Evaluating Opportunities: Part 1

Nothing quite shakes our confidence like missed or failed opportunities.  This is the first part of a two-part series designed to help you evaluate opportunities so that you can make better,  more conscious, less emotional decisions about opportunities.


The first mistake typically made when evaluating opportunities is that we place way too much emphasis on our background and experience.  The reality is that if those were essential for progress we’d live in a static world…one in which change was glacially slow.  That’s certainly not the environment in which we live.

Instead of focusing on background and experience, look at all that you’ve achieved when you had neither background nor experience…look at your ability to learn and adapt.  That’s where your real power and future success lie.


The second misstep that we make in evaluating opportunities is that we mistake the excitement we feel for desire.  Of course you’re going to feel excitement at the prospect of something new.  We naturally respond that way to shiny, new objects.

The key is to set aside your emotions, examine what it’s going to take to convert the opportunity to a reality, then decide whether the result is worth the effort that it’s going to take to make it happen.  Typically you won’t be able to see all of the things you’re going to have to do, but if you’re unwilling to take the initial steps…if they require more effort than you’re willing to expend or require you to do things you really don’t enjoy…then don’t start down that path.  It’s the depth of your desire that determines the success you’ll enjoy.

For our kids

Help your kids evaluate the opportunities presented to them.  Whenever they express interest in an opportunity, remind them that they have the capacity to succeed by virtue of their ability to learn and adapt.

Then ask them what it’s going to take to convert that opportunity into a success.  More likely than not, they won’t have an answer.  Assure them that it’s okay not to have an answer yet, but it’s essential that they figure out the first steps and decide whether or not it’s something they really want to do…for it’s their desire that will dictate their success.

Next time

In part 2, we’ll explore a series of questions designed to help you and your kids further evaluate opportunities.  As with the tips above, these questions will help you and your kids take the emotion out of the equation and make decision-making more conscious. 

Increase your confidence, check out my weekly tip and exercise at TeachingConfidence.com.

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