It’s easy to analyze when things go poorly, but that it doesn’t come as naturally when things are going well. When things are good it’s very easy to just brush it away by assuming that the success was somehow due to you. I know I’ve thought that many times, especially when I was younger.
As I’ve thought about some recent successes, I’ve thought about the value of putting myself out there, making myself vulnerable to failure, with the aim of increasing my exposure to good things happening.
There are a lot of things that you can do to increase the chance of good things happening to you.
If you’re dating, you’re going to have the best chance at meeting someone good if you’re on every dating site, always messaging people, and strike up conversations in real life with strangers you find attractive. You’re going to face a lot of rejection that way, but that’s the (relatively low) cost you pay to drastically increase your chances at meeting someone good.
In your career you can ask for more responsibility, ask for raises, ask for help when you aren’t mastering something, and apply to new jobs. You’ll get rejected frequently, but when an appropriate step up is available, you’ll be the one to get it.
Even in friendships this is true. If you proactively go out and try to make friends and take responsibility for organizing trips and meetups with them, you’ll end up with a great circle of friends. But, of course, you’ll face some rejection on the way.
This idea is similar to the idea that taking risks is good, but a little different. In this case your only downside is getting your feelings a little bit hurt. The important point is that you can take lots of these “risks” because none of them are actually inviting bad outcomes. And the more you take, the better things will go for you in the long run.
Think about your successes. I suspect that many of them were the result of you making yourself vulnerable. Think about those areas where you’re not putting yourself out there. What would it look like if you decided to change that? Would it be worth it?
We each have a net that will catch some number of opportunities. The cost of increasing the size of that net is by exposing ourselves to the possibility of rejection and slight embarrassment. That’s a pretty good trade in my book.
Photo is a corner view of the Basilica on my last day in Budapest.
I added a new page with some info on my coaching program. I’ve been coaching many more people for the past couple months and it’s been going fantastically. I’ll write more about this in a month or two.