Taking Chances

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Blog, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Essentials for Everyday Life

Taking Chances

 “Chances only come along once in a lifetime. Dreams they just come true every once in a while.” Tonic Sol-fa

One of my favorite songs of all-time is “Chances” by the nationally-known, Minnesota-based acapella group Tonic Sol-fa. In full disclosure, I had the privilege of working with them for awhile at a former job and not only are they incredibly talented, but they are truly great guys (and absolute goofballs). That’s not why I like the song, though. I like it because the lyrics are so true.

You only get one chance at something. Well, most things. If you’re lucky you will get a second chance. Or maybe certain situations you will get a second chance. For instance, you may get a second chance at love but that second chance might be with someone else. Or maybe you interviewed for a job and didn’t get it; but one day you get a call saying the job is available again and it’s yours. Or maybe you auditioned for a great role in a production or competed in a big competition and someone performed better than you; but the opportunity rolls around again next year and you are the one chosen or the winner.

However, you aren’t guaranteed a second chance with anything and it’s not something you should count on. And there are many scenarios where you do only get one chance. I think we all know the saying you only get one chance to make a first impression. Other scenarios include competing in (some) pageants, being offered a rare and exciting trip, getting to do something adventurous that you never thought you would do, impressing a potential client, for some women it might be getting pregnant and having a baby, etc.

These are all situations that could change your life forever and could make your dreams come true. But they can’t if you don’t put yourself out there from the beginning, if you don’t take a chance.

For many people, taking chances can be hard. Really hard. I think it’s especially hard for people who are quiet, shy and reserved. Us introverts in the world. Yes, I identify myself as an introvert, which probably surprises people. People like this have a difficult time coming out of their shell. We like to oftentimes stay in our own little world where we are safe from how others might respond.

Taking chances can also be really difficult for people who have a lower self-esteem and here it really boils down to confidence. Lacking confidence in yourself, your ideas, your opinions, your skills and your abilities can absolutely hold you back. It can truly keep yourself from seizing what could be an incredible moment and opportunity. And, really, it creates a fear.

As you can see, I’ve used the word fear. This absolutely relates to my last blog discussing fear. Fear can keep us from taking chances and having a dream come true.

Oftentimes this fear of taking chances stems from an inner fear of being judged and what people will think, and a fear of rejection. Both very common and very valid fears.

Introverts and people with lower self-esteem are greatly affected by others. A response or an action that isn’t in alignment with what we were hoping for can really knock you down, make you feel inadequate, dumb, stupid, unwanted and unaccepted. It can make you feel really bad about yourself.

I don’t think I know anyone who has never worried about being rejected. Rejection is a big thing in life and it happens to everyone. Some people just handle it better.

There are some people who just really dwell on experiencing rejection and let it consume their thoughts, eat at them and just knock them down so much that they feel they can’t ever put themselves in a situation where they could be rejected again.

Then there are the people who learn from it. They look at what maybe went wrong, what could have been done better or how it could be approached better; they look at aspects that were not their doing and not in their control, and they use of all of this for future opportunities. And in some ways it actually helps them build confidence. Just because you’re told no or are turned down, that doesn’t mean it has to be a setback.

Every time you’re told no, it’s an opportunity to learn how to be told yes for something else down the road. It’s an opportunity to grow.

I know I’m making this sound easier than it is. Believe me, I’m still learning everyday to be better at putting my own self out there and taking chances that come my way. I’ve definitely come a long ways and it’s because of these things I have worked hard on.

    1. Stop caring what others think. The biggest thing everyone needs to embrace in life is that we are our own self. No one can tell us what to do, what to think, how to feel and what our goals and dreams should be. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it’s their own opinion. Just because someone else thinks something is wrong, dumb or silly, that doesn’t mean it actually is. You have to believe in your own self and that involves not being so worried about what others think of you. I’m not saying you should go out and live recklessly and frivolously, and say or do erratic and irrational things. I’m saying you should not let the thoughts and opinions of others determine who you are. Once I stopped caring so much about what others thought of me, I started coming out of my shell and began to feel truly free to be ME.

 

  • Think about your strengths. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. They are part of what makes us who we are. There’s something that each one of us is good at, does well with, excels at and that we can bring to the table. Unfortunately, oftentimes we tend to only focus on negative things. We actually see our weaknesses as negative things because they are things we can’t do, don’t thrive on, don’t excel at and are lacking. We need to remember to not think about those things. In the grand scheme of things, they don’t matter. And who’s to say we can’t one day learn to do them or to be good at them? Instead think of your strengths. Make a mental list of everything you can do and that you are good at. Frequently remind yourselves of these things so they wash out the weaknesses. The more you remind yourself of everything you can do and are good at, the better you will feel about yourself.

 

 

  • Have confidence in yourself. Now that we have thought of and are reminding ourselves of everything above, that good feeling we have is confidence. I think confidence is one of the most important traits we need to have. Confidence should not be confused with being cocky or arrogant. No, those are different things. Those things are thinking 100% that you ARE the best, the most attractive, that you can’t lose and can get or have anything you want, and that everyone else is beneath you. Nobody actually likes that, sorry (not sorry) to say. Confidence is believing in yourself, knowing you can put your best foot forward and are going to give it your all… even if it means you could fail or be rejected. Sometimes we need a little confidence boost and that’s ok, we all do. We all have times when we need to be reminded of what we are capable of. Confidence is keeping your chin up, putting on a smile and going for that chance you need to take. Confidence will get you places. Confidence is sexy.

 

 

  • No regrets. Regret is very common. We all have at least one thing in life we regret. And that’s ok, because we can learn from our regrets. We usually regret not doing something or not saying something. I would venture to guess that we don’t do or say something out of fear, and oftentimes out of fear of rejection and what someone might think. Here’s the thing… if we don’t do or say something we will live the rest of our lives wondering what might have been. What if I had done this? What if I had said that? Where would I be? Who would I be? Would my life have changed forever? Being left with this feeling of never knowing and wondering what if can be painful. Always feeling like you could kick yourself is not a pleasant feeling to go around with. I have learned there are some things that I just am not willing to always wonder about.

 

 

  • Accept come what may. Things aren’t always going to go the way we planned. Something won’t happen the way we had hoped. We won’t always get the answer we want. There are times when things simply won’t go our way. It’s a fact of life. The best thing we can do is to accept it and learn from it. Accept that you did what you could and that you couldn’t control the ending at that time or for that specific situation. Think about the outcome and what (if anything) you could have said or done differently to influence the outcome. Sometimes there will be things we could have done differently, but not always and we just need to be at peace with it and move on. We can’t control everything in life, but we certainly can learn.

 

Again, I know putting yourself out there isn’t easy for everyone. It can be a scary thing. Start small, take baby steps. Be brave, be bold. Carpe diem. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and put yourself out there for whatever it is. Just breathe. It will be ok. And you never know just what might come of it. A dream might come true. It just might change your life. Each time it will get easier. Even when there are times that taking a chance doesn’t go our way, you will feel better and better about doing so. That confidence is going to build and build, your self-esteem is going to go up and up, you’re going to overcome your shyness and just might find yourself being more outspoken, and you are going to take on the world. I promise.

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