Maintaining motivation during your job search is not easy—and that is an understatement, for sure. Threats to your motivation include:

--Mounting bills that you postpone paying or pay only minimally
--Phone calls and letters that prompt no response
--The nagging sense that you are wasting time, accomplishing nothing
--Isolation, quite a contrast to your days in the work environment
--Ongoing news that jobs are being eliminated, not added
--Concern that potential employers will dislike your age
--Family pressures for you to find employment

Yet despite these and numerous other possible downers, you know that successful applicants are serene, poised, and optimistic. They are not faking their confidence—they feel it, genuinely.

You will, too, when you take these 7 steps:

ONE: Accept personal responsibility for your moods. Circumstances are not responsible for your moods, and you cannot blame other people either (including a former employer who released you). Nor can you moan that luck and fate have it in for you. That is nothing more than an empty alibi.

You establish your own mood daily, the minute you open your eyes. Still, that is only the initial step. You select—yes, select—your attitude, outlook, and responses (both silent and vocal) the rest of the day.

TWO: Associate with highly positive people whose upbeat approach inspires you. Avoid those who want to tell you “Nobody is hiring,” “There are no jobs available anywhere,” and “This economy worsens every day.” 

Share lunches and informal conversations with affirmative job seekers, those who assert “I am likely to land a job this month,” “I am fortunate to have some competent people referring me to their colleagues,” and “Even as tight as things are, I notice that Human Resource officials act courteously when I contact them.”

THREE: Practice excellent health habits. For one thing, good health increases your stamina. Also, an exercise regimen uplifts your emotions. Plus, joining a fitness facility will help you meet some people who brighten your day with interesting conversations. Additionally, you will increase your likelihood of meeting somebody who knows about job openings, even in their own company.

FOUR: Draw strength from your family and friends. Sure, you might prefer to keep your anxiety to yourself. However, your job search frustrations and fears are far easier to handle when you share them openly and honestly with those who care for you. To your surprise and delight, you will find them eager to listen to your concerns and assist you in appropriate ways.

FIVE: Maintain a sensible attitude about rejection. Accept declines as a normal part of looking for a job. Look at it this way: How many people do you know who get a satisfactory job after just one interview? Answer: Very few, if any. This means that feeling paranoid about rejection bypasses reality. 

SIX: Include recreation in your schedule. As we said at the outset, a job search generates tension, financial worry, and damage to your esteem. You need to take occasional breaks from your professional quest, without feeling guilty. Play golf, watch the current hit movies, book a mini vacation for your family, read novels, and enjoy walking in scenic places. 

SEVEN:  Surround yourself with sources of inspiration. For some, this will be motivational books and seminars. For others, the inspiration could come from spiritual organizations. Or reading biographies of those you admire will elevate your spirit. Then too, silence and meditation work wonders for the frazzled job applicant. 

I suggest reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s timeless essay, “Self Reliance.” Or probably you have identified your own preferred inspirational sources. Keep going back to them, and benefit from the encouragement they provide.