Creating Your Own Opportunities

Creating Your Own Opportunities

In the past few months, I have been noticing an interesting trend where people lament their lives because there aren’t enough opportunities for them.

Maybe we need to start changing how we understand opportunities. For so long, we assumed or were led to believe that once we’re old enough, the right opportunities would come our way. Flash forward a few years, and you will quickly come to realize that opportunities don’t just fall into your lap. If anything, they come by once in a blue moon and are fleeting.

Then there’s a rude awakening that makes you realize you have to go out and create your opportunities because they will not come knocking at your door. The idea that you have to create things out of thin air is daunting. But you’re in a tiny bit of luck because starting to create opportunities for yourself just requires energy, effort, and patience. All things you have probably already have!

If you have no idea where to start, here are a few steps you can take to start creating the opportunities you want in your life.

1) Figure out what you want

There’s no use in trying to create something when you have no idea what you want. Take your time researching, reflecting, and picturing what kind of opportunities you want in your life.

2) Putting yourself out there

Again, nothing will come knocking on your door. It is up to you to get yourself out there. How? Well, it might look different for everyone. For some, it might mean volunteering, networking, applying to jobs, meeting other like mine people who want similar things to you. For others, it could be starting their own business, organization, etc.  

3) Creating opportunities

Sometimes all it takes is one simple claim, email, question or answer to set off an opportunity. But at the very basis of it all, you need to try. For example, the job I currently have is thanks to me sending one email just prying and trying to see if I could volunteer. Nothing crazy, but that one email led to a few more and then a zoom call and now I have a job. I had to put myself out there and dare to just ask one simple question.

Creating opportunities in your life is not some giant momentous occasion, it is small little actions that you take every single day, 

Somewhere between one point and another, people forget that if you want something to happen, more likely than not, you have to go out and get it done yourself. The world is not waiting around, trying to find the right time to give you an opportunity. It’s entirely up to you what opportunities you go out into the world and create.

Does this mean it’s easy? No. But that’s the entire point, nothing easy ever really just happens. Opportunities do not appear out of thin air.

Opportunities require effort, energy, time and putting yourself out there.

Becoming Who You Want To Be

Becoming Who You Want To Be

Becoming the person you have always wanted to be, is a long process. It requires you to make a promise to yourself every night before bed that tomorrow you will try again, and it requires you to act on that promise every morning. It’s not an easy promise to keep to ourselves, and oftentimes it’s one we won’t keep. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to be the person you always wanted to be.

But getting back at it and motivating yourself to try again becomes easier when you have the following things in mind: a reason behind why you want to become that person, consistency and a core set of values. Here’s a little bit more of an explanation as to why you need these three things in your life when you are trying to become the person you have always wanted to be.

1)      Establishing a ‘Why’

Why do you want to be this person? To live a happier life? Perhaps, to live a more balanced life? To be more present? The process of becoming the person you always wanted to be is challenging and exhausting but having a solid reason as to why you are becoming this version of yourself can save you in more ways than you know. When things get tough, or you feel like giving up, having that ‘why’ to catch you is crucial to continuing the lifelong journey of becoming who you want to be. Starting things without creating a solid foundation first, often leads to things falling apart faster than you wanted.

2)      Consistency

In most endeavours in life, people will tell you that consistency is key. It also applies to this matter and is one of the few ideas I try to follow every single day. When creating anything, a project, an idea and yourself keeping up consistent habits that you know add a tremendous amount of value and joy to your life is key. Doing those all the time is the tricky part, but I can tell you that forcing yourself to keep up healthy habits, whatever they may be, is key to becoming the person you want to be. Eventually, they will become second nature and you will be one step closer to being that version of yourself that you know you can be.

3)      Establish a clear set of values

When envisioning this version of yourself, it’s easy to imagine where they will be living, wearing, eating, who they will be surrounding themselves with, etc. But as we all know, life is a lot more complex than that and can throw a few curveballs at you. Through time, that ideal version of you might change or evolve and that’s completely okay. Adjust, pivot, try new habits that would align with that version, even if it’s not the one you started with. More often than not, pivoting and readjusting is a lot easier when you have a clear list of values that you want to live by. Values can change, everything does, but more often than not our core values are with us for the long haul. Having a clear idea of those core values can allow you to work towards that person you want to become, but also allow you to change course whenever you want or feel the need to. Because you aren’t changing absolutely everything, just the direction but not the core of who you are (but between you and me, you can change that too – it’s your life after all).

The journey is tough but you can do it. You can and are allowed to be the person you have always dreamed of being.

Life is About Creating Yourself

Life is About Creating Yourself

Life is about finding yourself – is it, though?

For years I was caught up in this idea that I had to find myself. I was obsessed with trying to get back to this younger version of myself where I felt had peaked. I spent nights crying myself to sleep because I could not find myself. I spent days aimlessly wandering around trying to find this idealized idea and somehow make it fit into my life. But as we can all guess, that never actually happened. I never “found” myself the way everyone claimed I would. All this made me do was hold onto a past version of myself that no longer aligned with who I was or who I was becoming.

I held onto this idea because that’s all I ever knew. From Pinterest to Instagram to general conversations with friends, we were all led to believe that life was about finding yourself. We thought that one day we would stumble across this version of ourselves we once loved and immediately return to being that person. As I got older, I started to realize that all I was doing was holding myself back from enjoying the present and looking forward to the future – I had planted myself in the past and slowly but surely, I realized that it was not doing anything good for me.

Here’s the thing, life is not about finding yourself. When we ask people to find themselves, what exactly are they looking for? A version of themselves they used to be. It seems odd that the idea of finding ourselves suggest that we can g back to our past selves and embody them when undoubtedly, so much has changed.

So, I propose we change how we understand our life and who we are. Instead of aiming to find yourself, what if we made life about creating ourselves? What if we focused our energy on learning from the past and moving forward? What if we built who we wanted to be every single day?

Life is not about finding yourself. That idea implies that there was a better version of you that existed once upon a time and makes you forget that the best is yet to come. The best is yet to come if you create and build it.

Creating yourself leaves you with endless options of what you can create and who you can become, and those endless possibilities are one of the most beautiful gifts that life has to offer. Focus your energy on creating who you want to become and know that who you are right now is more than enough. Your past does not define you.

Personally, when I started shifting away from the idea of finding myself, I almost felt relieved. I felt like I had gained back some agency in my life like I was finally the one steering the ship. Creating yourself is about doing whatever the heck you want. It is about creating who you want to become and loving yourself in the process. Finding yourself might be great in some circumstances, but you have the option and agency to create who you want to be and the life you want to live.

Figure Out Who You Are & What You Want

Figure Out Who You Are & What You Want

Do you ever find that your goals never pan out? Do you find yourself unmotivated after the excitement wears off? Then this post might be for you.

Today, I don’t want to focus on creating our goals, instead, I want to help you build a solid foundation for your goals and dreams, and that all starts with understanding who you are and who you want to become. When we create goals with no solid foundation, we set ourselves up to fail in a way. The truth is, the excitement and motivation will run out; but if you have created goals that align with who you are and who you want to become, then you can keep working towards those goals even when it gets challenging.  

Before you start building your goals, take the time to understand who you want to become. I find that the easiest way to go about this is by journaling. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated just grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing. Write about anything that comes to your mind and what you want out of life and who you want to become.

For those of you who might need a bit of guidance, here are some journaling prompts I used after I did my free write, to structure out my ideas and see them more clearly:

  • Are you happy right now? If so, what makes you happy? If not, what makes you unhappy?
  • Is there anything you would change in your life right at this moment?
  • Who do you want to become? What does the best version of yourself do? What habits do they have? What kind of person are they?
  • Are you still the same person you were a few years ago? How have you changed? Have you changed at all?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want to be living?

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Yes, you are allowed to change your dreams.

Nowadays, the concept of bettering yourself, growing or changing is the norm in society. There are countless books, tv shows, apps and journals designed to help you just that. But what they often forget to include is that as you are changing and growing as a person, your dreams and goals will inevitably also change.

Whenever someone asks me what my life plan is, or where do I see myself in five years? I have a hard time responding, mainly because it is terrifying to think that far ahead. But mostly because of who I am, my interests and my aspirations have changed so much throughout the years. No one ever really talks about just how much one person can change in a short amount of time or when faced with a series of obstacles and challenges in their life.

I just wish that someone could tell 18-year-old me that things are allowed to change. Not only am I allowed to change, but what I want from life and what I want to contribute to the world can also change.

In my life, there have been two specific times where I essentially realized that I didn’t want something I had wanted for a very long time. From the ages of about 13 to 17, I wanted nothing more than to be a lawyer. But then one night as I was studying, it dawned on me that that was not what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be anymore. It was crushing, to say the least. It was as if I was crushing my own dreams, instead of someone else doing it for me. Eventually, I came to terms with that realization and embarked on what I would refer to as a 5-year journey of confusion.

This brings me to the second instance of realization. A few weeks ago, I was just journaling as I normally do, and without even realizing it I was writing about how I didn’t know what my next step would be. I was so intent on doing this one thing with my career for so long that I lost sight of how much I didn’t like it. I forgot how sad, depressed, and miserable that work environment made me, so why was I clinging on to it?

You see, we might change and grow every day, but we often forget to update our dreams and goals along the way. It is perfectly normal to not want to same things you used to hope and pray would happen to you. I was holding on to this dream that no longer fit who I was now – it was very much a leftover mark of who I used to be.

Your dreams and goals are allowed to change.

What often happens is that we don’t give ourselves permission to change them. Suddenly our minds wonder what everyone will think. Will I leave my comfort zone? Will I fail? Which are all normal questions, but I have come to understand that when you don’t check in with yourself, or when you keep outdated dreams and goals in the back of your brain, you are essentially holding on to your comfort zone and stopping yourself from truly growing.

That’s what I was doing. I had built up this fantasy in my mind for so long about how my dreams and goals would look, but how they were playing out was so different. I was holding on to these dreams out of fear of failure and out of fear of the unknown.

It was only when I came to a breaking point that I realized how miserable my dreams and goals made me, and started thinking, well what can I do? Did I realize how much I was stopping myself from actually living my life the way I wanted to?

To sum it up, yes, you are allowed to change your dreams. If anything, I encourage you to check in with yourself and see if what you wanted for so long is still what you want from life right now, as the person you are today. If not, don’t worry. Give yourself some time to explore, think, feel out the edges of your comfort zone and remember that you can quite literally do anything with your life.

Listening To Your Heart

I recently finished reading Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly and I wish this book was being turned into a movie. It made me reflect so much and the book has such a good message that I think everyone needs to hear.

Still tied to the classic tale of Cinderella, Stepsister explores the story of Cinderella’s stepsisters, Isabelle and Octavia after Cinderella got married to the prince. Not only does the book give us insight into what happens after the fairy tale ends but in true classic redemption style it explores what happens to characters that are categorized as “bad” or the “villains” of a story. But as we all know, villains are not born as villains, they become villains. Isabelle, one of the villains in Cinderella, discovers that the person she has become stems from the category she has been placed in by society.

How do we allow someone else to dictate who we can or will become? Why do we let people determine who we will be? Why do we listen to them?

The thing about society is that the constraints it imposes on people are so ingrained in everything we do and engage with that if we break from those constraints we are shunned and cast aside by society. How do we unlearn something so ingrained in us? We begin by listening to the parts of the heart that we have quieted so much. Often what we want most and who we truly are, are buried deep down in the depths of our hearts because it was a way to protect ourselves.

This is not a way to live a life, and it surely was not what Isabelle or Octavia wanted anymore. Isabelle had a magical fairy queen appear to her with a place to start, but unfortunately, that isn’t something we all have access to. 

Please allow me and this post to be the magical fairy queen that you need. Take a moment to just be and listen to yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling and open yourself up to what you want most in your life. You might find this hard because we have suppressed it so much. But take a moment or even a few days to reflect on what you have been pushing down because it did not conform with what people expect from you. Or, it might come to your mind right away no matter how hard you have tried to push it away.

When those feelings, dreams and goals come to your mind I want you to take a moment and envision who the person with those goals and dreams is. That is who you truly are and who you want to become.

Now from here, I can only tell you to be vulnerable and brave enough to follow that version of yourself and those goals. You need to face why you are the way you are now, and you have to realize that who you are from now on is entirely up to you. It’s time to deal with the things that have broken and shattered your heart and the walls you have put up to protect yourself. Because they haven’t protected you, they have hindered you from succeeding.

Those broken pieces can be fixed and all of the mess that you will go through is beautiful and so true to you.

I challenge you to start listening to your heart and work on reworking your life. You are under no obligation to stay in the mold of society and you do not need to abide by societal norms of what is expected from you.

As always, this is easier said than done. But I do recommend reading the book for a bit of inspiration, and motivation to become who you are and to listen to your heart.

I leave you with one last, abbreviated, quote from the book: “There is magic in this sad, hard world. A Magic stronger than fate, stronger than chance. [..] It is magic of a frail and fallible creature, one capable of both unspeakable cruelty and immense kindness. It lives inside every human being ready to redeem us. To transform us. To save us. If we can only find the courage to listen to it. It is the magic of the human heart.”

Thanks for reading. Stay safe! x