Opportunities can pop up when you least expect them, or they can flood your inbox every day. The problem comes when you have to sift through and work out what’s sh*t hot and what’s not.
Cos your time is valuable and not just in monetary terms. A new opportunity can take a lot out of you – energy, confidence and determination.
And finding out that an opportunity wasn’t worth your time and all for nothing can be pretty annoying and disheartening.
So, how can you put yourself in the best position to work out what’s worth your time and what you should drop.
1. If it’s not a ‘hell yes’, it’s a ‘hell no’
I don’t think every decision can be made instinctively, but sometimes you’ve just gotta listen to your gut.
If an opportunity pops up that makes your heart sing then usually, it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s going to be something you can put your all into and dedicate the passion a project needs.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road that can sabotage an opportunity.
Passion is great and when your instinct is ‘hell yeah’, it means it’s even more important to assess an opportunity properly and ensure it’s the real deal and put the structures in place to make it work for you.
When your instinct is telling you ‘hell no’, trust yourself.
Even if others have a different perspective and are telling you, you should go for something – if you’re suspicious at the start, it’ll be difficult to get fully on board straight away, which is what’s needed in a project.
2. Envision the alternative
Being presented with an opportunity means that you need to think about what your alternative is if you don’t take it up.
Not taking an opportunity, but not having anything else to fill it won’t necessarily get you to the next level or help you grow.
Rejecting an opportunity can be a springboard for your next alternative.
Staying and making the most of your current opportunities makes sense if you’re truly making the best of them, so work on putting together strategies and goals to make your alternative the most attractive option.
3. Analytical outcome potential
Trying to assess the outcome of an opportunity is difficult. There are so many variables that mean outcome potential can be unclear. I always try to analyze whether the variables involved are things within my control and I can influence, in order to get the outcome that I want.
Too many variables that seem like insurmountable obstacles is a big turn-off. You’re unlikely to generate the outcome that you want.
That’s not to say that you can’t take the risk and bust your gut to smash those variables, but the probability of doing this will be lower if they’re not within your skillset or control.
4. What it looks like at completion (visualize)
Visualizing the end-goal of an opportunity is a key part of quickly deciding whether this opportunity has got legs or not. Are the realistic outcomes going to be beneficial to you and your life situation?
I try to keep my feet on the ground with an opportunity and visualize with a big dollop of realism on the side.
‘OMG, this is going to change my life’ is showing a lot of optimism, but you have to stay grounded, so you can make the best decision.
‘Is this going to positively impact my life?’ is a more restrained, realistic and ultimately helpful way to think when an opportunity is presented to you, instead of running around like a headless chicken.
Set yourself goals and keep those goals in mind, healthy visualization will keep you motivated and able to assess when you’re close to achieving what you wanted to.
5. Do it.
Accepting an opportunity means committing yourself to whole-heartedly and throwing your ideas, work ethic, time and effort into a project.
There’s no point decided to ‘do it’ if you’re not prepared to put the work in and jump in at the deep end.
If you don’t have the enthusiasm at the beginning of an opportunity, then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to muster it up when things are getting tough.
So, if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to do it well.
We’ve all been there and felt the dreaded imposter syndrome. You don’t feel like you deserve something or you’re going to get found out any second and your opportunity will crumble in front of you.
6. Leave imposter syndrome at the door.
Easier said than done, right? But you were asked for a reason and you have to acknowledge those reasons to purposefully move forward.
You’ve got to build yourself up and believe in yourself *Disney power ballad plays*.
Believing you deserve an opportunity and harnessing your inner confidence will help you to drive forward, powered by momentum and carry you into a new phase of success.