Are You Nominating Yourself Or Waiting To Be Chosen?

I read an inspiring quote of Brit Marling (“Another Earth”) recently, on why she decided to become a screenwriter on top of being an actress:

How terrifying to surrender your life to being chosen all the time. Having to be chosen and re-chosen. Writing so that I can act became a way of having not more control over my future but not having to wait for permission. You can choose yourself. Hmm, who should play this part? I nominate me!

I love this quote, because – if we’re really honest with ourselves – how much time do we waste “waiting to be chosen”? How often do we wait for approval of others, or to be rewarded, promoted, loved, etc.?

Here’s a short story about a cosmonaut, that Brit’s character tells in the movie. It wonderfully displays how we can choose our attitude (you can also watch the short scene in the clip below):

…So the cosmonaut is in there and he has this portal window and he’s looking out of it and he sees the curvature of the earth for the first time. He’s the first man to ever look at the planet he’s from. And he’s lost in that moment and all of a sudden there’s this strange ticking…

A few days go by with this sound and he knows that this small sound will break him. He will lose his mind. What’s he gonna do? He’s up in space. Alone. In a space closet. He’s got 25 days left to go with this sound. So the cosmonaut decides the only way to save his sanity is to fall in love with this sound. So he closes his eyes and he goes into his imagination and then he opens them. He doesn’t hear ticking any more. He hears music. And he spends the remainder of his time sailing through space in total bliss and peace.

Especially in our thirties, as we evaluated our lives, we often find ourselves wishing things were different: We’d like to have a job that’s more fun or start a creative business that promises fulfillment; we’d like to weigh less; we’d like to have a family instead (or on top of) a career; we’d like our parents to be closer/be healthier/live longer; we’d like time for meditation, and we’d like work life balance, financial security and lasting relationships with our partner and friends. Did I forget anything…?

If any of the above is missing or not perfect, we tend to worry about it. But complaining about the flaws in our life and wishing and hoping things will change rarely ever leads to success. It’s like waiting to be chosen for a better life.

Let’s promote ourselves to directors!

So we need to step up: we need to change our attitude and promote ourselves to directors of our lives! A good director looks at the bottom line and at the desired outcome: Where am I now? Where do I want to go?

Everything starts with acceptance. Accept the way things are right now. Resistance only makes it worse and keeps you stuck. Why? Because when you resist, you send lots of negative energy to the very thing you don’t want. And by that you keep it in your life and let it bother you more and more. Therefore that ticking sound would have driven the cosmonaut insane.

Acceptance is the first step to change. It’s a reset; a letting go of tension. When you let go of tension, you open yourself to a broader view (tension always comes along with tunnel vision…). A broader view lets you see more options. More options mean more possible solutions. And then, all you need to do is get creative and take action!

“But I have no clue what I want and where I want to go!”

I hear you. The good news is, it’s perfectly acceptable say, “I’m lost. For the first time in my life I have no plan and don’t know what I want.” That’s your bottom line right now.

And the desired outcome? It could simply be, “To find out what I want!” That would be a start. An even better option would be stating how you want to feel (when you are or do whatever it is you don’t know yet you want), for example, “To live a life in total bliss and peace.”

Always put your focus on how you want to feel. Every decision we make in life is driven by how we think it will make us feel. But we are the directors of our feelings. We don’t need to wait for something that will make us feel good. We have free will, remember? We can choose! It worked for the cosmonaut.

Watch the cosmonaut scene in the movie here:

Are you choosing? Or are you waiting to be chosen?

Are you creating? Or are you reacting?

Are you producing? Or are you just consuming?

Which part are you playing in your life?

How do you want to feel every single day from now on?

 

8 Responses to Are You Nominating Yourself Or Waiting To Be Chosen?

  1. Sheila says:

    Brilliant, Anja! Thank you so much for this beautiful and poignant post. I have been in a constant state of transition for the last 10 years and although at times it has felt very difficult, it was so much better than being stuck in an uninspired life. It has just been in the last year that I realized much of the challenge has been because of waiting on others and it is so much more freeing (although also scary) to now be on the creating side. Life is so fascinating and so much easier than we make it out to be. Thank you for your wisdom and inspiration!

    • Anja Schuetz says:

      Yes – once we commit, everything suddenly falls into place and the universe is on our side. It’s only as long as we’re in waiting mode that we don’t know what to do. As soon as we jump off the couch, the universe goes, “Oh there she is! Come here, let me help you!” :)

  2. Lovely post Anja. I am so guilty of worrying about what’s missing. But this past year I put conscious effort into picking myself and creating opportunities for myself. The outcomes vary but it always feels good to raise my hand and say “I can do that! Pick me!”

    • Anja Schuetz says:

      Exactly – if we don’t pick ourselves, why would anyone feel confident in picking us? If we don’t stand in the first row, no one will see us!
      Thanks so much, Christie!

  3. Cris:Gladly says:

    This is a great post. And it’s been an important distinction for me b/c I have been waiting to be chosen in some areas of my life and it took me a few rounds of hearing my friend My tell me over and over “you have to choose yourself” to really get it. And now that is part of my morning meditation mantra. I always end it with: “I am chosen. I choose myself.” … women in general really need support in embracing this mindset. Thanks for sharing the idea. Also love the notion of turning that which can make you mad into “music” … this is a concept I like! :D

  4. “So we need to step up: we need to change our attitude and promote ourselves to directors of our lives!

    How perfect for a new year – and honestly, for any time. I have found myself wondering why I am having certain issues and conflicts internally only to recently realize it’s because I am waiting to be chosen and not even being clear about what I want to be chosen for!

  5. Pat Novak says:

    I didn’t realize in my earlier years I was like Rapunzel. Staring out of a tower window, waiting to be rescued. I didn’t feel I had the power within to make the changes I needed to make. I didn’t feel I had the ability to do what I needed to do out in the world. I didn’t fit in. I was like an outcast in a world that everyone seemed to just “know” what they were supposed to be doing. I was waiting for someone or thing to say, you are who you are, your gifts have worth. Finally, after a lot of soul-searching, i was able to say that to myself and believe it.

    What a great message Anja!

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