I’m taking another look at the personal development point in one of my quotes images, and this one’s all about the talking…
Stop talking yourself out of your opportunities.
I took that photo of a lovely summer sunset up at Ailsa Craig in Scotland. I had gone up there specifically to take photos, and had been snapping away from before dawn all the way through to the late sunset. The weather was kind all day, and it was a lovely opportunity – one that I nearly didn’t take advantage of…
I had planned to drive up overnight on a Saturday to avoid any traffic and arrive in time for the sunrise, but there were many times when I wasn’t sure if I could be bothered to drive hundreds of miles, knowing I’d be tired, just to take some photos.
I nearly talked myself out of it.
In this case, it was just a photo trip. Nice, but not earth shattering in the big scheme of things. It’s something so many of us can be guilty of though, and here’s the thing, we can be just as bad when it *does* come to the big things in life can’t we!
Going out on a first date, getting married, taking that promotion or new job offer, trying a new hobby or a trip to another country – we talk ourselves out of opportunities over and over again.
Why is this? Why do we do it, and what can we do about it?
Well, it may sound obvious, but the main reason we do it, is fear.
Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of work involved, fear of financial issues, fear of not being good enough. Fear.
It stops us.
The other main reason we talk ourselves out of opportunity is purely laziness – we just can’t be bothered, and would rather just stick with what we’ve got, even if we know full well that we’d prefer to take advantage of the opportunity!
Seems bizarre doesn’t it, but it’s a real malaise in society.
The good news is, that because it’s us doing it to ourselves with our self talk, we can get around it by using, yes you guessed it, different self talk.
Fear can stop us in our tracks, can stop us from taking opportunities, but fear is merely our imagination of the future.
In her excellent book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’, Susan Jeffers covers the point that we can look back on many many occasions in our life when we thought something would;d be bad, but looked back after the event and found ourselves saying ‘oh that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be’.
I recognised this when I read it, and I’m sure you can recognise it when you read it now.
Once we recognise it, we can use it our advantage – when we next feel fear about the unknown, particularly relating to an opportunity, we can ask ourselves if we are likely to look back and realise the fear was unnecessary. If we think we will, we can work to bypass the fear, and this means that instead of talking ourselves out of opportunities, we start talking ourselves *into* them instead.
Powerful. Massively powerful.
As for getting past the laziness? Well, that comes down to choice, our intention. If we are happy with the lazy option ,with letting opportunities pass us by, then there’s nothing wrong with that Per Se, but oh, it’s a waste isn’t it?
Isn’t it a waste, of a chance that others might not have? A waste of chances to expand our horizons, to broaden our mind, to soak up new experiences, to *live*?
Isn’t it better to take an approach of intention? An approach then when an opportunity comes along, we’ll take it and see what happens. Yes, it might be hard work, yes it might not turn out quote how we thought, but we’ll be certain of the knowledge that we *won’t* look back and wonder ‘what if..?’
It takes practice to change this habit of talking yourself out, because self talk is something that can drip drip away at us. If we leave it unchecked, or unanalysed, it surely will too, and even if we do start to recognise and analyse it, the strength of the habit formed over years is not something that we can simply flick a switch and change overnight.
That’s ok, the time it takes to change the habit is part of the process. The fact it might take some time is no reason not to start, and in fact if we use the time it might take as the reason for not starting, guess what we’re doing? Yes, we’re talking ourselves out of *another* opportunity, the opportunity for personal development!
So, think about how you’ve reacted to the opportunities in your life – the ones that have come and gone, the ones still to come, and the ones in front of you right now! Isn’t it time you stopped talking yourself out of them? Try it, it can change your life, it can transform it.
Ok, do let me know what you think, I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If you’d like to do more about your opportunities, do watch my free video series covering my 8 step goal achievement formula