The Myth of the “Big Break” and What it Takes to Achieve Success

Everybody is waiting for their big break.

I’m not talking about the “break” to become famous, although maybe some of us are waiting for that. I’m talking about that breaking point when all the pieces of your life fall together and suddenly everything is perfect.

Photo Credit: Peter, Creative Commons

“Just follow these five steps and you’ll overcome depression.” “Take these small steps, and you’ll break free from anxiety.” “10 principals can earn you a better marriage.”

All the myths of popular culture support this view.

Every romantic movie (Cinderella), every success story (Justin Beiber), every blog post (heck, even this one right here) has the tendency to make it seem like there is this “moment” where everything seamlessly comes together. There might be suffering or struggling, but then eventually you read my ten points, or are discovered by Usher, or the shoe fits and… poof… It’s all downhill from there.

And yet the more time I spend around people who have lives and careers and marriages I admire; the more I try to build a life and a career and a marriage worth admiring too, the more I realize: There is no such thing as a big break.

It just plain doesn’t exist.

When I first quit my job and set off on my journey to write a book, I figured the publishing deal would just sort of “happen.” It wasn’t just popular culture that supported this view. My Christian upbringing did it as well. Although I had no idea what it took to publish a book, I figured God did. And I was waiting to see what God would do.

I imagined there would be this moment—this sort of magical, the-shoe-fits, Usher-wants to-pick-you-up-in-his private-jet moment, where I bumped into the right person at the right time, and they would think my book was amaaaaazing (they’d say it like that).

And poof! I would have a book deal.

I don’t think I even need to say it didn’t work like that.

It’s not that there weren’t moments of serendipity, or that, looking back, I can’t see God’s hand in all of it. I can. It’s as if He were weaving the tiniest of moments together, until they were all cozy and tangled, like strands of a comfortable blanket. I can see now how, when several insignificant strands are woven together, they become something useful.

But when I was in the moments, they rarely felt like significant moments. They usually felt like disconnected and confusing.

There was tons of hard work and tons of struggle, followed by small, satisfying moments of progress.

This is what life is like—more than a fairy tale.

In other words, if you want to make progress in your marriage, there is no magic formula to fix it. There’s no 10-step program or “success or your money back” guarantee. There are good books full of wisdom and advice, but there is mostly getting out there, putting the advice into practice, putting one foot in front of the other.

There is trying, failing, trying, failing and then trying again.

If you want to succeed in your career, know this: there is no moment.

There is no promotion, no award, no compliment or accolade or encouragement that will make you feel like you’ve made it. There is no big break. There is only caring about the work you do, putting in the time, growing in your craft, showing up day after day…

The are moments of struggle, and of hard work, followed by small, satisfying moments of progress.

You get out what you put in.

This is the secret to being successful, if you ask me, and the only remedy to the “big break” myth. If you wait for your big break, you might be waiting your whole life to get the things you really want.

But if you get started working now, and don’t give up, you just never know where that path might lead.


No, seriously, we can be friends...we can email back and forth and everything! :) 

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Posted in

Allison Fallon

I write books. I help people write books. I believe a regular practice of writing can change your life.

12 thoughts on “The Myth of the “Big Break” and What it Takes to Achieve Success”

  1. There may not be ‘a moment’ but this blog was as near as damn it! Oh I just loved it… the content, the flow of the words, the heart… well just about everything… and such a timely and wise and personal word from Heaven to me. Thank you so much for using your experiences to wise the rest of us up! Sending heaps of blessings, Christine Lewis x

  2. Allison, excellent points as always. I have struggled over the years with BIG goals that were all-or-nothing. Only recently have I shifted from the “Hail Mary” approach to more of a short-pass game. I have always advised friends that there is never a good time to buy a house, have a baby, make a job change, etc. The good time is the time that is possible, the rest is guts.


  3. I simply could not go away your web site before suggesting that I
    actually loved the usual information an individual supply to your visitors?
    Is gonna be again continuously in order to inspect new posts

  4. I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. Your
    article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your blog and keep checking for
    new details about once per week. I subscribed
    to your RSS feed as well.

  5. You’re so cool! I do not think I’ve truly read something like that before.
    So great to find another person with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit
    of originality!

  6. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know
    so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home
    a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

    It is a very hard situation when playing the lottery and never won, or keep winning low fund not up to 100 bucks, i have been a victim of such a tough life, the biggest fund i have ever won was 100 bucks, and i have been playing lottery for almost 12 years now, things suddenly change the moment i came across a secret online, a testimony of a spell caster called dr emu, who help people in any type of lottery numbers, i was not easily convinced, but i decided to give try, now i am a proud lottery winner with the help of dr emu, i won $1,000.0000.00 and i am making this known to every one out there who have been trying all day to win the lottery, believe me this is the only way to win the lottery.

    Contact him on email Em*******@gm***.com
    What’s app +2347012841542

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 + 1 =

Feeling Stuck? Join 10,000+ others for Monday Motivation

Inspiration for your writing (and your life) delivered directly to your inbox every week.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Scroll to Top

My new book is available for pre-order!

Discover the power of (finally) getting unstuck, claiming your clarity, and becoming the person whose life you want to live—all through a simple self-care practice you can build into your daily routine.