We are on a giant rock that whizzes through space without a pilot. How is that for a lack of control? Well, for most of us, the spinning of the globe doesn’t even factor in our control issues. The reason might be that we don’t even think about it. The other thing is that it isn’t really about you. Sure, if you are reading this, you are most likely a denizen of Earth. But, it is hard to put yourself into the narrative of its orbit. It doesn’t orbit, because of you. (Now if you do believe that, your challenges will be much more than I could improve in this blog post).
The lack of control in life is most uncomfortable when you are at the center. Let’s think about work. You feel out of control when you organization has layoffs, and you don’t have any say about your job. In this instance, your lack of control is also because you don’t have any voice. You are silent to your plight. So, what do you do in that instance? In some ways that is the moment to do anything but think about layoffs. You might even want to explore the orbits of the planets as a way to get your mind off your work. In other words, you want to try to focus on something else.
Let’s stay on the topic of your career. Layoffs are often symptomatic of other deeper problems. You can choose what your actions are in that situation. You have the choice to spend your energy to find a new job. Trust me. I know that jobs are scarce. And, its hard to get a good one. And, I mean you work in a MUSEUM. All true. But, you might take all of your bad feelings at work, and turn them into better feelings about you.
So, what does this have to do with self-care? Well, sometimes you aren’t even sure that you are ready to take care of yourself. But, you are in control of that. You get to decide how you react to things. You can choose some elements in your life. If you imagine your life as a pinball machine, then you are in control of the blocks and some of the levers, and your career is the ball going where it wants within the limits you set.
Let’s use exploration to create your career plan, like the easiest pinball machine to win. Grab a sheet of paper. Draw a picture of yourself now in one corner. Draw a picture of yourself in the future in the other corner. Start adding all the steps you need to get from one place to another. Go slow. Savor all your imaginary moments. Annotate your personal map with feelings. Set this document aside. Come back to it. What resonates? What reads false? What can you bring into action? Make a list of plans.
While this exercise sounds hypothetical, by doing it, you are actually putting yourself in control. You might not be able to put all those things you drew into place. But, your mind has now started to think differently. You are no longer voiceless or overly focused on your lack of control. You have helped yourself move forward.