What if luck is really courage?

Life Lessons


November 23, 2021 Valerie Bold
Things that grind Valerie’s gears #435 

When people say to me “oooh you’re so lucky! You have a great job, you’re
living in beautiful NZ, you ran a great pet sitting business, you’re running a
community gym now, married Chris etc etc blah blah blah.”
Luck? Yeah, nah.

Life is great (mostly!) but NOT easy. Especially these last 2 years. We all have
issues to deal with, people to deal with, LIFE to deal with. Every week I run
into a challenge of some description be it personal or professional. But when
dealing with this stuff, and looking at the outcomes. Luck has NOTHING to do
with it. How you deal with it, does!

I don’t believe in luck. Luck is just preparation
meeting the moment of opportunity.

~ Oprah Winfrey

Luck – didn't come into play when I decided to leave the UK for a different life. I had travelled Europe but had never been further than Greece and never lived anywhere but the UK. I left everyone and everything that I knew. Not knowing how long I would be gone (I had in my head 6 months and it's now been over 7 years!) That was courage. Along with a truck load of fear – but I pushed through. Luck had NOTHING to do with it.

Luck – did not come into play when I met my husband Chris. After years of bad choices, and I mean baaaaaaaad, I finally decided to love myself more, respect myself more, appreciate my worth for the first time in my life. I put myself first and started attracting the right kind of people. That wasn’t luck. That was finally making a good decision for myself, one that suited ONLY me and not feeling guilty about it. I bagged a good’un (and so did he!!) and I’m proud of that fact. Luck had NOTHING to do with it.

Luck – did not come into me getting my New Zealand residency or permanent residency status. Hard graft went into that. Luck didn’t get the endless paperwork done for months and months on end, not knowing what the outcome would be. Luck didn’t locate all the education certificates needed from 20 years ago (yes I am THAT old) from exam boards that don’t even EXIST anymore. Sleepless nights and determination for a better life for myself is what made that happen. Luck had NOTHING to do with it.

“I am not lucky, I am smart and I am talented. I
take advantage of  opportunities that come my way. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a BADASS.”
~ Shonda Rhimes

Luck – did not come into the equation when amazing employment
opportunities in NZ came my way. Un-comfy networking, awkward
conversations selling myself, imposter syndrome, pushing myself out of
comfort zones, doing what I didn’t have the courage to do in England got me
there. Being who I was meant to be but didn’t quite know how to previously.
Luck had NOTHING to do with it.

Luck – hasn’t come into play when looking at which friendships have
survived my move. Nurturing, loving, forgiving and sometimes having to let
go and accepting that things aren’t the same, the longer I am away from
home. That HURTS. To keep the love strong takes hard work and
commitment – every day – every week. I dont always get it right. People
move on. Its a normal rhythm of life and that’s OK. Luck has NOTHING to do
with it.

Luck – didn’t magically conjure up a pet sitting business out of nowhere. We
took a chance, gave up a permanent home, put our stuff in storage and did
the work. Living out of a suitcase, moving house every 3 or 4 weeks,
sometimes every 6 days in the beginning, it wasn’t easy. It was not all
puppies and pet selfies. It took hard graft and patience. It took energy and
persistence. The upside? We charged people for a service and we didn’t pay
rent for 3.5 years. It paid for our wedding! Luck had NOTHING to do with it.

Luck – didn’t come into play when Covid hit and no-one could use our pet
sitting services anymore. We had to make the heart-breaking decision to let
the business go. We pivoted and now run a really successful community
home gym which has helped people stuck in lockdown get out of their
houses, get fit and improve their mental health. I got my job at the YWCA
through strong connections I had made during my time in NZ with people
who respected me. Luck had NOTHING to do with it.

Before finishing up, I want to acknowledge my privilege as a cis gendered,
able bodied, British white woman. I know that these identities have granted
me a range of advantages in society. I know that my privilege has – and will
continue to give me a leg up. But my point is – the blanket of “luck” tends to
discredit the gazillion other factors that we put in to get the final product.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I don’t know anything about luck actually. I’ve never relied on it and neither
should you. Luck to me, is something quite different. Hard work, courage,
authenticity, bravery, taking chances, being selective with your ‘yes’s,
following your heart, realising when opportunity has slapped you in the face
like a wet fish.

My advice? Be kind, be authentic, be brave, always trust your gut and be
open to it ALL! The rest will follow.
Share :