I'm a worst case scenario person. We had a housewarming party this weekend and I was terrified that the floor to our sunroom was going to collapse because of the new tiles we put in. That sounds crazy, right? There was the fact that friends from all walks of our life were coming together and all I could focus on is what could go wrong!
You can never achieve great things without experiencing a bit of discomfort.
Some people call this taking a risk. Others say it's taking the path less traveled. Whatever you call it, it's straying from the safe zone. There aren't that many wildly successful people out there who achieved their greatness by following what was expected. Below are three ways to increase your capacity for discomfort and achieve those big dreams.
It's okay to not know what's next
For a lot of driven individuals it's hard to not have a plan. Because the lack of a plan basically states that we aren't in control of what's going to happen next. Well, guess what? We can't always be in control and that's a good thing. Some of the best things that have happened in my life were not according to my plan. They were things that I couldn't have even imagine, but they are some of my greatest accomplishments to date. Keep planning but allow room for things to come into your life that you didn't plan for.
You've heard we are categorized as the generation who wants immediate gratification...feedback...results. It makes sense. We grew up with technology at our fingertips. One thing I've learned is a lack of patience can distract you from the good things happening right now. When I graduated college I went on a seven-week backpacking trip around the world with my roommate. I had a job lined up upon my return and this was the time to just enjoy myself and celebrate my freedom. So tell me why I was preoccupied the whole trip with what I was going to be doing after that first job (a four month contract position) ended? I was so caught up in having my life lined up six months down the line I couldn't fully immerse myself in the experience I was having. If I could have been patient with myself maybe I would have been able to uncover opportunities along the way that would allow me to return. If you can take the pressure off yourself for a bit and 100% take in what's around you I guarantee you will see things you missed before.
Balance the worst case with the best case scenario
We're trained to think about what the worst case scenario could be but we never talk about the best case scenario. I was listening to my favorite podcast, Being Boss, last week and Emily suggested that we couple our thinking with the best things that could come out of every situation. This is done by training our minds to operate from an abundance perspective rather than a deficit. Rather than thinking about all the things that could go wrong at my party (which had me hella stressed) I could anticipate all of the connections guests would make and future invitations I would receive. And guess what happened? Duh, it was a smashing success...except for a few stains on the furniture :)
It's tough to live in the grey. Being okay with not knowing what is going to happen. Not being able to steer our own course. But in a moment of total honesty, it's only been a few months since I started practicing these principles in my own life and I feel more fulfilled, authentic, and hopeful than I have in years.
Your twenties are a stressful time. You have so much to figure out. But take this time to recognize the great things that are happening to you. Take it from me - the best things just can't be planned.