3 Ways to Turn Obstacles into Opportunities

The Law of Polarity states that everything in life has an opposite. There’s happiness and sadness, right and wrong, rich and poor. And in the world of work, perhaps one of the most common, success and failure. The idea behind this law is that these two things, while seemingly distinct feelings or concepts are actually the same in different states of being. On this same plane are obstacles and opportunities. So, what does that mean?
This means that obstacles aren’t obstacles to those who will chase after success. Instead, they’re challenges that lead to opportunities for growth. Conversely, those who let fear or self-doubt get in the way, letting obstacles be a roadblock, will be guided towards the negative side of polarity – failure.
So, how do you overcome this common challenge? You unleash your creative side and look at challenges in a new way to excel at work.

Take Immediate Action

When facing a challenge, the worst thing you can do is fester on the negative. Taking a challenge personally will immediately lead to a spiral, procrastination, and avoidance. Instead, focus on being solutions-oriented 100% of the time, regardless of what is thrown your way!
Here is a prompt to work through:
  • Acknowledge the Situation: What’s going on? Why is this a challenge? How did you get here? How can this be turned into a positive with creative thinking and problem-solving?
  • List Possible Solutions/Outcomes: What would a positive outcome look like from this challenge?
  • List Your Resources: What resources do you have at your fingertips that could help you overcome this and turn this into a positive obstacle you’ve overcome?
  • List Resources You May Need: What are you lacking to overcome the challenge, who can you enlist to help, or what resources can you invest in?
Working through these prompts should help you start to understand how you can take a challenge, reframe it as an opportunity, and devise a solution to help you achieve success.

Reframing via Journaling

Sometimes it’s good to let your thoughts flow and get your negativity out of your mind and down on paper. Start journaling when you’re going through a challenge! Seeing the negative self-talk or chatter that is in your head written down on paper will allow you to choose words and phrases that you can flip in your subconscious to help you turn obstacles into opportunities.
One prompt to work through could be about how you reacted last time you faced a challenge. Did you manage it properly? How did you respond? What do you think you could have done better to infuse positivity and clarity into the situation?
Keep a journal or OneNote document on your laptop so that when a work challenge arises, you can immediately work through them in real-time to save yourself the downward spiral. You can even use the questions above to start your journaling habit!

Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Don’t you hate when people say this? But, unfortunately, it’s true! Life is just one unpredictable situation after another. It’s part of the beauty. And also part of the discomfort. As humans, we don’t like when things don’t go as planned. It’s what sparks anxiety and causes us to go into protection mode. If you’re not feeling any discomfort, you’re staying in the same bubble you’ve always been in. It means you’re not growing. Here are a few tips to try next time you find yourself in an ambiguous and uncomfortable situation to learn and grow:
  • Ask yourself questions to calm yourself, like those in this article! Better yet, journal about them so you can go back and re-read your answers during a tough stretch.
  • Sign up for coaching or mentorship programs. Then, go after things you know will challenge you so you can work on them in real-time with your mentor or coach.
  • Think about your why. Everything you do should be backed up by something that motivates you. This should be enough to help you push through when things get uncomfortable because you know it’s for a bigger goal.

Successful Leaders Have the Ability to Turn Obstacles into Opportunities

In order to really thrive in your career and life, being able to turn obstacles into opportunities is a key skill to learn. It doesn’t come naturally a lot of the time, and that’s okay. But by investing in the right resources, like personalized career coaching, you can get there. This could be the one thing holding you back from getting that promotion or landing your dream job. Don’t let it hold you back any longer. Let our coaches help! Schedule a time to chat with our team today.