Do you know a lot about what you DON'T want? If so, beware. The gravitational pull of negativity is extraordinary, and you may well manifest your incredible power by attracting a nice fat black hole where your dreams belong.

This image occurs to me as I reflect on a conversation with a recruiter friend of mine. I've been running across a number of folks who are having trouble finding work, so I asked my friend what, in his experience, was the chief barrier that kept otherwise talented and qualified folks from getting great jobs. He didn’t hesitate for a moment before responding, "Negativity. They know a LOT about what they don't want and they can't or won't ask for what they DO want."

As I think about this, I realize that our old friend fear is at the root of the problem. I know that when I am afraid, one thing that makes me feel safer is to have a laundry list of things to avoid. Not only that, but when I am afraid the last thing I feel like doing is exposing my dreams and desires to possible rejection or ridicule. The result? I become inarticulate about what I want and completely focused on what is wrong with every opportunity that comes my way. It's human, it's natural, and it hurts--a lot. Nothing is lonelier than that black hole we create ourselves.

What to do? What works for me is to let the fear out in the open. Cop to it. Air it with someone I trust, release it in ritual or prayer, or work through it on paper or with my coach. It's not a sin to be afraid, or even to be trapped in negativity. It's a shame though to stay there when there's a whole world outside your black hole that is waiting for you to come out and play.

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