The last words I heard from my CEO were “Well, if you don’t love yourself, then who will?”

I was a vice president at a large healthcare organization. It was annual performance review time. Executives did their own performance reviews and then submitted them to the CEO and then he would make “corrections”.

At the time, I was working long 15-18 hour days as a hospital administrator. Having been the youngest, least tenured, and only woman recently inducted into the famous “executive comp” ranks – I knew I had a lot to prove and I put in the work every day to prove that I belonged there.

Of course, I gave myself a great performance review!

Sitting in his office, he glanced down at my review, looked up and said, “Well, if you don’t love yourself, then who will?”

Then his phone rang. He told me that I was needed in another meeting and sent me on my way.

And then I got fired. Just like that. No warning, no hint, nada.

This was 2009, Lehman Brothers, the global financial services company, had collapsed and the U.S. economy was in the worse recession since the Great Depression.

I was jobless for nearly two years.

Overqualified and overpaid in a crushed economy made it nearly impossible to find a job. As a single mom of two kids, there were days when I would hunt for pocket change in drawers, coat pockets, or old briefcases to get food or put gas in my car.

I had no choice but to start bartending to make some extra money (a whopping $75 of tips on a good night). The same friends who used to call me a “baller” were now ordering drinks from me.

What was my worst nightmare, became the one thing that started my journey to a joyful life.

Resilience is built during hard times and the gift of joy is the reward for our suffering.

Jolynn Swafford

Here are 5 things you can do today to start your shift from jobless to joyful:

Take this time to assess your life. After I lost my job, I (thought) lost everything, cars, savings & retirement, etc. But I realized I was trying to be happy through material things. When I lost it all, I was stressed, but I still felt the same. Do a full inventory of what brings you joy and what (or who) steals your joy.

Stop blaming others for your circumstances. Blaming others steals our joy. Start accepting 100% responsibility and accountability for your life and doors will start opening for you.

Reinvent yourself. Take this time to create a new you! Learn new skills, apply for jobs that you normally wouldn’t consider, take online courses, or read books outside of your typical list. This is the time to step into a fully authentic YOU!

Create a new future and fight for it. Keep the mindset that everything is happening FOR you. Dream big and write down where you want to be and by when. Focus on your dreams every single day. No one else will fight for your dreams.

Adopt a mindset of joy. Joy is a huge advantage for you. Energetically, you will become a magnet for great things! Joy is eliminates the ups and downs of the storm. Joy is always within you. Joy is the calm of knowing that everything will be okay.

You can learn more about how to create more joy in your life by following me on Facebook where I go LIVE weekly on the “Art of Joy”. You can also get free stuff on my website.