I’m on a plane flying home from LA where I attended an amazing conference with business guru Ali Brown. She has created a multi-million dollar company and was on stage for two days, 7 months pregnant with twins. Just plain amazing.
There were 250 women and 2 men in the room. Yes guys, the best way to meet women is to go to a women’s conference. Duh!
There were women from all walks of life – Women who left their corporate jobs to pursue their dream. Women who turned a hobby into a 7 figure business. Women who turned an simple idea into an empire. And women who overcame incredible odds to live their dream life. Ali told us that they all had one thing in common. They made it through the Cycle of Opportunity.
This cycle is a process we go through when we take on something new or when we are presented with an opportunity.
It goes like this. We see an opportunity. It could be starting or growing our business, losing weight, a new relationship, a career move, etc. We get excited about the opportunity and we take off.
Then something happens, we get anxious and fearful. Things don’t go our way. It’s harder than we thought. It gets complicated and frustrating. We get tired and start second-guessing ourselves. We wonder if it will work at all. We move into the Fear Stage.
This is where we give up. This is where failure defeats us. Fear, confusion, irritation and overwhelm takes over and we want to quit or at least get some relief from the stress.
This is not a fun place to be. Your problems are very real and your feelings are justified.
BUT if you hold on and keep moving through this difficult time, you will get to the Breakthrough Stage. This is the light at the end of the tunnel and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
We’ve heard story after story of people who overcame incredible challenges to succeed. They motivate and inspire us. But when we face our own challenges, it feels different. It becomes hard to motivate and inspire ourselves to keep going when we are in debt, out of money, on the verge of divorce, tired of eating salads, sick of going to the gym, tired of fighting or exhausted from working too much. We just want it to be easier. We want the payoffs to come quicker.
Some of your biggest breakthroughs will come after your biggest breakdowns. Just don’t give up.
The next phase in your cycle of opportunity is the Elevation Stage. This is where things start to work and you feel good. Everything is starting to click and you see the results of your efforts.
When you are in Elevation, it is common to re-evaluate your friendships. Some people may not be too happy with your new position. You may feel as if you have outgrown the people you care about.
I love this quote from Jim Rohn, “You will be most like the 5 people you spend the most time with”. You may need to evaluate your circle and make sure you are being lifted up, not worn down.
Marriages can be tested during this time. Success is exciting but it also brings it’s own set of problems. “You don’t have time for me, you’re different or we’ve grown apart” are common issues.
It’s possible to recreate the relationship after one partner experiences huge success. However, many times there is jealousy, power struggles and self esteem issues.
There were 2 women at the event whose husbands ended up quitting their jobs and working for them. They said, it wasn’t easy to get here, but it’s working great now.” Anything is possible if two people are committed to making it work.
It is important to make the relationship a priority and meet each other’s needs. At the end of the day, love is truly what matters most, not success, money or a hot body.
After you move through these 4 phases – Opportunity, Fear, Breakthrough and Elevation, opportunity comes again and you repeat the cycle. You do this for the rest of your life.
You get a promotion, you want to grow your business, you decide to run a half-marathon or you simply want to take your life to the next level.
The key to being victorious in this cycle is to embrace it. Feel the fear and anxiety and keep moving until you get to a breakthrough. Enjoy the elevation and success but stay grounded.
Change is inevitable. When things are good, it changes. When things are bad, it changes. Problems are a guaranteed part of life, but suffering does not have to be.
Your perception of your current situation is crucial to your well-being and your success. When you view your challenges as part of the process, you feel calmer and are more able to take the necessary action to reach your goals.
God gives his biggest challenges to his strongest warriors. Your life will be filled with tests and lessons that are designed to help you fulfill your greater purpose.
I recently saw the movie The Recruit with Al Pacino (I love him!). Pacino is training a young recruit for the CIA. He puts him through some rigorous and traumatic stuff. Pacino says, “Everything is a test”.
No matter how tough something is, just remember it is a test. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. It will make you stronger, better and more successful. It will be used for a higher good.
Push through, press on, and propel yourself to the next level!