Every December 31, the clock strikes midnight, and we toast to a new year. We look forward to a new beginning, a fresh start, another chance.
Another shot at a distant goal. Another year to hit a milestone. Another possibility to make your dreams come true. Another opening to make this year the best of your life.
Unfortunately, few of us end up achieving those lofty new year’s aspirations. Conflicts surface. Barriers present themselves. Life gets in the way. We get in our own way. And the next December 31, you find yourself in exactly the same place.
But aren’t these obstacles just a matter of perspective? You have two choices: approach your problems as roadblocks or detours. Rather than wait for the world to change, change yourself. Which will you choose this year?
Your decision is wholly dependent on your perspective. If you see opposition as a roadblock, you may be a cautious realist. But if you choose to believe challenges are your chance to forge a new path, you just might be on track to make 2022 your best year yet.
“Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.”
Irving Berlin, the legendary composer and Broadway heavyweight, said, “life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.”
Easy for him to say, but how do you actually get there? Shifting your perspective to see problems as possibilities might not come naturally to you. But the solution is more obvious than you think.
Being open to possibility starts with being open to yourself. So many people accept a problem as insurmountable because they lack the confidence and fortitude to see obstacles for what they really are…opportunities.
You might think you’re too weak. Too small. Too stupid. Too ugly. Whatever lie you tell yourself, you allow your negative self-talk to prevent you from embracing possibility. Why? Because subconsciously, you fear that opening yourself to opportunity also exposes you to possible failure.
If you take a chance and seize an opportunity, there’s always a chance you might fail. And if you fail, the crushing weight of that negative self-talk will feel heavier than ever. It’s no wonder most of us are so fearful of failure.
To change how you look at problems, change how you look at yourself. Of course, that makes the process sound easy. I know it isn’t. But the payoff of a new perspective is well worth the work.
“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.”
Think about your gifts and abilities. What are your talents? What fulfills you? What do you enjoy? What do you value? Get to know yourself on a deeper level and identify what makes you uniquely gifted to succeed.
But just knowing this isn’t enough. As Maya Angelou said, “the real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.”
Rid yourself of fear by accepting your gifts and understanding their inherent value. Acknowledge that with these gifts, you have everything you need to not just successfully navigate the opportunities that come your way, but also to create your own.
Changing your perspective, banishing your fear of failure, and taking your future in hand all require the same thing: your whole self.
“Where we choose to focus our energy matters.”
Unfortunately, embracing your whole self, placing value in your gifts, and truly loving who you are doesn’t come naturally for most. As I’ve said before, “where we choose to focus our energy matters.” Most of us have spent our lives being told to be humble, put others first, and not be boastful. To wait for opportunity to present itself.
For the record, I’m not telling you to be overly prideful, cut in front of the line at the coffee shop, and boast. What I am saying is that authentic appreciation of yourself is the best way to earn the confidence you need to make your own opportunities.
Of course, there’s another enemy out there. Getting out of your own way is one thing. Tuning out what society says about this kind of confidence
is another entirely. Much of the public narrative about appreciating yourself paints it as unhealthy, conceited, and narcissistic.
But they couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Maybe not in words, but certainly through actions, much of our culture sends the message that writing our own narrative is wrong. Society also tries to tell us that our own story is not ours to tell. And that taking chances is dangerous. Have I made my point?
People whose personal and professional lives are flourishing and fruitful don’t allow an outside narrative to shape the arc of their lives. In fact, these types of people write their own narrative, and they’re proud of every word.
Accepting your whole self is the key to unlocking your own opportunity this year. Unlock your full potential in 2022. The key is within your grasp!