Friday, April 5, 2019

Fortune Cookie Friday: 5 Tips For When Opportunity Knocks

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures

Hello, fellow fortune seekers!  

I think you’re going to like this week’s fortune:

So tell me: are you ready to open the door and invite Opportunity in? Or, like me, have you ever been caught unaware when an amazing opportunity comes knocking and not known what to do? If Opportunity knocks, how prepared are you to say “YES!” to it?

I admit, I’ve missed out on some spectacular things because I wasn’t organized or confident enough to say “yes” to them or welcome them into my life. I may have even felt intimidated, overwhelmed, or unworthy, at times.

The thing is, though, when Opportunity comes knocking, we need to make sure we’re ready to open the door and welcome it in.

Think of it this way: let’s say you’re a company that is just dying to get a celebrity's sponsorship to boost sales of your new, spectacular widget. What would you do if that celeb just dropped in at your facility to see your operation? If you had to scramble around getting things ready for them, then you’ve already failed to be ready for the opportunity. If, however, you’re ready for their visit at any time, then you have a smoothly running operation and can be open for that sponsorship deal any time the opportunity may arise.

Now, I hate it when people just drop by my house unannounced, precisely because I am no June Cleaver, but when it comes to my internal state of being, I'm ready for the unannounced drop-ins. I’ve been doing a bit of “spring cleaning,” as it were—spiritual and mental housecleaning, basically. I am making sure this “house” is tidied up and ready for Opportunity to show up at any time. (Side note: did you know “Beth” means “house”? Yep, I’m gonna run with this metaphor!)

So what do I mean by this? Simply put: I am keeping myself open to opportunities by mentally and emotionally preparing myself for them. Let's get our mindset in gear for saying a big, fat "YES" to Opportunity, shall we?

Beth's Top 5 Tips for Being Opportunity-Ready

1. Act as if it’s already yours.

I’ve been working in advance for the types of opportunities I want to have available to me, such as drafting certain pieces of writing and creative endeavors so that if I see a call for submissions, I can be ready. It may mean creating a variety of contract templates for the types of projects or clients that I want to be able to take on in the future, so that I can have an easy time of onboarding instead of having to scramble. Last week, I learned it means making sure I have some yellow yarn on hand because I make bee-themed things on my Etsy shop to complement this blog, and wouldn't you know, someone suddenly placed a special order for bee-themed items to be made in a bright yellow. Lesson learned; yarn stocked. These are just a few examples of the business development endeavors taking my focus, lately.

2. Find some Zen.

A few weeks ago, I started meditating first thing every morning (before breakfast), and again in the middle of the day. By starting my day with an energy-boosting meditation while I sip on some warm lemon water, I’ve been feeling so refreshed and capable of doing anything! It puts me in the right frame of mind to tackle my day and get myself ready for opportunities. 

Additionally, by meditating in the middle of the day, I am making sure to take a break, stop working, clear my head, reset, and refresh. 

I know sometimes people say, “Oh, I don’t have time in the day to meditate.” But did you know you could meditate for 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes … any amount of time that you have? And there are so many easy ways to do it, from something as simple to listening to yourself breathe to using books/audiobooks/Audible or or using phone apps that make it easy for you to do. There really are no excuses for not getting still for even a few moments every day. 

It also means making a better effort to eat right and sleep more, so that I’m physically, mentally, and emotionally in great shape to be able to act on opportunities when they come. When you’re overtired, overstressed, or feeling blah, how can you be ready? That’s something I’ve been asking myself, and realizing that I need to make changes to match how I want to feel.

It seems that by engaging in some self-care, I’m getting some space back in my day, resulting in a much better frame of mind to respond to things when they show up.

3. Don’t Become Attached to The Outcome

I used to really focus on what the outcome would be: "if this, then that," but I don’t become as as attached to outcomes, any more. I just put my best foot forward, then let the chips fall where they may. I can only control my own actions and mindset, but not the actions and mindset of others, so why stress myself out? In addition, when you become attached to an outcome, you may miss out on other, better opportunities (see #4), so what I now try to do is take the steps I need to take, then bless and release, as a friend of mine would say! 

4. Don’t Have Blinders On

If you’re focusing too much on a specific outcome, you may completely miss another opportunity staring you in the face.

I have a great example of this, actually, from my own life: 

Many, many moons ago, I really, really, really, REALLY wanted to work at a particular place, in a particular role. I thought I was a great fit for it and put all my energy into getting that position. It was my “dream job” yadda yadda, and I put in 200% towards getting it. 

Thing is, I completely missed other opportunities that were coming my way because I was so hyper-focused. Friends had even warned me that I was being too closed-minded to the rest of the world's offerings, but I didn’t listen. But they were right. When I realized it, it felt like I was taking blinders off, and I somewhat regretted being so single-minded.

The below video is a really interesting—have you ever seen it? It clearly demonstrates how if you focus too much one on thing, you miss other details. Take a moment to watch it; it's short, and it's fascinating:

This phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness,” and it’s something we all do at some point.

So, what are you missing out on because you’re too focused on something else?

 5. Don’t Prejudge—Get The Whole Picture

I used to set a lot of theoretical rules up in my own head about what opportunities mean. I'd hear about something and make a snap judgment without truly examining it realistically, usually to my detriment because I would shut the door in Opportunity's face instead of considering it. 

Now, though, I just try to be open, period. I don’t get ahead of myself and predetermine how things will be, and it doesn't mean that I will take every single opportunity presented just because it's there. You can still be discerning, but actually discern. Don't just close the door because of some made-up rule like "Oh, that type of career sounds like something I'd enjoy, but that type of work always so _________." Insert whatever adjective you like. Doesn't really matter what it's probably not the whole picture. Don't make assumptions without getting all the information and assessing things realistically. I'd rather take each opportunity and examine it at face value for what it is and also for what it is not, and once I have all the data, let my intuition guide me in the way to go. 

Additionally, I try not to prejudge my own worthiness of those opportunities. I’ve had a lot of stuff come my way these past few weeks that a year ago I would have wondered, “Can I?” or “Am I good enough?” but the fact is: I am very good at what I do, and I work hard. Having a high degree of self-awareness helps in this endeavor. If I examine the opportunity and also realistically examine myself, I’ll know which endeavors are right for me and which are not. Or whether the timing is now or later. Either way: I am deserving and worthy of opportunities that come. 

…and so are you!


So how about it? You ready? 

Shoot me a comment and let’s talk about what you’re doing to get yourself ready to open that door when Opportunity comes a’knockin’!

Photo by Catarina Carvalho on Unsplash
 I hope you'll consider opening the door! 

Until next week, take care! 💛🐝

 ~positively b.e.e. is on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!~

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