Action. Taking real action. It’s the one thing we have control of during tough times. And by moving forward and learning new skills — or whatever else might open up new doors for yourself — you are choosing to let yourself hope.
You are also providing a practical (and hopefully engaging) diversion that will aim your thoughts in a more positive and useful direction. Tough times let our minds wander. And dwell on things like past failures or the vast, oh-so-scary unknown.
Not only wasted effort, but this can lead to reinforcing and adding to the darkest parts. And by giving starring roles to fear and dread, you wind up underplaying all that you still do have and can rely upon.
Why learn new skills in tough times?
Aren’t tough times hard enough? Who can focus when things around us feel so out of control? I get that. And I’ve certainly lived through rough times myself. In fact, back in 2006 when my mother died, my world turned upside down.
Each day felt like I was slogging through quicksand. And then a friend suggested I look into something called blogging, which I knew nothing about. It changed my life and career — in a very wonderful way. Many websites and coaching clients later, I am still enjoying what I do.
How it helped me:
- Gave me something new to focus on.
- Immersed me in new ideas and possibilities.
- Getting lost in something you enjoy is very life affirming.
- Helping others was very comforting for me.
- As a result I made many new friends.
- And I moved from one career into a new one I liked even better.
Best of all … the learning never has to stop. Even to this day, I enjoy learning new skills and finding new ways to do more of what I enjoy.
How to get yourself started
In my case, it was a moment in time. And my deciding to say “YES”. Sometimes, if you keep your eyes and ears open, the opportunities present themselves. You just need to stay aware and open.
But where else might you look to get the juices flowing? This comes from another post, How To Earn Extra Money Freelancing:
Some general areas for you to think about to help you come up with possible independent contractor (freelancing) businesses:
- Special knowledge / talents
- Things people have asked you to help them with
- Work skills you especially enjoy using
- A business you might want to develop part-time for now
- Something you can see yourself enjoying for a long time
Those are great places to consider when trying to think about how to go about learning new skills. And then, use the internet (online learning, professional networking groups, LinkedIn. etc.) to find places to pick up the new skills.
You can also turn to family and friends to help you. Or, as I did, just jump in if you can and learn as you go! And remember, making mistakes is part of learning. Do not judge yourself or give up if this is something you would enjoy.
What else you might think about
This is also a time when you might want to look at the whole “package”: who YOU are and where you want to go with your life and career. Here’s a post to help you with that:
And don’t forget just plain fun skills like singing and drawing and dance and origami and gardening and baking and knitting and carpentry and doing sculptures out of all those used toilet paper rolls. 🙂
More posts you might like