Life can sometimes seem like a tale of missed opportunities or wasted chances. But have you given yourself a fair chance?

Often the problem is we’re limiting our opportunities in life because we think if we reach out for them, we’ll miss them, they’ll be beyond our capabilities or it’s just too much to take on, so we don’t bother.

If you’ve accepted the idea that you can’t live life the way you want to, it’s time to wake up and take a chance. Yes  you’ll win some and lose others, but you’ll learn from your experiences and you’ll make memories to cherish in later life.

Life is about knowing and trusting yourself. And being able to not look back and regret the things you didn’t try. The love you were afraid to make. The kindness you left undone. The decisions you wouldn’t face.

But it’s never too late. You’re still here. You’re alive and kicking and every day is a chance to make a new happy ending.

Here’s 10 things to stop doing that limit your opportunities in life.

1.You’re looking for the wrong things

Most of us scan the world looking for threats. What could go wrong…because it probably will. Instead, take a couple of minutes each day and scan your world for something positive.  It’s a training practice where you learn to live in a more optimistic frame of mind.

[Tweet “You turn difficulties into opportunities or opportunities into difficulties based on your mindset.”]

So look for health, happiness and abundance everywhere.   Practice looking for the best in others, think of the best for all and work towards your best and you’ll find your positive expectations will pay off.

2.You’re saying the wrong things

I don’t mean what you’re saying to others,  maybe you are a bit of a talker…but the talk that really counts is the self talk.  If you ever really listened to your mental conversations you would stop in a heartbeat.

However many opportunities present themselves you can’t take advantage of them when your self-talk doesn’t match up. 

Complaining, judging, self-criticism, making yourself the villain of your story all lead to missing the opportunities that are tapping you on the shoulder because who you are isn’t in alignment with what you want.

If you abandon yourself to negative inner talking you can’t expect to even see the opportunities that are right in front of you, let alone be ready for when they arrive.

Remember this…no change in your inner talking and your personal history remains the same.

3.You’re punishing yourself

We all have loads of things we’ve done that we regret. We carry with us things we haven’t forgiven ourselves for, or we beat ourselves up for being the person we don’t want to be. And thus we constantly prevent ourselves from being everything we could be.

Stop being so hard on yourself. The world is filled with people who will do that for you.

When you’re busy trying to fit into some category, or fill in the blanks on some silly check list you made for yourself you’re far too preoccupied to be able to see the opportunities right in front of your nose.

Be proud of yourself for everything you do, everything you’ve become, everything you’ve overcome, even your mistakes. Because making a mistake is more than okay, it’s the definition of progress.

4.You’re too busy

Take a quick look at the world around you. People are continuously being distracted by things that have no bearing on them or their life. They’re like bees buzzing around, but without the productivity.

Rushing around, sending e-mails, heading to meetings, or just being busy, doesn’t mean that you’re getting much done.

Stop. Breathe. Practice micro movements. Any tiny action that you do every day will get you to where you want to go much faster than just being in motion.

5.You get enmeshed

Sometimes we have to deal with problems and difficult people.

Don’t allow others to pull you into the ‘Why’ something is happening…it doesn’t matter in this moment.

I recently had to manage a project with two people who were violently opposed to whatever the other one suggested.  They both wanted to know why the ‘other’ was so difficult?

Unanswerable question. A better question…“How to get to where we want to go.”

Staying focused on outcomes makes them easier to reach. Don’t let your opportunities slip away because you’ve become enmeshed in the ‘stuff’ of others.

6.You’re not plugged in

your-imagination-is-your-powerYou are  capable of incredible potential, but if you don’t deliberately plug in you’re not using your power to fuel the building of the life you want.

It’s like trying to get your computer to work without powering it up.  Regardless of what it’s capable of, if it isn’t connected to power in a way that fires it up, then it doesn’t matter much.

Your imagination is your power to free yourself from all that isn’t working in your life. You can tap into the creative energy of the universe through imagination and by using this gift, you have the power to change your life in phenomenal ways.

7.You expect to be brilliant from the start

Don’t be afraid to get it wrong and don’t let lack of knowledge stop you from trying something new. You can always get more information, learn new skills, seek support and take that first step forward.

If you find you’re on the wrong track, get on the right one. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

Today take that step forward. The habits that have held you back are totally dependent on you for survival. Stop allowing them to limit or discourage you.  Remember that the best in all fields failed their way to success.

8.You give up instead of getting active

Yes there’s a time to say enough is enough. But before you do, even if you’re the only person who believes in you, don’t throw wet blankets over your dreams until a new dream has been born in your heart.

You might be really close to what you’ve been wanting all along and you need to make sure you’ve given yourself an opportunity to allow the new ideas to formulate themselves into new actions. The key is to make sure you truly know what you want and don’t confuse the path you’re on with your destination.

Sometimes the path that leads to the best future winds around in unexpected ways. Determine to enjoy the journey and keep on moving.

9.You’re missing the magic

There isn’t a magic meeting, or a magic product or a magic mentor. The magic that allows you to grasp the opportunities that resonate with you and dismiss those that don’t is in you.

There’s magic in your determination. There’s magic in your focus. The magic is in being bold. The magic is in being willing. The magic is in taking a chance.  The magic is in your belief in yourself. May you always find the magic that matters.

10.You avoid obstacles

Obstacles aren’t your enemy. They’re your friend.

Obstacles are opportunities in disguise. Use them to grow and expand your thinking and your abilities.  Too many want the easy path, instead of forging their own and building determination and strength of character in the process.

Remove the obstacles and your desire and ability to grow is also removed. Stare down the dragon and develop more courage and in the end you build a life you can be proud of. A life worth smiling about.

Over to you…

I’ll help start you off… Tell me:

What opportunities can you see right in front of you?  What are you going to do about them today?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I love this idea of scanning for the positive each day! What a wonderful practice, Elle. I like to follow my heart whispers in terms of what to do next and also feel it’s in alignment with my values. I tend to have a different take on what might be an opportunity than other people. I’ll reflect on your question though and am grateful for it.

  2. Elle,

    Thank you for such wise advice. I totally agree with it all, especially that we can make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks with just a shift in our perspective. Working with our minds and getting them to help us is half of the battle.

  3. So true Elle and for me it’s okay to be imperfect is a big one for now for me. Perfection is a real stopper too. Whats for me now is to be courageous and step up. and allow xx

  4. Joseph Appaloosa

    Another great article, Elle !
    The two points that really really hit home were:
    – “You’re too busy” – I just this conversation with a colleague. We were discussing the trap we had fallen into of multi-tasking and how that trap drained the meaning out of those multiple tasks we were seeking to complete.
    We vowed to minimize the multi-tasking as much as we could in order to more fully experience the single task we were working on.
    – “You’re missing the magic” – It is so true, we take for granted so much of the magic which is this life we are living. When we slow down to experience our breathing, to experience a conversation, to experience the beauty right outside of our doors – then we can experience the magic.
    Thank you !
    Write on, Elle !

    • As always Joseph you share such wise words. I’d love you to write something for the community…I know it would be a great read. Let me know if you’d like to do this…:-)

  5. Hi Elle, as always you never fail to give me a beautiful post. I totally agree that Obstacles are opportunities in disguise. We learn from it and we move forward knowing that these obstacles made us stronger. Thanks so much for sharing. Great Read .

  6. Just discovering this blog but it is full of such unique and phenomenal information! Can’t wait to get deeper into it.

    • Hi Alex…so glad you enjoying the website and thank you for your kind words…they’re much appreciated. 🙂

  7. Elle, your web site, insights, and web presence are of the highest quality. You bring much to the world through your consistently fine presentations. I share some of them, giving you the credit, in my own blogs ( as well as in the three newspapers I write weekly columns for. My web site, not nearly as well done as yours, is I have over 500 articles there. I would welcome your input/critique if you have an extra moment to take a peek at them. Continue your fine work; you are making a difference in the universe!

    • Hello and welcome John…it’s lovely to hear from you and I thank you for your encouragement. I look forward to taking a peek at your articles in the near future. Meanwhile many blessings in this new year with all the new and exciting possibilities that await us. 🙂

    • Glad you liked it Elizabeth…hope to see you hear again…we love hearing your thoughts. 🙂

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