If I just had the chance to… If only there was an opportunity to…
There likely isn’t one of us who hasn’t uttered those words. When we are feeling hemmed in and the future looks bleak, we wish for the opportunity to…
- do something different
- move up in the organization
- make that big presentation
Waiting and wishing won’t make that opportunity appear. It doesn’t arrive with a bow and a gift tag. In fact, it usually arrives disguised as something else. How do you recognize an opportunity?
The first clue is to listen to your gut or instinct. Not for excitement but for fear and trepidation. As much as we would like for opportunity to be the next obvious easy step, that is rarely the case. Instead, we are asked to do something outside our comfort zone, beyond anything we have done previously, that will change how we operate daily. It will make us uncomfortable.
No wonder so many opportunities are missed. Who wants big time change? Our brains are wired to protect us and anything that smacks of risk causes warning bells to go off. Perhaps we catch a glimpse of opportunity, but we also see the downside and our brain attempts to protect us.
I couldn’t do that. I’m not ready. When the kids are through school, I’ll take that on.
That uneasy feeling in the gut or a visceral reaction of “no way!”, either of these is a sign that you should look more closely. Opportunity lies just beyond.
There will be plenty of moments in your professional life when you feel the very same fear as you would when skydiving or scaling that mountain. You’ll see far more opportunities for things to go wrong than right.
Listen to your gut. Those feelings of trepidation can be a sign that you are on to something; that you are at the very beginning of an opportunity to take yourself to that next level. You can’t create what you want without giving yourself the opportunity to do so.