Putting yourself at a disadvantage

Part of what drove me to write The Advantage-Makers is what I perceived as unnecessary waste of effort and opportunity. Many people put themselves at a disadvantage, and they do so unwittingly.

You can be a leader, a mom, a dad, a brother or sister, a fireman or police officer, whatever your career or family roles there are advantages and disadvantages that will come your way.
When you meet an obstacle, whether expected or unexpected, how do you respond?
When you meet an opportunity, whether expected or unexpected, how do you respond?
While true disadvantage exists, and some people have it easier than others from the start, the annals of history are replete with the lives of those who were at a disadvantage in which the odds were against them and they won anyway. The reverse is also true. People who had all the advantages blew it.
Many people don’t realize that their relationship with obstacles determines the outcomes, the experiences they have in life. We all encounter obstacles and we are often called upon to do more with less.
Likewise, many people don’t realize their relationship with opportunity determines the outcomes, the experiences they have in life. We all have opportunity knocking on the door, but how do we answer?
No one I know wittingly puts themselves at a disadvantage. They do so unwittingly.
The first step then is to recognize or spot the action that puts you at a disadvantage.
That’s what the Five Shifts of Advantage-Makers is all about.
You can perceive the pain, but can you perceive the solution.
Shift the odds in your favor. Change the lenses you are looking through.
Shift the question and you will perceive answers you didn’t know existed.
Shift time and you will find leverage where none existed before.
Shift interactions and people will do unexpected good things.
Shift perceptions and you will influence people rather than be controlled by them.
Shift structures and you will set yourself up to succeed.
Today, simply practice shifting the question.
You can do so by having the following question as the background for your events:
What are the opportunities here for someone, perhaps even me?
You might be surprised to realize that obstacles and opportunities are often in close.
So instead of putting yourself at a disadvantage, place yourself at an advantage.