Blogging has brought me such joy. I enjoy the writing process and what is more are the stories that have come back to me through Pineapple Courage subscribers. Recently I became part of one of those stories and it was an inspiration to me. I want to share it with you.
This is a story of fear, the fear to leave a situation. It could be a job, a relationship or even an addiction. This is more than a story of leaving your comfort zone. It is about those times in life when you have descended to rock bottom and are unsure if you will ever be the same again. This place is lonely. You find yourself questioning your abilities and worry about what others think about you. You tell yourself lies about who you are, and more importantly, who you are not.
This is also a story about courage and making the decision to quit. One day you reach a breaking point. You recognize that the situation you are in is not healthy, and you have been selling yourself short and making excuses for too long. This is a very important step in potential recovery. I say potential because I have been at this point many times and have not been able to make the decision to actually change my mindset and I end up back down at rock bottom again and again. Does this sound at all familiar to you? If so, I have an inspirational story of a friend that I would like to share.
A friend and I went to lunch one day. During our time together she shared that she was no longer confident in herself after years of putting up with a toxic situation at work and it was significantly impacting her life and happiness. She had finally reached the breaking point and recognized the need to change. She knew that she needed to exit the situation she was in but she didn’t know how and she felt like she had no value to other companies. I knew this was not true because I had listened to the things she had overcome at work in past years and she had a depth of experience that other companies would value greatly. She just didn’t see it. I shared with her some specific examples of things she had done that were remarkable and encouraged her to be proud of her many accomplishments.
She went on to share that she had read a Pineapple Courage blog and remembered that part of the process of overcoming her situation included needing to forgive herself for allowing it to go on for so long. Hating who you are because of a situation is unhealthy and can keep you a slave to the circumstances. We are our own biggest critics and facing our degradation and failures can be painful. This forgiveness was a huge step for my friend and I am extremely proud of her. She has recognized she wants to be happy. She wants to feel confident and find her passion again. She is working on forgiveness and made the decision to quit. Declaring that you are going to make a change is a huge step and it is important that once you decide, you never look back. This confidence will show through to others as you move forward and you will present yourself differently once you own the courage needed to change.
The hard thing about making the decision to quit is often you don’t know what to do next. I am here to encourage you to ask for help. It can be hard to see your value after being in a situation that has degraded your confidence. Reach out to a person you trust and respect for making change in their lives. Ask them how they achieved their change and what steps they had to go through. Asking for help can also include asking for referrals, references or help with making the change – maybe practicing interviewing or reviewing a resume. Do not let thoughts of “not being good enough” or “that person is too busy for me to bother” get the best of you. I can guarantee that your friends and network would love to help you succeed in making the change.
Back to my friend and her specific situation, after making the decision she was going to quit, she started looking for a new job. She applied for four positions that she believed were above her qualifications. The response was unimaginable. Within two weeks she received four interviews which resulted in three offers, all received in one day! The one that she thought was furthest out of reach provided her with a better location, flexible work from home schedule, paid career development, more vacation and a much larger salary. Needless to say, after a bit of negotiation she accepted the position. Just like weight loss advertisements, I have to add a disclaimer, “results not typical” because I also have many friends who do not receive a response this quickly and in personal situations it has taken me much longer. I also do not condone jumping quickly to just any job you are offered. You could just be jumping from one mess to another. Take your time to define what you are really looking for in a new company and ask a lot of questions during the interview process to make sure the company seems to fit your values at least from what you are able to gather.
When I heard about this story, I had to share it because I have felt the exact same way at different times in my life. If you find yourself questioning your value, reach out to talk to someone who can help lift you up. You may be amazed at how quickly your circumstances can change if you just believe that you are valuable. Perhaps you are in a great place in your life and career right now. If you are, look around you to see who you might be able to help. The value and impact you can bring another person on their journey of making a change is significant and rewarding. I have been lifted up many times in my life and am thankful for it. Let’s pass it on.