Sometimes we face opportunities that don’t feel like a perfect match. Maybe they require us to be more extroverted than we naturally are. Or they focus on subjects in which we lack expertise. And sometimes they’re just not that interesting.
Sometimes the right choice is to say no to the wrong opportunities. Sometimes the right choice is to say yes to the opportunity because what we really need is to build a history of success and a pattern of facing our fears. Knowing which opportunity it is that confronts us is the real challenge.
I faced this question this year and I labored over the decision for weeks. Truth is, I could see BOTH pros and cons for the opportunity in front of me. Here are some of the benefits to consider:
The Benefits of Saying Yes
- I am in motion. FINALLY.
- I am changing my overall approach to life by saying YES.
- I am developing skills that may open many other doors later.
- When I win at this opportunity, I will have more confidence for another.
The Benefits of Saying No
- I don’t take on a burden that kills my quality of life.
- I develop the muscle of saying no because there are too many options available in life to do them all.
- I keep my open and available for a better opportunity.
- I save myself the time wasted heading in the wrong direction.
It’s not always obvious which kind of opportunity you are facing. Sometimes you face options and you can benefit from either choice. But the important thing to note is that you can win if you are aware of the possible pros and cons and you remain flexible. Mental flexibility means you can adapt to new information. It means you are not stuck in a rut of either action or inaction.
Our choices are most largely affected by our intention, our perspective, and our ability to frame the situation within a flexible, adaptable mindset. You can choose an imperfect action because you understand what you have to gain from it, and perhaps inaction has been your greatest fault.
If you’ve never gotten started, doing and doing now is important. Momentum is a skill you can maintain after you choose to fall forward.