Recently everything in my life had fallen apart. My relationship ended, the courses that I had embarked upon here in New York with the hope of changing careers ended, I’m looking for work and having to move out of the apartment I have been staying at when in the City. All at the same time. The stress and emotion of it all prevented me from keeping my eyes on my ultimate goals and that is that I would like to make a go of it in New York city. A job, a visa, a home and of course LOVE. All I could do honestly speaking was cry a lot and stress a lot. Of course, I did view apartments quite a lot too.
During my search I found and lost 3 places and that too after having waited days on an answer. I have to say I have never had quite an experience trying to find a place to stay in any city I’ve ever lived. To me finding a place to live was indicative of whether I was meant to live here. The New York rentals market was to determine whether or not I was to continue to live my dream or accept defeat and go back to the UK. It seemed like the ‘right’ thing to do considering I had a home there waiting for me. During this time I experienced deep sadness for the loss of my relationship and tremendous stress about where I was going to live in 3 weeks’ time. When I think back to that right now I find it hard to believe I was ready to give up quite so easily.
This experience taught me what it means to pursue my dreams. I had wondered what people meant when they said ‘I don’t take no for an answer’. I realised life was throwing huge growth nuggets at me. This was the school of life, a school I thought I’d already graduated from. I would like to share what I learned with you.
Well here it is – what you need to remember when you are pursuing your dream:
1) Be Persistent
The only way to get anywhere is to be persistent. What that means quite simply is don’t take no for an answer. Now this requires a certain amount of tenacity and a whole lot of vulnerability. Being vulnerable is not often comfortable. The question to ask yourself at such a time is what is more important than me feeling like a fool? What could going back to possibly another ‘no’ and further rejection gain? The answer is the possibility of something even better and most of all that which you are trying to go after.
In my case on this occasion it was an apartment. A place to live over the next few months so that I can then look for a job so that I can stay in the city I have fallen in love with. That is a considerable amount to be gained. Keeping the vision in mind of what you are really after is essential. I was fortunate to have had great and amazing friends who reminded me of this vision when I myself lost sight.
2) You think you can’t do more but you can
You know when you are working out and you feel like you can’t go any further but somehow you can? You just need to reach within and get it out of you. It is similar to anything else you do.
I had viewed nearly 20 apartments in my first 2 weeks of viewing. 13 in 2 days. Days where I had walked for 6-7 hours viewing apartments with a broker and none were in the neighbourhood I wanted or the price range I had indicated. Being impatient I wanted just to know where I would be living so that I could get on with the rest of my life, ie. job hunting to begin with. Yes I was exhausted and on the verge of packing up and going back to the UK. Until a good friend of mine said, ‘stop being emotional and go and make it happen’. For some reason that hit me where it was meant to and gave me just the right amount of a boost make a few more calls. Somehow I found the determination to not take no for an answer. The drive to do what it takes to make it happen.
The limitations we place on ourselves are just that – self-created. It’s a matter of changing the record and opening up to other possibilities because there always are.
3) Every knock back, every no, bump in the road or door slammed in your face will add to your strength, knowledge and confidence
As much as failure is a word most will run from and avoid, it is failure that teaches us the most. I’m saying this as though it is the most natural thing but it has taken me years of experience and almost a year’s worth of coaching to accept that failure is not a 4-letter word.
I have learned that It is when things don’t go my way that I learn about who I am, what I want and what I don’t want. Every apartment I viewed was not right yet I was willing to compromise quite aggressively and accepted them only to then be rejected by the owners or the management. As it happens the compromises I was about to make were too high. Too far from what I actually wanted. I questioned myself constantly at the time about what it meant to compromise.
What I learned is that yes it is necessary to compromise in life, however, compromise does not mean that we accept anything despite the fact that it steps on our values. I was fortunate as this was just an apartment and I quickly learned where I draw the line – I was not going to pay New York rent for a supposed studio apartment that probably resembled a prison cell.
4) Surround yourself with amazing people
I have to say, if I did not have the friends and support structure that I have I don’t know how I could have kept going. Throughout this time I would wake up in the morning to messages of encouragement and motivation. At the time I still had not quite realised what it all meant. If I had not cried to my friend that afternoon he would not have set off the fire in me to keep going and find new ways to do it. To get over my tears and just make it happen.
(Please see below at some of the amazing words of encouragement that were shared with me, that I maintain as my phone wallpaper. I hope these can help you too)
Not to forget that friends and acquaintances want to help so they are a great resource for contacts
Grieving the end of my relationship and the stress left me without an appetite. It did not matter to me until I realised that food is what feeds my brain! In order for me to achieve anything I needed my brain, my body and my health to be on my side. The first person that needs to be looked after in this situation is you so take care of yourself. Respect your body so it can be there for you. Just as a car cannot run without fuel we cannot run without food.