The funny thing about life is, sometimes there are opportunities staring us in the face yet we're so oblivious to their presence. It could be the potential for a new relationship, the excitement in a new job, or the possibility of moving to a new city. Yet, somehow, we manage to 'miss' these opportunities and decide to stay on a path that feels safe and comfortable.
But what if these opportunities could change our lives for the better? What if we had the potential to be even happier than we are now? Why choose to be content, when you can choose to be happy instead?
Here are 6 ways to open your eyes to opportunities.
1. Leave the past behind
Often, we are so focused on the door that has closed, we don't realise that another one has opened for us.
Maybe your heart is still healing from the relationship that you invested so much time in.
Maybe you went through a traumatic experience that you believe you can't overcome.
Maybe you've made so many mistakes, you don't know if you can handle another one.
The sad truth is, we can't change the past as much as we would like to. But we can change the present and the future.
Instead of thinking, "What if they break my heart, just like my ex did?", "What if I can't move forward from what's already happened?", "What if this business venture fails just like my last one?", focus on the opportunities being presented to you.
Circumstances change, people change, our ability to make better decisions changes. So give yourself some credit, and have faith that the future will be different to the past.
2. Let go of your fears
Moving on from the past is also about letting go of our fears. Maybe it's our fear of getting hurt again, our fear of being alone, our fear of being vulnerable, our fear of making the wrong decision, our fear of hurting ourself and other people.
But the reality is, the decisions we make in life won't always please everyone. We might find love very soon after a separation (but our family frown upon the idea). We might be given the chance to move to another city for a new and exciting job (but we fear losing our friends). We might want to have children (but fear we won't be a good enough parent).
We need to ask ourselves what we fear more, though – the consequences of our actions, or the consequences of life staying in the same spot?
Don't let your fear of moving forward, force you to stay in a place that makes you feel unhappy. You deserve to be as happy as you possibly could. We all do.
3. Think positive
Sometimes we are so busy focusing on the negatives of an opportunity, we neglect the positive.
We think there's no point in getting married because our parents are divorced. We think our business idea isn't feasible, because so many people have failed in the past with the same concept. We think we will lose our new job and be forced to return to our old one.
But wait, how do we know that all these things will happen? Well, we don't, actually. None of us do.
If we give up on something before we've even started, we're going to end up with a 'self-fulfilling prophecy'. We won't put in the efforts needed to save our new relationship, work hard at our business idea, or do what is required of our new job. We'll end up failing anyway.
Be realistic; look at all the options, the possibilities. But don't be pessimistic. Focus more on why this opportunity could work for you, as opposed to why it couldn't.
4. Believe in yourself
Sometimes our inability to recognise opportunities runs parallel with our inability to believe in ourselves.
It's all about confidence; our ability to believe that we can do it. If we don't believe in what we can achieve, opportunities will go straight over our heads anyway.
We need to believe that we are capable of achieving our goals, that we are capable of overcoming adversity if it presents itself. We need to realise that we are much stronger than we think we are.
5. Ignore the negative people
There will always be people who believe we can't do it. People who think we're better off giving up. People who want to discourage us at any chance that they get.
But who are we living for? Ourselves, not for them. This is our life. This is our happiness. We are the ones who have to face the consequences, whether they're good or bad.
As useful as it is to be open-minded and seek the advice of others, we shouldn't let negativity stop us from realising what an 'opportunity' is. We need to do what feels right for us.
6. Realise that opportunities are also learning experiences
Even if our opportunities don't go according to plan, that is OK!
We are going to make mistakes in life, go along paths that might lead to dead ends, make choices we might one day regret.
But we wouldn't be human if we didn't make some mistakes once in a while.
Truth is, though, we can't pass up on opportunities because things might not go according to plan. Every life experience, whether positive or negative, is a chance for us to learn something new.
So have faith that no matter what happens, the opportunity that you are faced with right now, will still make you into a better person.
Open your eyes to the opportunities around you
Sometimes we might fail to recognise the opportunities being presented to us, but it doesn't mean that they're not there.
When we open our eyes, we might realise that opportunities are all around us. Opportunities for a better relationship, a better job, a better neighbourhood to live in, even better friends.
Choose to leave your past behind, let go of your fears, think positive, believe in yourself, ignore the negative people, and realise that every opportunity is still a learning experience, regardless of the outcome.
You deserve to live the happiest life possible. Open your eyes and let those opportunities point you in the right direction.