She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age twenty-seven. But she didn’t sink into despair, or spend her precious time wondering why this happened to her, of all people. She didn’t even reach for the wine. Instead, she fought cancer, kicked its butt—all while wearing red lipstick!
As I listened to her story, I looked down at the wine and the gummy bears. The gummy bears looked back (well, as much as gummy bears can look at anything).
I realized then and there, I didn’t need a pity party. I needed a swift kick in the butt!
How many times have you said, “After the next move…” or “Once the kids are in school…” or “As soon as the deployment ends…” and never delivered on conquering the world (or the dream that means the world to you)?
It’s not as though we don’t have good reasons—some of them are even true. But sometimes, we push our goals away. We pin our choice on the outside world and what’s lacking in our lives, when it really comes down to our own fears, insecurities, sense of overwhelm, or inability to commit to the first step.
What’s stopping you from achieving your goals today, rather than a few more years down the road?
As military spouses, we have very little say over the places we call home, our spouses’ availability (or the lack thereof), and don’t even get me started on trying to plan a family vacation in advance. Our daily, lived experiences can fool us into believing our goals are insurmountable.
But here’s a little secret: your goals are always going to feel out of reach if you focus on the things that are out of your control.
Do you cancel your interview?
Absolutely not! You’d grab an umbrella, pull on a pair of rainboots, and go rock that interview. The weather was never under your control, it’s not something you can change… so why would you waste your pre-interview energy on it?
I know, I know. Your biggest dreams aren’t exactly on par with a freak rainstorm, but hear me out.
When we let things that we have no control over control our lives, we take a step toward letting life happen rather than making life happen. When you’re scared of failing, it’s more comfortable to stare down your situation and assess blame. It’s easier to set goals aside rather than take risks to achieve them.
1. What do you really want?
It sounds simple, right? I used to say my goal is to find a goal. Even though we all know goals are important, they can be difficult to pinpoint and verbalize (especially if they are different now than they used to be). If you could choose any career, regardless of salary and education, what would you choose? How do you want to spend your days?
2. What can you do today?
So, you have goals—that’s progress! Now it’s time to figure out how you can move closer to your goals. Not tomorrow, not next week, not in a few years, but today. Do you need to do some research? Do you need training or additional education? Does your resume need an overhaul? Do you need to kickstart your job search? Whatever your next step is, take it today (and contact MSCCN if you need some help!)
3. What’s standing in your way?
This may be the hardest step of all. Get honest, and figure out what’s preventing you from reaching your goals. Write down your obstacles, and cross out the items you can’t control. What’s left represents the things in your life you can change. Pick one, and make that change today.
As for me? Today, I deleted those rejection emails, packed up my pity party, and submitted another pitch… all while rocking my favorite lipstick.
What are you doing today?
Story by Amanda Marksmeier