Have you ever rationalised doing something that you knew was a bad idea as not wanting to pass up an opportunity? What about when your gut or just what you know is screaming that something isn’t for you and yet you’re worried about passing up the” opportunity”? I explore some of the things that we see certain situations/people as a chance for and explain how to discern the right opportunities for you.

If you’re based in Sao Paolo in Brasil, I’m going to be there on December 5th. Let me know if you’d like to hang out via Instagram or email podcast AT baggagereclaim.com

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Some nuggets from the episode

  • Sometimes the things that people put across to us as “opportunities” are things that advance their self-interests, not ours. They’re pitched to us as “mutual” when they really aren’t at all. 
  • We tend to see things that people suggest, ask or even demand as opportunities, plus we are sometimes focused on experiencing something in a particular way that we are blinkered to other opportunities. That, and we don’t value how challenges more often than not present opportunities because of what happens after we grow through the experiences.
  • So many people work extremely long hours because of the opportunity that they think that they will experience. But when we’re working 50, 60, 70 or even 80-hour weeks on a forty-hour salary, it doesn’t add up. Some people have effectively cut their salary in half and/or are earning less than people underneath them.

If we have to sell our soul, it’s not an opportunity. 

  • When we explore our reasons for perceiving something to be an opportunity and answer the question of What do I think that this person/situation will make possible for me?, the answers can be very revealing. Reasons include getting revenge, trying to win, trying to become queen (or king) of the harem, to get noticed or validated. Sometimes we’re looking for an apology or show of remorse. Sometimes we think we’re going to get money or gain some form of material reward, or that we’ll gain credibility. We might regard something as a stepping stone, a way to make a point about something, or a means to right the wrongs of the past.
  • We don’t know about all of the opportunities that have been in our life. This means that we don’t have to have such a negative opinion about opportunities that may have passed us by. There’s also no need to obsess about fear of missing out.
  • We can’t say yes to everything. We can’t be all things to all people or be everywhere, so we’ve got to be discerning.

Genuine opportunities have got to be in harmony with us. They’ve got to take us forward, not backwards.

  • Some things/people look good on paper, but at the end of the day it’s about what is — reality.
  • Just because someone has, for example, experience at relationships, seeming past success, looks good on paper and can attract romantic interest or admiration, it doesn’t mean that we should trust them.
  • We can’t keep calling something an opportunity if what we’re doing is dismissing ourselves.
  • If we are open to opportunities that are less than our actual needs, then we are closing ourselves to opportunities that can actually meet our needs.
  • When we are fast with our “yes”, and we know that more often than not, it doesn’t lead to good outcomes, we need to slow down with the yes. We need to say, “Great! Let me get back to you.” We need to work out based on what we know of ourselves, based on past experiences like this, what we know of our attitude to opportunities and based on our bandwidth, whether it’s an opportunity.
  • If we did miss out on an opportunity, it’s more helpful to recognise the true reasons for that instead of beating ourselves up until the end of time. Instead of focusing on the missed opportunity, we need to be honest about who we were at that time, what we didn’t know, and what our blind spots were.

Links mentioned

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