Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Are You Flexible Enough to See Opportunity?

By Lisa Sansom on Oct 03 2011 • Filed under Business

Are you open to opportunities? (Photo)Years and years and years ago, I broke up with my boyfriend of three years, and was determined to have a swinging singles summer with my girlfriend, who also had just broken up with her long-term boyfriend. Well, she fell into another relationship pretty quickly, and some guy started expressing an interest in me. He asked me out and I made it quite clear that I wasn’t interested – I think my exact words were, “You’re the last thing I want right now.” 20 years later, we’re married with two kids.

Sometimes, what we don’t want is what comes back to haunt us, and will keep at us until we finally learn.

About three years ago, I was going to get rid of all of my Change Management materials. I wasn’t using it, and it had ceased being an interesting part of my consulting business.However, I had lots of resources, and in the time that it took me to go from contemplation to action, a business offer came through to do – you guessed it – Change Management work with an IT company. I remember thinking, “This is the last thing I want right now,” but it was a fun and successful gig.

Fast forward to last month. I finally gave up all of my Change Management materials, and handed them over to a friend who teaches Change Management to interested students. I have no idea the age or origin of some of the books and articles, and I told her to throw out whatever she couldn’t use, or pass them along to her students. So guess what happened about a week after that? You guessed it – I got another call for a Change Management gig. Fortunately, I still kept all my soft copies and a few choice binders, which just happened to be the right ones.

Clearly, the Universe has some plan for me and Change Management, because one client is leading to another, and I’m suddenly getting a lot of Change Management training and coaching requests – and I’m finding new fun in incorporating positive psychology into a strengths-based change approach. This could have legs!

I just hope it doesn’t lead to more whiny offspring… 😉


Being flexible and open minded can help you find opportunities you weren't expecting. Make a list of opportunities that have come to you unexpectedly in the past. What did you do to help you see these opportunities? Are there any skills or actions you can replicate now to help you open more doors?

Alternatively, make a list of things you have said "no" to lately. Pick one and imagine where it might have led had you said "yes." The point of this exercise is not to make yourself do things you don't want to do, but to help you stretch your imagination and mindset so you'll be better able to recognize opportunities that are right for you, when they become available.

1 Comment

  1. This is so true! People often find themselves looking right at an opportunity, but because it does not look as expected, they let it slip away. Your second challenge, to look at what has been declined lately and imagining how things would be if we had said yes instead is very interesting.

    Nice post…thank you for sharing!


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