How to Deal with Layoffs
Ep. 251
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practical and emotional strategies for dealing with layoffs

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I’ve been coaching more and more people on the issue of layoffs as it’s been coming up frequently in the club. In this episode, I talk about the practical and emotional aspects of dealing with layoffs. While the practical steps like updating resumes and networking are important, I emphasize that a significant source of pain and anxiety comes from our thoughts and emotions surrounding the idea of being laid off. It’s important to understand how our thoughts about potential layoffs, dread, anxiety, and uncertainty can add so much unnecessary drama and suffering to an already difficult situation. I also highlight the importance of learning how to process our emotions and not solely focusing on trying to control the uncertainty of the situation. I share strategies and techniques for managing the emotional impact of layoffs, drawing on my experience coaching clients in similar situations. Tune in to learn how to navigate the challenges of layoffs with resilience and self-compassion.


Show Transcript
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 am so excited to have you here. I apologize for my voice. It is still raspy. I don't know what's happening. Um, I can't seem to get my voice back. I don't know if it's allergies, so you're just gonna have to bear with me. I'm drinking all the tea and all the honey and all the lemons and all the stuff. Um, and it still just doesn't get better. I keep putting off recording my podcast, hoping that my voice comes back to me, but we're just gonna have to struggle through it together.
I am back from vacation. It was glorious and it was really such an amazing time to disconnect. It was the first time I had disconnected for an entire 10 days and it was what I needed. Cause I'm so amped to be back and I had so many ideas about things I wanna do and I just have a level of excitement about the podcast and the Quitter Club, my membership and how I wanna grow it and what I wanna teach and all the things that are gonna come. So I'm gonna throw a lot at you. If you're in the club, get ready. I'm so excited for the next like six months and this is really the reason why we need to take a break. I mean actually the reason is not to like get more motivated and to come back and work. That's not the reason.
The reason is to rest. Uh, I did also realize how hard it is for me to unplug how difficult it is for my brain to do nothing. And I think for so many of us who even, I like to believe that I'm lazy and I like to believe that I like resting. But when it comes down to it, we're so trained to constantly be doing something that I found myself having a really hard time the first couple of days, especially just being like not grabbing my phone, not needing to think of the next 10 things I need to do, um, which really is just a testament to the fact that I need to unplug more. And I think for most of us we need to learn this skill. It doesn't just happen when we have been trained for decades and decades that like our productivity is all that matters.
It becomes so deeply rooted within us that all of our worth is wrapped up in how much we do. And resting can feel very scary. Resting can feel like, which is weird, right? You think like all I want is to rest all like a vacation. Sounds glorious until you're doing it and you have all the thoughts about I should be doing more. I should make more of this vacation. We should be like seeing everything or whatever. We try to make our vacations productive. And it's really when you start noticing like, I don't know how to rest. I don't know how to just be, I don't know how to do nothing. Um, so I was practicing that and it was fantastic. By the, the end of the week I became really good at it and I realized I need more of that in my life.
Um, and now I'm back and I wanna tackle a really important topic that I know right now is affecting a lot of people. And that's layoffs. It has been coming up more and more in the club and I've been coaching more people on it. I know that it has been happening a lot more. The threat of it is, you know, as the economy goes in a downturn, whatever's happening in different industries, there's either the threat of layoffs or layoffs are happening or it's happened to you or someone you know and I wanna talk about it. Here's the thing, if you listen to this podcast then you know that um, I focus mostly on your thoughts around things that are happening. So there are the actual layoffs and how you wanna deal with that. And I'll talk a little bit about that. Like the strategy. What do I wanna do strategically?
What kind of job do I wanna get? How do I wanna, you know, buff up my resume? There is that. But then there's all of the thoughts around the layoff, which caused so much pain for so many of us, right? If it was simply just dealing with the circumstance of like, I got laid off or someone I know got laid off or I might get laid off, then there's a series of steps that you would have to take, right? Where you would kind of sit down and map out what do I need to do? How do I figure this out? How am I gonna navigate this? Do I need to like contact people in my network? What am I, you know, it's like there is the how-tos, which tend to be a little bit straightforward. Not always, but a lot of where the pain comes from are our thoughts about layoffs, our thoughts about potentially getting laid off, getting laid off, other people getting laid off, the survivor's guilt of not being laid off.
All of that causes so much drama in our heads and makes the the whole situation, which is already not a good situation, right? Like we don't have to sugarcoat it. It's not like this is great, I'm so happy it happened. No, it sucks and there can be a lot of disappointment and sadness that comes with that, but we add on so much shame and blame and anger and resentment and bitterness and none of that helps the situation. It just makes it so much more painful. So that's what I wanna talk about today. I'm gonna go through this in kind of three stages. I wanna talk about like before for the people that haven't been laid off, but there's kind of the threat. And I think maybe that threat is always there. Like in the back of our minds I feel like half my clients are always thinking I'm gonna get fired or I'm gonna get laid off.
So it's really this, these thoughts about what if it happens, what if I get laid off? What if they terminate me? The dread, the anxiety that comes with thinking about layoffs. That could be if it's actually happening in your company or if it's not. Even if there's been no talk about it, a lot of us are reading the news and we're seeing about things that are happening in our industry and we're just wondering like is it gonna be my turn next, right? Is it our company's turn next? I've been coaching a lot of clients in my membership, the Quitter Club around this and some people have already been laid off before, right? You had experiences in previous jobs and you're bringing a lot of that anxiety with you cause you know how it feels and you know how terrible it was. And for a lot of you, you didn't have thought work at the time and so it was especially excruciating and painful.
And so there's almost this bracing of ourselves of like, oh God, I don't wanna go through this again. And even if you haven't been laid off, there's just the terror, the fear of like what if this happens? What if, you know, for so many of us, this is like one of our really big worst nightmares. Like if I get fired, if I get laid off and I wanna pull back the curtain, I think a lot of times it's almost like looking under the bed, right? Where it's like you don't wanna look. It's like now become the cobwebby and gross and you haven't cleaned it and it's like, oh, it's just the dark. Like I wanna leave it in the dark and we can't deal with it if we leave it in the dark, right? So like part of what we wanna do is just shine light on it and see like what do we need to clean up?
How much cobwebs are there? How much dust is there? What are the things I need to clean out, right? And so we're just gonna look at like what are our thoughts around being laid off? Okay? So here's the thing. When you are worried about the possibility of being laid off, okay, it hasn't happened yet, but there's the possibility that it might happen and that possibility is there for all of us. We tend to have a lot of dread and anxiety. And what I want you to understand about anxiety is that anxiety has two parts. The first part is that fear of the unknown, right? The uncertainty in the future. And like we don't know what's going to happen. Are they gonna lay off? Are they not? Is it gonna ever affect us? Like what was the revenue for the company? Are we in a good place?
Do we have too many people? Whatever we start like panicking about like maybe I can figure out what's going to happen because this uncertainty is causing me so much dread. The second part of anxiety is how we will feel if that thing happens, right? For so many of us, the reason we're dreading it or the reason we're trying to like anticipate it is because we know that if this worst case scenario happens, if I do get laid off, I'm gonna have a lot of feelings about it and they're gonna be really unpleasant. And for most of us, we haven't been taught how to feel our feelings, how to process our feelings. We don't know what to do with our feelings. And so we're so deathly afraid of them. We're afraid of like if this worst scenario does end up happening, what will I do if I then have to feel all of these feelings, right?
So we have the second part which is like how would I handle if this worst case scenario happened? And what happens is that for most of us, we focus on part number one exclusively because we don't know how to deal with the negative emotion because we don't know how to process our emotions. We think that if I'm vigilant enough, if I'm on top of it enough, right? If I'm watching out for everything that's happening, if I'm perfect enough, if I can do my job, you know, above and beyond if I can give 150% or whatever it is that we think we have to do, if I'm like closely monitoring every single thing my boss says and analyzing it, then maybe I can figure out this puzzle. I can stop this from happening, right? I can guard against this uncertainty. I can become certain, either I'll become certain that I'm gonna get fired.
Cause I think some of us, I see so many of my clients do that where it's like they're convinced that they're gonna get fired every call from their boss, every meeting is like this is when it's gonna happen. And it's almost this bracing our ourselves. And we have this idea that like if I can just control that uncertainty, then I'll know what's gonna happen and you think that maybe that'll make you feel better or I can ward it off, right? Like if I can control the uncontrollable, if I can make this uncertainty certain, if I can know, like if I just do my job, I don't know amazingly well then I won't be laid off, right? And so we try to control that part. We try to control part number one where it's like how do I fix for this uncertainty? How can I become certain that I won't get laid off or that I know what's happening?
But the kicker there and you already know is that there is no way to know. It doesn't matter what you do, you could be completely perfect, you can be the best employee there and you still might get laid off, right? Because like focusing on uncertainty is two parts. One is I won't get laid off and one is I won't be blindsided. If we look at the first part, we don't know whole departments get laid off because they just made a business decision that they don't need that department anymore. It has nothing to do with your work ethic or your performance, right? Bosses could have other agendas. Again, it could be nothing to do with you. Maybe they just need to save that amount in their budget. Maybe they want to merge certain departments, maybe they wanna outsource your department. Who knows you could be perfect and you still might get laid off.
So it doesn't matter how much you try to control that first part, that looming fear will always be there because that possibility is there. Like the sooner we grapple with that, the sooner we understand there is the possibility I might get laid off in any job, right? I think that's like one of the biggest things that we've seen from corporate America is that like your job is never safe and this illusion that it will be safe and that if I work hard enough and if I just become perfect enough, it can be safe, is just that it's an illusion. And so many people end up getting blindsided by that, right? So many people end up being there for 10, 20 years, 30 years growing with the company and then getting laid off. Okay? So while that's something that's difficult to swallow, while that's something that we don't want to happen, facing it knowing again like shining a light on it is the only way that we get some power over it is the only way that we get some control over it is looking at that and saying like, I don't know if I'll get laid off or not.
I might even if I do things perfectly, I'm still gonna try to do my job well, but this uncertainty will be there. The second part to that, the uncertainty again is this. I won't be blindsided. I hear this a lot where it's like I wanna be so vigilant and so on top of things to know like what's happening in the company and why did my boss say this in this way and why did he ask me to have this meeting with this person? And does that mean anything? And we're so like paranoid because we think if I know it's coming then it won't hurt as much that I won't be blindsided. But I want you to know that's a lie. It will still hurt, it will hurt no matter what. And now you're just hurting yourself for so much longer, right? In staying in this level of panic and dread of is it coming now?
What if it's today? Is it gonna be layoffs this week? What if it's gonna be next week? We create so much more panic in the hopes that maybe at some point in the future then I won't have to feel negative emotions if I get laid off right? I won't be blindsided. It won't hurt as much. So I'm just gonna hurt myself every week leading up to this thing that might or might not happen. And so many of us think this is like a perfectly normal way of being because we haven't been taught any different, right? And the reason I think that we do this, especially with the blind sidedness, like why we don't wanna be blindsided is because the story we attach to it is because how much we shame ourselves is because we start thinking that's of I should have known I was delusional, I was so dumb, why did I not see this coming?
I was terrible at my job and I didn't even see that. We're so scared that like we're missing something. Something in the universe is out there about how terrible I am and other people see it and I have to constantly be on guard to make sure I see it too. And we have all of the shame around. I should have seen that coming. I should have been smart enough, I should have not been delusional. And so we think that if we're just like on top of it, we're so panicked that somehow I don't know when it happens we can say to ourselves, see I told you before someone else can then that will somehow lessen the blow are my friends. Not only does it not lessen the blow, it's makes it so much worse because your o your own bully, right? You're waiting to tell yourself I told you so you're waiting to be like, see I knew it.
We were terrible. Gotcha. Like what? What does that do for us? You can choose to think, you can decide to think on purpose. I will never shame myself for not seeing it coming ever. I choose to be a trusting person. I choose to spend my life not in fear. I would rather be blissfully ignorant and just do my job and show up and be happy than be paranoid on edge all the time. That's what I would choose. And if it comes to that, if it comes to the point where I get blindsided, we laid off, I will have my own back. I will love myself through that. I will figure it out. Like just notice how much better that just feels in telling ourselves I don't have to be on guard. I don't have to predict what everyone else is gonna do in this company or in this world.
I don't have to be on edge for every horrible thing that's gonna happen. I can know that. I will figure it out, right? And this is where we lead to number two where I was saying like anxiety has two parts, right? It has the fear of the unknown and that uncertainty and then how you will feel in that if that happens. And this falls in number two. And when I was saying that for most of us we focus on number one, we focus on controlling the uncontrollable, we focus on the uncertainty. And all of your power comes in focusing on number two. All of your power comes in focusing on like how will I treat myself if this happens, if I get laid off right, it will suck, it will hurt. I know that I get to decide that right now. Of course it's gonna feel bad, of course I'm gonna have a lot of disappointment and sadness.
Of course that's not what I want to happen. And I can be with myself through that. I can feel that emotion then I can let myself have sadness and I don't have to attach a story to it. I don't have to shame myself for it. I don't have to beat myself up. I don't have to tell myself terrible things about myself. I can look at it for what it is. I can decide this is what happens in corporate America. I didn't see this coming. I thought I was doing a good job. I'm proud of myself for how I showed up. I did my job well and it didn't work out and that sucks. And I'll feel the sadness and disappointment and grief and anger and whatever it is I have to feel, I will feel that when it happens. So for so many of you that are stuck in this dread and panic about what if it happens, I want you to go there.
A lot of times our brain asks these rhetorical questions and doesn't answer 'em, what if I get fired? What if they lay off? What if I don't have a job? And then we just spin in that. Yeah, what if, oh my god, the most terrible thing. What if? And we'll just keep saying what if. What if? What if? Answer it. What if? What if it happens? What would I do? I guess I'd have to get another job. Guess I'd have to figure it out And maybe I'll, I wanna start being proactive. Like maybe answering that question will get me to figure out like yeah, do I need to start making contacts in my network again? Do I need to start brushing up on the people that I know that are in other fields? Do I wanna spruce up my resume? Those are all fine. I can be proactive about this, right?
And maybe that helps me feel a little bit more calm. But I can also know that like what if this happens? I'll figure it out. I figured it out up until this point. I'll get another job. I'll do what it takes to take care of myself. I will always find a way right When I have those thoughts, when I know I will deal with that when I get there. I don't have to make myself in a constant state of panic and dread when I'm snapping at other people and I'm short and I'm exhausted and I'm in anxiety all day long. And I feel terrible for the idea that maybe someday this will happen again. When we can learn to control our own thoughts about what's going to happen, when we can learn to know that like I can feel any emotion when it comes to it.
I don't have to feel it beforehand. It changes everything. It changes the power you have. It changes the fact that like I don't have to manufacture a bunch of negative emotion in the hopes that I can ward off negative emotion later. Like we start seeing the insanity of that thinking. And so I want you to start focusing on that second part. What would I do? How would I feel? Can I feel that? Can I feel that when I get to it? Can I have my own back? Can I know that I don't have to beat myself up? And this goes into the second part of like if you actually have been laid off, this is the same thing, right? When there's layoffs and if you have been laid off or if you know someone that has been laid off and you can send them this episode, I want you to think about your pain in two different ways and we just touched on it.
But in psychology there are these terms clean pain versus dirty pain. And a lot of what thought work does and a lot of what thought work helps you with is getting off that dirty pain. The unnecessary suffering, the clean pain is natural is the emotions that we feel in our life is things that we want to process is stuff that happens because things didn't work out the way we wanted and it's totally fine. We don't wanna be happy about things all the time, right? Like we don't want toxic positivity. And so the clean pain comes in like yes, if you got laid off you, it sucks. Like we can admit that it's not something any of us want to go through. It's a sucky part of life. I feel disappointed, I feel sad, I feel grief that the future I wanted didn't turn out the way I wanted.
That I don't have a future with this company that maybe I wanted to stay with, that I wasn't treated the way that I wanted to be treated. I can feel a lot of emotions about that and I can let myself process those emotions. I can let myself have those emotions in my body and I can feel what they feel like and I can let them go through me and I can hold myself through that and I can give myself what I need and I can be there for myself and I can feel that clean pain for as long as I need to feel it.
The problem happens where for most of us, the clean pain would actually process fairly quickly if we just allowed ourselves to process it. It happens when we add on the suffering, the dirty pain, right? When we add on the story of I wasn't good enough. See I was terrible at my job. I knew, I was like I wasn't good at this. I knew I was a fraud. I knew they'd figure me out. I have the skills. I'm never gonna get another job. This is so unfair they blindsided me. Again, it's not to say that you can't feel anger or feel like you were slighted. You absolutely can. But for so many of us, when I talk about thought work a lot, when I teach it in my membership, one of the standards or one of the rules that I teach to constantly ask yourself when you're thinking about the thoughts that you have is not is this thought true?
It's does this thought serve me okay? It is likely true that it was unfair. Layoffs tend to be unfair. They tend to come outta nowhere. Like we see the headlines. The company has tons of profits, the CEO is making tons of money and yet they're laying off people. That's not fair. Totally true. And for so many of us we feel this betrayal and again, also very warranted. Some of you have worked at these companies for a lot of your life. You've given a lot of your loyalty, you have sacrificed a lot, you've stopped taking vacations. You don't take your lunch break, which we've talked about. You should stop doing exactly for this reason cuz this is where we a lot of us end up. And so we think I gave so much and now they're just casting me aside with little thought and it's a very rude awakening.
But here's when I say like, does it serve me? Does it serve me? So many people that I coach are sitting in this dirty pain of they didn't gimme a chance to say goodbye and they treated me terribly and they shouldn't have done it this way. And all of that could be true. But the more you are ruminating on those thoughts, the more you're holding on to those thoughts, the more it's like you are drinking poison and expecting them to die, right? The more it's nothing is happening to them anymore, they've moved on. And you can use that yes to look at like do I wanna work for companies like this and what you know, what do I want my next move to be? But sitting in that anger doesn't do anything for you. All it does is keep us stuck. All it does is keep us in this victim mentality, which feels terrible.
It's not to say that it's not true, we were harmed, that's fine. But what I see for so many people that say stuck in that is that it just creates so much more negative emotion and it makes us overwhelmed with anger. And so that we don't do anything else. We have this bitterness and this resentment keep building up cuz the event is over and we're just still stewing on it. And so when I say like does this thought serve me? Is like do I wanna spend my precious time sitting here thinking about how they handled the layoff when it's over now and it sucks and I get to be upset about it but I also get to move on, be like they handled it the way that they did. I wouldn't have done that. And that just shows their ethics or their morals or how they are and good to see I guess.
But what do I wanna spend my time thinking about? What do I wanna spend in my time focusing on, right? And so when you look at the stories that you're attaching, when you look at the thoughts that you're thinking, you just wanna ask yourself like do I wanna spend my time thinking this? Is this gonna serve me? And so for so many of you that have been laid off, like I said earlier, like if we look at what is the strategy, what do I need to do from here? Oftentimes it's very straightforward. I need to get a job right? I need to go, I don't know, spruce up my resume. I need to reach out to my contacts. But why that becomes so hard is because so many of us are carrying around so much of this baggage of I'm terrible at my job, nobody else is gonna wanna hire me.
This is too hard. I shouldn't have to do this at this stage in my career, I've now wasted so much time, I'm back to square one. All of these thoughts are just poisonous thoughts. They stop you from just doing the thing that you need to do. Your thoughts could be this is just a part of business in this country. It sucks. This is corporate America. It is just what it is. It happened cyclically. You could decide I can have my own back through this process. I can decide I was proud of the way that I showed up and this is what happened. And now I have to decide what I'm gonna do. I can decide I'm a human and this feels but I'll figure it out. I figured out everything up until this point in my life. I'll figure this out too. And this is a very a stretch for a lot of us.
I'm not saying you have to go here, but you can start thinking like, what if this was a blessing in disguise? Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. And I don't say this to like make light of what is happening, but oftentimes there's a reason we have the saying blessing in disguise, right? We don't know. It's a blessing at the time. It looks like a curse. And this happens over and over again for a lot of us and we can only see the blessing in hindsight, right? I had my mom on the podcast now it was a long time ago now I don't remember the exact episode. But she talked about how she got laid off when she was 59 and she was very blindsided and she had no idea what she was gonna do and she had a lot of anger and resentment rightfully so at how she was treated.
And over the years it has turned out to be the literal best thing that could have ever happened to her. Cause she would've never left corporate America if it hadn't happened. She had worked at that company for 20 years and she wasn't gonna go anywhere and she had overworked and she was overly stressed and she didn't take vacations and it was a really rough couple of years after she got laid off and she ended up starting a business. That business has flourished. She works extremely part-time is basically semi-retired, makes more than she ever did lives the most luxurious life. It's honestly unbelievable seeing how it turned out over the years. Now it's now been like seven, eight years. And looking back it was a complete blessing right? At the time obviously she didn't think that, she thought it was the worst thing that had happened to her.
She was so angry and so upset and so sad and so scared of like where do you start over at at 60, right? Can she even, can she get a job? Are people gonna hire her? There was so much that she had to go through and this isn't just her story. I've had so many people on the podcast that started their entrepreneurial journeys after they got laid off, started like so many wonderful things. And I just say this that like when we look back we can think, oh that was the part where I thought my life was over. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me and I really didn't see like how much possibility was out there for me. And so it is harder to do it when you're in the moment, but sometimes using this thought helps you be like, cuz a lot of times when we're in the moment, our brain loves to believe this is it.
It'll always be like this. It will always hurt this much, right? Even in the worst tragedies, like when you look at grief, right? There's really, I, I don't know in my mind one of the hardest emotions is grief. And I think for so many of us when we're in it in the moment, it seems like you are drowning and you'll never get out. But you look at people who go through grief and not to say that it goes away, but they can start building a life again. They can start finding happiness again. They can find joy within that grief. It starts dissipating a little. It starts letting up so that they can breathe. It happens for all of us. That's one of the beautiful things about our emotions is that they are like waves. They come and they go right? As time passes, things change.
And it's hard when you're in it to see that. But I promise you it gets better. It changes that there are other seasons in your life. And so if you can access this thought, you don't have to. If you're like in the thick of like, no, this is not a blessing in disguise, this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me, that's fine, that's totally fine and that's normal. And you can come to the club and I can help you coach through your thoughts on this. But if you can get to the part of like maybe this is the part where I think y'all never get another job or I'll, I think it'll never work out for me, but this might be a blessing in disguise. This might be the beginning of something really wonderful because when you put your brain to that, when you start thinking that I've talked about this, like the effect of like your brain will look for what you tell it to look for, right?
When you start buying a car, you see that car everywhere. If you start allowing the possibility of like what if this was the best thing that could have happened to me, your brain might start looking for evidence. Like yeah, what other possibility is out there? What other dreams have I held off on that maybe now I can work on when we're stuck in this is so unfair, I'm never gonna get out of this, I'm never gonna find another job. Take a guess at where your mind is looking at, right? Your brain is just gonna look for all the evidence of, yeah, right now is the worst job market. I'm never gonna find a job. Nobody else is finding jobs. I'm only gonna see the articles and the headlines that say that. I'm only gonna notice that and I'm gonna keep creating that story and making it bigger for myself and making it more painful.
And so I just say this, if you're ready to go there to like give it a shot of like thinking about what if this part is terrible but there's a possibility that it leads to something even better, right? If that's a bridge too far for you, I understand you can just think this is simply the ending of one chapter. That's all it's, and now I'm on to the next one. Every life has seasons and this was one season. I'm going into a rough one dealing with this layoff and I'll come out of it in another season. I don't know how I'm gonna do it but I know I'll figure it out, right? I want you to think about how different those thoughts feel than the thought. This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I'm never gonna get out of this. There's no jobs now no one's gonna hire me.
I'm too old, I'm too young, I'm too inexperienced, I don't whatever. I was only there for six months. It looks bad on my resume. Like of course when you are thinking those thoughts, applying for jobs is difficult, keeping yourself motivated is difficult. Wanting to get up and talk to people is difficult. But when you think in the way that I've been talking about like just notice how much more you can just breathe, how much we can kind of turn down the fever pitch on what's happening in our brain. And I will say this lastly, this still applies to you. I know some people are thinking like, well this is all good and fine and when they, you know, cut out a department or you know that it's not for a reason but like I got laid off or fired for cause I got laid off because they told me I wasn't doing a good enough job.
And I will say this actually before I go back, it's so funny watching people's stories. I was coaching someone who told me that their department was being eliminated and was having a really rough time with it. And I was asking him like what the thoughts were that were causing so much pain. And he said like if I was good enough they would've kept me. And it was fascinating to see that like they told you that there's just no more department. Why are you choosing to think this and this is what we do. It's like I'm just gonna torture myself. I'm just gonna tell myself that if I could have been better, it would be different. And we all do this, I do this too. So it's not like this person has a normal human brain doing the normal things. I just wanna preface this before I go into like people that actually were told like there was something you did wrong.
Like even when they tell you that you didn't do anything wrong, we are like No, but they're lying. I was clearly terrible and I want you to stop that. I want you to stop torturing yourself with this stuff. But even if it is, even if they're like, you know what, you just weren't cutting it. You weren't doing what we thought you'd need to be doing and we fired you. And for so many of us there was so much shame that comes with that because we have been brought up in a culture that has told us that we have to be perfect all the time. And it's a lie and it's impossible. And we've been told that no matter what we do, we have to be perfect at it. So it's not even like maybe this doesn't align with your skillset. Maybe this job is just not where you're motivated to be showing up as your best whatever.
We don't look at any of that. It's just like, I'm a failure. I'm terrible. I'm never gonna get another job. I'm, you know, never gonna see the other side of this. This is who I am. I should feel like crap, right? I should beat myself up every day and tell myself, see you couldn't cut it, you're not good enough. And we do this to ourselves and we just like constantly torture ourselves instead of thinking, yeah, I'm a human. I made a mistake or I wasn't great at this job. This isn't my skillset. Good to know, right? I am not going to be good at every job. That's just a reality. I have a certain level of skills, my brain works a certain way, I have strengths. Maybe I was just in the wrong place, right? I could look at this like maybe this is showing me that I need to be somewhere else.
Perfect, thank you universe for directing me in the right direction so I don't waste my life trying to be good at something I'm not good at. We could think that, right? We could think I don't need to be perfect to love myself. Here's the thing, my friends, it's super easy to love yourself when you're crushing it, when you're getting all the accolades, when you're getting the degrees and the straight A's and you're getting the promotions and you're making the money. Like yeah, it's super easy to think I love me, I'm amazing. It's a lot harder to think that when you're down and that is when you need it the most. Of course you're not perfect, you're human like the rest of us welcome. I want you to think about it and, and people talk about this all the time, but like truly in this situation, I want you to think about like your kids or a friend, a best friend.
And it's like if they failed at something or if something didn't work out the way they wanted or let's say they got a bad grade, ch your child got a F on something or whatever or your friend got fired, you would never be like, yeah it's just cuz you're a terrible person. Must be cuz you suck at everything. You probably can never get a job again. I mean like we know we're so awful to ourselves. Like we wouldn't even utter one-tenth of what we would tell ourselves to other people. But it's really important to kind of start seeing that why am I telling myself this? Why am I telling myself that? Like because it didn't work out at one place, that means there's something inherently wrong with me. What if it just means I'm not good at that job? So I want you to work on your stories as well.
Even if it happened for a reason, I don't care. That does not mean that you then get a license to beat yourself up and tell yourself how terrible you are. That simply means this circumstance didn't work out the way I want it. Okay, how do I wanna think about it? How do I wanna feel about it? How do I wanna treat myself through this, right? Lastly, I just wanna cover survivor's guilt with layoffs. I know that this is also a big one for a lot of us. We work in a corporations that maybe do things where ethically we don't agree with, right? And there might be large swaths of layoffs and your friends get laid off or people you know get laid off or people you like get laid off or just departments that you didn't even know about get laid off and you don't.
And for so many of us there's so much guilt around that, especially if it's people that we know and we like and there's a lot of guilt and a lot of thoughts about working for companies like that. And I just wanna address it quickly because this isn't to say that you should change all of your thoughts to just feel well like good, right? This might be a moment where you want to like keep those thoughts and you want to reevaluate, do I wanna work for a company like this? That's totally fine. It's totally fine to say like, you know what, like the way that they handled this was really and I wanna find somewhere else. Great. Now you know what you wanna do, right? But for a lot of us we have to end up staying or we wanna end up staying Or even how they handled it maybe wasn't terrible, it was just layoffs and it still feels like crap.
And we wanna like look at the guilt. Like part of the thoughts that we have is like it's not fair that I got to keep my job right or I shouldn't stay in solidarity, right? In order to show support for them. And I want you to just look at your thoughts about like part of the thought is that like I'm doing something wrong and the reality of the situation is that this is the system we live in. It's broken and it's terrible, it's and yet it's what we have. This is corporate America, okay? For most of us, if we work for any company, harm is being done. You just like you can't be alive in this world and not be a part of harm for whatever it is. Whether it's the taxes we pay, the government and what our government does with our taxes, whatever it is.
Like we are all in some way complicit. And again, this isn't to mean like to alleviate anything and to like let yourself not care. That's not what I'm saying. But it is an acknowledgement and understanding of like there is no purity. There's nowhere that I'm gonna go where like everything's gonna be aligned cuz human beings are 50 50, we're kind and wonderful and loving and we are really terrible to each other at times and we lie and we're hypocrites, all of us without fail. Now some of us you know, tend to try to stick to our morals more. But even us, like we all lie, we all do things that we don't agree with. And as a whole our system is set up in a way that has really great advances, that does really amazing things that might be better than a lot of systems.
And it also has really crappy things like layoffs. And I want you to think about the thoughts that you're thinking that leads to the guilt. Like what are the thoughts that I'm thinking that makes me feel guilty, right? And it's almost like this I level of perfectionism of yourself and moral purity that you're expecting of yourself that's really not possible or not fair to you, right? And some of the thoughts I want you to think are like it's okay for you to need to take care of your own needs for a lot of you like you need that job, you need that salary right then and that's okay. It's okay to say I don't agree with the company did but I have to take care of my own knees. That's natural. Like you're evolved to do that. That doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you human, right?
It's okay to have conflicting feelings. It's okay to have a 50 50. You don't have to love everything your company does. You don't have to say this is the best place to work and everything feels good and everybody does the right thing all the time. That's impossible. No job does that. It's okay to say like I think for the most part they do some good things and they do some bad things and I don't agree with all of it and I still want to be here. I want to be here for the opportunities. And that's okay too. It's okay to understand that you are not responsible for how a company is run unless it's your company. Then you are responsible. And even with that, like I'll say this as an employer, as somebody that is running a company, I obviously try to run it within my morals and ethics and I know I'll still cause harm cuz I'm human and I know something I think I'm doing is the right thing for me or is the right thing for my business will likely still hurt someone will likely make someone feel a certain way.
I might not be able to offer it at a price point people want. I might not be able to keep on contractors once I don't have work for them. I might get to a place where I can't afford it and I have to cut people off. All of that might cause harm and I have to be okay with that. That like there is the 50 50 here too. There is no like way to be a hundred percent pure in this where everything I do is completely harmless and that everything I do is always gonna end up in the greater good for everybody. That just, there's just not a possibility. And so again, I'm not saying that like you have to decide what you wanna do with this company or where you wanna stay. And this isn't in any way a way of saying like they just like feel okay about it cuz there's gonna be some situations where you're gonna be like, no, what they did was really terrible and I just don't wanna work for these people anymore.
Totally fine. And then there's gonna be places where it's like this is just the 50 50, this is the sucky part of business and it's in all of corporate America and the company wasn't doing well and they had to lay people off and it does suck that some people have to go through that and I didn't. But that doesn't make me a bad person and doesn't make me a bad person for staying and I'm not responsible for this and I don't have to live my life in shame and guilt and I can process the negative emotions and still show up and do a good job at where I'm at. And so this whole episode is a lot of suggestions for thoughts you can think. But what is really important for you is to figure out what your thoughts are, is to figure out what are the feelings I'm feeling and what are the thoughts that are creating that for me, right?
Is to create thoughts that you can believe. If what I've offered you are not thoughts that you can adopt, that's okay. You may not be there yet. The point is in finding those thoughts and thinking about like what serves me better to think than to sit and create this doomsday scenario about something that is gonna happen cyclically. Like what's fascinating for me is that like this isn't gonna be the last round of layoffs in a couple of years. Who knows? Maybe it'll be next year, two years, five years, another eight years, the recession's gonna come again, the economy's gonna do well and then it's gonna do bad. It happens all the time and somehow we fool ourselves into like this shouldn't happen, but it is and it's gonna happen again. So maybe we shouldn't be blindsided by it. Maybe we should just be like, this is what's gonna happen and when it happens, I'll deal with it and I'll figure out how many places do I need to apply to?
How many jobs do I need to apply? I'll have my own back. I'll stop telling myself that I'm terrible and that I can't get a job. I'll work on my own thoughts about my imposter syndrome. And that makes dealing with the circumstance of layoffs so much easier. We cannot change the circumstance. Layoffs will happen. That is out of our control. All we get to change is how we approach it, how we deal with it. And if you need help dealing with it, I want you to join me in the quitter club. I understand that especially in a recession around times with layoffs or if you've gotten fired, the idea of investing in yourself, the idea of spending $200 a month is like, I can't afford that. And I want you to know you can't afford not to. I want you to think about how much it costs you in not getting another job because you put it off like you put off applying because you're telling yourself such horrible things.
I want you to think about how much it costs you to sit in years and years in shame and guilt. I was recently just coaching someone on their layoff that happened at their last job from years ago and how much panic that's causing them in this current job. And I just think about how much less suffering this person would've had if they had coaching before, if they didn't have to drag this baggage with them for years and years and years because of something that happened that was out of their control. I want you to come and process it. I want you to come find the thoughts that you need. I want you to learn how to deal with the emotions so that you're not living in constant dread. $200 is nothing compared to what you will are putting yourself through and what you're suffering through and what you're, the story that you're creating for yourself and the pain that you're putting yourself through and how much you're putting off the goals and dreams that you have in your life.
Getting another job, starting your own business, using this as maybe that blessing in disguise to figure out what you want. All of that is there for you, my friend, but you have to be willing to get the help. So join me in the Quitter Club. Go to lessons from a club and don't go through this alone. It is painful, it is hard, but you, it could be so much easier if you just get help. Hi my friends, I hope this was helpful. If you know someone that is suffering from getting laid off or is in this kind of dread of getting laid off, send them this episode, let it help them as well. And I will see you next week for 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 club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.