Challenge vs Opportunity

Challenge vs Opportunity

I’m in a yoga class (livestream of course). The teacher has guided us into half-moon with a bind, something I have never done before. It feels awkward. I’m wobbling on my standing leg. I feel the frustration starting to bubble when she says, “Try to lift your supporting hand away from the block.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! HELL NO!” I think to myself just as the teacher says, “Are you looking at the challenge, or are you looking at the opportunity.”

I realized I was looking at the challenge and bitching about it. So, instead, I looked at the opportunity and tried to take my hand away from the block.

I fell. And that’s okay. There is no counting how many times I have fallen in yoga class.

I love moments like this in a yoga class. A moment when something clicks in my mind and there is a paradigm shift. They are rare moments.

Since that class, I have been looking at the obstacles in my life differently. When I start to get annoyed or frustrated, I ask myself, “What’s the opportunity?”

Let’s look at the definitions of challenge and opportunity.

Challenge – 1) a stimulating task or problem 2) a summons that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting

Opportunity – a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

There is a big difference in those definitions. A challenge is not a choice, it is an obstacle. The opportunity offers possibility.

What a different way to look at the world! To me, it is the difference between fate and hope.  It is a choice to either walk through your life with resignation or walk with creative thinking.

It was just a week ago that I experienced this opportunity in class. I’ve experienced one week seeing things as opportunities instead of challenges. The idea of opportunities is not a default setting yet. I’m learning to catch myself in a frustrated moment and remember to put on my opportunity lenses.

There is something that is holding me back: I have fears that I may be trying to look at life through rose colored glasses. Every cloud has a silver lining, they say. Make lemons into lemonade, they say. I’ve always found these sayings trite and superficial. But maybe there is a foundation in it I could take more seriously.

I do believe that such a viewpoint can only create a more positive outlook. There is nothing wrong with that, right? Positivity can be founded in reality, right?

As I said, it’s only been a week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you every had an experience like this in class? Have you ever experienced a particular moment when you had a paradigm shift? Tells us about it in the comments!

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I am a yoga and meditation teacher, energy healer and I teach Enneagram workshops. I'm here to help people grow and find their true selves.

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