I am guilty of sometimes believing that life will suddenly be amazing when that perfect opportunity arises. This is quite simply NOT the truth. In my experience, yes, if a big opportunity/relationship/windfall/dream client comes my way it’s exciting, though I’m still going to be the same person at the end of the day. So it’s important to really love who you are before opportunities come up… otherwise nothing will really change, and you’ll feel even worse as you thought that the opportunity was going to change the game for you. As I am currently in the ‘wait patiently’ process on a couple of interesting opportunities, this realization dawned on me and has inspired me to really focus on being the person I want to be, BEFORE the right yes happens.
I’ve been fortunate to have quite a few dreams come true at a young age. From producing a show for the Oprah Winfrey Network to being in a great relationship to reaching a financial goal to becoming a full-time entrepreneur – I’ve had some really magical things happen. And yet, when I reflect on them I don’t recall a ‘magic’ switch that flipped where all stress dissolved and I skipped merrily into the sunset!
This year has taught me there is no quick fix or ‘big break’ solution. Life is a process. And it’s what’s happening in between the Instagram-worthy moments that bring the richness and joy to our lives. Life is not all about the achievements, it’s about who you become while trying to achieve.
If the following ‘dangers’ ring true to you… keep reading for how I’m focusing on enjoy the process.
The Dangers of Waiting for the Perfect Opportunity:
- You don’t enjoy where you are.
- You’re not present with the people in your life (because you’re thinking about something else)
- You become negative and jaded.
- You don’t appreciate what you have.
- PURE MISERY.
So how do you break through this hamster wheel experience?
- Focus on what’s working. It occurred to me recently that despite being stressed out about ‘what’s next,’ I had unconsciously got into the best shape of my life. I do Krav Maga (Israeli martial arts) which has been a newfound passion. Once I realized that, ‘Hey, something IS working in life,’ I also decided to sign up for a 30-day trial of Moksha Yoga (aka hot yoga) to help build on my fitness (both mental and physical). If you are feeling blue or stressed out, going for a walk, a run, or trying a new sport can give you temporary relief from your mind. Once you have that break, it can help you focus again on the positive.
- When you feel the impulse to try something new… do it! How often do you get a gut feeling about an opportunity or reaching out to a person, but stuff it down because your negative thoughts get in the way. The way I want to go into each day, is if I get an impulse to reach out to someone or connect with a possible client or new opportunity (and it feels like fun… not a burden), I do it. Fun will never let you down.
- Rap music. Rap music encourages the underdog in me. When I hear the right song at the right time, I can shift from sadness to getting my fighting spirit back. Perhaps for you it’s metal or Beethoven or Beyonce that helps you break out of the loop of misery and back into the game of life.
- Talking to friends or family or a trusted coach. Life is not meant to be experienced alone. If you are spiraling into a dark place, it is a sign of strength to ask for help. There’s a quote often used in AA that ‘your best thinking got you here.’ Yes, it’s a quote often associated with addiction, though if you look around your current life (and you’re not happy) it’s important to take responsibility for the life experience you’ve created. Your decisions got you to where you are today. The great thing is that people are more open than ever to sharing how they overcame challenges in their lives (from financial despair to heartbreak) so there is definitely a book or blog that can teach you how to overcome your current challenge. (Or who knows… you may need to write the book!)
- No expectations. This is a really liberating feeling. How often do we go into meetings, relationships or anticipating an opportunity and have SUPER high expectations. We also seem to set really high expectations for ourselves every day. And if we can’t achieve them… it starts to defeat us. I’m going into a new week letting go of expecting anything from anyone. I will note that this is progressive thinking to do everything with a beginner’s mind. Perhaps try it with one area of your life to start (the easiest one) and slowly over time (if it works for you) let go of expectations.
If you are currently waiting for that perfect opportunity, I encourage you to let it go and focus on doing your best every day. Some days you’re going to feel like an absolute rockstar and other days you’re going to want to hide, but the bottom line is that you’re here for a reason and wherever you are in your relationships, career and finances… is okay. Start with appreciating where you are, and slowly build from there.