Opportunities remind me of all those spooky UFOs we have seen on the internet. Everyone knows and heard about it but very few have seen it in real. Opportunities are very much a UFO in that regard. Despite all of us searching for it, very few have managed to find it.
I was wondering why and how we can treasure hunt all of those hidden opportunities around us. I’m not here to give you a treasure map if that is what you are thinking. I was thinking about how we can make one.
Let’s begin by digging for some answers.
Why are opportunities hidden?
Before we began treasure hunting, the first question to ask is who the hell hid the treasure from us?
Opportunities are not hidden. We are either ignorant about them or inaccessible to them. We fail to identify opportunities when we see them or never get to see them.
- Opportunity ignorance
We have abundant information and it takes a lot of effort to dig up what matters to us and identify things that could be useful to us. Because we are not willing to put that effort to identify and explore these opportunities, they are lost on us.
- Opportunity inaccessibility
Another factor is the inaccessibility to us. Most of us are not born with the same privileges. There is an uneven distribution of privilege that we can do nothing about. So the underprivileged often miss out on most of the opportunities around them.
Why do we not act on opportunities known to us?
Not knowing any opportunity is one problem. But there is an even bigger problem. Not acting on any opportunities.
Why do we not act on any of the opportunities we know. The answer lies in our self-evaluation. We are terrible at evaluating ourselves. We either overestimate ourselves or underestimate ourselves but never get it right.
- When we overestimate yourselves
This happens when we have a higher expectation about ourselves than we deserve. When you have overestimated yourself then you will spend more time thinking about how you can show off with your results than preparing to get those results.
The problem with overestimation is that it leaves you unprepared because you thought you can crack it anyways until you realize what you have to do. Then you will stand there with your eyes popped out completely clueless.
If you have overestimated yourself, the results can be pretty devastating. You have expected so much and got so little. You will then start on this downward spiral of self-doubt, questioning how worthless you are and what a failure you are.
- When we underestimate yourselves
This happens when we credit ourselves less than what we deserve. We will be so obsessed with looking ahead that we never look back to realize how much you have traveled and what all you have done. You became so fanatic about reaching the checkpoint that you lost count of the checkpoints crossed.
When you were so busy being you, you never realized how incredible you are.
This underestimation of ourselves has made us think that we are not worth it and we will inevitably fail. So we won’t bother trying.
Whether you have underestimated yourself or overestimated yourself, what you will be left with is disappointment and a self that never reached its potential.
How to treat opportunities?
Once we realize how terrible we are at evaluating ourselves, it because obvious how to proceed.
The ideal case is you will know about your abilities and find opportunities that match your abilities. Since we have no idea about our abilities we should opt for the old school trial and error method.
You just pick a level that you think is yours and try it. If you succeed then level up till you fail. Then you will know where your level is.
On the other hand, if you fail right away, you lower your level till you succeed. That will be your level.
The key here is not to stop because you succeeded and not to stop because you have failed. That is easier said than done but it is the key here. To be emotionally detached from success and failure.
Be brave, enough to keep going in failure and success. When you have experienced your great failure and your greatest success. You will realize one thing. Your greatest failure wasn’t as scary as you thought it was and your greatest success wasn’t as great as you thought it was. When you have this figured out, you will find the courage to be brave.
Why should you bother to do any of these?
When you start to work towards your goals you will realize that it was not just about the goals themselves. Other perks come with it too. These are things you will most probably realize only in hindsight. These are some I have identified.
Sometimes it can be fun.
If you have a good sportsman spirit, opportunities to work towards can be challenging which can be fun as well. It is always good to make it fun so that you will enjoy the journey. This means you don’t have to force yourself into it.
I find the activity to be fun only in hindsight. When you look back, you will have moments that you laugh about, are embarrassed about, and some angry and frustrating. Then you will realize that it wasn’t so bad you thought it was and the journey was worth it.
The beautiful aspect is that even if you fail at your goal, your journey won’t be a failure.
It is a reality check
All you have before was estimations and guesses. Trying out these opportunities gives you a reality check and you can verify how accurate was your estimations.
Once you have clarity on where you stand, you will know where to go and how to proceed.
At some point, you will win
When you start to attempt all of the opportunities at your disposal, you will succeed at some. I think succeeding is a skill in itself. You need to succeed enough to get the hang of it and to be good at it.
Failure will tell where you need to work on and what is not working for you. You need to improve on it. Success will tell you where your strengths are and how you can capitalize on them.
Participation helps you to learn how to win and at some point, you will win.
Every opportunity whether you succeed or fail will teach you more about yourself than you can imagine.
It shows your strengths, your weakness, your values, your potential, and much more. It is an unparalleled learning opportunity and shouldn’t miss out on it if you have any intention to improve yourself. They are your feedback points.
Getting used to failure and success
No matter how much you run away from its success and failure will greet you at every corner of your life. How your life will be is defined largely by how you view success and failure.
We all have strong emotions associated with success and failure. If you want to handle success and failure emotionally intelligently, then you will have to practice a lot with dealing with success and failure.
There is no other way to cut it. You need to deal with a lot of success and failures if you want to handle them well. It is hard to be truthful to your objectives and so easy to get depressed by failures and get carried away by success.
Through this blog post, we have covered different aspects of opportunities. We have gone through why opportunities are hidden from us, why it is hard for us to act on them, how to treat opportunities, and finally ended at some perks of capitalizing on opportunities.
No matter how much I tell you, this is something you will have to learn by yourself. So if you are done with the blog post, go out there and chase after some opportunities. You might fail or succeed. But you will learn more than you can get out of any blog post.