Windows of Opportunity

Torschlusspanik is a German word that describes the fear of diminishing opportunities. Literally it means “gate-closing panic”.

I’ve been told that as we age we don’t get as many chances to do certain things as we would if we were younger, which makes sense if you think about it. I mean those opportunities that have a time limit such as joining the Navy, having children, and etc. But those aren’t the only occasions that include a time limit if you haven’t already taken the chance to pursue it in the past.

Have you ever been presented with an opportunity that you wish you had pursued but didn’t? I have quite a few.

There are a lot of different reasons why we don’t but I think the most important, and probably most prevalent one, is fear. We’re scared that if we take that chance the outcome won’t be in our favor and we’ll end up regretting our choice. But would you rather regret not taking the chance at all or regret your choice but learning from the experience?

To be honest I find it difficult to choose between the two despite the fact that the latter seems more logical and I already have a pile of missed opportunities somewhere in the back-burner. But when I really truly think about it, what I fear the most is diminishing opportunities. The last thing I would want is to be so terrified to take the opportunities offered to me now that I in turn become terrified of the idea that I may never get the same offers again. Does that make any sense?

And so we come to this handy little German word that describes that exact fear and that feeling that I hope I never have to experience.


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