Retrain yourself if you want opportunities

shutterstock_143760370(1)At some point in your life, most of us learn that when someone approaches us excitedly with an offer, it should be our automatic response to say “no”.  Probably all of us have been scammed at some point in our youth.  These scams come to us wrapped up in flattery, false opportunity, and charming personalities.  Maybe it’s not necessarily a scam, but it’s certainly a marketing ploy where we end up losing something and the salesman gains something.  The smart ones learn to just say “No, thank you” before we even know what the offer is.

In college one of my friends fell for the multilevel marketing scam.  He got contacted by a recruiter and the recruiter convinced him that he would become rich because he was so brilliant and special.  My friend fell for it and sure enough he was bragging about it all around campus.  Telling people that he was chosen by this company because of how special he was and how he was going to make lots of money.  He invested $5,000 of his father’s money into it, and then, he suddenly stopped talking about it.  My assumption is that he realized he was scammed.

I never fell for any scams that were too costly, thank God.  When some stranger would take an interest in me, my immediate thought was “Why is this person taking any interest in me?  I’m nobody.  I’m just some random person.  There’s no way I would be on anyone’s radar.”  So, with those kinds of thoughts in mind, I would give the automatic “no” or simply not respond to the person in question.  I didn’t fall for the flattery because I knew I wasn’t special.  I was just a college student, or just a person doing a job.  There were thousands, no, millions more like me.  This belief kept me safe and kept me from being taken advantaged by those that pray on the narcissistic and foolish.

You probably also have a healthy dose of reality like I do.  But what happens when your situation changes but the belief doesn’t re-adjust?  It can actually cause you to lose out one some opportunities.  A few months ago I got presented with an amazing opportunity.  Because I still had that belief “I’m a nobody.  Why would anyone take an interest in me?  It must be a scam or the person has made a mistake by contacting me”, I gave that automatic “no” before fully absorbing what was really happening.  Good opportunities, and I mean the really good ones, aren’t going to ask twice.  I learned that lesson the hard way.

What I had to realize was I’m not that nameless 22 year old anymore.  I needed to change the way I view myself.  I had to accept that at this point there were people who would take a genuine interest in me.  I still struggle with that, but something I’m doing is I’m trying to change the automatic no to an automatic yes. Just say yes.  You can back out up until you sign the contract.  Just say “Yeah I’d love to, but could you give me more information about this?”  Once you’re fully informed, then you can give your real yes or no.  But if you continue to give an automatic no even after you’ve started building something, you’re going to miss out on opportunities.

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My name is Marina Williams and I am a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA. This website is my professional website devoted to my activities as a therapist. If you are interested in finding out more about my private practice, please visit my other website


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