On Getting Fired

Getting fired is a lot like going through a breakup.  It can be devastating, relieving, shocking, really difficult, surprisingly easy or all of the above.  It shakes your stability and your routine. If getting fired from your job is in the devastating category, here are a few tips: 1) Remember that getting fired is like a death.  With death comes grieving and a lot of feelings.  Grieving typically has 5 stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  You might catch yourself bargaining “If only I had just done this project on time then maybe I wouldn’t have lost the job.”  Or maybe you are in the stage of denial, which could mean that you are not facing the reality of how you will support yourself or get a new job after.  Allow yourself to grieve, forgive yourself and release any feelings connected to being fired. 2)  A lot of the suffering around getting fired is what decisions we make about it or the meaning that we attach to getting fired.  Like a bad breakup when someone says “I’ll never love again,” or “this was my one chance at love” we can feel like the job we lose was our only chance at doing what we want to do in life.  However, we can also make choices and decisions to learn our mistakes and choose something even better for us.  Practice choosing that this is an opportunity for you to come even closer to your dreams.  Practice believing that an even better job is around the corner. Learn what parts of the job you want to recreate, and which parts you want to make even better.  Like relationships, the next one is usually even better. 3) Getting fired is a huge opportunity.  It allows us to pause, take stock, and recreate our lives again.  Although sometimes we are tired of doing this or don’t want to do this, it is better to do it consciously than unconsciously.  Luckily, if you are fired you are often eligible for unemployment, which can help with the process of reevaluating and contemplating next steps.  (It can also sometimes allow for a much needed vacation or road trip!)  This time of transition can allow you to set your North Node or Career goal for the next 5-10 years.  It can help you become more focused and allow your career to be more actualized. 4) Practice self care and being an ally for yourself!  Like with any stressful time, it can be common for our Inner Critic or Super Ego to go buck wild.  We can start blaming ourselves and attacking ourselves for life going the way it has.  Because we are stressed, we might also forget to do the self care practices that keep us sane.  As you go through losing a job, take it as an invitation to step up your self care.  Be as kind to yourself as you can, and spend time doing the things that bring you joy and keep you sane.  Hikes in nature, exercise, time with friends or time alone, meditation, massage, baths, journaling, reading a good book, playing games or spending time with pets are all examples of ways that you can take care of yourself.  Remember that the Inner Critic is especially strong in times of stress.  Practice interrupting self attack and focusing on ways to grow and learn from this experience. Read more »

5 Ways to Determine You Are Under an Inner Critic Attack

Often when I am working with my clients it is clear that one of the major reasons they are experiencing suffering is because they are having an Inner Critic Attack. This part of the self has lots of names.  Traditionally known as the Super Ego; it also goes by the Judge, the Gatekeeper, the Critical Parent and many other names. In other words, the Inner Critic is a part of the self that is attacking another part of the self.  Now, normally we don’t walk around experiencing ourselves as having different parts. If we have a fairly healthy ego, we just experience all thoughts in our head as our own. The problem with this is that many if not MOST of our thoughts didn’t originally come from us. So it can sometimes be helpful to separate out the part of ourselves that is attacking us, and distinguish it from supportive voices that can actually help us change. When I first notice a client’s inner critic, my client is often not able to tell that they are having an Inner Critic Attack. So here are 5 ways you can tell that you may be having an Inner Critic Attack: 1) The Wagging Finger: One of the easiest ways to tell if you are talking to yourself from the Inner Critic is if you feel like someone is wagging a finger at you. The Inner Critic says things like “You really should have…”, “You knew better than to…”, “If you had just…”, “You are never going to get better at…” and “You are so disappointing.” The experience is that you are being lectured or admonished by someone, only that someone is you. This voice generally has a little (or a lot) of disgust and disappointment in its tone, and it is also pretty sure that you are never going to change. 2) You Feel “Bad” About Yourself: Many of my clients can’t identify the thoughts or inner voice that is attacking them, but they can tell that they feel “bad” about themselves. That is because the main feeling that the Inner Critic elicits is shame, but most people are not able to identify that they are feeling shame. If you are feeling “bad” about yourself, you are probably experiencing shame about one or many things, and under an Inner Critic attack. 3) You Feel “Not Good Enough”: Technically feeling “not good enough” is not really a feeling, but it seems like it is. That’s because when you feel shame, it often comes along with the belief or thought that you are not good enough. This is your inner critic attacking you for one or many things. 4) Your Body is Hunched Over: Many of us work with computers and sit in desks for work and have a little hunch to our shoulders. This is not what I’m talking about. What I am referring to is the way that your body collapses and hunches over when you feel bad about yourself. This is the body’s natural response to the feeling of Shame. Your eyes become downcast, your shoulders hunch over and sometimes your feet turn in. You feel the impulse in your body to hide or withdraw from people. This is a big sign that you are having an inner critic attack. 5) You are Withdrawing, or Distracting Yourself With Addictive Behavior: We withdraw from people or distract ourselves with addictive behavior for all kinds of reasons. One reason why people withdraw or engage in addictive behavior is because they are avoiding the shame that occurs for them when they are around others. This shame is often attached to an inner attack that is going on in the background of their mind when they are around other people. If you are withdrawing from others, or distracting yourself with addictive behavior, you may be having an Inner Critic Attack. Recognizing when you are under an Inner Critic Attack is one of the first steps towards ending the attacks. In the beginning though, it can sometimes be overwhelming to recognize how much you are under attack by yourself. Make sure you don’t attack yourself for attacking yourself!!! Begin to notice and separate the attacking/judging voice from other thoughts or voices that are more helpful. Stay tuned for ways to interrupt and alleviate the inner attacks! Read more »