I have always been a firm advocate for SHOOTING YOUR SHOT - meaning I am your biggest cheerleader when it comes to ensuring that you fill out that application and shoot your shot. But after 4 years of applications and going 5 years - I must admit that application fatigue is a real thing.
HOW TO DEAL WITH APPLICATION FATIGUE
1. REST, DON'T QUIT
We often hear the words, rest - don't quit. Yet, it feels like a slogan said by those who sit on the other side of the fatigue. This is specifically harder to adopt when the rejection emails pile up and one has to sit with the sinking feeling that you won't ever get that breakthrough.
Personally, I think that resting is an integral part of the journey. It ensures that you pace yourself and do not push yourself to the point of quitting. I found that the moments in which I felt like quitting, were usually the moments in which my body was begging for rest.
So, this is about learning to listen to your body and giving it the much-needed rest and ensuring you do not push yourself past to the point of quitting.
Additionally, the application process ignites a lot of negative feelings of rejection and imposter syndrome - these emotions simply demand to be felt. Often, we run and push the feelings away rather than feel them so that one can move past them.
Therefore, in the learning to rest, ensure you allow yourself to feel... and then when you are ready... try again.
2. GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
Life is hard, but doing life alone is even harder. The feeling of community is important in the journey - therefore, an accountability buddy becomes the person who helps keep you accountable on the journey. This does not necessarily have to be someone who is also applying (although that can be helpful), it can be someone who believes in your growth and can ensure they check in with you to gauge your progress.
Accountability is something that often causes anxiety and pressure - however, that can be managed by setting realistic expectations and deadlines. Ensure that having an accountability buddy does not create added pressure, but rather a sounding board who can help navigate the difficulties of aspiring and the application process.
3. CONCENTRATE YOUR EFFORTS
Often, when one is hungry for success, you can end up spreading your net too wide. You apply for any and everything because you truly want to have a job, a scholarship or a promotion. You end up casting your net too wide, without concentrating your efforts. Your applications lose quality because you are throwing them into any recruiters inbox and not spending sufficient time developing a quality application.
This can work against you and further exasperate your application fatigue. Your applications have to be quality applications, that have been given the time they require to ensure that they are competitive and have a standing chance. You are better off sending out three quality applications than ten "not thought through" applications.
Concentrate your efforts and create quality applications.
SIDE NOTE: I write this piece while working through the application fatigue I speak of. I find that I am able to write better when I can relate to the subject matter. Therefore, know that if this piece resonates with you - you are not alone. I feel it too. Just yesterday, I did not make it for something I truly wanted. I mourned the opportunity and allowed myself to hurt. So, trust me when I say - YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I FEEL IT TOO.
Here's to striving for the best versions of ourselves, one small step at a time.
From one Powerhouse to another