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Turning Obstacle into Opportunities

Dr. Nikki Martinez, Lead Contributor

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Many things happen in our lives that veer us off the course we were on.

Obstacles would cause many to slow down, experience stress, or give up completely.

What we do not realize is that sometimes what feels like major setbacks and obstacles in our lives can turn into transformative opportunities if we allow them to be.

Sometimes obstacles allow us to reflect on how we could do things differently and examine what did and did not work right the first time.

Obstacles can also open up time and opportunities we did not once have.

Time to decide on goals, time to learn a new skill, or complete tasks you feel you never had the time to do before this obstacle came into your life.

The concept of how obstacles can open new doors and help us achieve goals we had for ourselves came to me when I experienced medical setbacks in my life.

I went from a successful and busy position to being so ill that I had to start working from home.

To have no set job was a terrifying thought initially, but these are the times that we need to muster our strength and regroup to meet our needs.

Most of us do not have the luxury of not working, and the thought of building from scratch is of course, initially frightening, but it can then be exciting when you think of all the possibilities that are in front of you.

There are so many things that we all want for ourselves that we want to accomplish, but we just can’t seem to find the time.

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Sometimes, it seems, the time is found for us.

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

What have you always wanted to do?

What have you not had the time to accomplish before?

In my case, I wanted to keep practicing psychology.

I wanted to teach graduate-level students psychology, and I had wanted to be an avid writer for so long.

Did those opportunities exist remotely, as a matter of fact, that did.

I could work through the modern technologies of telehealth.  I could teach online for a number of schools, and I could write to my little heart’s content.

It might seem odd, or even impossible, that I was happier than ever and accomplishing more than ever from the comfort of my bed.

However, that is a complete truth.

I make my hours that work around my physical well-being.

I have numerous positions that let me continue the work I love and allow me the time to do the work I always wanted to do.

My stress was reduced, which reduced flares of my illness, and I genuinely felt more successful and happier than ever.

Another amazing opportunity that obstacles allow us are the gift of reflection and hindsight.

Did a project that we were working on just not seem to work?

Did we test run a program or workshop and receive some difficult-to-hear but important-to-know feedback?

Obstacles and stumbles allow us to return to the drawing board and rethink how things could have gone differently.

What was it that went wrong?

What was common feedback that I received that people did not like?

These are obstacles, not failures.

Things did not go as planned, but you received the rare gift of being able to see and hear what did not work.

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You now have the chance to go back to the drawing board to make this product, this program, this presentation, everything that people wanted.

The result may be hugely successful, whereas the starting product may have met mediocrity.

One of the greatest gifts of obstacles and setbacks is the chance to do things you may never have made the leap to do otherwise.

Have you been laid off and have time on your hands, are you chronically ill like me, or were you passed over for that promotion that you were putting in extra hours killing yourself to get?

This new free time in your schedule or new reasons to finally consider your options is an opportunity for you.

Take the scary leap and branch out on your own in your profession.

If you have weeks on your hand, take that training class you have been dreaming of doing.

Not only does it build your skill base, but you may learn something you love.

Take this time to set some challenging and exciting goals for this coming year or the coming 5 years.

This is your chance to think about these things on a level you may have felt unable to before.

Why is this all possible, because you chose to embrace your obstacles as opportunities. The possibilities are endless.

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