Sometimes things don’t work out as you imagined. You’ve worked for this. Sometimes hard, sometimes not so hard, sometimes barely managing to put in the bare minimum. Then it pays off. You get the chance you have been dreaming of… and yet when it truly matters the most, you let opportunity slip through your fingers, for reasons you barely understand yourself. Reasons unwilling to appear on a piece of paper, or a blank screen no matter how much you will them forth.
Lack of preparedness. Lack of discipline. Lack of willpower. Poor distribution of time and energy. Wrong environment. There are many factors at play.
But the worst part of all is how well this fits into the self deprecating narrative that plays on repeat in the deepest recesses of your mind. “I’m not good enough.” “I’m just lazy.” “I don’t deserve it.” “I will never amount to anything.” It’s easy to let yourself be convinced. Sooo fucking easy.
But it would mean
It might have been a pivotal moment, a moment of truth had things turned out for the better. And it’s easy to feel like it’s a pivotal moment for the worse. The moment where all hope was lost, and the road towards becoming an alcoholic bum revealed itself. But the good news is that life has a TON of moments, opportunities, of glimpses of what could have been, and what will be. In the long run, one missed opportunity is simply another drop of water in the ocean.
Remember all the times you could have given up, and didn’t. Remember how you managed to get to the point where you are able to blow big opportunities. There’s a big difference between having no opportunities, and letting one slip.
Don’t Let History Repeat Itself
It’s important to take some time to really reflect on what caused the failure. Maybe you stubbornly refused to ask for help when you most needed it. Maybe you should have said no to some minor opportunities to leave you the time to deal with the life changing one. Or maybe you became to absorbed in other areas of your life, diverting your focus away from where it needed to be the most.
Reasons for failure is one place where cliches are not to be avoided, because we’re not really all that different when it really comes down to it. Lack of support, too much on your plate, overworked underplayed are common enough that they may sound like empty excuses, but are often very real reasons for why things went south.
But don’t let it stop with just figuring out the reason. Take real steps to avoid having the same problem in the future. An example would be if you felt that you lacked support, moral or otherwise, or accountability, to pick the best suited among your friends and start a conversation about whether or not they would be willing to lend a hand in future situations.
Grab Hold Of The Opportunities You Still Have
One thing I’m starting to learn is that opportunities seldom come alone. When you get one chance, and you step up, don’t be surprised if another two or three show up out of thin air.
So grab hold of the opportunities you still have, and do a masterful job. Armed with a more intimate knowledge of your own weaknesses, you should be better equipped to predict what you will find problematic, and where you will be in the most need of help.
The Prescription For Self Doubt as prescribed by Tim Ferriss, is a rather effective kick in the butt for anyone who’s feeling a little down on their luck. It helps to read about someone successful admit to being human. Makes it feel like success is within my grasp, and that it doesn’t require superhuman characteristics. And of course the video is powerful.
I have fumbled plenty of opportunities already over these past few months, and yet somehow, I still have a few to choose from. Time to do things the right way. To admit what I need to, and deal with my weaknesses from a place of honesty and clarity.
Hope you’re all still in good health.