This phrase was shared with me decades ago and has stuck with me ever since. The reality is, we are all given numerous opportunities throughout our lifetimes…business opportunities, relationship opportunities, opportunities for friendships and those for financial gain. Each day we encounter small, seemingly meaningless opportunities. The opportunity to speak to a stranger, take a different route in our daily drive and witness a beautiful new vista, the opportunity to connect with someone in a different department at work and spark a friendship, or perhaps the opportunity to connect with ourself.
Life is short, and time is precious. And life has a funny way of teaching us lessons.
There have been hundreds of times that I have felt simultaneously nervous and excited (or as my daughter’s have coined the feeling… “nervcited”) about an opportunity that has presented itself. I remember the first time I was asked to deliver a keynote address in front of thousands of people. I recall traveling through Europe by myself for the first time in countries I had never visited and surrounded by languages I didn’t speak. I remember volunteering to coach women in a safe house, hoping to give them some hope, not knowing if I truly felt capable of doing so. Each of these opportunities was a bit scary…a bit anxiety-inducing…and you know what? I went for it. I said yes. I pushed through the “nervcitedness” and did it anyway. And am I any different than you? No. Not at all.
You see, for my entire adult life I have been actively working on the idea of “feeling the fear, and doing it anyway.” I am human…opportunities that are new and different make the butterflies flutter in my stomach…and truth be told, at times they feel less like butterflies and more like bats! However each time I have said “yes” and taken the risk, it has always panned out. Why? Because I make it so. Who knows if an opportunity is the right one? None of us know, until we go for it! There is no crystal ball, no way to really see if an opportunity is the “right” one, until we simply fall into it and say yes. However, that said, a mentor of mine, to this day, continually reminds me that when I make a decision, in the face of indecision, it WILL be the right one because I have the power to make it so. Wow, powerful stuff right there. Read that again…when I make a decision, in the face of indecision, it WILL be the right one because I have the power to make it so.”
So what opportunities lie on your horizon? Who have you wanted to connected with but haven’t taken the leap? What items have popped up in your email or on social media that you have contemplated taking advantage of, but the fear has held you back from saying “yes” to them, and to you?
I invite you during these warm summer months, to do new things. As summer lends itself to some divergence from our typical routines, take advantage of it! Test the waters and do something new, or better yet, just jump in the water and swim! Some of the greatest successes and adventures I have experienced throughout my life have come on the heels of taking a risk. Facing the fear and doing it anyway.
As babies we are born into this world fearless. And then, as we age, we are conditioned to become fearful. We create doubt. We manifest worry. And of course, life has a way of giving us these tools to also protect ourselves. However for many of us, fear has become less of a protector and become more of a habit…our default. I ask you to consider, what are you missing out on in your life by not taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves?
Remember, if you don’t say yes, someone else will. Risking nothing, is risking everything.