*Part Two of Grace Ste.Croix’s three part series on Opportunity. Read Part 1 and then please read on To Part Three: The Rewards Of Opportunity*
Only a few times in our life an opportunity arises. These rare occurrences may provide a brand new life of new experiences and rewards. However, alarmingly, so many people choose not to grasp an opportunity when it comes in their hands. Why is it that when an opportunity appears, it is only the rare person who embraces it?
I have witnessed a very close person in my life that was just beginning their life; start off on a bad foot. Plagued in a toxic area of one tracked minds and minimal chance to excel, this person was an absolute joy to be around but very depressed. He had bigger dreams then what this city had to offer, but because he was dreaming a bit harder then the rest of his crowd, he was put down so harshly for it. Like the Salem witch hunts the people in his life could smell someone who wanted more from a mile away, and they quickly strung him up verbally and attacked him until he admitted defeat.
He shared with me his big dreams, and even though I was only twenty two, I grew up in an area that provided a lot of accessible opportunities and contacts, I was very eager to give this person the life I thought he deserved in the first place. I would tutor him constantly to get his grades up, introduce him to people who were loving and kind, and help this very young man settle into a positive atmosphere, an atmosphere that we all deserve to have. He excelled very quickly, a little shocked that people could “be this nice” and “not ask for anything back.” He was enthralled with his new life, and his dreams slowly began to come true. (Note to the readers, there are so many good people out there; it’s just about taking the time to find them). His family became weary of the change, as my town was a bit of a distance from their own. He felt as though his family was not accepting his new life. After opportunity was offered, he began to feel that to most of us is the most horrible, powerful word that effects all of mankind. This one word stops us from achieving anything: FEAR. Fear breeds like rabbits. Fear has its child that develops like a cancer in us. It has two children, the feelings of WORTHLESSNESS and being UNWORTHY. My dear young friend felt this way, he felt that the risk of opportunity was too great, as it he felt that he was worthless and did not deserve to achieve his dreams. Even though his former life could be defined as abusive, it was comfortable because he knew this life, he knew what to expect. The father of fear is the UNKNOWN. My friend, feeling the unknown of opportunity, felt it was a risk because he felt unworthy and worthless to the new lifestyle. He felt as though he did not deserve a life where he was achieving greatness. He could not see the light that I saw, and even though I too, was very young, I tried with whatever words I could muster to prove that he deserved all those dreams he had. Needless to say, the comfort of the old life kicked in, the old abusive friends came back. Unfortunately, he today still lives the same life he had, and recently has shown resentment to people who do achieve big dreams. He has become his own monster, which I believe is the poison that sometimes comes with missing an opportunity.
Risks can be extremely intimidating. When a new job is offered to us, we can be scared about the risk of probation, meeting a new staff, the unknown in general. However the new job is better pay, better benefits for the family, and maybe gives you more leeway to enjoy a more relaxed life. This would be a risk willing to take.
All opportunities have their risks. It is up to us, to analyze each opportunity and write down each risk involved. Once we have a physical outlook on what is expected of us, we can see if the opportunity is worth the risk. We also must be able to step out of our comfort zone and embrace the unknown.
Without at least analyzing each opportunity, the unknown breeds FEAR. Fear is, to me, the father of worthlessness and unworthiness. This whole family of toxicity breeds in our minds like a virus. Virus can be cured by one thing, confidence. The unknown is just that, the unknown, and you must be the explorer willing to conquer your own life and take the reins from the virus of the unknown and fear, and steer yourself to reach your goals. As Vividlife magazine states and I believe should be one of its mottos, “this is your life, this is not a dress rehearsal.”