You Have To Make The Most Of The Chances Life Gives To You

We often get paralyzed in the concept of is this right? Should I wait? Is there anything better? Should I settle? How do I know if I am?

Chances are often given to us without much warning. Sometimes we’ve worked extremely hard to get to where we are. The blood, sweat, and tears turn into the golden moment we’ve been reaching for. We beam with pride, feeling as if we earned it. Sometimes, the chances are unexpected. Perhaps we were simply in the right place at the right time. Maybe a door opened to something we never honestly thought would be available to us. We are allowed to move towards something that could be great for us, and we are excited but uncertain if we should jump at the chance to take something we didn’t fight for every minute of the day. We recognize our luck. We question if it’s enough, or if we are allowed to take the moment and move forward without hesitation.

Regardless of either path that we are given, there are always the moments after that continue to keep us still. We fear we’ll screw things up. That we aren’t truly cut out for the chance after all. That perhaps we didn’t try hard enough to get here. That regardless of who we are or what we’ve done, there is still more we could’ve done to prepare.

And while we’re standing in this paradox of whether we deserve the chance or are ready for it, time slips between our fingers without pausing. The spotlight on us becomes dimmer, and not because we aren’t worth it- but because we aren’t doing anything with it. We blink. Suddenly, that opportunity has shifted away from us, moving towards someone with another set of hands waiting for the chance to hold it.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? If we sit back and think about it, how often do we actually have opportunities to let them slide away because we believe we could never deserve them? How often do we feel accomplished in receiving a chance, but then freeze once it’s given to us to mold and shape into what could be our destiny? Or at least the path we want to be on right now?

We know the difference between getting a chance because of being underhanded, sneaky, or dishonest. We know those moments aren’t truly meant for us or not in the ways we want them to be. We know that in some cases, we are given chances based on unfair or downright unacceptable things. We know these aren’t random “chances” life hands us, but a way to cheat ourselves into believing a fallacy of who we are. This isn’t about whether to take an opportunity that you were given based on dishonest reasoning or systems put in place to provide you with an advantage that you didn’t really earn.

This is about the moments in life where we are given something, and we decide that we aren’t capable or we aren’t enough to accept it. The ones you want to believe that something wonderful is happening for you, but you just feel too unsure of yourself to think you could really achieve anything, even when the universe seems to bring the perfect opening your way.

If there is one thing we have learned about life, is that it isn’t always fair. People get away with things they shouldn’t. Disasters show up that no one anticipated. Seemingly unbreakable bonds shatter without a moment’s notice. When something like this happens, we know we don’t have much of a choice in the outcomes. It’s possible that even if we try our hardest, things won’t play out in our favor. All we can do is take what we have and try to make the best out of circumstances, whether we were ready for them or not.

What if we did something similar when great things show up in our life? Instead of questioning if we deserve it or standing still worrying that we will mess things up if we realize that right now, we’ve been given a chance. Our only job is to do the best we can with it. That all we can do is make the most of it.

Is it possible that we make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Could you find later that you want to go after something different? Sure. Yet there is only one thing for certain- if you don’t take the opportunity you’ve been given and actually try to do something with it, nothing will happen. You will make the mistake of letting something escape you because you were too terrified to do something.

Because who knows what could happen if you stop doubting yourself so much and lean into this? Who knows where it could lead? Perhaps it opens doors to something better later- maybe you discover your passion by merely taking a chance.

There are some things you should listen to- things like if your gut instinct tells you this is a wrong move, or if you know you’re walking into something that will only make you miserable. If you’re reluctantly embracing an opportunity because someone else really wants you to, or if it fulfills someone else’s dream idea, then you know that this isn’t something to move towards. You see the difference between debating something you genuinely want but are unsure you would do well in, and discussing whether to do something you know won’t make you happy simply to paint a picture of the person others think you should be.

When it comes to the moments where you know you want something or know something that could be great for you, but you hesitate because you’re afraid you’ll fail? Or that you aren’t worthy? These are the times you need to open your hands and trust that if you’re given this moment, the best thing you can do is do something with it to the best of your ability. You may not believe you’re ready for it, but perhaps where you are in life is precisely what is needed to do this. A sense of humility isn’t the worst thing in the world, and while you’re sitting there thinking someone else would do things better, maybe the world doesn’t need their perspective right now. It needs yours.

So the next time you are presented with a chance that you want or need, don’t dig your heels in and worry about whether this is the right moment for you. Recognize that this is your moment, whether you planned for it or you didn’t.

The only question is: what are you going to do with it?

I’m Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To React To Everything That Bothers Me

I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to hurt those who hurt me. I’m slowly learning that maybe the ultimate sign of maturity is walking away instead of getting even.

I’m slowly learning that the energy it takes to react to every bad thing that happens to you drains you and stops you from seeing the other good things in life. I’m slowly learning that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and I won’t be able to get everyone to treat me the way I want to be treated and that’s okay. I’m slowly learning that trying so hard to ‘win’ anyone is just a waste of time and energy and it fills you with nothing but emptiness.

I’m slowly learning that not reacting doesn’t mean I’m okay with things, it just means I’m choosing to rise above it. I’m choosing to take the lesson it has served and learn from it. I’m choosing to be the bigger person. I’m choosing my peace of mind because that’s what I truly need. I don’t need more drama. I don’t need people making me feel like I’m not good enough. I don’t need fights and arguments and fake connections. I’m slowly learning that sometimes not saying anything at all says everything.

I’m slowly learning that reacting to things that upset you gives someone else power over your emotions. You can’t control what others do but you can control how you respond, how you handle it, how you perceive it and how much of it you want to take personally. I’m slowly learning that most of the time, these situations say nothing about you and a lot about the other person. I’m slowly learning that maybe all these disappointments are just there to teach us how to love ourselves because that will be the armor and the shield we need against the people who try to bring us down. They will save us when people try to shake our confidence or when they try to make us feel like we’re worthless.

I’m slowly learning that even if I react, it won’t change anything, it won’t make people suddenly love and respect me, it won’t magically change their minds. Sometimes it’s better to just let things be, let people go, don’t fight for closure, don’t ask for explanations, don’t chase answers and don’t expect people to understand where you’re coming from. I’m slowly learning that life is better lived when you don’t center it on what’s happening around you and center it on what’s happening inside you instead. Work on yourself and your inner peace and you’ll come to realize that not reacting to every little thing that bothers you is the first ingredient to living a happy and healthy life.

When You’re Strong But Human, Read This

It isn’t your job to always be the strong one, and people shouldn’t expect that of you. It’s okay if you have a moment or two where you need to be weak and crawl up in a ball and cry. But I know what it feels like always to have people put stuff on your plate like it’s some indestructible tray, and you have the strength to hold it all. People keep asking more of you because that strength of yours doesn’t waver.

But you don’t have to be the strongest person in the room. 

It isn’t your job to always be brave because I know what it’s like to be scared and not know and not have the answers, but that pressure of everyone expecting you to. It’s okay if you’re afraid and unsure and merely trying to do your best to figure things out as you go along. Admitting you’re scared and uncertain is realizing you are human, and no one can fault you for that.

It isn’t your job to always have to be the kindest or bigger person when confronted with a situation. It takes so much out of you to always try and take the high road when it seems like it’s so easy for everyone else to be mean and disrespectful. You’re allowed to be unkind even if it goes against your nature. You are entitled to play dirty even if that’s not your kind of game. Because sometimes, people don’t value who you are and everything you have to offer, and the only way to get through to some people is communicating at their level.

It isn’t your job to always work at 110%. The truth is burnout is real; working too hard is something that high achieving people struggle with. Your greatest value is knowing what you need and not being afraid to do what’s best for the person looking back at you in the mirror. Before a job, you are your greatest priority, and making yourself, your number one priority requires knowing when to slow down and take a breath or take a day for yourself. Your mental health isn’t something to put on your to-do it but rather something to make a priority right now.

It isn’t your job to be perfect, and you deserve self-love right where you’re at in this moment, not once you get somewhere, or do something or attach its achievement. You deserve the kind of love and effort you put into everyone and everything. It’s easy when you have so much going on not to make yourself the priority. When you are selfless in your work and your life, sometimes you get the short end of the stick or the little bit you have leftover when everything and everyone is taken care of. But you deserve everything you invest in others and should feel comfortable investing that in yourself.

The truth is you are strong, brave, kind, hardworking, and selfless. In being all those things, I know you don’t like showing weakness. I know you don’t ever want to show you’re scared or unsure. I know you never want to be mean. And I know in everything you do, and in every relationship you have, you put 110% into it, and it gets tiring. But it’s okay that you’re human, and in being human, you don’t have to be perfect but what you do have to do is take care of yourself. So I hope from this moment forward, you begin to make yourself a priority because you deserve all the best, and that’s even in your relationship with yourself.

7 Past Hurts That Are Keeping You From Being A Leader Today

Moving forward from today, your life holds endless potential. You can make a difference, you can choose to go big, you can shine unapologetically and make that big, bold, beautiful impact that deep down you know you were meant for.

You have it in you to lead. Lead in your own life. Lead by example. Lead in front of the community that is waiting for what you have to bring to the table.

You know deep down that every word of this is true and applies to you. But there it is again, that hesitation that creeps up and tells you that maybe you can’t. Maybe you’re not good enough. The excuses bubble up, creating roadblocks, slowing you to a crawl and sending you back into hiding.

Where does this come from? One moment you know better—you see and feel the potential—and the next you’re stuck repeating old patterns and habits of inaction and disbelief. The keyword here is “old.” The hurts, big and small, from the past have a way of creeping up and affecting what we believe we can do today.

I began here by writing “moving forward from today,” and that was intentional. When you meet yourself where you are today, you can grow, expand, explore, and rise. However, when you fill today with reminders, examples, and hurts from the past, you let that past tell you that choosing to not lead today is the safest way to repeat what you’ve been through before.

So, how do you move forward? How do you let go and carve a new path for yourself? Begin by taking a look at what’s been holding you down. Flip those past hurts and examples into how you want to stand up and do it differently for the younger you who went through something hard.

This is stepping into your role as a leader by choosing to lead for yourself first. Show your younger you that there is a new way forward.

How? Look back, acknowledge, and accept that the past was hurtful but that today doesn’t have to look the same. Choose a new path forward. Here are seven examples of common hurts from the past that can hold you back.

1. You were misunderstood in primary and high school.

Maybe you were different, unique, or a little awkward. The other kids, struggling to find themselves, didn’t treat you with the kindness and acceptance you so badly wanted. Show that younger you some acceptance and love now. Your uniqueness makes you special. It puts you in the perfect position to lead. Shine bright. Stand true in you. You’ve got this.

2. You failed at something you really cared about.

Jeez, that hurts. Yes, falling down is unpleasant, but you’re older now and know how to stand back up. Your past is not your future potential. Failure is a part of the journey to the future. What separates “winners” and “losers” is getting back up, learning a lesson, making a change, and being willing to go after what you want. You’ve got this.

3. You let someone who mattered down.

It’s time to forgive yourself. Past you made mistakes. You didn’t necessarily deal in the best way, but you have another chance. You can take what you learned and use it to create healthy, strong relationships now. You can let others in. You can lead and know you’ll do your best, that you’re human, you may make mistakes, but you’ll move forward with care and the desire to do good.

4. Someone who mattered let you down.

Trust was broken, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trusting again. You have you to help you and see you through, but it’s safe to let others in too. You can’t control what they do, but choose to give people a chance again. Trust anyway, knowing you can step away from what isn’t good for you.

5. You had to look to others for answers.

The best leaders are willing to surround themselves with others who are driven and have knowledge beyond their own. You are meant to work with others. Yes, you will never know everything, but there will always be someone out there who knows a little less and could use the lessons you have gained so far. So, don’t be afraid to share. You are valuable.

6. Progress or success didn’t come easily.

Progress doesn’t need to come at lightning speed as long as you keep moving forward. You improve a little with each day. It’s not how fast you do it but that you give yourself permission to keep going with things you care about.

7. You’ve always been different

That desire to fit in is strong. Here’s the thing, though—every human is unique and has something different about them. Those who come to enjoy life the most, those who stand up and claim their truth and authenticity, find a newfound comfort in their skin. Be different. Call to those who are willing to stand by you and be inspired by your genuine self. It’s safe to leave behind those who can’t accept you for who you really are because who you really are is beautiful.

Keep searching through your days. What hurts, excuses, hesitations, or roadblocks that you see today really belong to yesterday? Acknowledge them. Send the younger you and the present you some love. Talk yourself through why you can today. Reclaim your potential. Take one baby step forward at a time.

Leadership begins with you and a willingness to guide yourself beyond your past. As you open up authentically to today, that leadership will grow. You’ll inspire others to do the same. You’ll stand firmer and firmer within your truth. You deserve to embrace the new beginning that each day offers. Go after it with love, acceptance, and leadership.

Healing Yourself Is The Most Uncomfortable, Disruptive, Important Thing You Will Ever Do

Healing your mind is not the same thing as healing your body. When you’re wounded, you often go through a progressive,  linear repair. You get better, until one day, you are nearly back to where you were before.

Healing your mind is completely different, because you aren’t returning to what you were before. You are gutting yourself and becoming someone entirely new.

If that seems a little bit violent and harsh, it should. Healing is not a lovely ascension into comfort and wellness to be experienced once and forevermore. Healing yourself is the most uncomfortable, disruptive, important thing you will ever do.

Healing yourself is returning to your most natural state, which is hungry for personal freedom, irreverent to the suffocating opinions of others, creates without doubt, shows up without fear, and loves without stipulations and agreements and conditions. Who you truly are is at once the best version of yourself you might not have ever imagined, and the most essential version of yourself that you have always been.

And getting to that place? It requires a lot.

Healing requires you to take an honest inventory of your grudges and aggressions and the wells of longing and fear you’ve been ignoring all this time. It requires you to take stock of exactly, precisely what is wrong with your life, so you can work to make it right. It requires you to be completely honest about how you really feel, and then it requires you to actually feel it. 

Healing requires you to feel the deep heartache lingering in you, instead of subconsciously re-creating the experience so you have an outlet to release it. Healing is no longer trying to sanitize your experience, to cleanse it until it is made perfect. Healing requires you to go through the full expression of every emotion that you cut off and buried when you decided you were no longer comfortable with it. Healing requires you to face every ounce of darkness within you, because just beneath what appears to be an impermeable barrier is complete, radical, total freedom. When you are no longer scared to feel anything, when you no longer resist any one part of your life, something magical happens: you find peace.

Let’s be clear: you are not going to suffer forever. This is not going to hurt for long. But to trick yourself into thinking that healing is just getting progressively better until you have unraveled all of your past experiences and can return to the version of yourself you were before you got hurt… well, that is to miss the point entirely.

We are meant to go through these periods of what some refer to as positive disintegration. It is when we must adapt our self-concept to become someone who can handle, if not thrive, in the situation that we are in.

This is healthy. This is normal. This is how we are supposed to respond.

But we cower, because it will be uncomfortable. It will not immediately give us the virtues of what we are taught is a worthwhile life: comfort and ease and the illusion that everything is just perfect on the surface.

Healing is not just what makes us feel better the fastest. It is building the right life, slowly, and over time. It is greeting ourselves at the reckoning, admitting where we’ve faltered. It is going back and resolving our mistakes, and going back within ourselves and resolving the anger and fear and small-mindedness that got us there in the first place.

Healing is refusing to tolerate the discomfort of change because you refuse to tolerate mediocrity for one second longer. The truth is that there is no way to escape discomfort, it finds us wherever we are. But we are either going to feel uneasy pushing past our self-imposed limits, breaking boundaries and becoming who we dream of being, or we’re going to feel it as we sit and mull over fears we fabricated to justify why we refuse to stand up and begin.

Healing is going to be hard at first. It is going to mean looking at yourself honestly, maybe for the first time ever. It is going to mean stepping out of your comfort zone so you can leap toward the person you want to be. It is not what makes you more comfortable and idle. It is what conditions you to be more motivated by discomfort than you are scared of it, and more inspired by your still moments than you use them to forge the chains of worry. Healing is going to change everything, but it has to start with you being willing to feel what you are afraid to feel.

Let’s be clear about something: becoming the best version of yourself is your natural inheritance. It is what you are born to do. Healing is just releasing the sickness that is the limiting beliefs and fears that are holding you back from doing exactly that.