long term gains.
Reframe: Is the sudden increase in your free time after the loss of your job a benefit or a detractor from your life? Is it possible that losing your job is actually freeing you to find something better? These are the kinds of reframes that empower you to take action and make change. As bad as things are, try to open to the potential positive impact of every situation. Ask yourself, what is the good that will come out of this?
Keep your Perspective: There is no doubt that losing your job is a life experience that most of us want to avoid. Nevertheless, it is an experience that many of us do have. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, it does not mean much of anything about who you are or what you are capable of. Keep your self-talk framed around “I lost my job, now what?” instead of “I lost my job, I am worthless.” Avoid making this experience mean more than it does.
Stay the course: If you have a difficult time finding work after losing your job, keep practicing this list of suggestions. Each of these practices will keep you feeling more powerful in your circumstance. Do not worry if you have a bad day. Just get back on track as soon as you can.