3 Ways to Approach New Opportunities with Excitement Instead of FearBy Homaira Kabir
An opportunity comes up at work. You know it’s what you want. You know you can bring value to your organization. But if you're like many people, the excitement soon melts into fear. Catastrophic thoughts and images intrude your mental space, with rejection and ridicule leading the way: "Why would they want me?" "There's much better talent around." "I'll just make a fool of myself."
When we let our fears speak louder than our dreams, we let them drive our decisions. And then we pacify our dreams by justifying our decisions: “It wasn't the right time.” “The opportunity wasn’t the right fit.” “I'll do it when I get a new skill or a new degree.” “I'll be ready when the kids start school or leave home.” The rational mind is a rationalizing mind—it may make us feel better in the moment, but sets us up for a lifetime of regrets.
Some of us get so used to living small that we don't even hear the voice of our dreams anymore. We live on autopilot, staying away from great opportunities because we've convinced ourselves that we don't have what it takes. For some of us, this convincing happened a long time ago, and we've fed our inadequacy by avoiding opportunities ever since. We've handed over our lives to our fears, never realizing what a ride of a lifetime we missed—literally.
Then there are those of us who challenge our fears and approach opportunities despite those fears. We spend painful days and sleepless nights fighting with our minds and mustering the courage to show up. By the time we do—if we do—we've lost much of the excitement we once had for the opportunity. Instead of speaking from the heart or finding joy in our work, we judge our every word and watch out for every sign of rejection. (And we invariably find it!)
Here are 3 ways to show up (for the interview, the meeting, or the talk) with the same excitement that drew you to it in the first place.
Connect to Your Why
Our fears keep us focused inward. After all, we're trying to ensure our survival—even though it’s not under threat! Instead of wasting energy convincing yourself you’re safe, you’ll find it far more energizing to focus on how the opportunity helps you help others. What