Update: August 2014

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Just wanted to check in with you all. I have now lost 124 pounds!

I am very close to passing my driving test. I should be completed by mid-October.

The 20th of September is the 5th anniversary of my fathers death and the day I sit my driving theory test.

My therapy is now monthly and no longer weekly or fortnightly. I have learned so much and progressed so quickly. I am glad I was able to share so much of it with all of you.

I started a new job 3 weeks ago and it is going very well. Good chance I will be made permanent and the money is good.

I have been on a date which went well but sadly there was no spark between us. There are many other guys out there and chatting to them all is fun. I am optimistic.

Finally with regards to the future of this blog I am still ironing out what I want to do next. Some small gems of ideas are around. As promised I will be sure to inform you all when I know what the final plan is.

Until next time…be good to each other!

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Massively Consciously Incompetent!

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When we start a new job it’s a terrible feeling. We don’t know anyone and we don’t know anything. Even if the job is the role you always wanted, or in an industry you always wanted to work in, it can be very daunting.

Our feelings of confidence that can build up after a few days are quickly shattered when an error we make is uncovered or exposed. We shuffle off home at the end of the day feeling useless and a liability. We will return tomorrow because that is the reality of a new job. You pick yourself up and dust off the mistakes.

There is an idea when it comes to the theory of learning with regards to conscious and unconsciousness. That we are consciously incompetent at the start meaning we don’t know anything and we know it. We then move into unconsciously incompetent (we know some things but are blind to some things we don’t know) which drifts into consciously competent (we have to concentrate on what we are doing but we do know what we are doing). Finally there is unconsciously competent.

In this unconscious state of knowing what we are doing we can also experience the problems of starting a new role especially if our old one changes a lot. It is sometimes why people are seen as resistant to change. They have been doing their jobs so naturally without much thought that, suddenly, their way of coming in and just getting on with it has changed immeasurably and they become agitated and unhappy.

The sad reality of unconsciously being competent is that for most things in our early life it occurs long after the tests we need to do in order to achieve a pass. You are a better driver long after you pass your driving test for example (well ok, in most cases!). We must travel through the three stages to finally arrive at knowing exactly what we are doing and not really having to think about it.

So here I am at work. Sat in this consciously incompetent state that is bordering onto unconsciously incompetent. I screwed up an email this morning to the warehouse. It’s ok though because I just blogged about it and told all of you!

The State Of The Welfare State

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I’ve been giving serious thought to whether I should write this or not but have decided it would be doing other people in my position a disservice not to do it.

I have been struggling with employment recently having been in full time work for the last 6 years. I had worked solidly for 14 months prior to that as well so have not been out of work for almost 8 years.

I made the recent decision on the advice of my therapist to start to claim job seekers allowance. It has not been an easy decision to make and I have wrestled with it for over a fortnight. It does not make me feel good. In the past 2 months I have applied for over 60 jobs and had 4 interviews.

Before I continue I just wanted to talk a little bit about welfare in this country and abroad. I know it’s a hard thing for some people to come to terms with but the reality is that sometimes people like myself need support. I have not been in a good way mentally for the last few months and try as I might I can’t seem to just “pull myself together”. I am actively seeking work however in an area that has high unemployment.

It is easy to point the finger at people and suggest they are scrounging or lazy. When we have never known poverty or hardship then sitting there and discussing these people as though they are beneath us or not one of us is so simplistic. The reality is that at some point in a person life for no reason or fault of their own doing some people need support.

Over the next few weeks and (hopefully not) months I will share my experiences of dealing with the DWP. So far it has been truly shocking and I would defy people who sit in judgement to not be disturbed by some of what is going on in our names.

We have gone from a caring society to one of distrust and threats. We have put politics into the civil service, a place that usually should remain politically neutral. Worst of all though it has made someone like me, who genuinely wants to work, cry in an office of government with uncaring questions and endless forms of even more pointless questions.

Being unemployed in the UK today is not easy and someone has to bring that message to the attention of the general public.

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The Value Of Self & The Price Of Nothing

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We often find ourselves ignoring the value of our own existence.

How often do we really take the time to appreciate how good we are at things or how talented? Much of this will come from our parents.

Growing up I never really felt as though I was worth anything at all. My Mother could destroy what little confidence I had in a heartbeat and my Father played a very hands off role most of the time when it came to my mental well being.

Our reflection of ourselves is very telling. We doubt what we could possibly bring to a relationship or a job. We may battle with our abilities to do things that we are very capable of doing. Often these things will go back to our childhood.

I find myself at a crossroads. I must now decide whether to continue to job hunt or whether to do that and consider setting up a business. I have always had this desire to work for myself but always been afraid of what it could mean in terms of risk. I think what I was really afraid of was whether I was capable. This came from a lack of self worth.

We find ourselves knocked in life by huge events that cause us to completely reevaluate our entire lives and existence. It is in these moments that we really bring to the surface how we feel about ourselves deep down.

What is it that holds the rest of us back? Is there something that we wish we were doing that we didn’t because fear kicked in?

Over Familiar Family Affairs

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Our family is something we are encouraged to love often through religious expectations. Guilt can kick in when, try as we might, things never work between some family members.

Today I witnessed an argument between family members which at its very core was essentially the very same problem and concern. Both parties were so close to each other that they failed to see they wanted the same outcome but just were frustrated at the seemingly impossible task of achieving it.

Generation gaps and different opportunites can further exaggerate problems. What was once relatively easy to obtain a career in can now be hard. Everyone has different skills and rejection often takes a heavy toll on individuals. To survive in the world of work now is an endurance task.

Things were resolved between the family members here. Often though problems simmer beneath the surface and we always hurt the ones we love. Take a step back from stressful family situations. Often space and time is all we need.

I can’t recommend highly enough speaking in the cold light of day and without finger pointing. In these close knit situations we are often all pulling for the same winner but sometimes we go about placing our bets in different ways.

The pay off is exactly the same!