Do you know someone who always seems to be in the right place at the right time? They appear to always land their dream job, live their dream life and fulfilling their purpose in only ways you can imagine. Their life seems to be marked by a profound sense of groundedness, self-realization, and joy. What if I told you that those people aren’t just subject to luck and chance?
Opportunities are present everywhere
Opportunities are often found in the most unexpected places, and they can come in all shapes and sizes. They are in the people you meet, the experiences you have, and the challenges you face. I think we often wait for opportunities to find us. What if we could create opportunities from nothing?
The amazing thing is that there is nothing in the Universe that says you can’t fulfil your own dreams and create the life you want to live. On the contrary, the Universe actually invites you to step into who you were created to be, offering your unique skills to others in ways only you can.
I appreciate it’s not always that easy. I recently got a bit stuck in my thinking around this, believing that there was something missing in my life (puzzle) until I had some coaching and realised that there is no missing piece and that I had been trying to force a piece of another's puzzle into mine. The insight was that I have an opportunity to do something different. I get to create my own fun puzzle of infinite opportunities and possibilities. You can listen to my podcast on this topic.
Whether you’re embarking on your next career or simply want to start a new quest in your personal life, you don’t need to wait around for an opportunity to present itself. By knowing yourself and making a conscious effort to push forward, you can create your own opportunities or find ones that fit what you’re looking for.
How to Create Opportunities from Nothing
Understand Who You Are
Before you start the journey of creating an opportunity, you first need to know yourself more deeply. This means that what you do and who you're being comes from a deeper understanding of who you are, thereby allowing your unique skill set to be used to its greatest potential.
By understanding what you can offer and aligning it with your personal values, you can hone what is or isn’t an opportunity for you. This takes some time, so clear a half day to invest in yourself. Take yourself somewhere you love and consider what makes you special, what you value and what you can offer to others. If that feels hard, get a trusted friend to answer what they admire about you, what your strengths are and what you offer others - and receive their words!
Show up in the world
There are definitely opportunities that land in your lap, but, they are probably a result of you taking action somewhere in your life, even if it was years ago. Show up for yourself and for others.
Showing up is best done from a place of authenticity. When you are being your authentic self, you are more likely to connect with others effortlessly and find opportunities that align with your values.
People (and opportunities) are drawn to the way we show up in the world. If we adopt an attitude of service, of gratitude, of kindness. This is the part about who you are being.
Consider volunteering your time; mentoring someone; serving on a committee; starting your own business or speaking at an event. The possibilities are endless.
Stand in your Power
In developing a stronger understanding of who you are and what you want to offer, you build your confidence. This helps you stand in your power. You can effortlessly offer your skills and open up doors that you may not have knocked on before. Nurture that little flame of self-belief inside each time you stand in your power.
This belief will help you step outside your comfort zone and engage people and situations that will help get you to where you want to be. So if you want to change your career, talk to people who work in your chosen area of focus. If you want to start a travel blog, go somewhere you’ve never been and interview locals to get an insider’s look into the area. If you’re looking to build a new business, start talking about it. By putting yourself out there and meeting people who will support your dream, you’re more likely to create opportunities for yourself.
This is the part about who you are being. Think about how open you are to opportunities and new ideas and how you collaborate with others. You might also consider being willing to take more risks. I am not thinking about draining your savings, but what might being 1% more courageous look like to you?
Step into your power and feel assured that you cannot make a wrong decision. If you step into an opportunity that eventually turns out to be less-than-perfect, you’ll know that it served its purpose of leading you to the next one.
Sometimes we might set out with a goal in mind. Maybe you know exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it, but rarely will life work out exactly how you think it will. By staying flexible as you take (meaningful) action, you open yourself up to opportunities that may not have even been on your radar before.
For example, I had a client who went for an interview and was just pipped to the post. However, the interviewer referred her on to another department, who gave her a 10-minute informal interview and hired her.
Maybe you’re a storyteller at heart and have a passion for giving other people a voice, you could use those skills in corporate communications or a marketing job that develops testimonials. You could get to know people and their stories while also meeting a business need.
Remember that sometimes opportunities that use your skills are different than what you expect and sometimes you can’t see the opportunity right in front of you if you’re too busy focusing on what you think it should look like. Trust yourself to know whether or not an opportunity is right for you.