Enabling Reinvention

Opportunity Permission

by Robert Wood, Social Media Advisor – The Prison Scholar Fund

Opportunity permission is giving yourself permission to seek, explore, and capitalize on new opportunities with a success mindset. This is a very important thing. Many people allow themselves to fail or not even try at times because the people they feel are important to them are not buying in. In these instances you run the risk of missing out on many important difference-making opportunities by tying “permission” to seek, explore, and engage new opportunities to the thoughts and approval of others. No matter how close they are to you, you must be the driving force behind you own success, even if that means going it alone, and know that it definitely means making your own success related decisions. It’s one thing if someone is trying to talk you out of something illegal or unethical, and quite another when you refuse to move on an opportunity that’s interesting, appealing, and/or valuable to you just because certain people won’t buy in or put their full support behind you. In that case you are seeking unnecessary opportunity permission, especially since you have the final word on how you approach opportunity. At times you must go it alone with the vision you have created and make things happen through thorough research, meticulous planning, and invigorated pursuit of the opportunities important to you. In these instances it is important that you feel free to grant yourself the permission necessary to move forward at every viable point and pursue success in your venture(s) of choice.

How is that done?

The answer to this is very simple. It begins with opportunity preparation. As you think of the things you would like to do or achieve you must also analyze the preparation necessary to succeed in those endeavors. As you prepare you must take the time to expand your vision and search for opportunity in the places where you have the greatest chances of immediate success even as you elevate your related skill set. You must put the full strength of your will behind your quest for opportunity awareness and go one step further by engaging in well focused opportunity creation activities. This means actively seeking through volunteer work, and the opportunity for internships or just to help others in general, the chance to exercise the competencies you are developing as you develop them. It may even mean mocking execution to sharpen your tools for when the actions are live.  It also means involving yourself in activities you are passionate about so that the passion of your craft shines through as genuine and infectious which will lead others to offer or refer opportunities to you. In the long run however, as you prepare for opportunity it must be driven intrinsically (from within yourself) and your self motivation must be unshakeable in order to avoid the mistake of letting others dictate the opportunities you will seek, create, or engage in the pursuit of.

During the pursuit of opportunity do not begrudge your doubters or detractors. Allow their doubt and negativity serve only as fuel for your fervent motivation and burning desire to succeed. I don’t mean succeed to prove them wrong. I mean succeed to prove to yourself that your permission is the one and only permission necessary for opportunity pursuit and it is valid. Even in temporary failure (because failure is only temporary if you’re motivated and determined) if you learn and are not deterred from your goal(s) you will find this to be true. While capitalizing on new opportunities you must first earn from your actions, and then grant yourself, the right to succeed. Remember permission to succeed is not given by someone else. It is self granted by have a success mindset and taking constant and consistent actions conducive to success. When giving yourself permission to succeed your definitive actions will speak much louder than anyone’s words. The right to success is granted to you by you. Capitalize on important opportunities, do it passionately with a success mindset, and let’s win.


Robert Wood, our Social Media Advisor, is a volunteer for the PSF. His Tweets can be found on Twitter @prisonscholars under the hashtag #RLW_PSF. He can be reached via any of our social media outlets or emailed at the following address: rlw@prisonscholars.org.

If you’d like to hear more from PSF, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter, where Robert is a valued contributor. Just submit your name and email address. If you’d like to get involved with the PSF in a volunteer capacity, please email us volunteer@prisonscholars.org.

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