Throw yourself at the ground and miss

Finding the positive spin will help increase your emotional resilience.

I’m convinced that finding the positive spin is THE key to having strong emotional resilience.  Some might accuse me of having a pure “Pollyanna” outlook because of this.  You know, like I always look for the “silver lining” and all that.  Well, I do look for the silver lining, but I didn’t always.  I’ve worked hard to get into the habit of finding the positive spin because there have been many times in my life where it’s worked to help me be happier. 

Finding the positive spin
About 13 years ago, I took a job with a company that recruited me (I was very flattered, of course), but I didn’t know then what I know now, and I realized 30 or so days into my employment that the culture of this company was not a good fit for me.  Persistence is one my strengths but became a weakness in this case.  I stayed in this career hell for a year.  I was miserable and always at odds with my manager, but I wasn’t the only one.  It was a toxic environment, and nearly 100% of the staff turned over that year.  I should have been relieved when they fired me, but I was so crushed that they broke up with me before I could break up with them that I cried my heart out. 

Today I look back on that experience with no regrets and am even happy that I went through it.  Why? 

Because of what it taught me: 

  • First of all, I learned what not to do. I learned to not stick with something I don’t love and doesn’t fit. Life’s too short!
  • Secondly, it taught me empathy for those who are laid off or fired. Good people get fired all the time. This has made me so much better at my career services work.
  • Finally, it was a very important (and necessary) catalyst to move me here where I am in my professional life now as a career coach. It helped me hone the ability and passion to help others to find the work they love and not settle for “just a job.”
  • Oh, and one more addition to the positive spin on this particular story… I met a wonderful person at that toxic company. Over the last 13 years, she has become one of my dearest friends!

Flying Out Becoming wiser than before
After my year in career hell ended, I went through a personal/professional self-esteem building process and landed a great job that was tailor-made for me.  I flourished there for 8 very happy years.  I might have stayed longer except the company was bought, the culture started changing, and, well, I’d become a lot wiser than I was before, so I broke up with them first!


The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. –Douglas Adams

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