Hello my Wild Ones!
A few days ago, I was watching a video from beauty YouTuber, Jenn Im, as she went on an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai payed for by Dubai’s tourism counsel. She is not a travel blogger. She’s not Arab. How did she get this amazing opportunity? And more importantly, how do I get those kinds of opportunities? This was not jealousy, but rather inspiration.
I began thinking.
Are some people just luckier than others?
I am sure that sheer luck does play a role in opportunity, but it has to be much more than that. We have to begin taking responsibility for our lack opportunity. It is not just ‘the universe’. We have a role to play also. During my time of introspection, I realized that opportunities will only go so far to reach you. Do you remember the 80-20 rule from the movie Hitch? It said that when initiating the first kiss, the man should move in 80% and the woman moves the other 20%. It is the same with opportunity, sometimes the opportunity will come 80% and sometimes 20%, but either way, you must move towards what you want (known or unknown). I think the luck comes in terms of whether the opportunity moves 80 or 20. Some of us may be more 20% people while others may be more 80% people, but we all must work.
After understanding this concept I added ” I will get amazing opportunities in 2017″ to my affirmation wall. But what exactly does it take to become an opportunity magnet? I understood that I had a role to play, but what is that role?
Hard Work and Boldness.
Hard work puts you in a place where you are ready to receive opportunities. For me, I would love if I got all-expense-paid trips or press things or etc from my blog, but if I am only blogging once or twice a month, I am not ready for those opportunities. The harder I work, the more I align myself with the opportunities I want. But let’s say I am blogging 5 times a week and working really hard, but I am afraid to promote myself. Nobody will see all of my hard work, and opportunities will not come my way. That is why boldness is important. You can read more on the importance of boldness at On Why Boldness Matters.
Ultimately both hard work and boldness are dependent on handling fear efficiently. Fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of judgment are three of the greatest proponents of stagnancy operating in our daily lives. These fears fuel procrastination, and how we handle them determines our upward trajectory. So while you may be serious about your resolutions to work harder and be bolder, you will not succeed if you don’t learn how to handle the deeper issue of fear. Because of that, I not only determined that I would worker harder and be bolder, but I also decided that I would change the way I understand fear in 2017.
1. I must always acknowledge my fear.
The sneaky thing about fear is that it makes you uncomfortable. Because of your discomfort, you ignore it. You let it ferment. It is the elephant in the room until one day, you no longer notice it. You have no idea that you’re making your decisions due to fear. It’s a slippery slope of lost potential.
2. Fear is a challenge not a boundary.
The book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People discusses the importance of paradigm. With this second principle, I am shifting my own paradigm. When I change the way that I understand fear, I also change the way I handle fear. I have decided that fear is simply an opportunity to push pass what I think I can do. The opposition of fear is a muscle that we must work out. Remember my YOUR 30 Days of Boldness Challenge , my biggest challenge/fear was to have a concert on campus. I was legitimately terrified of this. Knowing that I was an okay vocalist in a school of very musically talented and judgmental students, I still did it. I put up flyers all over social media, sent out texts, and called friends. Then, disaster struck, my outdoor concert was postponed due to rain. I had to reschedule and rebuild my nerves. When it did happen, only about 5 people showed up due to the rescheduled date.
So imagine, I’m standing there shamelessly singing, dancing, and spitting poetry in the middle of my campus as people walk by watching the spectacle. But in that moment, I had never felt so free in my life. I invited every passing person to my concert in an act of boldness unsullied by the lack of turnout and ability. A bit before the concert, I began singing at a nursing home weekly. A few months after my concert I decided to have another concert in July in Jamaica. And I did. And it was great. When I returned to Jamaica in December people were still talking about it. You see, I was intentionally working out my opposition to fear. By the time I had my concert in Jamaica I was a bold and brazen vocalist who could sing and do other things with hardly any fear. I have a clip of it below.
In the wake of President Obama’s farewell speech, I think fear is now settling into the cracks of our divided nation. Many of us suddenly and honestly must face the reality of what a Trump presidency means. We have to consider what roles minorities, immigrants, disabled individuals, LGBTQ communities, the poor, and women play in an approaching administration that has, in its short time of campaigning, brought back a sense of normalcy to the marginalization of those who are not rich white straight men. No longer is there the comfort of forgetting our impending future. We must comprehend how to handle not only the tactlessness and unpreparedness of our new president, but also the controversial cabinet he’s appointed, along with the republican house, and republican senate focused on repealing President Obama’s policies with or without proper replacements. It is here, it is now.
But although I do have my fair share of concerns, which you can read about along with my attempt at bipartisan understanding at On White Privilege, I am not afraid. I understand that this new regime is just another challenge that will inevitably push the boundaries that both Society and I have set for myself. I understand that I determine whether or not I get opportunities, and I am willing to work hard and be extraordinarily bold.
Even if you do not share my same concerns, take whatever fear you are dealing with and shift your paradigm. Allow your fear to push you into working harder and being bolder. Then allow opportunities to come towards you.