When You Mess Up a Golden Opportunity

I recently had an experience where I let a really fantastic, golden opportunity slip by. It was a chance to really put my blog out there in front of a targeted audience of potentially tens of thousands of people who had never heard of me or Vibe Shifting before, and I really messed up. I was supposed to write an article that was going to be reviewed, and possibly published, by a New York Times best-selling author in my field. And I could not, for the life of me, think of anything to write for this person.

If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes; then learn how to do it later! ~Richard Branson

I kept putting it off and putting off, even though I knew how big this opportunity was. And the question, of course, was why? Why, why, why would I be stalling on doing something with the potential to propel my biggest dream forward in a huge way? It was a really good question. And it was something I asked myself over and over throughout the two weeks I struggled to come up with a topic idea (any topic idea!) for that article. Why couldn’t I figure out what to write? What was holding me back? What the heck was going on?

What if I’m not good enough?

I’m a writer, for heaven’s sake – this is what I do. A simple 800 word essay in a topic area that I’m passionate about should have been child’s play. But I could not get myself to sit down and write that article, no matter how many of my procrastination-busting strategies or creativity tricks I tried. And I could not for the life of me figure out where this resistance issue was coming from. Because it had to be a resistance issue; what else could possibly be stopping me from taking full advantage of this incredible opportunity to showcase my stuff?

Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities. ~Susan Gale

And then I realized what it was that was holding me back: it was fear. I finally realized that this opportunity to reach that many people scared me, and that I was really intimidated by the thought of handing my work over to someone I consider famous (at least in the circles I work in) and an “expert”. What if this person didn’t like my article? Or worse, what if the article got published but all those people hated it; what if I was about to make a colossally huge mistake and make a total fool of myself in front of an audience of tens of thousands? I was worried that I couldn’t put something together that was good enough to be seen at the “next level”. I was worried that I wasn’t good enough.

Mistakes happen. Learn from them.

And so a golden opportunity slipped out of my hands, because I was too afraid to take the risk. It was self-sabotage of the highest order and in hindsight, it was absolutely ridiculous. But it happens, even to someone who blogs constantly about risks, dream-building, confidence and taking action to create the kind of life you want. Self-doubt is one of the most powerful fears out there, and even those of us who know how all this stuff works still get tripped up by it sometimes.

When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us. ~Alexander Graham Bell

And that is why it’s so important to give yourself some slack when you find yourself in similar situations. These things happen. We all mess up sometimes. We all let opportunities slip by out of fear sometimes. The trick is to not beat ourselves up when it does happen. The key is to learn from the experience, to realize what actually happened, so that you’re aware of it next time. When you understand what your fears are, and what tends to trigger them most strongly, then you are less likely to be affected by them when the next opportunity presents itself… and it will; there are always new opportunities coming your way.

photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo
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