How to Turn Obstacles into Opportunities
Obstacles are like log jams in the stream of life. They can dam up the water and block the flow, or they can eventually redirect the flow or even create an entirely new channel.
Log jams in our life can do the same thing. Except, we get to choose their outcome....
We can choose to stomp our feet, get angry, and complain about how unfair things are or how bad life treats us.
Or we can choose to throw up our hands, accept defeat, and use that as an excuse to give up and not move forward.
Or we can choose to take on the challenge and find a way around it, through it, or over it.
We can choose to see it as an opportunity instead of a misfortune. It all begins with a decision.
Whatever problem or difficulty you are currently facing, make a decision in your heart that you will get through this to the other side.
Take responsibility for where you are and stop fighting it. It is what it is. Nothing will ever change by wishing things were different. You've got to roll up your sleeves and get in there, determined to rise above the it. Remember Dr. Maltz' words... "we are built to conquer, solve, and achieve." It's part of what makes the human experience .... well, "the human experience"!
"It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when
he turns obstacles into opportunities."
- Eric Hoffer, American Writer, 1902-1983
Focus your vision and map out a plan. Lack of direction can often be an obstacle in itself.
What is it that you really want? Take some time to reflect on where you are and where you want to be. What is the problem exactly? What do you want instead? How do you want things to be when this issue is resolved? How do you want to feel?
See the goal clearly in your mind and feel it deeply in your heart. Then map out a plan to get you there. Also, just assume up front that you'll encounter more obstacles along the way - because that's just the way life is. Taking time in the beginning to brainstorm what they might be and how you'll side step them if they show up will help prepare your mind-set for success. Plus, it's one of the key steps in SMART goal setting.
Take an honest look at your skill sets and upgrade them as needed.
Working with clients and in my own life, I've found that most of the hurdles we bump into can easily be resolved by learning a new skill or fine-tuning ones we already have.
American social historian and educator, Daniel Boorstin, states, "The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge."
Be willing to admit you don't know all the answers.... Or at least be willing to get a 2nd opinion. Either way you win!
Give yourself what you need to be your best. This will better enable you to make the most of your situation while you work toward your goal.
Look around you.... Does your home or office need decluttering? Do you need more time alone for reflection and regeneration? Do you need more quality time with your spouse or family? Do you need help with daily or weekly household chores. If you work best when you've got a support partner, enlist the help of a trusted friend or hire a coach.
Be willing to ask for help where you need it or delegate to help lighten your load. There's no need to wear yourself out trying to 'do it all.'
Ultimately, it's up to each one of us to get our own needs met. And the only way to do that is to ASK for what you need.
Say 'NO' to negativity and eliminate "I can't" from your vocabulary. An "I can't" attitude keeps you stuck. An "I can" mind-set creates results.
Become aware of what you're telling yourself in your mind - that incessant mind-chatter - and pay attention to what you say to others. Your words have power and every statement you say, whether spoken silently or out loud, is a self-affirmation of who you are.
When you hear yourself, in your head or out loud, saying something negative about yourself or your situation, immediately say "CANCEL!" and rephrase your statement into something positive.
Remember, "what you sow, you reap."
What you 'put out there' comes back to you. This includes your words, thoughts, and feelings.
Learn to quiet your mind chatter and listen for the 'still small voice' inside. A daily practice of stillness opens you to your intuition and connects you to your Source - God, Life Force Energy, All That Is.
Silence is like a breath of fresh air to our body, mind, and spirit. Just as in music, it's in the silence between the notes and phrases that makes the music come alive. So it is in our lives, it's the silence between our thoughts and words that brings 'aliveness' to our lives and creates the space for our Spirit to soar.
"Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence." - Deepak Chopra
© 2010 Becky Waters.