Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter, where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I'm so excited you are here. Merry Christmas. If you celebrate, this is the week leading into the holidays and most people might schedule a podcast episode about something really lovely leading into the holidays. Not me though. Nope. I figured we should talk about the recession. Seems like a good week to do it. No, I've, I've wanted to do this podcast episode and it got away from me. And I know that at this time there, while there's so many lovely feelings coming up for the holidays, there's also a lot of angst and anxiety and stress and actually talking about this topic.
It really can be applied to any circumstance in the world that's going on. So there's a lot happening in the world. We'll talk about that. There's a lot likely going on in your own life. Maybe personal situations, health problems, things like that. And the same concepts that I talk about in this episode can be applied to that. That's why I wanted to talk about it. I know that while it can be a lovely time, it can also be a really hard time and because it seems as though our country is going through some kind of economic downturn. Who knows if it's an actual recession or you know what's going to happen. This clearly is not a podcast about the economic side of it. It's really a podcast about how do you wanna think about it? And I know that a lot of people have experienced layoffs already and going into the holidays that can add even more stress.
So let's talk about it, shall we? All right. Here's the thing. There are the facts. There are things out in the world that are happening and then there are thoughts about them. Okay? If you've listened to the podcast, uh, for any amount of time, you know that what I focus on is your own thoughts because that's all you control, right? How are you gonna react to the situation? You know, there's the famous quote, life is 10%. What happens to you in 90%? How you react to it? Something like that. I don't know if those are actual statistics, but you get the point like there are real things that happen in our lives. There are real things that happen out in the world and then there's all of our thoughts about it. What's funny about the recession and inflation and these economic terms, when you really look into 'em, a lot of those are even caused by our thoughts, right?
A lot of things happen when people, um, are worried that there's gonna be a recession and they start thinking there is, so they spend less and then that causes more of like economic downturn, which in turn causes more companies to lay people off, whatever. There's all that, that's just a fascinating little tidbit, but it's fascinating to see how much is just created by our thoughts. But if we just take the recession as a fact in the world, right? There's this circumstance that the economy might go through a downturn in the coming year or months, years, whatever it's going to be. And the reality of that is, is that economies are cyclical. And this happens all the time, right? Not all the time, but like you get what I'm saying. Like we, we shouldn't be surprised that it happens. And yet I feel like sometimes we are um, even layoffs, firings, those things happen.
That's the nature of jobs which you know, is a good time to take stock. I think a lot of times we think that our jobs are more secure than they are. And this isn't to induce panic or anything, but it's always good to realize that all of even those, that security is just from your thoughts, you wanna believe it's secure and it is secure until it's not. Until somebody else decides that you know, the company can't needs to downsize, they can't handle the payroll, their services aren't in need. There seems to be a lot of disruption and there will be a lot more disruption from technology. Whole industries will change. That's just the nature of work and our economy, right? So when we start realizing that like these are facts out in the world that are going to happen, they're gonna happen in our lifetime, they likely will happen multiple times.
Many of us have survived past recessions, layoffs, downturns in 2008. It was a particularly extreme one and yet for so many of us that did make it through that we're working through that time, it's good evidence as we'll. Talk about things that we wanna think about. The fact that we made it through there is that part of it, okay? What I love to focus on is not that part of it. And I'm gonna tell you why. I don't mean to say that this isn't a real situation or that that real situation can't be bad. It can, what we do here is not let's just feel great about everything. Let's just look at the bright side and always feel positive. No, cuz life is not positive all the time. And sometimes we want to feel bad, we wanna feel disappointed, we wanna feel sad, maybe we wanna feel scared.
Fear is actually a wonderful emotion because it can help us protect ourselves. That can help us jump into action. Part of what we wanna do is just parse out when is it serving me and when is it not? Am I using these thoughts to actually drive actions I want to take and figure out and problem solve and decide where I wanna go and where am I using this to ruminate and wallow and self-pity and you know, catastrophize and create a bigger problem than there already is. So we have our, the circumstance and then we ha layer on all of our thoughts about it on top. That might look like all of the stress and frustration you might feel might not be coming from the actual layoffs and the recession or the impending layoffs that you maybe you're worried about. It might come from thoughts like, this is so hard, this isn't fair, it shouldn't be like this.
I've worked so hard, why does this have to happen to me? Why does life always have to be like this? Right? When we start thinking a lot of thoughts like that, it creates a ton of overwhelm and frustration and stress or for a lot of us that sit in anxiety and worry, right? With thoughts like, I don't know how I'm gonna survive this. I have no idea what's gonna happen. I don't know if I'll ever get a job. I don't know if I'm too old. What if, what if, what if? Right? We sit in the what ifs. What if I can't find a job quick enough? What if I can't make my payments? What if I can't fill in the blank? And again, it's not to say that those questions are inherently bad or you shouldn't ask them or you shouldn't think about them. One of the things I really try to teach people that I coach, especially in the quit club, one of the things that we parse through through coaching is figuring out when does this thought serve me and when is it just something that I'm indulging in?
I'm not actually even answering it right? A lot of times our brain likes to ask rhetorical questions and then we don't ever a answer it. So let's say the thought, why does this have to happen to me? Not really a thought we can answer. So what is the point of continuously thinking it? Or if we even ask the question like, what if I can't get a job? We ask that as if it's rhetorical. And yet we don't actually sit down and be like, okay, what am I going to do if I can't get a job in a month or two months or three months? What would I do then? What are other things I could do for money? What are other things that I could replace my income or sell things off or move in with family? I dunno. Come up with strategies. When you actually get into problem solving, when you're asking a question that serves you in order to plan, it can feel a lot more empowering.
It can feel a lot less overwhelming or confusing. Why? We tend to sit in overwhelm and confusion and anxieties because we're letting these questions go unanswered and we just keep asking them over and over again in our head we just sit and ruminate over thoughts of, but what's gonna happen? What's gonna happen to me? What's gonna happen to my family? What's gonna happen to my parents? What if I can't pay for this? What if I can't make this rent? What if I, and then we don't ever come up with, yeah, what if, what am I gonna do? How do I solve for this? There's a concept that I've talked a lot about on the podcast if you haven't listened for a while, you may not, I've heard it, but it's a, a concept in psychology called clean versus dirty Pain, right? Clean pain is the pain you want to feel because life is hard because life is not meant to be rainbows and butterflies because there's always going to be things that come up that you didn't expect, that you didn't plan for that maybe catch you off guard.
And it's okay to feel disappointed, it's okay to feel sad. It's okay to process those emotions. If you've listened to last week's episode, you know now how important it's to just feel your feelings. If you haven't, I would highly recommend listening to it. It's not numbing out, not trying to distract yourself and get away from the hard things in lives. It's truly deciding on purpose to feel the sadness or disappointment when I get laid off or even the grief of losing my job. The dirty pain comes when we layer on tons of thoughts that create a lot of unnecessary suffering. So what I see the most, especially with layoffs is a lot of shame, is a lot of thoughts of, well I wasn't good enough to keep or I was disposable or they disrespected me by doing this or I wasn't good enough. I knew I wasn't good enough.
Now I'm never gonna be able to get a job that's all dirty paint. Like the fact is that I got laid off. The fact is that the company decided that for whatever reason that I may know or may not know that my job was no longer needed, I get to choose how I want to think about that fact. And most of us typically go to the worst case scenario about ourselves. I was recently coaching someone in my coaching program on this exact topic. Um, we were talking about the potential of him getting laid off. There was murmurings that his department was going to get cut or a bunch of jobs were gonna get cut. And as we parsed through the thoughts that he was having about it, it became very clear like what was fascinating about the situation is he even knows the reason. Like they have told them I think there was a merger of some kind and his department was no longer needed cuz the other company already had his department.
And so they told them this, that there are kind of redundancies, there's a lot of people doing the same work that we don't need anymore. And so we likely will be making some cuts. So what's fascinating about so many of us is like, we'll know the facts but instead of thinking like, yeah, they don't need my position and I c I'm allowed to be really disappointed. I put in a lot of hard work. I put in a lot of time I'm allowed to have, you know, a pity party if I want to, I can feel sorry for myself. I can process whatever emotion I need to process. But that's not where we go. Where he was going was, well, if I was good enough they would've kept me. And it's just fascinating. Like why would I choose to think that Most of us do, by the way, most of us are knee jerk reaction and this comes from a lot of our trauma is there has to be something wrong with me.
We don't consciously think this, but have you noticed like no matter what happens in our life, our partner doesn't do something that we want them to do. Our kids don't listen to us. Uh, our boss didn't tell us to sit in on the meeting and instead of sitting and thinking about, okay, what are all the reasons why these things could have happened, right? Maybe my boss didn't call me in because he thought I was doing something more important or he didn't think that it, it was valuable for my time. Maybe my kids aren't listening because they are four year olds and eight year olds and that's what those age of children do. They don't listen. Their brains aren't wired like that. They're not really paying attention. Maybe my partner didn't take out the trash because he didn't realize that it was really important to me.
Whatever, there's a million reasons we can come up with why people do the things that they do. But that's not where our brain goes. Our brain goes, there must be something wrong with me. My partner must not love me, he just doesn't care about me. He doesn't respect me. That has to be the answer. My kids, I'm just a terrible mother. That's the reason they don't listen. If I was a better mother then they would be more, more well behaved. My boss hates me. He likes this other person more. That's why he didn't ask me to sit in the meeting. Like notice for yourself how many times it goes to that and part of the work that we do and why I think thought work is so powerful to do and really learn how to slow down. And I think a lot of people think they know how to do thought work until they come and actually do it and realize how hard it is to kind of slow down and parse out what are the facts here and what are all my thoughts because there's a gap between those and finding that gap is what is crucial.
Finding that gap is all of our power in determining how do I want to think about this? Especially when there's gonna be hard times, especially when things aren't going the way we want. I always say this to my people, you don't need thought work when things are growing great. Like when you're making all the money and your boss is great and you love and work and you're climbing that ladder and you're getting pro promoted, I mean you probably still need thought work cuz our brains are always gonna find a problem. But you get what I'm saying? It's a lot less difficult to manage the anxiety, to manage the stress, to manage the overwhelm. You need thought work when things are going wrong. When our brain wants to freak out because the things that's gonna die, that's when you wanna start like kind of being the adult in the room.
I like to think about my brain the same way I think about my Todd toddler children, right? My child comes in the room absolutely losing it because her lollipop fell on the floor, right? She thinks it is. This is a crisis of epic proportions that we can never recover from. And me as the adult knows that that's not true, right? I can look at her and think like, I understand that you think this is a big deal. I fully see that you think this is a problem, but lemme show you why it's not. I mean obviously I don't speak in those terms with her, but you get what I'm saying. I don't also jump in with her and start screaming and be like, oh my God, what do we do now? Because I'm the adult in the room. I like to think about my brain like that.
Now I know my brain's gonna go there. I know my brain's gonna freak out because that is like the primitive part of my brain that wants to keep me alive. And I just think about my prefrontal cortex as an adult in the room and I have to get that part online. I need to get that adult in the room to say like, I understand we're freaking out and we're making this mean that there's something wrong with us, that we're not good enough, that everybody hates us. Whatever the story is, I like to tell myself and I'm just here to tell you that's not true. There's another way to think about this. Let's like slow down and decide how we wanna think about this. How is this gonna serve me? Right? What is the thought that's going to help me through this situation, through this difficult time?
And again, I say this, I I'm gonna come back to talking about kinda layoffs and recessions, but I want you to understand that this truly is how you do thought work with any difficult circumstance in the world, any difficult right now there's, I mean the world is always a dumpster fire. So I can't say right now it's a dumpster fire. But for a lot of us, you know, I I'm I Iranian American, I'm, I've obviously been following, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I'm very much um, sharing and following what's happening in the re revolution in Iran. Whether it was the war that was happening with Ukraine, whatever's happening in the world, there's always something and we just have to decide how we wanna think about it. I also coach a lot of people who come to me and they may have a chronic illness, um, migraines, depression, and they are wondering whether thought work can help them or there may be a little skeptical.
And what I typically help people with, I'm not a therapist, I don't help you with like your underlying depression and you should absolutely get help for that. What we help you with is like, what are my thoughts about that circumstance? Because when we have, let's say depression or chronic illness or something that we are battling within ourselves or that we are dealing with or that is a part of our lives, we have tons and tons of thoughts about it. So if most of us had, let's say a chronic illness and the way we talk to ourself was, I love, what do you need right now? How can I take care of you during this? Like you're going through a hard time, which is how we would probably talk to our children or our friends. It would be a much different experience of that circumstance, that fact versus the way that we do talk to ourselves, which is what's wrong with me?
Why do I have to deal with this? Everybody hates me. Everyone's judging me. I everyone thinks I'm a burden and this shouldn't be happening. It shouldn't be this way. And that creates so much more resistance and frustration and dirty pain that prevents so many of us from actually treating the underlying issue from like figuring out what we need and giving it to ourselves for giving ourselves so much compassion. It creates so much more negative emotion and negative feelings and pain. And so part of what we do in thought work is just taking off that suffering. And this applies whether it's to you or to the world. This thought that we have that seems like a good one. This thought of like it shouldn't be this way. And that seems it's like a sneaky thought. Cause of course it shouldn't be this way in the sense that, you know, humans shouldn't be suffering.
It's not like it's required. We shouldn't be killing each other, we shouldn't be starving each other. We shouldn't be doing the horrific things that we are doing. And yet that is how it's been for all of history. Byron Katie has a quote that I love and it's when you argue with reality, you lose. But only a hundred percent of the time and sometimes when my brain is going there, like it shouldn't be this way, I stop it and I go to, but it is, it is this way, this is the way it is. I can argue with that, but I'm gonna waste all of my time and energy instead of figuring out now what, how do I want to deal with this? If I'm constantly telling myself it shouldn't be this way, I shouldn't have gotten laid off, I shouldn't have a chronic illness. The world shouldn't be a dumpster fire.
Then I spend all of my energy in anger and rage and resentment and bitterness and that leads to hopelessness and it leads to burnout and it leads to exhaustion. It leads to all of these things that will never actually serve me. And it doesn't change the fact in the world. It doesn't change what's happening. Like if that worked, if we could all sit and say it shouldn't be like this and then all of a sudden it wasn't fine, I would be like, let's do it. I'm with you. It should not be like this. But it truly doesn't change anything and it takes you out of the game, right? It takes you out of taking care of yourself. It takes you out of trying to make a change because we're just in all of this resentment and anger when emotions are high, intelligence is low. And so part of all of this work is helping us bring down the level of emotion so that our intelligence can kind of kick in and we can decide what do I wanna do here with this?
This is the fact in the world, this is the situation I'm dealing with. This is what's happening. All I get to control ever is how I deal with it, how I respond to it, how I react to it. That's it. I don't get to decide what happens. I don't get to decide what countries go to war or all of the, you know, injustices that are happening in the world. That's not what I get to control. I do get to control how I show up for it, how I react to it, how I deal with it, how do I want to think and feel about it like about this reality that I'm dealing with. What do I want to do? What actions do I wanna take that I control? And when you focus on what you control, you can get yourself out of these spirals that so many of us go on notice.
Like when you are thinking thoughts, like let's, if we go back to the layoff example, let's say you've dealt with a layoff or you're gonna deal with the prospect of a layoff or even just the recession. Let's just say when you have thoughts like no one's gonna wanna hire me, I'm too old to get another job. This isn't fair. Those types of thoughts which I'm gonna pause really quickly. , this is a caveat to this rant. I've said this a number of times when I think about like what is the thought that serves me? I want us to get out of asking the question like or saying, but this is true, like this thought is true. And ask ourselves, does this thought serve me to think the idea of a thought being true hangs up? So many of you in doing thought work, myself included, it did the same thing.
Cuz I kept thinking, well if it's this is the truth, I can't not think it. I'm delusional. If I don't think it, and we've already talked about that, we're already all delusional. Like I'm just telling you, so many of us, the person is telling you we're laying off because we can't support this department anymore. And we choose to think, oh, if I was good enough they would've kept me. There's something about me. Clearly most of us are not concerned with reality. It's just that we're choosing to go to the negative side and for whatever reason we think that that's the truth. But if we were to choose to think positively or we choose to think neutrally, we think well that's just being unrealistic. And what I like to think about a lot is like, again, this example I've used ad nauseam, but I think it's just a good example.
It is true that I'm going to die. That is a true statement as probably one of the only truths in this world. It does not serve me to get up and think about the fact that I'm going to die all day every day. Or the fact that my family members are gonna die that will just induce a ton of anxiety and a ton of suffering and I have no idea when I'm gonna die or when my loved ones are. I can't know. None of us can, but we don't choose to think it all the time. We choose to move on with our lives and live our day to day assuming that we're not gonna die today. Like we all move on, we plan for the future as if we're not. Because that's the only way to actually have a life and not be completely burdened with anxiety.
It's the same thing with these other things. Like when you think about layoffs, let's, I'm gonna give you as this, even though this is absolutely not a true thought, but let's just say the thought. I'm too old to be hired. Now let's just say that's the thought you wanna think and you wanna argue with me that that's a true thought, fine. How does it serve you to think that if you need to get a job, when you think that thought, how are you gonna feel? You're gonna feel angry, you're gonna feel dejected, you're gonna feel disappointed, you're gonna feel resentful. And when you feel those things, what do you do? You don't do anything. You ruminate, you procrastinate, you complain, you prove yourself, right? Right? Because you don't apply for jobs, you don't. You keep telling yourself like, what's the point? I'm too old, I can't apply for this job.
They'll want someone young. And so then you prove yourself, right? Cause you won't get a job. As opposed to intentionally thinking, I'm gonna figure this out, I can figure this out, right? Or there maybe there is somebody, maybe if you can't get to, I can figure this out. You can get to like a neutral thought where it's something like it's possible that there are people that will value my wisdom and my experience. It's possible that there's people that will hire someone my age. Even thinking that thought is a step above thinking I'm too old now because I'm too old now leaves you with nothing. Or even thoughts like no one's gonna hire me. This isn't fair. I don't know what I'm gonna do. None of those thoughts help you. None of them get you into actually like having the adult in the room figuring out what you wanna do.
Figuring out, okay, this is the obstacle. What's my strategy when I have the thought I can figure this out. Or it's possible that somebody would wanna hire me. Like then what? How do you think I feel? What do you think I do from that? This is what I try to to like explain to people taking actions. We all know what we're supposed to do. Let's say you get laid off, okay? Then you sit down and you think, what do I wanna do from here? If I wanna get another job, maybe I have to apply to a hundred jobs. Let's say I was able to tell you that your hundredth job that you applied to is the one you're gonna get. Imagine how little emotion and negativity you would bring with yourself in applying for those 99 other jobs. If you knew like, okay, this is a numbers game, I just gotta get to a hundred, let's go.
I'm gonna get up every day. I'm gonna apply to 10 in 10 days I'm gonna get to my hundredth job. I'm gonna get that job perfect. You wouldn't be stuck in all of the self-doubt and the negativity and the cycling through all of these thoughts. But we don't do that. We just tell ourselves like, well I applied to two and I didn't get those so I'm probably not gonna ever get it. And then we count ourselves out. This is the power of like figuring out thoughts that are gonna serve you is figuring out like what's gonna just keep me in the game? No one's saying it's gonna be easy, it's not easier for other people. We're all dealt different hands. And again, you don't get to choose the hand you're dealt, but you do get to choose how you play it. And so when you think of thought, I can figure this out or a thought I love, I'll, I will always take care of myself or I will always take care of my family.
Whatever the thought you want it to be, I wait you to think about that thought and I want you to find evidence of where that is true. Cuz there's tons of evidence for anybody listening to this podcast. I promise you there's tons of evidence that you've always paid your bills on time, that you've always gotten a job, that you've been able to network, that you have a network you can rely on that you have family, you can ask for help, you can take loans out, you can sell things, you can start driving for Uber, you can go get a job at Starbucks or the grocery store, whatever it is. You have always taken care of yourself and you always will. When you think that thought, you feel empowered, you feel committed, you feel at peace, whatever the feeling is that it gives you and it helps you actually take some actions that are going to get you the results you want that are gonna get you into like problem solving mode.
And that's the thing is like when there's a circumstance in the world that you have to deal with, part of it is gonna be like, what can I do? And we wanna set ourselves up, we wanna like have the thoughts that are gonna help us decide what we want to do and then there's just gonna be part of it that's just gonna be dealing with it. For a lot of you, what's fascinating is that like for a lot of you, you're not gonna get laid off for the vast majority. You're gonna keep the job and yes, the recession is gonna come again. There might be some strategizing. Maybe we have to reduce our spending, maybe we have to downsize, maybe I have to downsize. Okay, what are my thoughts about that? The only reason that any of these things we feel negative is cause we have tons of thoughts of, oh, what's everyone gonna think?
People are gonna judge me. I didn't cut it as a breadwinner. Whatever it is, whatever the suffering, your variety of suffering you like to put on yourself, that's why it feels terrible. Otherwise it's like, okay, I gotta sell off these things. I gotta maybe dip into my 401k. I have to. These are just actions I take. And I could look at those and see like, hey, look at me taking care of myself and my family. I always do it. I always knew, here's another piece of evidence, it's amazing how much I'm just always going to be able to take care of myself. But we don't do that. We sit in like inaction and like indulge in these emotions of worry and confusion. And what's fascinating is that like we think we're doing something right, we think we're being productive. We think if I worry about it enough, if I sit and think about it, then somehow I'm gonna come up with some solution or I'm gonna have prepared myself so I won't be blindsided and then I won't feel bad.
But you still will feel bad. Like you can sit and think about it whether you're gonna get laid off or not for the next six months. Even if in six months you get laid off, you're still gonna feel disappointed. So what if we just try on the thought? I'll figure it out. I'll take care of myself if that happens, when that happens, I'll work on my thoughts and I will figure out what it is I need to do and I'll do it from there. Okay? So my friends, as we navigate the uncertainty of the world, which will always be here, like if it's not a recession and layoffs, it's gonna be something else because that is just the nature of life. As you go through this season, I want you to ask yourself, what are the facts here? Just the bare bone facts and not the story I'm telling myself And what are all of the thoughts that I'm adding on?
Write 'em all down, figure out all of the dirty pain you're adding to this. And then ask yourself, what do I want to think about these facts? If I can get super neutral, as factual as possible, they laid off a hundred people from my company or I don't even know how talking about a recession is not typically factual, but let's say like we get super granular and it's like my grocery bills have gone up, 20% or gas is now double, not double, but you 15% higher, whatever. What do I wanna think about that fact? If I wanna think, ah, this is so unfair, it shouldn't be like this. I'm never gonna be able to handle this. I already know what that's gonna create. So what do I wanna think about these facts that I'm having a lot of negative thoughts about that I'm having a lot of anxiety about?
Like pick the ones that you're having a lot of negative feelings about and write 'em out. And then figure out what you wanna think, what's going to get you to take action? Figure out the obstacles that you're facing and what strategies you can come up with to deal with it and show your brain evidence that you will take care of yourself, that you will figure it out, that you will deal with it when it comes, that you don't have to spend all of this time suffering for no reason. And if you need help with that, I want you to come find me in the Quitter Club. This is the work we do and I honestly, I know a lot of people, obviously whatever your financial situation is, um, you have to take care of that. But I think that going through hard times alone is something that not only do you not have to do makes those times so much worse.
While I want everybody join Credit Club whenever they're ready, I think that when you're going through something hard, it is the time to reach out and get help so that you can relieve so much of the suffering that you're going through and actually figure out how you wanna deal with it without all the shame, without all the guilt, without all the insane brain, uh, activity that tends to go on. So I want you to join me. Go to lessons from a quitter.com/quitter club so that you can be notified as soon as we open doors. You can get in there and we can coach on this stuff. I love you all. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and I will be back next week with another episode. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from a quitter.com/quitter club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.