“Say yes to life, and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” Eckhart Tolle
Life occasionally throws you a circumstance or opportunity which I have learnt to call “Jump Opportunities”. These are situations that come along that give you the opportunity to jump multiple rungs of your own personal truth ladder. These are events and situations that provide potential and possibility – if you face it with that attitude that embraces the same.
How to Recognise a Jump Opportunity
Jump Opportunities come in all shapes and forms – but what is consistent is that they are put in front of you to help you see the part of the truth of yourself. Jump Opportunities can be tests, they can be learnings, they can be obstacles, they can be events – they are things that we are programmed to steer away from and keep us small. These are challenges that require us to step up and confront ourselves.
The easiest way to recognise a Jump Opportunity is to examine the feelings that come up when you are faced with an opportunity or situation. If it scares the living death out of you, makes you feel that you aren’t good enough or gives you the feeling of “why me?” – then there is a good chance that a Jump Opportunity has been placed in front of you.
What Do Jump Opportunities Do?
Jump Opportunities are a way to shortcut part of the normal circuitous route of discovering your own truth – a hard, usually confronting but potentially worthwhile fast forward button – that you can decide to, or not to, take advantage of.
By taking advantage of a Jump Opportunity you are challenging yourself to do something that is outside of your comfort zone. You are stepping up to something that will show you something about yourself you didn’t know:
That you are good enough
That you are smart enough
That you are strong enough
That you can believe in yourself
That you are worth it
That fear only holds you back
That you are supported
That you have great people around you
That you can
That you are loved
That you’re not being true to yourself
That you’re not living life on your terms
That you’re being everything you were told to be, but not you
Jump Opportunities are situations that are fertile with potential and possibility for growth, change, learning and improvement. Unfortunately, most people rarely benefit from a Jump Opportunity because they either run away from it using excuses as their weapon, or they struggle through it with the armour of blame.
Why do we do this? Simply because our upbringing, culture and society encourages us to stay within our comfort zone. That comfortable place where we don’t have to confront ourselves or be different. That comfortable place that keeps us small, limited and controlled.
Outside of your comfort zone is where the greatest changes happen!
5 Steps to Taking Advantage of a Jump Opportunity
How do you embrace a challenge or opportunity that is put in front of you to find those precious gifts that live within them?
1. REFLECT ON YOUR MINDSET: recognise that your mindset plays a bit part on how you approach a Jump Opportunity when it’s put in front of you. Societal programing is the big vandal here because a common by-product of society is fear, regardless of whether it’s perceived or real, and because our response to fear is to avoid it all costs.
Reflect on your attitude to past experiences. How did you look at challenges and opportunities when they were put in your path?
If it was a positive event or opportunity, did you look at it with any amount of enthusiasm, excitement or positivity? Or did you look at it with apprehension, anxiety or fear? Did you find excuses or did you look for the possibility and potential of what was in front of you?
If it was a negative event, did you look for the gifts in it.. the growth, strength, abilities, skill and qualities that you would gain out of an unwanted experience. Or did you allow yourself to focus on the unfairness and use blame as a resource to get through? Did you accept the situation as it truly is – just a part of a life journey – or did you take it personally as an unjust treatment of you by life?
Your mindset is the biggest gift you have – it can allow you to learn, grow and succeed; or it can keep hold you back and keep you in the same space. "Am I excited, enthusiastic and positive, or am I apprehensive, fearful and anxious.
Am I looking for ways to step into it, or am I looking for excuses or blame?
2. EXAMINE YOUR FEARS: Now when I refer to Jump Opportunities and fear, I’m not talking about life or death situations. The fear associated with finding yourself in the same space as a hungry Bengal tiger who is staring you in the face is as valid as it is real. That is the fear that you want to acknowledge and respect!
The fear we are talking about here is the perceived fears that we adopt during our life journey – those fears that stew inside telling us that we’re not good enough, not worthy, can’t be different, not loved, or that we don’t want to be a failure. These are the fears that keep us small and limited. These are the fears that stop us from living our truth. Jump Opportunities help us see that these fears aren’t real and allow us to see the truth of things.
Some of these fears had their place in the ages where community was important to protect us from predators who’d eat us in a second if we were found wandering around in the wild alone without the protection of our tribe. These are fears that revolve around acceptance, belonging and being liked but now instead of protecting us from being eaten, they now keep us in a trap of conformity, normality and control because we behave in way that will have us feeling like we are accepted and belong.
The “not enough” fears such as not being good enough, not worthy and not loved have been embedded in society to keep us in our place – they control us by having us conform to a standard set by society which defines what we do, how we do it and why we do it and we find ourselves constantly belittling, criticising or devaluing ourselves.
Then we have the “ego” fears – those fears focused on how we are perceived by others and include fear of being seen as a failure or not seen as good enough. These fears stop us because we don’t want anyone to think we’re not as good as we have made ourselves out to be and so we don’t strive.
An interesting result of all of these fears is that they all stop us from being all that is uniquely us – they stop us from growing, learning, striving, succeeding and blooming! They keep us small, weak and limited. They stop us seeing the truth of our own value and worth.
Important to remember is that all of these fears are all perceived – they aren’t real so next time you find one of these fears come up, ask yourself one simple question.
“Is this fear I’m feeling right now real? Or is something that lives in my head?”
3. TAKE COUNSEL FROM PEOPLE IN THE KNOW: Objectivity is such an important resource and you have this at your disposal. Around you are people who can provide counsel and objectivity on the challenge you are faced with in the form of advice, perspective, experience, knowledge and tools. They quite often see more of who you really are than you do.
Friends have the perspective of knowing you as a person and have an understanding of your life, your abilities and your story. Peers have the perspective of having seen you in action – they know how you perform, your talents and skills. People who have experience in the same kind of challenge you are facing provide the perspective of having been there and understand and empathise with what you’re facing.
Some people may provide multiple perspectives – for instance a coach who not only knows your strengths, weaknesses and experience, but also has experienced similar challenges. A friend may also have experienced a challenge similar to what you’re faced with and can provide wise counsel as someone who also understands you.
Regardless of the type of challenge you are facing, taking counsel is a brilliant way to get perspective. It provides you with insights and advice that you can then reflect on and use to examine whether your own personal reaction is valid, or if your mindset and/or fears is again stopping you from growing.
"Who is my team of advisers who can give me perspective? What is their opinion?
4. EXAMINE THE REALITY: A pragmatic view is something that is really important because rose-coloured glasses don’t serve anyone. Take an objective view of what you are facing and ask questions relevant to it. If it’s something you have choice over, questions which could be important include:
Are there risks?
Can I afford it?
Can I possibly do it?
What is stopping me?
Where can it take me?
If it’s something you don’t have choice over and especially if it’s a negative situation, it’s important to not only ask questions that provide a reality check but also ask questions that will empower you. Questions which could be important factors to your success include:
What will I learn?
What are the risks?
What will I gain from this situation?
How can I make this easier for me (and others involved)?
What options are available?
5. EXAMINE THE POTENTIAL & POSSIBILITY: There is always potential and possibility in everything you do and everything that falls into your path. Put simply, it is entirely up to you as to whether you benefit from that potential and possibility, or you don’t. It is up to you whether you embrace these opportunities, struggle through them in a blame-state, or simply run away. The former empowers you to jump into higher levels of growth, learning and/or success. The latter two leave you in a position where you never benefit because you are never stretched and therefore never grow and learn.
Examine what the event/situation can do for you. Where can it take you? What lies beyond? What will you learn? How will it help you grow?
"What if I do? What if I don’t? What regrets will I have?"
Are You Ready to Jump?
Mindset and your ability to recognise the fears that are holding you back are the two most important elements to your ability to grow, learn and succeed. When a challenge or opportunity appears, look for the potential and possibility rather than the excuses, blame and fear that keep you tied to an old story that will keep you stagnant, small and held back.
Look at is an opportunity to get over the fear and beliefs that are holding you back. Look at is an opportunity to grow, believe in yourself and become the possibility and potential that is within you. Look at it as a GIFT!
And now for the BUT factor…
What if I’m not good enough? -~~- What if you are?
What if I fail/come last? -~~- What if you succeed?
What if my friends get jealous? -~~- What if you inspire them?
What if I can’t? -~~- What if you can?
What if no one likes me? -~~- What if you amaze people?
What if it’s too much for me?-~~- What if it’s not enough for you?
I don’t know how to start? -~~- If you make a decision and take the first step, and then the second.. you’re on the way
I can’t do it by myself -~~- Tell the people around what you want to do and your personal support squad will appear
I can’t ask for help-~~- The people who belong in your life want to help - honour them by asking for help.
Why does this stuff always happen to me?-~~- Stuff happens to everyone – it’s called life. Grow and learn rather than letting it define you
Can you see how everything has a flip side when you just change the way you think?
Do you look for excuses and blame, or do you see the potential and possibility? See it for what it is. Everything in life brings potential and possibilities. The choice is yours..