I used to be the girl who needed a plan for everything. I needed to know exactly what I was doing and when I would be doing it. To me, that was what “having your shit together,” meant. All successful people have a plan for life and achieving their dreams right? I mean – if you don’t have a strategy and live life with zero game plan then your a super lazy loser right?
I mean.. this is what I thought. This was my mindset. For a long, long time.
Take my career as a CBS News producer for example. The minute I knew I wanted to be a producer, I did everything and anything I could to come up with a “master strategy” to get to my goal.
“First I’m going to do really really good in school and get a degree in journalism.”
“Then I am going to get three amazing solid internships to put on my resume (not one, not two, but three. Must have three.)”
“Next I am going to find my mentor. A solid mentor to guide me.”
“Then I am going to find the perfect network and get that dream job I deserve.”
Master plan complete. That became my roadmap to follow for the next four years.
“This master plan will get me to my goal in life. Then I will feel successful,” I thought.
Did I achieve that goal with my masterplan? You bet your ass I did. But my plan quickly turned into a master disaster.
Yes I knew exactly what I wanted, and yes I figured out exactly what I had to do to get there. But then I got there.. and I felt unhappy, lost, and really unfulfilled.
Something was missing. This goal of mine did not provide me all those happy feelings I wanted it to. – I felt so incredibly lost.
“Holy shit. Now I need a new plan. What’s my new plan?”
I had no plan.
“How the heck do you make a plan when you don’t know what your end goal is?”
“Holy shit… am I that messy lazy unsuccessful girl now? What the heck happened to me?”
I had no idea what to do.
I didn’t have a plan that felt safe and secure. There wasn’t an end result anymore that was specific and crystal clear… In fact I had no idea what I wanted in my life.. All I knew was “I just want to be happy… and I am not happy here in my life right now.”
Realizing how uncertain my future was felt like being hit with a ton of bricks. Not only did it hurt, but it was super scary.
Giving up control and admitting I had no master plan to make a big change in my life was SOOOOOO not in my wheel house.
But putting myself in that position and challenging myself to learn how to embrace that uncertainty was probably the best thing I ever did.
It helped me become an expert in what made me happy.
And it drastically changed my life for the better.
I am 100 percent who I am today because of that moment when I had zero clue who I was.
Here’s what I learned…..
Not knowing what’s ahead and not having your shit together are two different things.
For the longest time I thought that “soul searching” was a term unsuccessful people used when they failed at things. It meant you were a flake who couldn’t be responsible and commit to a big girl grown up lifestyle. Walking away from a career meant you weren’t dedicated or committed or a hard worker. And being unable to stick to a job you worked so hard to attain meant that you were someone who just gave up.
This is all bull shit. That old saying “what is right is not always popular, and what’s popular is not always right” kept me focused on recognizing that I wasn’t a failure. Just because society led me to believe I need to go to college for four years to land a job I would have for the rest of my life doesn’t mean that is RIGHT. And honestly, it’s boring when I think about it. Life is not meant to be this straight and narrow path to security. It is about living adventurously and creatively (at least for me.)
And just because 90 percent of the world out there is living the 9-5 for a 401k and a stable income, does not make that the perfect way to live life. And just because I am not doing that doesn’t mean I don’t have my shit together. You can totally not know what’s ahead and be successful. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t an achiever just because you are living in the unknown right now. The unknown is amazing… which leads me to lesson number two:
Uncertainty is scary, but spectacular.
I was really scared to walk away from my career. “Oh my god I am going to be homeless,” was my first thought. But when I got really clear about it, I did have some serious fears about closing that chapter of my life and some serious lingering questions about my decision.
“What if this is a mistake? What if I don’t stay here and then struggle financially? What if I fail at whatever else I try? What if I live unhappy for the rest of my life?”
Surrendering to that uncertainty was the biggest boldest step I made for myself… it made me see that life is not about having control. When I tried to control my life I had an unhappy job, a large list of bills and a small bank account. Sure I had “success” But I was miserable. My emotional stability was in the toilet, my relationships were suffering, and I felt truly stuck in my life.
Once I surrendered to the uncertainty and decided to pursue my path of What is Perfection, everything changed. I now live in a house I own with my finance and get to be creative and inspired every day. I love my relationships and I feel truly grateful for my life every single day.
You tell me which life sound better?
When you feel uncomfortable with not knowing, it’s because you have trust issues / insecurities.
I didn’t want to give up control in my life and surrender to the universe because I was scared the universe wouldn’t have my back. But as Gabby Bernstein says – the universe always has your back. And she’s right. When you do things for the right reasons, there is zero way you can end up unhappy. I swear it. If I left my job because I was just tired of working and wanted to sit on the couch all day and eat bonbons… well… I’d probably not be rewarded by the universe. But I didn’t leave my career for those reasons. I left because I knew I deserved better, I was hungry for more, I felt unfulfilled and I knew I had a greater purpose in life.
I needed to trust that if I was doing things with a good heart, good things would happen.
Learning to surrender to that and trust the process of uncertainty forced me to believe in my worth – “I am deserving of this growth, worthy of this change, and a greater power will protect me and guide me on this journey.” Hard to say that when you have trust issues and carry insecurities about yourself right?
I needed to learn how to let go of that and grow my self worth. Once I did, it changed everything. We all do.
Anything amazing and truly fulfilling comes with a huge amount of risk. Be the dare devil for your life.
There has never been a risk I have regretted later on. Because every single risk I have taken in life involved me listening to my gut instincts. And if your gut is telling you to do something – you won’t regret it. I promise.