Do you ever feel like life’s passing you by?
You’d love to get that book deal, be given a promotion or travel all over the world. But, somehow, you always get passed over. Someone else gets the opportunity instead.
I used to be so pissed off when that happened to me.
The world is so unfair, I thought. It’s all about who you know. Being the prettiest girl in the room. Getting friendly with the boss.
Connections, beauty and charm can be shortcuts to success. But unless you have the talent to back them up, they aren’t gonna get you far.What gets you far is going for it. Taking action every day to make your dreams come true.
Have you been doing that?
If you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll realise a lot of opportunities have passed you by because you were too scared to grab them with both hands.
When I started my first beauty blog nine years ago, I barely promoted it. I thought if the content was good enough, people would come. No need to toot my horn.
The truth is I was scared. I knew that if I wanted to take the blog to the next level and be given the amazing opportunities I saw others enjoy, I’d have to network with influencers, be more active on social media and possibly even move to the bigger city where all the big events are.
But I couldn’t.
My Inner Mean Girl kept whispering in my head there was no point in even sending a friendly tweet to an influencer. “They’ll never notice you, Giorgia,” she said. “You’re not good enough/pretty enough/big enough/whatever enough to hang out with them. ”
For years, I listened to her. I kept writing my blog, made friends with other bloggers who were just starting out on their blogging journey and played in my small pond, away from the big league.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly proud of everything I’ve achieved with that blog, grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way and thankful for the opportunities it has given me.
But it wasn’t until I took the decision to move to London that I was able to turn that blog into a business. Beautiful with Brains grew more in that first year in the big city than in the 7 previous years combined.
That’s what happens when you stop waiting for opportunities to knock at your door and start doing the knocking. These days, I’m not so shy about approaching other influencers for collaborations, introduce myself to brands I’ve like to work with and put myself out there.
I’d be lying if I said I am comfortable doing it. I’m not and I’ve had my fair share of rejections but the alternative is worse.
You can deal with the discomfort of chasing your dreams or with the regret of never seeing them come true. Which one will you choose?
These days I’m choosing the discomfort of chasing my dreams. Here are 3 easy ways I use to figure out which ones are worth chasing, take the leap and avoid regrets:
how much do you want it?
In the age of social media, it’s easy to think everyone is living a more exciting life than you. Look at that life coach! She started her business three months ago and she’s already bringing in six figures. That blogger is travelling all over the world! Why is no one offering me a press trip for once? That influencer just signed a book deal! I bet I could write a better book if I only I were given the chance.
I’m sure you could. But do you really want to?
When you see someone achieve their goals and be given amazing opportunities, it’s only natural to want to be in their place. But before you even try to achieve the same goals, ask yourself, “why do I want to do this? Do I want to be a successful life coach because it’s my true calling or because it seems like an easy shortcut to money, success and travelling the world? Is this my dream or someone else’s?”
Sometimes, other people’s dreams seem so exciting, you can’t help make them your own. Until one day you realise it’s come true and it’s making you miserable. If it’s not really your dream, better abandon it now and pursue your true calling instead.
If it really is your dream, the thing you want more than anything, keep reading…
What’s the worst that could happen?
Too often we ignore an opportunity because we’re scared of the unknown. You know you should go to more networking events, for example, but you’re too shy. You don’t know what to say or how to introduce yourself and your work without sounding awkward. Better stay at home watching XFactor!
When you feel like this, ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?”. You go to the event and don’t speak to anyone? That’s highly unlikely. If no one else, at least the organiser will come to say hi and introduce you to someone. Or maybe you’ll say something embarrassing. So, what? You’ll probably never see that person again.
When you ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen, you realise the worst isn’t really that scary. You can handle it.
step out of your comfort zone
If you really want something then you have to step out of your comfort zone and get it yourself. No one will ever hand it to you. Even the people who seem to be given every opportunity had to put themselves out there in order to get noticed. You won’t be given a book deal if no one knows who you are or be promoted if your boss can’t even remember your name.
There really is no way around this one. Whatever your dream is, you need to take action. You only have one life so don’t let anything or anyone hold you back. Go for it. Most of the time, the results will be positive. You’ll meet new people, learn your skills, experience new things and have a lot of fun in the process. You don’t want to miss out on all that, do you?
The trick is to take it one step at a time. You’ll get there.
Over to you, now. Can you remember an opportunity you let pass by and why? What did you differently the following time? Share your story in the comments below.