You have dreams. You have goals. You have vision and passion. You’ve worked so hard. You’ve sweated. You’ve toiled day and night. You’ve even prayed. People tell you your big break will come; just be patient and keep trying.
But what happens when your big break never does come? Reality dictates that not all dreams come true…not all goals are realized…and sometimes that big break just does not happen. What do you do then?
Here are 5 simple principles to remember when you’re faced with the disappointment of a broken big break:
1. Learn the lessons. Acknowledge your part in the whole thing and make a true assessment of what you could have done better and how you’ll do it better next time. Learn the life lessons – and there are always life lessons – that this circumstance has presented. What you learn is a gift to take with you for the rest of your life, and to share with others.
2. Keep yourself in the company of positive people. There’s nothing worse than commiserating on your own, and being dragged down further by energy vampires, sucking the remaining life from your spirit, word by word. Proactively seek out those you know who will encourage you and lift you up.
3. Celebrate each small victory. When your big break doesn’t come, you’ll need to break down your progress into small, steady victories. Not getting that big break doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or that you haven’t had little breaks along the way. Learn to celebrate small wins like making 5 marketing calls, connecting with 10 people via social media, or sending 4 prospecting emails.
4. Re-purpose your dream. When your big break never materializes, maybe it’s time to re-purpose your dream into smaller bites or different bites. It doesn’t mean you give up on your original dream, it simply means you break it down into smaller, more attainable goals. Perhaps you’re a motivational speaker and your big dream was to speak at a Fortune 500 company. The big break didn’t happen…they aren’t breaking down your door, or even calling you for that matter. Why not re-purpose your dream to speak at 5 civic or community club organizations, or maybe a few mid-sized companies, or universities? Who knows? That might have been the master plan all along.
As Drew Brees states in his dynamic book, Coming Back Stronger – Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity, “Be flexible enough to know when you’re being led in another direction, and then follow that new vision with all your heart.”
5. Know what you can control…AND what you can’t. There are just some things out of our control…period. Sometimes fate reveals that our big break isn’t in the cards. It’s just not coming. Just ask the hundreds of NFL hopefuls and free agents every year at the Combine and Pro Day. They keep training, they keep hoping, but at some point, they’ll have to recognize the fact that the big break is not coming. Therapists tell us not to worry about the things we can’t control. They’re right. We can do our best and commit the rest to God’s hands.
I hope with everything in me that your big break does come. But I also hope that you’ll embrace the beauty that comes along every day when your big break is in the form of waking up to a day full of opportunity, full of life and full of hope.