Have you ever tried to chase a rabbit? Rabbits look enticing, but they are hard to catch. I remember watching our dog run through an electric fence to chase a rabbit, and soon we were looking for our dog. Chasing a rabbit, after all, often takes you places you haven’t been before and don’t want to be.
In life, we can get distracted by our thoughts. In doing so, we end up in a state of mind where we don’t want to be. If you are looking for a new job because you aren’t happy with what you are doing or you find yourself unemployed, the journey can be a long one and full of frustrations.
The job search is full of factors beyond our control. The longer we are searching, the more prone we are to let our thoughts “chase a rabbit” down into the “rabbit hole.” I’ve chased rabbits, ending up in the rabbit hole several times myself. As our minds are left to wander, we begin to lose focus. With this lack of focus on the right things, our confidence dwindles and self-doubt creeps in.
We might begin feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling like “victim”, unloved or even sink into a general state of depression. No one plans it, it just happens. One little thought can spark another in our mind and soon we’re heading to a difficult place. The challenge is, where our mind goes isn’t real; it is imagined.
When this happens to you, when you find yourself in a rabbit hole, you need to find a way out of that hole within a day or two; because, the longer you stay there the harder it will be to get out. But how? While everyone is different, my recommendation is to get help. It is simply hard to do this alone.
I am reminded of the wisdom Solomon shared, Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken(Ecclesiastics 4: 9-12).
Who can help you? It can be any number of individuals in your life. Your helper could be your spouse or a close friend. It is even more helpful if you speak with someone who’s experienced the same challenges in their life and walked “in your shoes.”
Here are a few tips to get out of the rabbit hole:
1) Be honest with yourself and others. Talk about what’s happening to you and admit you don’t have your act together.
2) Be willing to get professional help. A psychologist can be extremely helpful in reorienting your thoughts.
3) Whatever you do, learn from the process because it’ll happen again when you least expect it.
A friend of mine, named Mary Ann, told the story of someone who fell into a deep hole. She shouted for help and a lawyer came by. The lawyer saw the problem and threw a note down to the person in the hole with their phone number and availability to file a lawsuit against the city. A doctor came by next, saw the problem and threw a prescription down to treat the infections from their injuries and offered to treat them when they got out. Next came two friends who jumped into the hole. The person screamed at them and said, “what are you two doing, are you crazy, now we’re all stuck in the same hole.” The two friends smiled and said “no, we’ve been in this hole before and we know the way out. We’ll get us all out safely.”
Find your friends and get out of that hole.
Dale Kreienkamp is the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He is a Human Resources executive and consultant who has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.