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Tag Archives: how to deal with stress

What to Do When Options Run Out? Take a New Path

In the past several months, I’ve worked with a great number of clients who have found themselves at what seems to be a complete dead-end professionally.  Avenues they were fully passionate about pursuing (and would have allowed for successful employment only a year ago) have dried up, with precious few opportunities remaining, for the time being.  As we know, the world has changed.


For example, one of my clients reinvented herself completely over the past several years, from market research director to science teacher, only to find there are simply no jobs available in her geographic region.  Another client is crystal clear that she wants to write as a profession, but feels that starting up now as a freelance writer, given the implosion of the publishing world as we know it, would be a recipe for disaster.


What should we do when the path we desperately long to pursue is blockaded?  I say we turn a corner, take a fork in the road, and re-direct — ultimately find a revised path that allows you to succeed in these times, while honoring your authentic values.  There isn’t only one job in the world that will make you happy, or one career path (I feel this is true about choosing a mate as well – there isn’t just one person with whom you could build a happy, fulfilled life.)


So often, we become overly-attached to what we think will make us happy or get us out of our misery, and we miss the (rescue) boat completely.  What’s that story, about the man who finds himself in a flood, with water covering his home?  I think it goes something like this…


As the flood occurred, the man said to himself, “I know God will save me.  I won’t worry.”  But as the water rose, things become dire.  First, someone offers the man a hand to take him to higher ground, but the man says, “No thanks, I’m waiting for God to save me.”  As the water flooded his home, a group in a rowboat came by, and shouted, “Come on, come in the boat with us and be saved!”  The man said, “No thank you, I’m waiting for God to save me.” A day later, as the man clung to the roof of his house, a helicopter came to save him.  He yelled to the pilot, “No thank you, I’m waiting for God to save me.”  The man drowned. 

When he saw God in heaven, he said, “Why didn’t you save me??” God replied, “I sent three forms of rescue…it was up to you to take them.”


So the question is…what forms of rescue can you find that will keep your heart and soul intact while also keep you afloat, financially, emotionally, and spiritually?  Open your heart and mind to new avenues, and they will become apparent.


What rescue options have you pursued lately, and how have they worked out?


What Do You Mean, You’re Taking a Walk? You Have Job-Hunting to Do!

Last night, I participated as a speaker in a powerful panel workshop in Connecticut on Creative Strategies for Your Job Search and Career Transition, a “Rewrite Your Tomorrow” event sponsored by Jaffe Life Design (  It was a very moving experience, an empathic and genuine sharing of men and women in all phases of career change – some laid off, some wanting to reinvent, some starting their own businesses – and all were in deep transition. 


To me, the most compelling theme that emerged was around the idea of self-care, and how challenging it is today to do what’s healthy, positive, and enlivening for ourselves.  We all know cognitively what we need to do to take care of our bodies, minds, and souls, but precious few of us really do it each day, especially now, in times of chaos. 


Why is that?  Why do we resist doing the very things that always make us feel better, more energized, hopeful, and powerful?


There are several reasons why we don’t do what makes us feel good:


1) We feel guilty about giving to ourselves, especially when we’re in fear, or when we believe we should be doing even more work to help ourselves (like sending out another 10 resumes to find a job)

2) We buckle under the pressure of others (spouses, friends, colleagues) who judge and criticize us if we take time out to care for ourselves


3) Deep down, we don’t believe that we deserve to be well-treated or cared for, even by ourselves


4) And finally, when we’re locked into fear and scarcity mode, it takes a good deal of energy and commitment to disengage from that familiar anxiety and malaise that we’ve been perpetuating


So what is self-care anyway and how can you do it?


To me, self-care means attending to your body, spirit, and emotions.  It’s giving back to yourself each day — fueling, restoring and replenishing yourself, after having given so much away each day.  How should you do it?  There are millions of ways – from taking a walk or taking a bath, turning off your computer when you’re exhausted, having fun or having sex, or seeing a movie that makes you laugh or cry.  It’s eating delicious, fresh food, drinking lots of cool water, and exercising in enjoyable ways too.


Most importantly, it’s not work – it’s whatever you find exciting, fun and restorative – it’s what brings balance, peace and joy to your life and body. 


As a career transition coach, I’d like to offer this official proclamation now – stop looking for a job, and starting living again.  Find the fun, be like a child again – laugh, dance, sing, make a painting, start over, see it anew.


Our world has been “reset.”  Now’s the time to do the same – “reset” your life to nurturing, forgiving and loving yourself each day.


(I’m going for a walk now!)


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