Obstacles as Opportunities

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we don’t see the ones which open for us.”

– Alexander Graham Bell

Opportunities are always there; we just have to look a little harder and/or be a little more patient sometimes to find them.

Often when something negative happens, our feelings of regret and disappointment overwhelm us to the extent that we become blind to the possible opportunities which may  be present or appear. The trick here is to contain our negative emotions so that they don’t spill over, increase in intensity, or drag us into a downward spiral, and then to try looking at the problem as a challenge to be overcome or solved.

When something goes wrong, I often remind myself to think of “obstacles as opportunities”. Psychologists call this “Benefit finding.” Resilient people are more adept at finding, or noticing, the open doors. This is a skill that can be developed over time and with practice.

Today, take a moment and think of a big disappointment and the opportunities that arose after the door closed.

Ask yourself:

Did you see the opportunity right away?

How long did it take you to see the new opportunity?

What, if anything, prevented you from noticing the opportunity?

Reflect on how overcoming this negative event or experience has influenced your life?

Think about what you can do to improve your ability to notice new opportunities!

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