Archive for July, 2012

Leap of Faith

I’ve been pretty busy lately. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been taking a couple of technology courses in the bid to make myself more marketable on the job front. One thing that I found shocking was that the instructor of my first course had offered to let me take the second course for free. Free. The instructor turned out to be co-owner of the training centre that I was taking course #1 at, so it was his prerogative to do such a thing. I paid about $2,500 for the first course, and the second course was pretty much the same price. For anyone who works in my industry, this is actually an average price for one course. It was surprising for me that he wanted to offer me the course for free. He said that there was only one other person registered for the course, so he wanted a second body there to at least make things a little more interesting. I can see his point, but it was awfully generous of him. I’m certain that he’s also hoping that the goodwill will one day, be reciprocated. Nonetheless, I feel that God has allowed it to happen. Whether or not this is a part of his plan remains to be seen.

I’ve also still been applying to contract positions, and I’m faced with a three month opportunity. While I think it’s a decent opportunity, the thing that hit me was that if I take this opportunity, I won’t be eligible for Employment Insurance any longer. This really scares me because I had always regarded the EI as a backup until I could start getting my feet on the ground. No EI means that we are truly living off of one income. I talked with my husband about my fears, and he told me not to worry. We are debt free. We have savings up our ying-yang. If I really want to work, then he will support that, even if means periods whereby we are living off of one income. God is yanking my security blanket away from me again. Firmly.

So in today’s Bible reading, God is pushing me towards my leap of faith. In the reading, it says:

The Holy Spirit releases his power the moment you take a step of faith… God waits for you to act first. Don’t wait to feel powerful or confident. Move ahead in your weakness, doing the right thing in spite of your fears and feelings. This is how you cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and it is how your character develops.

I have lots of fears and bad feelings. I need to take that leap of faith. God is definitely pushing my character building!

I liken it a lot to my 3-year old boy. There are times when he just doesn’t want to take a leap of faith, no matter how much I tell him it’s okay, and I’ll make things okay. He won’t do it, for whatever thoughts and feelings that are inside of him. From my vantage point, it’s not sensible, and it’s not necessary. But he still won’t trust me. This is where I need to put my trust in God and just leap!  knowing too that he will take care of things for me, just like I take care of things for my son.

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July 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Impostor Syndrome

I read an article in Woman’s Health magazine (June 2012) issue about Impostor Syndrome. Wow, I think I have this. When I was writing up my resume, or even before that, when I was doing my performance review, I kept on asking myself: “What were my accomplishments?”. I tend to come up blank when answering. It’s not that I didn’t have any accomplishments, or that I was doing things that were meaningless and had no real value to the organization. However, I saw most of what I was doing as “just part of my job”. Hence, my accomplishments faded into the background.

I think a lot of this Impostor Syndrome also tied in with my self-esteem. I am generalizing here, but women are taught from an early age not to boast. In fact, they’ve done studies, and both men and women find it annoying if a woman boasts a lot, but when men boast, it’s not found as annoying.

The biggest thing that I got from this article was that it really pin-pointed what I’ve been struggling with for a while. While I still need to learn how to best cope with this, the fact that I allow unrealistic and untrue negative thoughts in how I view my accomplishments is a self-awareness thing for me. In the article, one woman mentioned that when she used to run track races, and if she wasn’t at the front of the pack, she would constantly be comparing herself to other. She would see how others were doing, and started a cycle of self-doubt: “I can’t run fast enough, I’m not good enough as the person who is in front of me”, etc. How she overcame this was to put the pack of runners out of her line of vision and periphery. So instead of staring with the rest of the pack, she would start at the head of the pack.

This is what I’ve been doing. I’ve been comparing my inabilities with others, to the point whereby I obsessed over the fact that they had jobs and I didn’t. One woman who I am friends with on Facebook, I see her statuses and envy her as to where is at her life. Right after I was laid off, this same woman told me that she had spent a year in a very bad time in her work life. I don’t know what the details are, but I can imagine that she had difficulties looking for a job as well. Bottom line is, I need to stop comparing myself to anyone else. No one is like me, has my skills, ability and experience. I am unique, so trying to compare my own situation with someone else’s is like comparing apples and oranges.

So while I still may struggle with my own way of overcoming Impostor Syndrome, being aware of it is already more than half the battle won. Hopefully, in time, I will overcome it and really learn to acknowledge and appreciate my accomplishments.

 

July 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

Idolatry

I cried a little this morning. Today, I realized that my “idol” that I worshiped above God was my frantic desire to finding a job. Now. It’s not even about the money, although earning money again would be nice, and would give me back my security blanket. But really, it is more to do with my identity as a person, and my sense of self-esteem. Much of how I perceive myself is through what I do at work. Plus, I’m doing a slight shift to my career, and to be able to get a job doing what I want to do, that would really make me feel much better about my abilities and my future.

So I put this day in God’s hands, determined to enjoy my day visiting with my family and dragging my son out to the playground for some much-needed fresh air and sunshine.  It was the first time that my grandmother has gone out since she had her illness, and my son always needs to run off his energy. To feel the peace from focussing on God and not obsessing about my job search, despite my current situation, and knowing that he will care and take care of me no matter what.

 

 

July 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Written Prayer

At church, they are going through a series of sermons on prayer. This past Sunday, the speaker asked us to spend five minutes to write down our prayer, and to possibly share it with others. While there was no time for sharing, I thought I would write it down here. One of the things that he mentioned is that our prayers sometimes needs to be transparent, so some of the ideas that he had to start prayer off are:

  • I think you are amazing. You…
  • If I’m being perfectly honest…
  • I am really worried about…
  • You have been so faithful…
  • If you really kept your promises you would…
  • I am angry with you…
  • God you’re so good…
  • I with everyone could know what you have done for me.
  • If it were possible, I wish you would…
  • Please! I really need you to help me!
  • I called out to you and you answered me.
  •  I know you care about me…
  • I know you care about me, but…
  • It doesn’t feel like you care about me…

One think he pointed out is that, we are God’s children, and we shouldn’t feel like we’re paying lip service to God. I certainly would rather have my own child be honest with me than tell me what I want to hear. Also, God knows what our thoughts and feelings are even before we do, or even before we tell him. So it is okay to pray in different way. What I’m putting down next is what I had written in those five minutes. It is all my pent up emotions and feelings about my current situation:

Dear God,

The thing that is weighing me down is the fact that I don’t have a job right now, and I feel so uncertain in my life as to what my identity is. I feel useless and stuck in my life. I worry about money and the future. I’m trying to be patient and not be discouraged, but it’s so hard. I’ve felt like I’m starting over again, and that’s so frustrating and discouraging. I really would like to find something before the end of the summer holidays, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. I feel like I’ve failed.

I felt like it was wrong for me to be whining all the time, but this really is a big hurdle in my life right now, and I’m feeling pretty depressed about it. I sometimes feel that I need to vent, and there’s too many people telling me that it’s going to be okay, and that I shouldn’t complain. I mean, my friend just discovered that her mom has breast cancer, and may not have long to live. I’ve been told that I was lucky to be getting interviews so soon, and so many interviews so quickly. I look at my eye doctor, and think about the one child that she had lost while she was still a baby. I look at my friend’s brother who had lost his hands and feet from some mysterious illness, and is slowly recovering and re-learning how to do the simplest tasks. Why should I be complaining when I am actually financially well off, and at least trying my best to look for a job, in a pretty hot job market at that?

I think we are, in a lot of ways, like children: very self-centred and selfish. Not in a mean or cruel way, but we are human, and these are tendencies that we lean towards. While I know that God will take care of me no matter what, I also know that this may be either a test, or a moulding of character. Or both. These things are painful. I also feel that sometimes we need to acknowledge our true feelings, as selfish as they are, so that we can find ways of (hopefully) moving past them.

One thing that really impressed me about the written prayer is that it forced me to really be honest with how I was feeling, and to verbalize that to God. Many times when I’m praying, my words tend to be aimless, my thoughts distracted. This helped me to focus a lot of what I wanted to say to God. I think I’ll try it again sometime, even though my prayers may be negative. God, I think, would still like to hear them nonetheless.

July 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment