I became new mom and am terrified it has ruined me professionally



I had a job where I did nothing, a boss who didn't pay attention to me but being pregnant I thought it was good for me. Then I switched jobs and they let me go because I wasn't performing. Clearly I am not as fast anymore, could have been the job before that discharged my batteries or being a mother.

I am beyond terrified of what to do next. If I get another job, I'm probably not up to it. I cannot afford to stay at home. I could go back to school but that would cost money. I cannot take any risk ever at all. Never have. I don't see a future at all. I cannot make decisions and I clearly now do not trust myself.

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Time to work on your thinking habits
by: Cherry

Wow – sounds like you have got yourself into quite a hole! I think you need someone to just come and give you a big hug of reassurance! I'll send you one over the internet, OK?! :-)

But seriously though, just by looking at the language you use I am sure you can see how you are keeping yourself trapped. 'I am beyond terrified', 'I am probably not up to it', 'I cannot take any risk ever at all', 'I do not trust myself'. These are such absolute statements, aren't they? They represent an extreme position that appear to allow you no way out.

So what to do?

First of all, observe how you fall into this pattern of thinking over and over and recognise just how extreme your position is. Remember these are just thoughts that you have got into the habit of thinking, they are not facts.

Then you need to start challenging these thoughts.

'I am beyond terrified.' If you were that scared you'd probably be hiding under the bed all day! So yes, you are anxious, but that is something you can learn to manage, step by step.

'I am probably not up to it.' Who says? Just you? Would your best friend say this of you? And you admit you are 'probably' not up to it so that allows the possibility that maybe you are.

'I cannot take any risk ever at all.' How do you define risk? You take a risk every time you cross the road. You took a risk asking this question. So that shows you can take risks. Try taking a small risk every day – might just be saying hello to the cashier when you do your shopping. Start to prove to yourself that you can take risks and survive.

'I do not trust myself.' To do what? No trust to do anything? Make a cup of coffee even? I bet you do trust yourself in lots of ways, so focus on what you can do to build your confidence.

Try turning your statements into softer ones that allow for a number of possibilities

* I feel scared sometimes but I can still push myself to do things that feel a bit challenging.
* I am not sure if I am up to it, but if I just try a small step and give it a go I may be surprised at what I can do.
* Risks can feel scary, but they are also they way I learn and grow. If I take a small risk every day, I will grow stronger.
* I trust myself to go to the shops and back so what else can I trust myself to do? I know I am a trustworthy person so let me show myself and others how I can be trusted.

Remember that your thoughts affect how you feel and therefore how you behave so they can have a big impact. But thoughts are your own creation and you can choose to think different, more helpful thoughts and change your future.

I believe you can do it so go on, give it a go!



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