Many of us have dreams and goals – and many feel disappointed and unfilled in our lives. Why? Part of that is fear and not being willing to step out of our comfort zones, but in Angela Marie Hutchinson’s new book, Create Your Yes When You keep Hearing No, she teaches us how to move forward in our lives.
While it is true for some that hard work will help us achieve our goals, many of us work hard – or believe we are – and still spin like hamsters in a cage. You have to create something out of what you are getting and move on from there.
Sometimes we are afraid to confront our fears or worry that we will be a burden or be concerned that we will burn bridges if we say or do “the wrong thing” and step out of bounds. Self-doubt and self-rejection also keep us locked in place. We question: “Am I good enough for this?” Or we tell ourselves that we don’t have the skill set needed to compete and so we don’t.
The fact is since you are competing with so many others – some who might be as talented as you are — you have to find a way to stand out. In the book, Angela gives several examples of how we can do that while going on interviews or exploring new territories. It only has to be something small but once you do, other doors will open for you. You become more than the ordinary candidate and even if you don’t get this job, it will help you later.
When you are rejected, if you can ask the person why and what could have been changed to improve things. We don’t because we are afraid of rocking the boat and we say that we don’t want to be a burden or don’t want to burn bridges – even when there is no bridge there – but how can we change if we don’t know what is wrong? We need to get out of our own heads.
Break through your everyday routine. We are meant to give to others as well as receive, but it’s not something we often do. Anglea shares that rejection is a tool that teaches and guides us. But even so hearing no over and over defeats one and can crush you – or it can propel you forward. The fact is, and Angela restates this often, it’s rare for one to experience success without having first failed and learned from it. Sometimes we fail many times, learning something new and improving each time. NBA Champion Michael Jordan stated, “I failed over and over and again and that is why I succeeded.”
“Sometimes we need someone to push us with a no for us to move forward. The biggest thing is that we get up again.” The “Yes” for Angela came when she decided to take ownership over her own career. “Focus on the small goals and then the milestones come. Focus on the daily miracles and wins. It’s what gets you to that final place.”
Many people have tunnel vision when creating goals and forget the sidelines. Developing of peripheral vision is also an important aspect in creating your own yes. Pay attention to things on your right and left or even those behind you and don’t just focus on the narrow tunnel ahead of you. Step outside of yourself and ask when talking to the cashier: “Am I supposed to be getting something else out of this moment?” Or when going to a job interview look and see what other companies are in the same building. Could they use your skills? Google them for any open positions. Or if you see someone in the same car parked each day, ask what do they do? At an event, find out the sponsors and how you can connect with them. Read not only a magazine article but take clues from it to go further. One person, waiting in line to talk to an editor who had been speaking at a conference, saw that he was dehydrated, got him a bottle of water. The editor was so grateful that he asked the man what project he had and hired him on the spot. Expand how you visualize and look outside the box. In self-defense this is called situational awareness. Maybe this will give you what you need to be propelled forward.
If you do find a mentor, don’t expect them to give you everything without giving things back. Think of your world as win-win. Consider what you really need and be specific about it and then how can you help them?
While Angela, herself, started in the engineering world, she realized that her heart was in entertainment. She got tired of hearing no as she tried to break in and realized many others were experiencing the same exact things. She quickly found that a lot she learned in the engineering classes applied to entertainment, as well and it helped her relate to others with similar backgrounds. Her film HUSH – a PBS documentary that she directed and produced Hollywood’s Uncovered Sexual Harassment was her push to educate the public about what was happening behind closed doors.
Angela has, as a result of her own persistence, been a casting director, a talent agent, a producer, a motivational speaker. She’s now also the founder of a successful networking organization – Breaking Into Hollywood, which combines all aspects of the entertainment industry, that started in 2005. “I like giving people opportunity and they have to take it from there. People don’t understand the value of collaboration as much as they should – or consider it even when the opportunity is there. The power to create our own lives and paths belongs to all of us.”
Create Your Yes has many more great tips and is available at retailers and most major bookstores throughout the country.