Recently an opportunity came out of the blue which had the potential to change the course of my life. I only had a day or two to decide whether the path being presented was the right one for me.
I tend to find making quick decisions challenging. However, I have decided to try something new – something that’s both exhilarating and uncomfortable. This got me thinking about how many times I had missed opportunities in the past and why that might have been.
Opportunities cross our paths all the time. What holds us back from taking advantage of them? How do we know the right path to take? Here are some thoughts:
Being afraid to step up is an understandable human reaction. We think of the risks involved. One solution I have found to cope with fear is to break down what needs to be done into manageable pieces.
Being too busy
"I’m too busy” is one of my most common excuses for turning down opportunities, as I am constantly on guard against overloading. "No" is often my first response. However, the result of this is sometimes I don't weigh up the situation properly. So, instead of thinking of reasons why I can’t do something, perhaps a considered “yes” will open the door onto new territory.
The driver of procrastination can be a lack of self-confidence. I find getting practical by drawing up a list of the pros and cons of different outcomes gives me confidence, and takes the emotion out of making the best decision.
Doubting our own ability to try new things
Hard work and determination are more important than talent. If we don’t know how to do something, then we can always learn. So, lack of knowledge should never stop us from trying something new.
Overthinking and analysing
Overthinking is a major barrier to achievement and can take a toll on our wellbeing. When bombarded with negative thoughts, changing the focus to discover what I can do about the situation helps overcome inertia.
I guess the thing I learnt from this experience is that sometimes you have to take a risk but not be foolhardy. So I'm venturing into the unknown, and will work hard to make it successful.
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