I have never suffered a heartbreak before. Yes, I did get dumped or basted (in Filipino) a couple of times. But, I probably never was invested in the relationship (or courtship) enough to really suffer a heartbreak.
Still, it took me time to move on and reclaim my joy.
But, I suffered a lot of heartbreaks in my career.
Growing up, I measured my worth based on how I performed. When I performed well in school, I felt great. When I didn’t, I felt bad about myself.
I would drown myself in self-pity and hold a pity party. I would watch a movie or play video games for hours until I forget my pain. Oh, and don’t forget about the junk food. I ate lots and lots of junk food.
But, the pity party would last only until I made up for my bad grades. I would usually just study for the next exam and feel much better about my grades and myself.
But, it’s a different story when it comes to the real world.
During my last interview with the company I was really hoping and praying to join, I failed miserably. I didn’t get the job and it took me a while to move on.
When you’re in a job you don’t like, you can’t just quit your job and look for the one you like. It takes months or even years of staying, searching, and making the switch from one job to another.
Unlike in school where you just have to prepare for the next exam to make up for this failed examination, what you have to do in your career is not as clear. And it doesn’t take just a few weeks to make up for your career. It takes months or even years of working hard in your job without any certainty of recognition or promotion.
When you finally do make the switch from one job to another, there seems to always come a time when you become disillusioned with your new job and you realize that it’s not much better after all.
I moved from one company to another for five years and I never got satisfied with where I was at.
But, it was because I couldn’t move on from my “dream job.”
Why it's hard to move on
These past few weeks, I felt the same feeling I had for years when I couldn’t move on from my dream job. I struggled with self-belief.
It’s hard to move on from a person or from an experience not so much because of the pain they caused. It’s not so much about the person or the experience itself as well.
It’s hard to move on because that person or that experience made you believe in yourself less. Your self-worth took a blow from that person or that experience.
It is you who’s holding yourself back from moving on.
“Am I not worth the job?”
“Am I not worth loving?”
“Am I not good enough?”
These are some of the thoughts that fill your mind after a breakup or after a refusal from a job interview.
Your self-belief is also the reason why it’s easier for you to move on when there’s someone new who makes you believe in yourself again or when you land a new job that makes you feel good about yourself.
But, like all things that are new, that someone or something will get old. Or at least feel old. One day, you’ll get used to that someone or something that it no longer makes you believe in yourself as much as it did before.
You have to constantly and regularly strengthen your self-belief.
How to strengthen your self-belief
External things such as a new event, a new experience, or even a new person can strengthen your self-belief. But, the problem is that these external things cannot always be there. Many times, you have no control over them.
You cannot rely on them to always be there when you need a boost of confidence or self-belief.
They can indeed strengthen your self-belief for a while, but usually not for a long time.
You can only rely on yourself and the power that is within you.
I’m a believer of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why I get a lot of my self-belief from praying and reminding myself that I am loved by God.
I also remind myself that God is not just with me. He is in me. That, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
That’s the first and the most important thing that I do.
But, faith without works is dead.
To strengthen any belief, there have to be practices in place to support that belief.
For the past few weeks that I had been struggling with my self-belief, I had been praying. But, I was not acting. I hadn’t been writing, drawing, or creating my art.
I would get boosts of confidence from praying, but they would eventually fade as each day went on. At the end of each day, I failed to accomplish anything with my faith, self-belief, and confidence and I would feel worse about myself and my dream. After all, I already knew that God is in me. So, what else was holding me back? I had no more excuses.
Working with only a small dose of self-belief is a struggle. But, you have to start somewhere.
You just have to act with whatever small dose that you have and slowly build on it.
Are you an artist struggling with your self-belief to get your work out there? Just create your art on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how little progress you make. Just make progress each day.
Has a lover left you and you’re having a hard time moving on? Believe once again that you are lovable. Get out there and love someone today. Don’t wait to receive love. Give love. It doesn’t have to be romantic love as well. That would be creepy, believe me. But, love your family, your officemates, and your friends. Love begets love. When you love, you will also attract love. (Love makes you attractive as well.)
Are you struggling in your career because you don’t believe in yourself anymore? Do your best today—one day, one task at a time. Give it your all. Do work that you can be proud of even when other people won’t recognize it. Someday, somebody will. Besides, it’s easier to move from one company to another (and have bargaining power) when you have accomplished something to be proud of. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s part of the process. But, believe in yourself and the work that you do.
Eventually, whatever small amount of self-belief that you have will grow. Belief grows through action.
How about you? What or whom are you struggling to move on from right now? It’s not about your experience or that person who left you that’s making it difficult. It’s your self-belief.
Get it back and strengthen it.
P.S. By the way, the hardest part of moving on is not letting go. The hardest part is getting back your self-belief.