If you want to live a life full of opportunities vs. challenges, ask yourself some of these questions the next time a challenge arises:
- What is it that I am most afraid of?
- What other challenges have I turned into opportunities?
- What did I gain from those experiences?
- What strengths can I leverage in this situation?
- What negative self-talk might get in my way?
- What could I say to myself instead?
- What is the first step I can take?
As you begin to shift your thinking, consider the opportunity before you. The opportunity that beckons you to uncover a new facet of yourself. The opportunity that enables you to deepen your strengths and to overcome a weakness.
Consider creating a journal or blog that documents your achievements and how you’ve transformed other challenges into opportunities. Draw upon your inner strength and self-determination to help you see all that you already bring to the situation. Use the power of your intent to create positive, nurturing affirmations that feed your soul. Then…begin to plan what actions you will take. Once you make the effort to shift your thinking from challenge to opportunity, you will be amazed at the possibilities that you begin to see in even the most dismal circumstances.
Clients come to coaching for countless reasons; however a common theme that we often uncover is that something is missing in their lives. There is some dream or desire that is lying dormant and unfulfilled. It is our job as coaches to be guides on our clients’ journeys of self discovery. In doing so, we often run up against limiting beliefs, such as challenges are problems to be overcome, rather than opportunities to be embraced. How then, do we help our clients shift their perspective in even the slightest way so that they can begin to focus on the opportunities present in their lives rather than continuing to dwell on the challenges?
I suggest that we begin by building on the positives that already exist, but may be overshadowed at the moment. Consider a series of questions along these lines:
- Where are powerful in your life?
- What is your proudest moment?
- What did you do in that moment to make it so special?
- What were you thinking or saying to yourself during that time?
Once we can establish a framework for positive momentum, we can build on that to help our clients reframe their current challenge into an opportunity for self development. We can use their words and their examples to enable them to see and perhaps re-experience all the wonder of that special time.
From there, we can examine the thoughts and the energy that went into making that situation successful, and we can help our clients to rediscover the strengths they have to build upon. Once clients begin to move into that “can do” mode, they begin to shift their perspective to one of opportunity. They let the negativity of the challenge fall away as they embrace the possibilities of opportunity.
This is not to say that this process happens quickly. It may be one that unfolds slowly over time as the client gains trust in the coach and in herself. As coaches, we hold onto to the opportunity lightly for our clients until they are ready to grasp it fully themselves. As we do so, we also open ourselves up to more opportunities because we are consistently thinking self- affirming thoughts and walking in the light of self-discovery. Let’s make it a point to remember the words of two of the world’s most opportunity-oriented thinkers:
We are powerful, creative beings who determine our future with every thought we think and every word we speak. Louise Hay
I believe each human being has the potential to change, to transform one’s own attitude, no matter how difficult the situation. Dalai Lama