We all have those days… we lose our keys, spill coffee on our only clean shirt, or get stuck in traffic on the way in to work. Those events come at the least opportune times, and usually when we are at our wit’s end. During those time, it’s hard to fight back the bitterness we feel for the circumstances we are in.
As gigsters, we are are working hard to make a better life for ourselves. Whether that means going back to school for more education or training or attending networking events to expand our professional network. We work more than rest, and that can wear away at our resources – emotional and otherwise. We’ve all been there, so you are not alone.
What do you do to fight back or recover from the bitterness that sometimes comes with trying to grow and evolve? I’ve found that these steps seem to help get me back on track:
Stop the negative chatter
We see our flaws before most people and are merciless in our self-criticism. Stop that chatter and begin to show ourselves compassion. It is applying the “Golden Rule” to ourselves. This means that we treat ourselves as we would treat others who are in our similar situation.
Focus on what is important
Your health is THE MOST important aspect of your life. Be careful of what you eat. Get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night. When you can, walk or take the stairs. Stretch. Meet up with friends. You don’t need a gym membership to keep yourself in shape. Just pay attention to what your body and mind need.
Remember your “why”
Human beings instinctively strive for something more This is why you are working so hard…for something better than what you have (or are) now. Remind yourself of the reasons why you get up in the morning. Keep going knowing that you have a bigger purpose to your life.
One time I let my stress and exhaustion get the better of me and I ended up in the hospital on a ventilator. From what the nurses told me, I stopped breathing and my heart stopped in the ambulance en route to the hospital. Pretty scary stuff. I have vague memories of seeing my husband on the other side of the critical care unit glass. He looked powerless to help me. I don’t even remember my mother coming to see me.
When I recovered, I vowed never to put myself, or my family, in this situation again. I took time to heal and remember who I am and what is important to me. Then I devised a plan for my next steps in my personal and professional development. In essence, I found purpose to my actions. This gave me some sense of control over my life. This then allowed me to reframe some of the setback and hiccups as opportunities to pause or shift, and not get overwhelmed by them.
It can difficult to fight off the bitterness that comes from trying your best and finding out that this was not being good enough. Bitterness is a normal response to frustrating circumstances. The power you have is that you can choose how you respond to it. You’ve come this far, and I know you have something incredible to share with the world. Keep going, keep reaching, and know that things are already better because your efforts. Reach out and tell me what you’re doing and how you’re getting along. I’d love to hear it.
This article is part of a newsletter published monthly called The Gigster 'Zine! It is a production of the Colégas Group. To learn more, sign up for the complete newsletter at colegasgroup.com.