I am talking with my coach about how changing just one thing can change everything, or at least improve things. It’s definitely applicable to anyone, as well as to all job seekers. Here are the things we came up with:
* Making your bed. If people are coming back to your home or apartment, there’s no anxiety – it’s ready to go. And it’s a self-esteem building exercise. You’re a grown-up, you take of your environment and yourself. It feels less chaotic. I started doing it when I was 23 and someone suggested that I could build self-esteem by taking “esteemable” actions. I love knowing that my home is tidy and welcoming when people come to my house.
* Do one thing every day to take of yourself. It could be doing dishes, cleaning email, reading something uplifting, sweeping the kitchen. It’s a discipline. It becomes part of your routine and you come to know yourself as consistent, dependable, and reliable. It changes how you think about yourself. And that new confidence will impart itself to other people. I have cats, and I get self-esteem for myself and love from them by feeding them, changing the litter boxes, playing with them, petting them, and taking care of their medical needs. I also do that for myself (well, not the litter box).
* Fill the car up before it goes below half-full. I’m doing this now, because I have a habit of letting the tank get completely empty. I believe this is the way I treat my body and my energy – getting depleted and not maintaining any reserves. I’m approaching the issue obliquely, from a different angle, to see if keeping my car full of gas will help me keep my body full of energy. My hope is that I heal my adrenal system, which is very stressed.
* Start doing something nice for yourself when you do something nice for someone else. You matter. If I can rely on myself to care for myself, then I can trust myself to take care of myself with other people and in any situation. I’m training myself to think of myself as important. I now always buy myself a present at Christmas and that way I have at least one thing I love 🙂 and I don’t feel deprived, like a martyr, or envious of other people.
* Take the road your intuition tells you to take. This is a way to begin to trust your intuition. Instead of mindlessly taking the same route, see how you feel when you are driving or walking. Your intuition will tell you which way to go next. Practice listening to it and following it. We don’t know if something terrible will happen if you don’t; that’s not necessary to explore. The point is to practice listening to your inner voice, and then you can do it in other circumstances. I did this about 20 years ago when I lived in NYC. It began me on a road to trusting my gut instinct and intuition about many circumstances. Trusting my intuition has saved me from some disasters, brought great and small pleasures, and helped me when I coach people. When I ignore my intuition, I end up in traffic jams.
* Say “and” instead of “but.” I learned that if you say “but” after a phrase, most people ignore the first phrase and focus on the second half. “But” negates the first half of the sentence. “I really enjoy spending time with you but I don’t have a lot of time.” What do you focus on? Probably not the first half. I hear that you don’t have time to spend with me. That hurts; perhaps I get angry or I withdraw. How different the sentence is when it’s written “I really enjoy spending time with you and I don’t have a lot of time.” I hear you want to find time to spend with me. It’s totally different. The feeling created is much more loving and generous. I suggested this to one of my staff people. He came back and said his marriage improved once he started saying “and” instead of “but.”
* Log on to LinkedIn once a day. Spend 5 to 15 minutes exploring jobs, groups, people you want to connect with, the news, other people’s updates. See what happens with your job search. I know people who have gotten jobs because someone saw their update, or because they connected to someone, or applied for a job, or saw that a recruiter was looking at their profile and they contacted the recruiter. If you’re not there, you won’t know what is happening. Also, you are putting energy toward your job search and the universe will support your intention.
* Walk around the block when you go out to get lunch. A friend normally goes to get lunch, immediately returns to work, and eats at her desk. By the end of the week, she is wiped out. Her work environment is really stressful. So she’s going to try adding a short walk to her lunch trip. She can do everything else the same. We’ll see what happens if she has this time to move her body, observe the world around, think without interruptions, even do a walking meditation. I think she’ll feel better at the end of the week. We’ll see!
I think of it as the “butterfly effect” – you know, the theory scientists have that if a butterfly flaps its wings in North America, there is a monsoon in India. The idea is that everything is connected, so changing one thing will affect everything. T. Harv Eker says “how you do anything is how you do everything” so this is a chance for you to do something differently and hopefully produce other changes in your life – changes you want.
If you take this challenge to change one thing, please let me know what happens in your life because of it. I’m curious!