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How Being Laid Off 4 Times Taught Me to Thrive

Losing a job can trigger feelings of betrayal and failure, but there's something to be won from it.

punch today in the face wall quote

“I’m sorry, but your position has been eliminated.”

This was the line I heard more than once. In fact, I heard it four times. Four times in the span of five years. I — the stereotypical overachiever with a work-like-a-dog mentality and $80,000 college degree — couldn’t hang on to a job if my life depended on it.

The fourth lay-off was like a punch to the gut, but it was one that I needed. While it was hard to believe at the time, getting kicked to the curb by employer after employer was a blessing in disguise.

And it taught me many important lessons that I’d end up applying not just in business but in life, too. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I hope these lessons bring you a little bit of comfort.

3 Lessons to Learn From Being Unemployed

1. You Can Always Land on Your Feet — If You Choose

Someone might kick you down in the dirt, but it’s your choice to stay there. Or, you can choose to stand up again and brush the dust off.

I remember sitting across the desk from the vice president of the company I worked for — a man who was so obviously lying through his teeth when he told me why I no longer worked for them. It was devastating and cruel and unfair.

But it was also out of my control.

It wasn’t immediate, but I eventually came to terms with the fact that there was nothing I could do to change what happened.

So, I let it go and moved on.

I’m not telling you not to be angry or upset if you lose your job or experience another sort of setback, disappointment, or rejection. Those feelings are valid, and you’re entitled to experience them.

However, be aware of how long you choose to stay angry or upset. And remember that when you carry those feelings around long-term, the only person you’re hurting is yourself.

Choose to get back on your feet.

2. You Are the Author of Your Own Life

I’ll risk sound inescapably cheesy, because it’s so true. If you can think it, you can achieve it. The life you want is yours, if you so choose to believe it into existence.

After the last time I was laid off, I decided that it would indeed be the last time. I was going to do something to prevent any employer from taking my paycheck away from me ever again.

I was going to build my own business.

And I did. I built it from the ground up into the five-figure-a-month, well-oiled machine that it is today. I’ve never looked back.

Money still comes and goes, but I’ll never walk into the office again to the news that I no longer have a job.

For me, writing my story meant leaving behind life as an employee to become an entrepreneur. For you, the story might look different. What is it that you want most? What major life shift do you desire?

If you truly believe you’re worth it — which you are — then you can have it.

3. The Only Boundaries in Life Are the Ones You Set for Yourself

I know this sounds like it should be stitched on a pillow somewhere, but it’s true.

Whatever you think you’re worth, you are. However much you think you can achieve, you can.

But that’s it, and no more.

The first step toward elevating your life is knowing that you can without a shadow of a doubt. It’s believing that it’s fully possible, without question, with a growth mindset no one can damper.

When I first started building my business and wasn’t all that confident in my ability, I remember saying, “I just want to make enough to pay my bills.”

And guess what? That’s exactly how much I made — until I decided that I wanted to make $4,000 a month… $5,000… $8,000… $10,000…

Every goal I’ve set for myself, I’ve reached and surpassed. You can do the same. But you have to make your mind up that it’s possible, first.

Behind every “failure” is a lesson to be learned. If nothing else, take a rotten situation and try to walk away a better, stronger, smarter person.

And always remember that even when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, the power to make an epic comeback is already within you.

Megan Grant is the owner of Revenue Spark Digital and also teaches freelancers how to build their own businesses. Visit her online.

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