Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day One Hundred Eighty-six

Day 186 - Hoping Vicariously
There have been times in my life where my sense of hope has become very weak; I haven’t felt truly hopeless very often, but sometimes I have been overwhelmed by despair in spite of any remaining hope.  I suppose one can argue that building emotional strength comes from exhausting practice, just as you strengthen muscles at the gym; however, feeling sore a day or two after the workout indicates progress.  I’m not sure I can say the same thing about lacking hope.
And there’s the issue - “lacking.”  I am attempting to shift my focus from a view of “lack” to that of abundance.  It doesn’t feel good to stew over the fact that I still don’t have a job, or that I feel as if I’m living life on others’ terms.  It does feel good to see people having fun, learning techniques, and getting interviews.  When I feel envy coloring my view, I try to change the thought toward one of celebrating.  I try to keep the hope for my own future bright by being happy for the other person.
I had a chance to sit with a coaching client today as she prepares for an important interview tomorrow.  Here is a woman who, by her own admission, isn’t the “pretty” type; she wonders about her competitiveness with other candidates in terms of her looks.  She has every reason to be concerned - we live in a society that values looks over many other qualities, and that’s not something we are going to change overnight.  However, with her talent, enthusiasm, and intelligence, she is a strong candidate (having made it to the interview process over at least two other people I know who have stellar resumes).  I challenged her perspective that she is less “gorgeous” just because she doesn’t look like a Barbie doll.  She is gorgeous in her own way, and THAT is what she needs to project.
She is ready for this interview process, which sounds grueling (two panel interviews and a one-on-one with the department head).  She knows her stuff; she knows herself, and all her accompanying skills and talents.  My sense of hope was renewed as I talked with her about her preparations for the interview.  I was strengthened by her strength.
This is why I love what I do.

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