Opportunity Blindness

A friend did a spell on my behalf recently.

It was in two parts:

  1. that there would be opportunities open to me
  2. that I would be able to see those opportunities

The second part of this spell is really the most important, because it addresses an issue which many of us find difficult. Quite often, there are opportunities right under our nose, but we are so stuck in our rut of thinking that we completely fail to see them.

I’m sure there’s a fancy psychological name for this, it may even be a syndrome, but I just call it opportunity blindness. It’s similar in many ways to domestic deafness, but that’s a topic for another day :-)

Imagine that you are unhappy with your current realtionship status. Say you are single and looking for a partner.

Mentally, you review the possibilities – that bloke you met at the party, the lady at the counter of the hardware store, your best friend’s cousin who you met at the wedding. You never even consider the possibility of your flatmate who has been secretly admiring you for months and will eventually move out because you never noticed.

Here’s another example – you want a new job, so you are scanning the paper and looking on-line. You review the qualifications required for a job that looks great and decide that “they wouldn’t want me, there will be too many better  qualified people applying for that, so I won’t bother.”  You never apply, and someone far less qualified than you gets the position.

Meanwhile, an acquaintance mentions how hard it is to find good staff and the comment passes in one ear and out the other without a trace.

Years later, you can’t work out why you are stuck doing the same old thing which makes you unhappy.

There’s another kind of opportunity blindness too – wilfully choosing the wrong option.

Sometimes there’s a lesson which needs to be learnt and if you don’t learn it the first time you will continually make the wrong choices until you do. A feature of these cycles is that they become more and more intense the more times around you go.

Often the same personality types will repeat in your life – as a partner, or as an authority figure. Sometimes these are the same types as one or both of your parents.

If you feel like you are getting nowhere at present, the following can be a useful exercise to do, but you need to be honest with yourself.

  1. Work out the personality types of your parents. Be as objective as you can.
  2. Now draw up a timeline with significant people as they come into and out of your life. Include bosses, friends, colleagues and partners as well as children. Focus especially on the area where you feel blocked, but try not to leave anybody significant out. Many people with an abusive spouse can trace the issue back to an unhappy relationship with a parent. Not that parents are always the problem, I hasten to add. I think that past lives can also have an influence over our choices in this one.
  3. Once you have your timeline, spend some time analysing it for patterns. When you break up with a partner, do you rebound to the same type of woman? Are your bosses often bullies? Do you always have overly needy friends?
  4. When you feel you understand the pattern then you need to go about breaking it. This is more easily said than done. Cognitive behaviour therapy might help, or a friend who tells it like it is.
  5. Ask the universe for help to see more clearly. Recognition of the problem is only the first step.

Happy opportunity hunting!