How to Overcome Anxiety About Losing a Job
Losing a job, however it happens, can be an incredibly stressful experience, I know from experience. One day you have a steady stream of income to support your family, and then in an instant, your world gets turned upside down. And while it can be a difficult transition to navigate, I have seen so many people experience this painful loss thousand of times, but never actually lose their job in real life. Their anxious mind has them worrying about every possible scenario you can imagine. And man oh man, can that part of your mind can have a field day with this topic, especially if left unchecked....
“What if my boss fires me because I didn’t close that deal?”....
“Then what if I can't pay my bills?”...
“Then what if I end up going homeless?”...
“Then what if I have to move across the world to find another job”...
My goodness, I am stressed just writing this. So in this episode, I will be discussing some tools to help you overcome this specific form of anxiety so you can let go a little bit and live a more well-balanced life.
Have a great week
All right. Hey there. And welcome to another episode of the restored mind show. My name is Matt Codde and thank you so much for being here today. I'm on today's episode, we're going to be talking about this idea of having anxiety over, losing a job, right? And so what I'm really talking about this as a question that I get frequently is like, you know, this, this idea of, well, what if I lose my job, right? Meaning that you currently have a position or you have a job, or maybe you own a company and your mind is jumping into this idea of, well, what if I lose that? Or what if something bad happens? What if a change happens, essentially, you know, is what our mind is, um, you know, really coming up with. And then what happens is with anxiety is that it starts stacking on those second and third level questions like, well, you know, if I lose my job, what am I going to do for money?
How am I going to pay rent? Am I going to be able to eat? Am I going to go homeless? Right. And our mind slowly just goes down this rabbit hole of catastrophizing, the whole thing. And so, um, I want to talk about this question because I think this is very applicable right now. I mean, you know, we're in a time where there's a lot of uncertainty, especially in the United States, um, and companies are shutting down things or, you know, things are just happening new each and every day, you know? And so as we continue on this series of anxiety in the workplace, I feel like it's a, it's a, it's a good next question to answer. Right? So in the first two parts of this, we talked about, you know, having anxiety when you're unemployed and we talked about workplace anxiety. So when you feel just like anxious at work, and we talked about three reasons that might happen.
And then today I want to talk about this idea of anticipating that you might lose a job or that something might change. And so let's start off with a kind of point number one here, and this is something with anxiety that's, that's really important to, um, to consider, right? One of the problems with anxiety is that our mind assumes that change is bad, right? It makes this default assumption just bad. And when you think about that, it's like, well, we all know change is always happening, right? Like it's, it's happening every day. All the time things are changing, right? In fact, nothing ever stays the same, right? Feelings, thoughts, relationships, you know, I mean it plants, I mean, nothing, nothing stays as it is. Right. Um, you know, we're, we're always changing, always evolving. And so this idea that changes bad really what's happening is, is that, that part of the mind that, that part of the mind that, you know, is, is that voice of the mind wanting to protect you.
It, it can't anticipate change, right. It can't anticipate what might happen in life. And so it comes up with this. What if thought about, you know, the job in this instance, right. And when that, what if that happens? Well, then our mind goes into trying to problem solve it, right. When we react to that initial, what if thought like, that's an, Oh, I need to really that out in case that happens, then our brain goes into problem solving mode. And that's really the difference between an anxious mind, um, or, you know, someone who really struggles with anxiety and someone who doesn't is that a person that, that part of the mind is a, is a wonderful tool, right. That ability to problem solve, but it's a horrible master. Right. And when, what happens in an anxious mind that I've seen not only with myself, but also with, you know, many people that I've worked with is that part of your mind creates the problem and then tries to solve it all on autopilot.
Like you're not even involved. You're just, you're just experiencing the whole thing. Right. Whereas if you are actually able to look at a problem and choose when to use that part of your mind, a problem solved, then it becomes a wonderful gift and a wonderful tool. Right. But when your mind is creating a problem and trying to solve it without you really being involved, and what I mean by that is kind of like that, that higher sense of self, right. Really being involved. I mean, that's a real issue because it can come up with problem after problem after problem. And this is what happens with, um, anxiety, you know, especially when it comes to really anything, is that it just comes up with the next problem, the next problem, the next problem. And so I know people who have wrestled with this question about, well, what if I lose my job for, for years?
And they're still at the same job. I mean like, think about how much, much needless suffering is going on there, right. Just week after week, am I going to lose my job next week? Or how about this? So, you know, and it's like, Oh, we're going to be doing layoffs. Am I going to be part of that? And it just goes and goes and goes and goes and goes. Now for those of us who've ever lost a job before we do know it is stressful. And it is, um, it is tough, but the best time to deal with it is if it actually happens. Right. And so kind of, for two reasons, one, if you're worrying about losing your job, you're probably not focused on your job, which means you're more likely to do bad at the job. Right. Which means you are not as well as you could, which ultimately means, you know, you could actually jeopardize yourself for losing the job ironically, but too, it's like, it's just, it's needless suffering.
Right. You know, I think it was, uh, sir, Winston Churchill that said it, you know, when he was on his death bed, he said, you know, I've, I've experienced a lot of suffering in my life. And most of it never actually happened. And it's like, what better way to articulate anxiety. Right. And most of anxiety in my experiences is needless suffering. Right. And, um, and, and because even if that event actually happens, you still are gonna have to experience it. Right. And so it's like, might as well enjoy what you have while you have it. And then if that change comes, you handle it and navigate it then. And so the second thing is, is the first assumption is that change is bad. But the second assumption is, is having this internal belief that I won't be able to handle the change when it happens.
Right. And this is something that I just, um, I wanna, I want to kind of challenge in this episode, um, you know, if this is something you with and this again, can be applied to anything, but specifically with, with jobs, it's like this idea that I can't handle change, or it's going to be too much for me, you know, I challenge you to look back on your life and say, okay, well, like when was a, when was a challenging time that I actually had something happen and, you know, I, I wasn't sure I was going to handle it, but I got through it. Right. Whatever that was. And, and I just want you to think of a time that that happened, and I know they're there. So just give yourself a second, you know, wherever you are, just take it, take a second and think of that.
It's like, and really see that like, yeah, wait, I, I was able to handle that, right. Because part of challenging these beliefs that often are underneath us is being able to think of an exception to that belief. Right? Oftentimes we think that our brain just, it generates something and we just immediately assume it's, it's true. It's a truism, right. It's a fact, right. I won't be able to handle it, but a lot of times there's contrary evidence to that and really taking that and looking at it, it's so important. Um, and so that's, uh, that's that second thing I want to talk about is just that idea of realizing that you, you probably can, and you can handle it and you will handle it when it happens the time that you can't handle it is before it happens, because you don't know what's going to happen, right.
Like that's the point of anxiety, right? It's going to feel like you can't handle it because your brain's gonna be coming up with 18 different scenarios that could happen by, Oh, the company could lose money. They could leave me off. I could get fired, you know, this, this, and this. Right. But when the event actually happens, then it's so crystal clear on what you need to do. And that's why, you know, things like, um, practicing mindfulness and meditation and learning how to stay more in the moment. And the present moment, um, is so helpful for anxiety, right? That's one of the things we teach in restorative minds is one of the tools, but I mean, a lot of how you interact with the mind and how you interact with emotions is really where the foundational work is. And, um, the final thing I want to talk about is the idea that, um, when it comes to anxiety over losing a job, the last thing I'll say is that most of the time when I've seen people lose stuff, okay.
In many cases, much better opportunities have presented themselves to them and trusting that not only will you be able to handle it, but maybe something even better awaits me. And we're when we're able to challenge the narrative, that in our mind just comes up with this bad, um, you know, the, this, what if thought about the future that's negative. And then we just run with it and take it into a negative spot when we're able to challenge that idea and say, okay, yeah, you know what? That could happen. And if it does, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. And then, you know, what, on top of that, maybe a better opportunity will present itself if it does, because you, you don't know. Right. You really don't. Right. And, and we need to watch just how, how negative our mind goes on the default and not let it just right.
I mean, again, that is the problem with the anxious mind is that it, it comes up with the problems on its own and then tries to solve them. And, you know, our, our true self, right? Our higher sense of self is in many ways, just watching the whole thing happen, right. It's just like, it's coming up with this problem and this problem and this problem, and the more credence we give it, the more we try to solve it. And it just leads us in this vicious loop. And so, um, when it comes to anxiety about losing a job, you know, unless you're being warned and written up at work, you know, okay. That, you know, that's something that, you know, in writing might be on the wall there. Right. You know, you need to kind of like, okay, get ready. Um, and in some cases, but if there's no evidence to suggest that it's like, the best thing you can do is live in the present, live now and enjoy what you have and be grateful for what you have. Right. Um, so if you have a position or if you have a company or things are going, it's like with even, especially right now, I mean, there's just so much uncertainty. And it's like, you know what, take one day at a time. And that's the only real logical way to live this life because we don't know what the future holds, but what's important to remember is that you, you do have the ability to deal with it because you always have up to this point, you've always dealt with today.
Right. And then you've done it while you're here.
Don't have the ability to do is anticipate what tomorrow's gonna bring and then conquer all of those problems today. That's impossible. And that's where the suffering and anxiety really comes. Um, and so, you know, I hope this, this has been unhelpful for, for any of you that wrestle with this question and, or just anxiety in general. And, um, you know, we have, uh, some more helpful resources. We have a free, uh, you know, guide on rules for dealing with anxiety, as well as a free assessments as well, over on our site, restored minds. Um, and for those of you that found this helpful, we always appreciate if you like and subscribe, comment, and give us feedback, we love to hear from, uh, from our, our community. Um, and, uh, yeah, just a want to say, thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope you guys have a wonderful week. Happy 4th of July. Um, you know, I know we're a little late now, um, but just happy 4th of July to everyone and, uh, yeah. Hope you guys have a great week and we'll see you guys next week.