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Power Tool Assessment

Name: Carol Fontanez Date: 8-10-12 Student ID: 266030 Email: cafontanez08@gmail.com

Complete your Power Tool in the space below and then email as an attachment to assessment@icoachacademy.com

Opportunity vs. Challenge

The only real obstacle on your path to possibility will always be yourself. Too often we do not see things as they are; we see things as we are. Stuart Avery Gold

How many times have you heard that challenges are actually opportunities in waiting? You may have been told this as you were growing up or you may have heard it in school or in the workplace. Most likely this is a comment youve heard countless times and in a variety of situations. What then gets in the way of us treating challenges as opportunities? Why do we often respond with a defeatist attitude rather than one that is full of possibilities?

First, consider the meaning of challenge. Whether used as a noun or a verb, inherent in the words meaning are the ideas of disputing and questioning. In fact, one definition from Websters collegiate dictionary defines the noun as: a summons that is often threatening, provocative or stimulating. Wow, the word summons alone is enough to send shivers down ones spine! Second, think about your overall outlook on life. Do you tend to see the glass as half full or half empty? When things dont go as you planned, what is your initial response? Its fair to say that your response probably varies depending on the nature of the challenge. A serious health challenge likely provokes a stronger and more visceral response than a work project that has gone astray. Yet, both these kinds of challenges hold the possibility of putting us into a tailspin. Our negative self talk may become louder and louder. Our the glass is half-empty perspective may crowd out any fleeting thoughts of finding an opportunity in the situation. Our friends and family may fuel the flames of woe is me because they think this is the best way to be supportive. Regardless of the situation, it is at the very moment that a challenge presents itself that we have the chance to shift our thinking. We can make a conscious choice to embrace the challenge and find the opportunity for self discovery and growth that is present. Why do some people routinely and quickly reframe a challenge into an opportunity? Lets first look at our underlying beliefs. Do you believe that you have the capacity and capability to successfully move beyond the challenges in your life? Or, do you believe that life is something that happens to you and you are powerless to change it?

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. Bernice Johnson Reagon

As Reagons quote so adeptly states, those who make it a habit to convert challenges into opportunities are committed to a lifetime of self discovery. They are not afraid of what they find inside themselves. Rather, they are open to stretching their thinking and their attitudes to achieve greater and greater self awareness. They do not have all the answers, and they still face moments of self doubt. However what separates them from the glass is half empty crowd is their belief in their resilience and their ability to find their way through the challenges in their lives.

Copyright 2006 International Coach Academy Pty. Ltd. Use is governed by the Terms and Conditions at http://www.icoachacademy.com Last updated Feb 2006

Reflection: If you want to live a life full of opportunities vs. challenges, ask yourself some of these questions the next time a challenge arises: What is it that I am most afraid of? What other challenges have I turned into opportunities? What did I gain from those experiences? What strengths can I leverage in this situation? What negative self-talk might get in my way? What could I say to myself instead? What is the first step I can take?

As you begin to shift your thinking, consider the opportunity before you. The opportunity that beckons you to uncover a new facet of yourself. The opportunity that enables you to deepen your strengths and to overcome a weakness. Consider creating a journal or blog that documents your achievements and how youve transformed other challenges into opportunities. Draw upon your inner strength and selfdetermination to help you see all that you already bring to the situation. Use the power of your intent to create positive, nurturing affirmations that feed your soul. Thenbegin to plan what actions you will take. Once you make the effort to shift your thinking from challenge to opportunity, you will be amazed at the possibilities that you begin to see in even the most dismal circumstances.

Coaching Application: Clients come to coaching for countless reasons; however a common theme that we often uncover is that something is missing in their lives. There is some dream or desire that is lying dormant and unfulfilled. It is our job as coaches to be guides on our clients journeys of self discovery. In doing so, we often run up against limiting beliefs, such as challenges are problems to be overcome, rather than opportunities to be embraced. How then, do we help our clients shift their perspective in even the slightest way so that they can begin to focus on the opportunities present in their lives rather than continuing to dwell on the challenges?

Copyright 2006 International Coach Academy Pty. Ltd. Use is governed by the Terms and Conditions at http://www.icoachacademy.com Last updated Feb 2006

I suggest that we begin by building on the positives that already exist, but may be overshadowed at the moment. Consider a series of questions along these lines: Where are powerful in your life? What is your proudest moment? What did you do in that moment to make it so special? What were you thinking or saying to yourself during that time?

Once we can establish a framework for positive momentum, we can build on that to help our clients reframe their current challenge into an opportunity for self development. We can use their words and their examples to enable them to see and perhaps re-experience all the wonder of that special time. From there, we can examine the thoughts and the energy that went into making that situation successful, and we can help our clients to rediscover the strengths they have to build upon. Once clients begin to move into that can do mode, they begin to shift their perspective to one of opportunity. They let the negativity of the challenge fall away as they embrace the possibilities of opportunity. This is not to say that this process happens quickly. It may be one that unfolds slowly over time as the client gains trust in the coach and in herself. As coaches, we hold onto to the opportunity lightly for our clients until they are ready to grasp it fully themselves. As we do so, we also open ourselves up to more opportunities because we are consistently thinking selfaffirming thoughts and walking in the light of self-discovery. Lets make it a point to remember the words of two of the worlds most opportunity-oriented thinkers:

We are powerful, creative beings who determine our future with every thought we think and every word we speak. Louise Hay

I believe each human being has the potential to change, to transform one's own attitude, no matter how difficult the situation. Dalai Lama

Copyright 2006 International Coach Academy Pty. Ltd. Use is governed by the Terms and Conditions at http://www.icoachacademy.com Last updated Feb 2006

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