One of the worst feelings that I’ve ever felt was of a missed opportunity. To me, it was worse than being rejected because at least when you’re rejected, you’ve been given a chance at something. Yeah, you might not have been the best choice in that situation, but at least you know. But missing an opportunity is worse because you’re left with unanswered questions of: “What if I actually had the opportunity?” You feel like you’ll never know.
A lot of times in life, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that people are more likely to get in their own way, while not realizing it. The main culprit in all this self-sabotage is usually a person’s mouth. I’ve been in positions where I talked a friend up for getting a job, and when my friend went to meet up with me and the person who was hiring, they were having a bad day and would launch into a laundry list of what’s wrong with their job, their boss, and how they wish they could commit arson without getting caught and the person who was hiring would side-eye me like: “You really thought we should hire her/him?” I’ve also been in positions where other people would talk to me about their own hiring situations where they suffered word vomit and talked themselves out of jobs and promotions.
But let’s take this off of a business level and make it personal. How many times that you knew someone wanted something that they didn’t realize you had, and you were going to surprise them with it. That was until they exposed something about themselves; whether it’s an unnecessary attitude, ridiculous behavior in public, or just ridiculous behavior period, you decided to just keep it to yourself. I have to be honest, I’ve done that a few times. You want to help someone, but then they just got in their own way.
Now, if I ever have means to help someone for something serious, like a job, housing, food, I’ll definitely help, but sometimes people need to be aware of how they’re stopping themselves from getting things. I really wonder sometimes, do you really think that being rude is going to help you in life?
Or what about the other end of the spectrum, someone is offering to do something for you, but you keep on saying no because you don’t want to seem like a burden. When I graduated college my oldest sister planned to take me to Mexico to celebrate. At that same time she found out that she was pregnant. She insisted that she still pay and go with me, but I denied it, thinking: “But you and your husband should save for the baby.” Then when she moved overseas, she offered to pay for me to come and visit in Europe. Once again, I turned it down, not wanting to be a burden.
Now, I’m not emphasizing using people, but if someone is offering, and insisting to help you, take it! Don’t sit back and think: “Man, I really wish I would have said yes.” When you get older (unless you take up the role of a gold-digger) people are going to stop offering their help, especially if you have a history of turning them down.
There are many obstacles that you’re going to face in life that are going to stop you, or derail you. Don’t let that obstacle be yourself.
Kendra Koger is attempting to stop missing great opportunities, and you should grab the opportunity to tweet her @kkoger.