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“Sorry Tim, you’re not entrepreneurial enough for this role.”
That was the conversation I got after being rejected for the tenth career change in a row. I thought I had talent, but my mind was telling me I was an idiot.
“You think anyone gives a damn about how many followers you have?”
“You’re not an entrepreneur. Your last few side ventures failed.”
“Nobody cares, that’s why your colleagues are not helping you.”
Get freaking angry.
After my tenth rejection, I realized that no one looks at online job applications.
I got bloody angry and rang the country manager of a well-known tech company. I told her I wanted a reference and was tired of doing online applications. I summarized my three talents and asked for the chance to interview.
I told her that my true value to their business would never be realized through 12-point Times New Roman font, on another Word Document full of self-promotion and fakery.
I told her I’m human and I deserve a chance. I got lucky that day. She was the hiring manager and she could feel my passion. She offered to do coffee.
Being Mr or Ms Calm when the odds are stacked against you doesn’t work. You have to get angry and then channel that frustration into positive actions.
A bit of cold hard anger fuels your passion and you start doing things differently. Show who you really are and show how much an opportunity means to you.
Nothing beats the human connection that comes from a bit of anger and emotion. The lowest point is the best way to a new path you haven’t been down before. Lows are followed by highs.
Get a sense of reality.
Your low point is not unique to you. We’re all human and we’ve all got problems and challenges and moments that suck.
Take a look at this situation for what it is: a chance to rise up again.
You’re being blindsided by your negative thoughts. They’re telling you this moment is the worst yet and you can’t get out of it. You can. Get a grip!
You have to put in the work.
As I said, we all go through low points. The only way out of the black hole is to climb out yourself. It’ bloody hard work and it will make you sweat.
During my failed career change, what made the difference was me putting in the work.
I stopped waiting for the lifeguards to come and help me, and I just did it myself. I got on the phone, typed out emails and even spoke to strangers in the lift.
I told everyone I was available and what I was looking for. I dreamt about my ideal career and didn’t settle for second best because it was only going to lead to another low point if I did.
I got fired up and took my low point by the curly ones.
Low points can define you in a positive way. They can show you just how hard you can work — and maybe even how lazy you’d been before which led to this low point.
Quit telling your sob story and crank up your work rate. Do anything, just don’t be lazy and complain.
You’ve got to start somewhere.
The way out of a low point is to get started. You have to try something new if you want to escape your reality.
Doing the same dumb stuff that got you there probably won’t fix the situation.
My turnaround in my career started when I stopped complaining and tried a few new strategies. I approached the career change differently. Instead of telling companies what I wanted, I told them what I could do for them.
I used this line frequently: “On the first day you hire me, you will have my resignation letter so if it at any point you don’t like the results I produce, you can hit the reset button and fire me.”
By backing myself, companies started to listen. Companies started offering me interviews and even roles. Deciding to start somewhere was the difference.
Rejection will only make you stronger.
Almost all low points I’ve experienced have had an element of rejection attached to them.
The more rejections I stacked up, the more I saw them for what they were: A chance to get stronger.
My care factor for rejection became less and less. One day, amongst all the weeds of rejection, I got asked to do a speech in front of people whose opinions I cared about.
I said yes and didn’t realize what I had gotten into. I went into that room full of fear and spoke about something I was told was a bad idea: a mistake I made.
The speech was a success and it defined my low point in a new way. I figured out during this important moment that I could do anything and that rejection wasn’t the end — it was the beginning of something new.
“Stack the rejections up like poker chips and then go all in when your chance arises”
You go from one problem to the next.
This low point is only one of many. There are many more to come.
Life is like bouncing from one problem to the next. In my life, I went from health problems, to love life problems, to career problems and then back to health problems. The trail of problems never ends.
Now you know they’re forever, you may as well get used to them. You may as well use problems to your advantage. Otherwise, you’ll be crippled by them for the rest of your life.
Quit feeling sorry for yourself — no one cares.
This is incredibly harsh advice, but most good advice is. During my low point, I saw clearly that no one cared.
When I told my sob story to my friends and colleagues, they didn’t really care.
“People that feel sorry for themselves are like a disease that no one wants to touch”
An extreme focus on yourself means there’s nothing for anyone else. When we figure out someone is only interested in themselves, we go in the other direction, often subconsciously.
Moving forward is the only measurable difference.
The way I escaped the quicksand of my low point was to keep moving forward. Each day I focused on taking one actionable step that I thought would get me out of the low point.
No matter what, I forced myself to take one small step forward every day even if I didn’t feel like it.
The opportunity is the same for you. Don’t stand still and look down at your low point. Put your head up and take small steps forward in the direction you know you must head. I know it’s tough, but it will make all the difference.
Image credit: therebelution
Go and be there for someone else (it’s counter-intuitive).
The last and most important lesson I’ve learned from all the low points in my life is to be there for someone else.
“When your attention is focused on someone else and how you can help them, you find the solution to your own low point in their situation”
The solution is almost always, the realization that you’ve become obsessed with yourself and your own challenges. Your way out of a low point is to help someone through theirs.
That’s everything I’ve learned about low points. I hope this advice helps you.