Let’s Make Some Sweet Lemonade

A couple weeks back, I wrote about a conversation we had with the contractor working on our tiny house. We were unsatisfied with some of his work and he agreed to come back to fix everything to our liking. We were pretty pleased with how well he responded.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Prior to him returning, we had Melissa’s brother, a licensed contractor himself, go through the house with fresh eyes to catch anything we may have missed. To say he caught a lot would be an understatement. As a result, the contractor won’t be returning and instead, we’ve asked for (and are getting) our money back.

When you decide to go after a dream, it can be easy to doubt yourself, especially when thrown big curveballs. Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something?

First off, don’t get caught up in a negative cycle by retelling your story over and over again or sharing it with people who feed on drama. Maybe do that for a minute to process your feelings. Just don’t let that minute turn into a week. Instead, get about the business of making some sweet lemonade out of these lemons.

What if this challenge or setback is an opportunity to evaluate your progress or the dream itself? The message might not necessarily be to throw in the towel, but instead to check in and see if there’s any unfinished business that needs your attention.

Is this dream still a fit?

Use the uninvited slamming of brakes as a chance to pause and make sure the direction you’re heading in still represents who you are and what you hope to accomplish.

Melissa and I revisited this when our setback happened last week, and we determined that yes, building a tiny house is still a fit. We want to take our home with us when we travel, we want to live more sustainably and intentionally, and we want to design a home that fits our exact needs.

Is there any part of your dream that you’re compromising on that this obstacle might allow you to correct?

Look at the steps you’ve taken and the choices you’ve made along the way. Is there anything you wish you’d done differently. Perhaps this is your chance!

Since we have to completely dismantle the framing of our house due to the incorrect and unsafe work that was done, we’ve decided to redesign the roofline and add a couple more windows. The roofline was something that was really bothering me, so I’m thrilled we have the opportunity to change it.

Is this hurdle stirring up your inner victim?

Do you find yourself saying things like, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “Nothing is ever easy,” or “I can never catch a break”? This setback can be a good opportunity to clean up some internal clutter.

With every word we speak, we are planting seeds, so when you say something like “I can never catch a break,” your brain goes on autopilot and looks to prove you right. This is when you’ll find yourself facing blow after blow after blow.

When the progress on our build blew up in my face, I heard myself saying things like “We’re never going to get this done,” and “We’ll never find the help we need.” I let myself hang out there for a bit to honor my feelings, but then I flipped the script by intentionally proving myself wrong. I focused only on our very next step, Melissa reached out to people and asked for help to which they agreed, and we got clearer and clearer on the order of our punch list.

The sweetest lemonade you can make is one that combines equal parts focus, courage, and support. Get back on track by identifying one small step you can take in response to this hurdle. Challenge any negative thinking by focusing instead on the question, “What if this was easy?” Finally, surround yourself with only those who lift you up and help you find solutions and those who are excited to support you in your big dream.

Fear is what wants you to quit, but by doing so, you don’t take the time to check out the lessons first. As a result, you’re likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

So, thanks, curveball, for making me pause and reevaluate. Now I’m more committed than ever.

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