Firstly, the simple fact that you are sending applications and taking measures to leave your state of unemployment is a huge deal and you should be more than proud of yourself for that. Secondly, why be afraid? Whatever the outcome, wether accepted or rejected, you should see it as what it is: your path being unfolded right in front of you. If a job application gets denied, then that was simply not what destiny had for you, it wasn’t meant for you, and that’s that. Their reply should never dictate your worth or emotional state of being, because it doesn’t define you. You define yourself.
Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves,” I can! and I will!” Fear is a normal part of learning and accomplishment. Almost any definition of courage alludes to the fact that being courageous means getting stuff done when you’re afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the willingness to keep moving in spite of the fear.
When fears, uncertainties and ambiguities are unfamiliar, they can seem larger. So, the best recipe for success involves creating a context in which the fears become more familiar. Looking for work requires the development of routines and patterns that you may not have in place. By establishing your own order and predictability, you can make friends with your fears and harness them.
Here are ten things you can do to create a routine that will harness your anxieties:
- Morning Routine: Wake up at the same time each morning, weekends included. Do the same three things in the same order each day. Brush your teeth, take a shower get dressed. Have coffee, plan the day, take a shower. It doesn’t matter what. Pick three and repeat.
- First Call of The Day: Always make a call to a friend or family member at the same time each day. Make it the first work thing that you do. Talk about the weather, the family or your job hunt. Make friendship a high priority.
- Bedtime Ritual: Take 30 minutes to get ready for bed. Do the same things in the same order. Go to bed early enough to get eight hours (no more). Do things that help you unwind so that when you hit the pillow, you are ready to sleep.
- Good Night’s Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is key to being an effective job hunter. Make your bed an oasis. Make the rule that you don’t look for work when you’re in bed. If you wish to worry, get out of bed, write the worries down and then get back to sleep.
- Log Your Work: Looking for work involves chasing wild geese. Keep track of who you’ve talked to, which companies received your resume, interviews completed and phone calls made. When you’re feeling like you haven’t made progress, the documentation will really help.
- Measure Your Progress: Set goals and standards for each day’s work. Setting and keeping objectives will help you maintain the sense that you are moving forward. Set reasonable goals for repeated daily actions. Over the course of six weeks, 7 resumes sent, 10 phone calls made (at least leaving a message) and 3 phone calls completed (actually talking to someone about your work) is a good standard.
- Spiritual Practice: Pray, meditate, go to church, read inspirational books, listen to a motivational tape, visualize success, visit natural beauty. Whatever your spiritual discipline, set aside at least thirty minutes each day to get in touch with the larger forces that influence your life.
- Exercise: Another half hour commitment. Moving your body will move your mind. Walk, run, lift or ride.
- Nutrition: Avoid refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup. These are the dangerous food chemicals that play with your mood. Job changes often produce a few extra pounds around the middle. Watch for emotional eating.
- Media Consumption: The economic news is dismal. The world is falling apart. The end is near. You don’t need so much of this right now. Ration your news consumption to 15 minutes per day. Listen to music instead.
The only trouble with a list like this is that no one can do it all, all at once. Find one thing on the list that you aren’t doing and start there. Get good at that one thing for a couple of weeks. Then add another item from the list.
You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind. You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.
Remember, it’s normal to be scared and to have the fear prevent you from getting stuff done. Building small personal routines in these ten areas can help to build a foundation for progress. Good luck.