Do you ever just let things happen? Do you have to plan, list, push, and hustle until the thing you've set your sights on has been achieved?
That used to be me. Totally. If I decided I wanted something, I was a force of nature. I went after it hard. I didn't always get what I wanted, though. And even if it felt like a kick to the gut at the time, whenever I look back on an instance where I pushed and worked and did all the things but didn't accomplish the goal, I can see in hindsight why it was better that I didn't get my way.
It's good to be self-efficacious, to be driven, to focus, and to pursue what you want. These are not bad things, but this approach has the very negative downside of shutting out the possibilities you don't give yourself a hot second to realize are there. Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe there's something better for you that you aren't yet capable of seeing or accepting? Sometimes when we get our ass handed to us in the pursuit of what we've been pursuing, it's because that thing really wasn't right for you. Maybe there was something really jacked up about it and you not getting your way saved your ass in the end.
But what if something you've said you don't want comes in?
We live in a time when there is so much emphasis on manifestation. The teachings are everywhere. Focus, vision board, say the words, meditate, etc. Yes, do those things AND realize at the same time that there could be something much better in store for you if you'll just let it in. What if you've been trying to manifest something for a very long time and it's just not happening? Have you convinced yourself that you're just not trying hard enough, or that perhaps you're blocking it in some way? Here's a radical thought — maybe what you're trying to manifest isn't really aligned to you.
But what if the thing that wants to come in is really aligned to you?
I recently had an experience that puts this in perspective. I've done a fair amount of public speaking in the last couple of years. I'm told I'm good at it, which I appreciate, but I'm a ball of nerves before I speak. Not just right before, but I have all kinds of nervous energy in the preparation phase, as well. I will often have stretches of time where I present every few weeks, and I kind of laugh/cry at myself that all I will want at the end of that is to lay on my couch and watch mindless TV in a puddle of relief that it's all over. It stresses me the eff out. But I know it's important so I keep doing it.
A few weeks ago, I met with a speaker's bureau that helps connect speakers to events. In the conversation with them, I said very deliberately, "I'm not interested in being a speaker who earns most of their money speaking. An opportunity once a quarter would be great." The owners of the bureau smirked, looked at each other, and then turned to me and one of them said "Then you'll probably be really successful. It seems the people who want it the most have the most trouble getting the opportunities." I laughed, they laughed, and I was like Ha, that's hilarious, but no really. I'm serious.
A couple of weeks later, I was talking to one of my besties and said "You know, I've decided I really enjoy speaking in front of groups of 50 or less. I have no desire to be on a big stage, and the thought of it makes me want to puke my guts out."
The next day, I received an email. It was an introduction between an organization I had spoken for in the past to one that was seeking a keynote speaker. To speak to 1000 people. I got this email the day after I made my grand proclamation. I can picture the Universe laughing in my face.
Sometimes, we don't want something because it's scary. But when the opportunities for the thing that scares you keep coming in, pay attention!! What if this is something you're going to be really good at? What if it will open a door, pave the way for something you can't yet comprehend?
Other people frequently have a better handle on what we are capable of than we do. They don't have all the bullshit in their heads about us that we do about ourselves. You know you have those people around you when you get a scary/exciting opportunity and when you tell them half out of your mind with nerves, they look right at you, like, "Yeah. So? Of course you're going to do that."
Let some good shit come into your life. Experiment with not pushing so hard. Find a way to detach a tiny bit from what you're pursuing. Tell yourself that what you’re pursuing is what you see in front of you but you are open to other possibilities. Don't grind away at what you're trying to accomplish. When we are ego-driven, we pursue from a place that doesn't necessarily serve us. We think we need to prove ourselves, show others what we're made of, and get to a level that we believe we must be at in order to be validated. Sometimes, the opportunities that come in scare the shit out of us precisely because they are NOT ego-driven. They are opportunities to do something that is fully in sync with who you are but you aren't sure you have what it takes to do whatever it is. Naturally, your ego wants nothing to do with that. Your ego only wants the things that make you feel safe, secure and confident.
Where do you have on the blinders that come with doing/hustling in pursuit of the thing that's eluding you? What opportunity keeps trying to come in that you avoid out of fear? Write it down. Ponder it. Consider that it might just be the nudge you need to go in the direction that could be a game-changer.