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How to Refrain from Getting Too Excited about Potentialities

How to Refrain from Getting Too Excited about PotentialitiesA lot has been happening in my life.

I’ve had a lot of really exciting opportunities, for which I’m incredibly thankful, but I’ve also had many potential opportunities that fell through. Sometimes they fell through based on my inability to do the work, sometimes it just wasn’t the right fit and sometimes it was no fault of my own and extenuating circumstances got in the way.

Starting out, I would get overly excited about these opportunities. They would spark an excitement in me that, frankly, was hard to contain. When they fell through, though, I would be crushed.

Experience has taught me better than to count on something like that for any measure of success and self-worth. The truth is, your self-worth doesn’t depend on what you’ve accomplished. Although you can be proud of yourself, self-worth comes from within.

The point of all this is to say that getting too excited about potentialities can be dangerous. It can cause you to be risky, it can cause you to become a little delusional and it can crush you when it, whatever it is, doesn’t play out the way you imagined it would.

It’s best to embrace realism. Knowing and being aware that things may not work out can give you a different kind of strength. It can fuel the realization that you’re OK with or without a huge opportunity. Success certainly isn’t everything. You’ve got to have a good head on your shoulders to begin with.

I know getting too excited about potentialities can be a problem. I’ll try to offer advice on what to do when these situations present themselves.

It’s important to realize that a single opportunity is not going to make or break you. If it’s good, the repercussions will last a few days at most and you’ll always come back to feeling exactly like yourself. If it’s bad, nothing lost, nothing gained, right? You’re still the same person. You always will be. Successes are great but it’s important to know that they don’t define you.

A good safeguard is to go into a situation with no expectations. If you keep in mind the fact that it may not work out, it’s not such a killer if that’s what happens. On the flipside, if something amazing happens, that will be wonderful. If you go into a situation expecting amazing things to happen and they don’t, you may be crushed and unable to get out of bed for a few days.

A good technique is embracing the result, whatever it is, good or bad. If you can fully accept the result and not let it be some life-changing thing, you can maintain what I like to call “homeostasis” or balance. You’re still the same person whether something amazing happened or whether something horrible happened. You are still the same person.

I know what it’s like to deal with potentialities. I’ve seen more than my fair share of them. After a while you get used to them. You come to see the rollercoaster of emotions going into something like that as something that you don’t necessarily have to ride.

If good things happen, that’s great. If bad things happen, there’s always a next time. Your life is still yours and ultimately it’s you who has to decide whether you let the things that happen change the person you are and always have been.

How to Refrain from Getting Too Excited about Potentialities


Michael Hedrick

Mike Hedrick is a writer and photographer in Boulder, CO. He has lived with schizophrenia for many years and his work has been published in Salon, Scientific American and The New York Times. His book is available here You can follow his blog on living with schizophrenia here


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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2018). How to Refrain from Getting Too Excited about Potentialities. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to-refrain-from-getting-too-excited-about-potentialities/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.