Creating Fulfilling Opportunities

“Instead of focusing on what we’re not getting, focus on what we’re not giving.” ─ Tony Robbins

During the job-hunting season, it’s easy for us to feel dejected and start blaming

others about things that didn’t happen as expected.

You know you’re good enough; you have the qualifications; you really DO care about the company’s mission, but you don’t ever get a callback. Then, you blame the ATS system for throwing your resumé away or blame the recruiter for not reading your cover letter.

What if we stopped blaming and started thinking about what we’re not giving them?

. . .

CREATIVITY

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “creative”?

Patterns?

Texture?

Watercolor?

“Creative” is not a term exclusive to the art students. Creativity is all around us. No matter where we are, we have the power to create. But first, we have to be able to differentiate CREATION from CONSUMPTION. This is no stranger to all of us ─ we consume massive amounts of content from Netflix to YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, movies, etc. An average person consumes up to 10.5 hours of media per day. If you’re awake for 17 hours, that means you’re a consumer for more than half of your day!

However, as you can see from some examples above, not all consumptions are bad.

In fact, consumption is imperative to the creative process. It acts as our fuel. For example, you consumed this article on LinkedIn about an underrepresented student who climbed her way up the corporate ladder, and you feel inspired to do the same. But what’s a good ratio? It is entirely dependent on the actions you take post-consumption. Otherwise, they fall into the passive consumption bucket.

The trick is to consume consciously. In other words, be intentional with what you’re consuming and think about how you can apply it to your creative process: whether it is to start a conversation with someone next to you about the topic, run a marketing campaign based on the ideas you extracted from it, etc.

A GOOD RATIO

Brad Stulberg, the co-author of Peak Performance suggests netting out 33/33/33 breakdown among consumption, thinking and connecting ideas, and creation. It’s important to look at these activities in a bigger picture. Instead of asking ourselves “how much have we created today?”, we could map it out over the course of a month or a year. This is done so because there’ll always be periods where basically all we do is consume or connect ideas, and there comes an extended period of time when all we do is create them.

BE, DO, HAVE

How many times have you rolled your eyes when an influencer says, “If I can do it, you can, too”?

Well, it’s true! Just because they’re speaking to us via screen doesn’t mean they’re any more (or less) than us.

The reason influencers have influence over our decisions is because they put themselves out there to help us solve our problems by giving us what we need, whether it is job advice, fashion advice, knowledge about a particular field, etc.

I encourage you to think about: What do you have to offer that you’re not giving yet?

ANTICIPATE THE FALL

A good way to tackle an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation is to anticipate the fall.

What’s the worst-case scenario?

Map out the possibilities, research for ways to tackle them, keep them in mind, and GO FOR IT! Once you fall, you will see that it actually isn’t that bad! In the process, you’ll slowly generate a greater sense of self-assurance knowing that you can do whatever you set your mind to, including gaining enough confidence to introduce yourself to the CEO of the company you really want to work for by first believing that you have the skillset to do so.

FAKE IT TIL’ YOU MAKE IT

This is a little quote that often circulates around the topic of confidence. However, if you wanted to put it in a more tangible context, imagine a case study for yourself. In order to create the best possible opportunities, we sometimes have to act the part.

Next, I encourage you to think of someone who can hold you accountable.

Ideally, you want someone who you can trust to put you in your place when you need to. This is an important part of the process to help keep you on a regular schedule to prevent a loss of momentum. It also helps that you’re putting your words out there and therefore have fewer incentives to back out even if you really wanted to.

Opportunities don’t often knock our doors twice ─ and when they do or when you have created these opportunities, you want to be ready to say “YES!” to them.

Happy Creating!

Images courtesy of author