Turning Tragedy into Opportunity
I have defined a tragic opportunity as an opportunity you create that is available to you because of your trauma. The tragedy is the trauma experienced; the opportunity is what you have learned and how you choose to use that learning to better yourself and your life.
The central focus and key skill is to actively find the lessons in trauma and then create opportunities based on that knowledge. This process involves reviewing and understanding the trauma in a way that allows you to change your perspective through the discovery of something new and good. By purposely managing your perspective, you can uncover something new and good that has come about as a result of something otherwise categorized as bad.
I discovered that there is a lesson in every situation, and that lesson provides an opportunity to use the knowledge
gained to better yourself and your life.
Everything Happens for a Reason
The saying: “Everything happens for a reason,” is well known. From a Tragic Opportunities perspective, the lesson is the reason.
I realized through my experience that the lessons from tragedy can take time to develop or become apparent. It’s often years before a person identifies what they learned. Acknowledgment of the lesson seems to happen by coincidence. I’ve often heard statements like, “I guess I’ve learned to look out for X because of my experience.”
Creating tragic opportunities involves looking for the lesson before stumbling on it. This takes courage, because you need to look at your experience and pain square in the face, feel it, and say, “No, this will not bring me down. I’m bigger than this, and I control how this affects my life and who I am.”
Following life-changing trauma, it’s common to ask, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” What this does is lead you to look for the reason you deserve to be punished! Talk about kicking yourself while you’re down! The problem is that you’re asking from a victim mindset because initially, understandably, you do feel like a victim. The difficulty is that there isn’t a suitable answer to this question (unless you’re actually evil, which I doubt), so people often continue asking themselves the same thing and get stuck in a disempowering pattern. The tragic opportunities mindset counteracts the victim mindset and breaks that pattern.
The process of creating a tragic opportunity is broken down into two key parts:
1. Personal Assessment: Review yourself—your emotions, behavior and beliefs—to change your perspective and discover the lessons in your trauma.
2. Action Plan: Create a plan and take the steps to change your life and where you are. Make decisions with confidence, and draw on the insight that comes from personal assessment.
A tragic opportunity goes beyond identifying something positive. It is a combination of personal assessment and taking action to deliver lasting positive change.
Turning tragedy into opportunity is the central concept in my new book Beyond Trauma, Turn Tragedy Into Opportunity.
To purchase Beyond Trauma, Turn Tragedy Into Opportunity or enquire about my workshops, keynote presentations and programs please visit www.tragicopportunities.com