Reaching for the Brass Ring: Advice Guru on Winning 'Dream Job'

Liz Pryor hopes to "give the kind of advice I think we can follow."

Feb. 9, 2011 — -- Every one of us has something in life we dream of doing, whether we write it out in our heads, bury it somewhere inside or just let it sit there as hope. And what makes life so cool is that there really isn't anything to stop us from being able to reach for it.

When you decide to take a chance in life, you know, take a real leap, reaching beyond what the doubter in you really thinks you can do, that is when your life has its greatest shot. It's old wisdom, but there is so much truth to it.

When I made the final 20 in the "Dear GMA" Advice Guru Search, a good friend said to me, "Wow, Liz, good for you. But now you might have to fail in front of every single person you've ever known and millions of strangers."

That is the kind of doubt and fear that lives in all of us. I hadn't thought of it in that moment but, sure enough, she had my mind wrapped around it in seconds.

About 15,000 people had the courage when they applied for this job to reach for something they wanted ... against a lot of odds. From my view, that is the win for all of them, myself included. To barrel past the doubt, the fear and the hurdles we create in our minds and give ourselves the gift of a "chance." That is success in its simplest form.

We all want to believe there's a chance; it's the American dream. Not one of us would say we don't believe it could ever happen. But I know how difficult it is to find that faith when we're talking about ourselves.

When I first heard about this job, I smiled huge inside and thought, I can't believe some person on this planet, that I've never even met, dreamt up my dream job. Every single ingredient, including my first true love, writing and answering questions about life, and talking to people about navigating it all. Everything I am passionate about and committed to, in one beautiful job. Not to mention the incredible platform from which it would come.

I didn't tell a single soul that I'd applied for this until I made it to the top 20. By then, there was no hiding it. Open, exposed and feeling a bit raw, this was about the time when I felt a shift inside. I felt myself move into what I would describe as "warrior mode." Like I was some sort of race horse with blinders on, determined to stay focused on the work, on what I know, and the opportunity.

I could recall other times in life when I couldn't quite accomplish this focus. Doubt, judgment, fear, people's commentary, the competitors, it would all surface for me from the inside out and I would actually find myself staving it off by saying, out loud, to myself, randomly, "Shut up!"

Crazy thing is, it kind of worked for me. Whatever you have to do to keep yourself focused, find it and do it.

Reaching for the Brass Ring

Nothing in my lifetime thus far has taught me more than this process has about the power of believing in myself. Of course, I can't count how many times I've heard or read it, but this was the very first time I could feel living it. I can't say enough about the effect it can have on our lives.

And so here I am at the end, or really the beginning. Part of me might still be in a bit of shock. I'm a woman, a mom, a writer, a sister, a daughter, an ex-wife and a friend, who will try with all that I am to live up to this great opportunity.

I know that advice is something you can take or leave, but I hope to become more. I hope to become a voice that you can actually hear. A person in whom you can see a part of yourself and, in turn, begin to trust. I will always be earnest and honest, and try to give the kind of advice I think we can follow, rather than say what we all know I should say. If I feel it is out of my range, I will seek and dig and find.

It's impossible not to mention that these amazing people on this show did a rare and wonderful service by listening to the country and hearing that sometimes we just need a little help, and that is what I hope to give.

And in this process maybe there's a reminder for us all, that reaching for the brass ring, whatever it may be for you, is a chance worth taking.