There is something very exciting, even magical, about waiting for our “big break.” It’s that one grand moment when someone will recognize all of our hard work, present us with an opportunity of a lifetime, and then the future will all of a sudden look brighter than ever. Growing up being assured that if we went to school, worked hard, did the right things, that all of our dreams would come true, has created an idea amongst young professionals that the mystical “big break” is not only real, but inevitable. Spending so much time wishing, waiting, even obsessing over the almighty "big break," however, can create a romanticized version of the future, a lack of appreciation for the now, and unrealistic expectations of ourselves. While having goals and dreams is certainly positive and productive for every YP, obsessing over the big break might actually be hindering our success. Here’s why YPs need to stop obsessing over the big break:
Stop waiting, do
One of the biggest problems with waiting for our big break is, of course, the waiting. Thinking that some outside force of luck or some other person will one day appear and make all of our dreams come true, and that we just have to sit back and wait for it, can get many YPs stuck in a routine of monotony and complacency. It’s a not an uncommon thought that if we go about our jobs and social lives each day, doing what needs to be done, that someday we will deserve and receive something better. Though it may not be an uncommon thought, it is an unrealistic one. Yes, big breaks are real, but they don’t just happen. Apart from a handful of waitresses-turned-movie stars and drop-outs-turned-billionaires, nearly every successful person will tell you that when they got their big break, it was well earned. You may be incredibly talented, and you may work very hard, but expecting a big break to come from anywhere or anyone but yourself will likely leave you waiting for a long, long time.
Your big break is now
As we spend our time wishing and longing for our big break, we run the risk of actually missing out on the fact that it could be happening right now. Sure, it may not look like the Hollywood or fairytale version that you always imagined, but take a moment to appreciate all that you are accomplishing right in this moment and to consider that this may be your big break after all. With romanticized images of the big break clouding our vision, many YPs don’t realize their current level of success and happiness. So give yourself a dose of reality and some credit, because you’re doing great, right now.
Give yourself a break
Finally, obsessing over the big break can build up mounds of expectation and pressure, creating unrealistic ideas of what our futures should look like and subsequent disappointment when those ideas fail to become reality. Of course we all want to be a big deal, and it’s very possible that one day we will earn that big break and become all that we dreamed of becoming. But to save our sanity and avoid the dreaded YP burnout, getting over grandiose expectations of the future, and taking it one move at a time, may be a better tactic. Working toward a big break can be motivating and inspiring, but obsessing over it can be distracting, discouraging, and detrimental to our happiness and success. When it comes to hopes and dreams, it’s about finding your own balance between reality and the future.