Have you ever said to yourself ‘I’ve had enough, I’ve tried this many times and failed’ or ‘I’ve used up all my chances’ or ‘I have nothing left’ or ‘I’m done’?
Well, welcome to the human race.
Anyone with a pulse would have definitely felt like throwing in the towel many times, and in many ways throughout their business and personal lives. And maybe certain towels have been left on the floor for years through fear, exhaustion and self-protection.
It was six years ago almost to the day that I picked up a discarded towel again and had another crack at my dreams and hopes. I was bloody determined to not give up despite historical evidence being contrary to success.
So, after a sweltering hot Melbourne day I ventured into the cobblestone doorway of a cool wine bar with a fabulous new outfit.
Thoughts were running wild as I crossed every body part that this meeting would be a fun and successful one. A mixture of excitement, anticipation and nervousness jumped all over me. Even though I am a bold extrovert, I still felt those butterflies in my stomach jumping around.
No matter how confident we appear on the outside the inside voice of doubt is often deafening – after all we are not robots but humans.
He was out there somewhere
This was not a job interview or a new client pitch but an RSVP online date. It was indeed the 20th RSVP date I had clocked up during 2011.
Was I a sucker for punishment or just delusional? Neither. I just had strong intent.
In those 12 months I met several guys who I liked but the feelings weren’t mutual. Conversely, many thought I was wonderful but I didn’t feel the same way. There were a couple of real ‘nasties’ in that mix and also some lovely guys who became good friends.
But the right match had been elusive and I refused to simply settle for anyone because being single wasn’t much fun. I was determined to attract my ideal mate.
Ah, the myriad of emotions that one feels at being ‘rejected’ and also being ‘the rejecter’. But I just never gave up – with my mum’s mantra embedded in my psyche – ‘where there is life there is hope’.
It was bloody hard mind you not to pack it all in and move to an isolated hut in the bush never to return. But there was this niggle inside that just wouldn’t let me wallow for more than a week or so at a time (albeit under a doona with a vodka or three by my side).
Now my relationship story goes far deeper than just the 12 months prior to the auspicious date on December 29 which would change my life forever. On that date in 2011 there I was at 51-years-old with two failed marriages and three broken engagements behind me.
Yes, my relationship history was rather unfortunate to say the least. But I took responsibility for all of it in some way and didn’t play the ‘I’ve been done wrong’ song or ‘there are no good men out there’.
Some relationships were damn nightmares and some were simply unfulfilling. And some I simply screwed up. But I never gave up hope that the right one was out there waiting somewhere.
Time to face the truth
BUT (and here’s the rub) to meet my ideal partner I needed to look pretty candidly at myself in the mirror and work on what needed to be changed to attract the right relationship.
I had to step up and be the driver of my future. I needed to get fit, lose weight, take some counselling sessions, enrol in self-development courses, review old beliefs, read a lot, try new ideas. And I had to do an inventory of my external world and throw away BS and negative people and become the sort of person that my soulmate would be attracted to.
I had to focus on being the best version of me. Not a different me but the highest version I could work to and with. I lay the foundations and I just never gave up hope in myself or indeed in other people.
How many times do we hear friends, clients, family, staff etc play the ‘I’ve been done wrong song’ bemoaning ‘there are no good men, women, jobs, clients, careers out there’?
How often do we hear ‘I’ve been there and done that and it doesn’t work’?
Such negativity doesn’t cut it with me and it shouldn’t cut it for anyone else who seeks to grow and improve.
I am now very happily married to my third and final husband from that cobblestoned wine bar meeting.
He was so worth the wait and I am blessed. I write this not to gloat about my relationship success but to encourage others to keep going and believe in themselves. No matter how unpleasant or hopeless you feel your business, life, job or relationship situation has or is, just keep trying and believing. If you are breathing keep going.
Don’t give up on finding and attracting better clients, a new job, great manager, starting a new business, changing careers, finding your soulmate or next relationship.
Get up and have another crack BUT do it with a new outlook, different tools, insights, ideas and beliefs. Work on yourself and have some fun along the way testing and refining.
It’s hard work and you will have more ups and downs than a roller coaster. You will experience set-backs, failures, near misses etc many times in job interviews, careers, relationships, dates or your business.
And that’s OK – if you learn, develop and keep going.
- Sue Parker is a leading LinkedIn Communications, Personal and Business Branding specialist. She helps businesses launch, re-brand and grow their professional and creative services businesses throughout Australia. Get in touch for a chat about attracting more of your business dreams & hopes on 0416 385 779 or email Sue: firstname.lastname@example.org