Living in California, we have had strict social distancing measures mandated, only to have them lifted and then implemented again. During these fluid changes, it’s easy to get frustrated, and focus on how life “used to be.” 

When I find myself getting frustrated, or down and out about how different things are, I try to remind myself of something that my mother told me long ago. In difficult times, my mom would say“ frustrations are indications that there is opportunity somewhere.” Growing up in a war-torn country, there were plenty of frustrations that we had to live through, and my mother had a magical way of seeing a positive perspective in even the most grim circumstances. 

As of this writing, California is seeing more restrictions in place, and to honor my mother, I am looking for the opportunities that are hidden in plain sight. What I have realized is that social isolation has led to me leverage the digital world to connect with more people than I ever have before. And I am finding not only comfort in this, but also inspiration. 

One person I have connected with, who stands out to me, is David Meltzer. He is a speaker, author, and investor, and I have really been resonating with his content. So much so that I stretched my comfort zone, and asked him for an interview. I don’t think I would have ever reached out like this if things were “normal.”

The pandemic has given me more courage to get uncomfortable, and the results are tangible. 

Facing my fears head on

I kept debating with myself whether I should reach out to David for months. I told myself, “I’m not good enough!” more times than I can count. When going back-and-forth on whether I should reach out to him, I kept thinking, “Who am I to believe that I could connect with someone like David Meltzer?”

The pandemic is making me realize that for a long time, I have had bubble wrap around me, keeping myself protected from taking risks. Defaulting to playing it safe, not challenging myself.

I really don’t know at what stage of my life I stopped being courageous, but I feel that the pandemic is helping me grow my confidence and courage. 

Somehow, this time I freed myself of expectations, and stopped caring about being rejected.

And do you know what happened?

I went for it. I asked David for his help. And not only did David agree to an interview, but I am feeling more confident than I can remember! I find myself having more control in my thoughts, and am getting better at realizing my fears and insecurities don’t have to hold me back. 

Gaining wisdom is exciting (and endless)

Before I reached out to David, I tried my best to attend his road to revenue sessions, if I had time between patients. I enjoy learning and I am realizing how much there is to learn, and I’m excited.

In one of these sessions, I remember David clearly saying that pain is just an indicator. It’s a turn signal telling you that there is a lesson to learn. 

There is so much to unpack in this single life lesson. Maybe the pain of all the rejections and the doubts are signals for us to pivot, and lead us in a different direction to achieve our aspirations.

It got me thinking that the pain of all the doubts building up in my mind are signals for me to get out of my own way and let life happen.

I’m also realizing that the pain of being judged unfairly, or being looked down upon, is an opportunity for me to re-examine my relationships and learn to let some of them go.

The reminder I keep needing to hear

In the interview I had with David, the part that stood out the most was his advice on what not to do. He said to not be a victim, and this is something that I keep thinking about every day. Being more mindful of this has helped me build courage, one step at a time.

Don’t be A victim

David shared with me some personal stories of his ups and downs. He shared that upon reflection of the downs, and especially when he hit rock bottom, he felt like a victim. In looking back, he realized that seeing himself as a victim was the exact thing that kept him from the success he was after. As soon as he owned his decisions and took responsibility for what went wrong, without placing blame on others, it was only then that he was able to regain traction and find his true calling: help impact one billion people. He realized that if you think of yourself as a victim, you are not able to live in abundance, and thus cannot help others who need your support and inspiration. 

In conclusion

When you start to get frustrated at restrictions, or start to long for how things used to be prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, pause for a moment, and think of what opportunities are hidden in those frustrations. This way of looking at life helped my mom keep all of us safe and tranquil in an environment that was volatile, complex and convulsive. I heed her advice because it serves me well, and I hope it helps to serve you. If you are afraid of reaching out to someone you admire, and you have not done it, I challenge you to work past your fears and reach out. It’s what I did, and it’s what I will continue to do. 

Who do you want to reach out to during the pandemic? If I can push past my fear, so can you.  Reach out to me on Twitter, and maybe we can get their attention together!