Dear Class of 2020,
Congratulations on your big welcome into the real world. You have officially graduated during one of the most interesting times of the world with instability and uncertainty as far as you can see. I am so proud of the adversity and setbacks you are about to face. I hope you are able to look into the future and know with the difficulties ahead, you have the choice to hideaway while hoping the outside world will save you or you can make the choice to walk into the storm creating the opportunity to live a joyful life of personal success.
Before we get started, I want to let you know why I am so excited for you. I, too, graduated college during a time of instability and uncertainty. In late 2008, the stock market crashed, and the world economic turmoil followed shortly after creating what we now know as “The Great Recession”. I walked across the stage receiving my diploma in a worthless subject, loads of student debt, overweight, with no real people or work skills, and my wife and I had a baby on the way. Needless to say, I was concerned about what the world had in store for me.
I was offered two positions after graduation; one was an entry level positive with McDonald’s and one was as a sales position at Toyota. The position at Toyota paid a little more, so with my lack of people skills, zero business sense, and nothing but hope that something better was on the horizon, I took the sales job…
I took a job I hated and had no skills in during one of the most difficult economies of the past hundred years and turned the experience into a lesson I will never forget.
Within 90 days, having no sales under my belt and the economic atmosphere freefalling, I asked about a book on how to sell a car. This is the day that turned my life around. I read a book on personal development, then another, then another. I developed myself every day. I learned, I practiced, I stumbled, I failed, and every time I felt like quitting, I took one more step forward until I built myself into the person I needed to become. I earned my way to the top producing salesperson for nearly 6 years and worked in sales management for about the same length of time.
I learned to gain control of my health. After stepping on the scale at 400 pounds in March 2013, I took a step out of my kitchen and around the block until I earned better fitness and health by losing 200 pounds and teaching myself to run 100 miles. In the process of losing myself on the outside, I overcame depression and alcohol abuse through journaling and meditation. I discovered who I was on the inside despite the societal pressure and cultural norms that told me to fall in line with conformity and comfort.
I learned to produce my own income, manage my health, and overcome adversity and failure in every aspect of life; business, fitness, and family.
My point of telling you my story is to let you know you are not alone in your journey. I have spoken with numerous graduates who are disappointed they have not found their dream job yet. More have moved back in with their parents due to financial or emotional stability concerns. The stress and anxiety, the depression and disappointment looms and the downward spiral is and will continue if there is nothing to reverse the process.
Here is the good and the hard news about your situation.
There is only one person who has the power to modify your current position.
The person is the voice in your head.
The person is who puts your shoes on every day.
The person is the one looking back at you in the mirror.
The only person who can change your situation is YOU.
I would love to tell you all the things you want to hear, but it wouldn’t do you any good. No one else can do ‘it’ for you. No one else can get you the job. No one else can disrupt your current patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Change is up to YOU.
Here are a couple quick tips to help you disrupt the process of drifting down the path of disappointment and despair so you can regain your personal power and take the necessary step forward toward the rest of your life. Always remember where you start is not where you finish if you have the flexibility to change and the awareness to take calculated risk outside your comfort zone.
- The job you take and don’t want might be your best learning experience for you future
- Learn to live uncomfortably
- Learn to self-educate and grow yourself from the inside
- Break away for societal expectations and cultural norms to create your own version of success
- Learn to find opportunity and value in every experience; the good and the hard
Many of us can be here to guide you with strategy, support and encourage you through setbacks and adversities while holding you accountable to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Yet it is up to YOU and only YOU to look in the mirror and take the step forward. Learn the value of personal responsibility and self-discipline and you will be well on your way to breaking out and breaking through toward a joyful and successful life you want to live.
I want to leave you with a way to disrupt your current cycle and break out into a positive direction for your future. Here is a simple guided self-coaching exercise to help you Just Think!? your way through your current thought and behavioral patterns.
This exercise works best if you practice out loud in front of a mirror or working through it in a written journal. Repetition and Consistency are two keys to making this exercise work for you. The more you practice, the more you will convince yourself, the more action you will take, and the more confidence you will build while moving forward toward your goals.
Ask and answer these questions ‘out loud’ in the mirror, journaling, or both. You will find the more you do, the easier it will get and the more clarity you will discover as you go.
- Who am I, TODAY?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- What do I want in the future?
- Who do I need to become to get what I want in the future?
- What positive actions am I taking toward my goals?
- What actions am I not taking that is holding me back?
- Why am I holding myself back from taking the step forward?
- What am I afraid of?
- Why am I afraid?
- How can I move past my fear?
- What action can I take right now that will move me forward one step
Learning to focus on the one step in front of us can help us remove the overwhelming anxiety of all the external circumstances while we focus on the most important aspect of self. The one person we have the power to change is our self. The one aspect of the world we have control over is our self. The one focus we should take advantage of is our self.
Times are hard, I understand.
Things are different than what you had imagined, I get it.
The level of fear, doubt, insecurities, and external resistance is huge, I know.
Yet with all the turmoil outside of self, it is more important than ever for you to look on the inside to find the light that will carry you through the darkness.
You will stumble.
You will fall.
You will get beat up.
You will get hurt.
You will experience difficulty.
You will get your heartbroken.
You will experience pain.
It is up to you if you use the hard experiences to develop and grow or if you live in the pain and suffering and remain sheltered from the circumstances.
You have a choice…
Will you take advantage of the opportunity to find the Sunshine and Hope from the Darkness the world has thrust upon you?
I would be more than happy to find a time to work with you to get started. Please feel free to schedule a complimentary call with me. https://coachgary.as.me/intro