When Facing The Unknown You'll Need Attitude And Optimism
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By Tara Parker, Senior Editor - February 04, 2016

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Changes are a test of attitude and optimism. Attitude is how you look, view change and optimism is how willing you are to adapt or adjust to that change.    

My attitude and optimism were tested recently. I am an optimistic person. I don’t just find a way to make the best of a situation, I realize there is a time frame with every positive or negative event.  I know that I have the ability to choose how I view a situation and the ability to choose how I respond to it. I may have control of the situation or I may not, but the important thing is that I can control myself. So when I was laid off, I took it really well.

When You're Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Honestly, the moment I realized I was being laid off, it was an upsetting one.  I won’t lie. My security had been ripped away from me and my ability to provide for my kids had been scrapped. My comfort zones shut down; a part of me wanted to break down and cry huge crocodile tears and scream out in fear and run away in shame. However, the bigger part of me took over, comforting the fear within. The confident side of me took the lead and I reminded myself the very thing I remind others, “You can do it!”

Losing a job is one of those situations that single parents don’t think about because it scares the hell out of us! Not knowing where your next paycheck will come from can be enough to send anyone over the edge. It is a very scary feeling and thought to wake up without a job and yet, that doesn’t bother me despite having three children, a mortgage, a car payment and a desire to shop. Given all this you could understand the panic I could have felt.

If I told you that I made a scene; yelled at my boss, accusing him of being a heartless bastard for letting go of a single mother, you would likely understand and not fault me. A reaction like that might seem natural. What may surprise you though is how I told my boss that I did not envy his position, as he had a difficult decision to execute.  I told him I was grateful for the opportunity and enjoyed my time on the team. I understood it was business and it was time for me to move on. I left that office with the respect of my boss and supervisor.

I could not have been more proud of how I handled such an extremely stressful situation.

In leaving my office building, I took with me the unknown future and the biggest smile on my face. Typically, that kind of smile would be accompanied by having no idea of where I would be going or how to get there but not this time. I knew where I was going; I was headed to start my new path and a new chapter in my life. My job might have divorced me, which was a much easier process than my previous divorces, but I was not worried. My job might have made a choice for me and I might not have had a say, but that didn’t matter.

What did matter was my ability to pick myself up, dust off and keep going.

Life Goes On

I am currently in the process of doing just that. You may question, how am I doing that? I am getting up every day, I get ready just as I would any other day, then I get my kids ready for the day. I drop them off at school and I come home and work on my resume and cover letter. I search for the right job, scavenging through the online classifieds, giving myself time to write and be myself. I clean my house and take care of my dogs. I am patient and I pray.

The key thing right now is what I am doing may not be nearly as important as what I am not doing. 

I am not feeling sorry for myself. 

I am not beating myself up.

Or feeling rejected.

I am not sitting in my bed, crying myself into a headache, wishing I had known what I could have done differently. I am not internalizing this experience anymore. I may have been pushed down but I am not staying there.

Fear Of The Unknown

This is not an easy situation to pilot through, even with a positive mindset. The fear of the unknown tempts me every day. The panic wants to creep in and overwhelm me. The voice of self-defeat likes to whisper to me daily. I could easily look myself in the mirror and say, “I give up.” If I did that I would not be the person I encourage others to be; I would not a good steward of my beliefs of personal empowerment. If I cannot be an example of what I preach I cannot be credible. 

Your attitude determines how you look at any given situation. Your ability to adapt and adjust projects in your level of optimism. I have a great attitude and am optimistic and with that, I know this situation is temporary. I know things will continue to change as that is the only thing that is constant. It is through these changes I remain strong, continue to be confident and remember I am a fighter. I have been in much worse situations and I have risen to the top every time. 

Unexpectedly, this risk took me as I was not prepared for it. We may not always be prepared for life when it happens, but it is these changes that help us to realize we are more ready than we know. As I receive this new chapter in my book of life I recognize some of the pages are unwritten and I have a pen in my hand.

I can do it!

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