Terese Luikens Soeaking

Why Bother Being Aware of Opportunities?

To grow, a person needs opportunities. Whether it is landing our “dream” job, or polishing our public speaking, without recognizing and taking the favorable chances that come our way, we will miss out on the possibilities for our growth.

Anything is Possible

When we recognize our personal and professional goals, then it is much easier to see opportunities when they present themselves. Being clear about which direction we are headed helps us to match the choices we are given with the goal we are attempting to reach. Though not every opportunity may not be the ideal one, these less than perfect occasions can certainly lead us closer to what we are striving toward.

For instance, the first job I was offered after becoming a certified teacher was to work as a paraprofessional in a title one classroom. Though I longed to work as a teacher in my own classroom, I took the job so I could get my foot in the door, so to speak. After one year, I was offered a different job. This one was out of my district, and with a fairly long commute. But I would have my own classroom, teaching sixth grade language arts. While I enjoyed this teaching position, I also kept my eye on other job postings in my district. When four years later, a job opened, it was for a fourth grade teacher at the same school where I’d first worked in the title one classroom. Finally, after working at a few less than ideal jobs, I had the chance to work at the one I really wanted. I sailed through the interview with flying colors because I already had an established rapport with the teachers. I was hired and have not regretted taking the circuitous route to the job I longed for. 

Recently, I have set the goal to become a public speaker. I joined a club where the stakes for public speaking are fairly low. In other words, the audience is friendly, rather small and encouraging. Though I am evaluated after every speech, the evaluation is meant for my improvement and not discouragement.  I’ve never gone away from any of my speeches with my tail between my legs. Instead, these evaluations equip me to keep speaking and improving  myself as a public speaker.  

Just the other day though, a friend encouraged me to step out and speak to wider audiences, not just the friendly and familiar ones. I nodded my agreement and wondered who my next audience might be? It wasn’t long before an opportunity presented itself. When I first saw the email from our school’s  district office, I wanted to ignore it. Then I remembered that I’d taken on a new challenge; to speak to a wider audience. So, I said yes. Yes I will stand before our school board and speak to them about a new math curriculum that I have been using in my classroom. 

Are they a friendly and familiar audience? Not so much. But, the opportunity to speak to a wider audience has presented itself and if I do not go forth, even with the less than ideal audience, I will miss my chance to grow in the area of public speaking. 

Why bother being aware of opportunities? The more aware we are, the more we will notice when we can say yes, even to those less than ideal opportunities.

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A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens