Do you rise to the challenges in front of you? Let me rephrase. Are you making the most of the opportunities you come across? Are you showing up and challenging yourself to be better?
Unfortunately, too many of us let these moments slip right by.
How many times have you skipped out on something that had the potential to be awesome and life-changing because you were afraid?
Maybe you were afraid you wouldn’t be good enough or that you would fail. Maybe you were afraid you weren’t ready. Or maybe you just didn’t really feel like it at the time. I’m guilty of assuming each of these, and I’d bet you are too.
If we fall into the trap of passivity, we let the opportunities that will change our lives pass us right by. We fail to rise to the challenges in front of us, and therefore fail to create the space we need for growth.
One of the most important things I will always advocate for is trying new things and constantly exploring new ways to pursue a life you love. We get stuck in ruts and routines which only lead us to complacency and further unhappiness. Rising to the challenges that are presented to you, gives you the chance to disrupt the routine you've become so used to. Changing your routine and getting outside of your comfort zone will give you a new perspective. It will challenge the way you think and the way you see your life. Staying in the same place day in and day out doesn't do anything for you.
The best way to combat falling into this cycle is simply to say, “yes.” Say goodbye to passivity and hello to action.
After you've said yes, show up! Bring your A-game and be ready to learn and absorb the knowledge and experiences from those around you. Ask questions, engage, and be innovative. Look for problems that need to be solved and then find a solution. Go the extra step and implement the solution. Volunteer to do the dirty work. Ask yourself what else can be done? How can this be improved? And then go do it. Be present and be open to the opportunities that present themselves to you. But don't stop there. Why wait for opportunities when you can chase them?
I suppose I should give you a disclaimer here: It’s not going to be easy and it’s not always going to be fun. It probably won’t always feel worth the effort either. In truth, you’ll end up finding things you're pretty terrible at, don’t enjoy in the least, and you’ll no doubt find yourself in awkward situations. But the truth is we need to experience the awkward and cross off the things we don’t like in order to find the things we do like and are indeed extraordinary at.
Look at it this way: Every time you say no or turn down an opportunity, you’re giving up a chance for greatness. More importantly, you’re giving up a chance to find your greatness and your niche.
In my own niche journey, I’ve found that the good will outweigh the bad every single time. Have you always wanted to start a blog or a podcast? Go for it! What’s stopping you from sending an email to your boss’ boss and asking to have coffee? Be brave, be bold. Step up, you may be surprised of what comes of it.
If you’re thinking this means you need to say “yes” every single time, you’re missing the mark. Say yes when something gives you butterflies but also a touch of nerves. These feelings let you know that you're a little bit nervous and afraid, but also excited. They're speaking to you and saying, "hey, maybe this could really be something for you."
I challenge you to rise to the challenges and opportunities in front of you. Go after what calls to you, chase it with abandon, and go home satisfied but hungry for the next go round. Don't get down on yourself if something doesn't work out; write it off as a lesson learned and keep on keeping on.
When it comes down to it, you know you best, even if you haven't realized it yet. If you’re still in the “trying to figure it all out” stage (don't worry -- most of us are), remember that what it boils down to is that you have nothing to lose by trying. You have everything to lose by letting another chance pass you by.
On top of all this, you’ll end up leagues ahead of those people who are still stuck at home, refusing to rise to the challenges in front of them. As they say, always go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.