helplessness is not an option

helplessness is not an option

With millions of people all around the globe struggling to find work and finding themselves in murky waters personally and professionally, many people are feeling lost and helpless. Setting goals and New Year’s resolutions in this scenario may not seem to be a wise choice for them; in fact, it would be a completely pointless exercise since there are so many variables out of their control.

However, when we set goals for ourselves — even small ones — and start pursuing them, we bring the locus of control back in ourselves and get in touch with our inner power. 

It’s good to remind yourself of this life-changing quote by Stoic philosopher Epictetus to get you back in the driver’s seat:

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…” 

It’s important to be patient and give yourself time and space as you tackle helplessness. Our work becomes a crucial part of our identity and losing our livelihood can make us feel inadequate and hopeless. Processing loss of work is far from easy and overcoming a professional setback and handling unexpected change can take weeks or even months. So, be easy on yourself and have faith that sooner or later, things will get back on track again. 

Here are some things you can do to embrace and exercise your personal power again:

  • Work on your passion project.
  • Make a list of all the things that you’ve always wanted to do — learn a new language, playing a new instrument, cooking, coding, knitting. Focus on one activity every month.
  • Aim to achieve a certain step count each day.
  • Start a daily practice of yoga and meditation.
  • Make it a goal to submit at least two job applications every day.
  • Start your minimalism journey by letting go of one to three physical items every day. 

As you start working on these activities and achieve meaningful progress in them, your confidence and self-esteem will skyrocket, and you’ll feel in charge of your life again. 

No matter what crisis or catastrophe comes your way, always remember: helplessness is not an option. As you consistently focus on things that you can control and achieve your goals, you’ll overcome the victim mindset and the ensuing feelings of powerlessness.