How do you turn obstacles into opportunities?

A challenging question, no doubt, for many of us when things go wrong.

Seeing an obstacle as an opportunity is probably the last thing we think about, right? How much more can we take after all? Our partner is unfaithful, or we find out our child is using drugs. Our car breaks down when we are in a hurry, we lose our keys, we have an accident, we are about to present to a major client and lose our voice, we find ourselves with nothing from one day to the next. We strive to succeed and our health lets us down. The examples are endless. We all have our own story and definition for obstacles, yet we all know what they are and we all experience them! The greater the obstacle however, the greater the opportunity!

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome

– Booker T. Washington

Here are 14 tips for Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities for Growth!

1. Never Give Up! The greatest achievements come from incredible obstacles. In fact, the greater the goal the greater the obstacles.

2. Think of challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.  Challenges will help you grow on the way to your dreams.

3. Ask the right question! If something happens, how about asking, “How can I solve this?” Asking for a solution will open up your mind to inspiration and suddenly you become resourceful! Solutions start to pour in. It is important to refrain from unhelpful questions like “Why me?”

4. Life is full of duality, or opposites. How is one to know they have lost their sight unless one has seen the light? We cannot know one without the other. When we realize this, we suddenly see the order in all things.

5. When we stop seeing things as good or bad and simply see them as they are, we are able to let go of our judgments. That makes our access to opportunity out of obstacles so much easier.

6. Say NO to Drama! When obstacles come up, instead of going into a panic, calling our friends, take a deep, long breath and look at the situation calmly.

Life is full of duality, or opposites. How is one to know they have lost their sight unless one has seen the light?

7. We cannot control people, places or things. We can only control our responses. Therefore naming, shaming or blaming does not serve us. What serves us is our personal awareness and accountability. We are, after all, responsible for our own lives.

8. You are your Attention. When challenges come up, do you look at the problem or the solution? Knowing how powerful our thoughts are, can we really afford to focus our attention on the negative?

9. When obstacles come up we often look at the obstacle. Try looking for the gift. The law of opposites deems there is always a gift and the evidence of the silver lining you have received is the fact that you are here, reading this right now.

10. It is important to become aware of our choices, if we wish to transform obstacles. We all make a million choices everyday, even when we don’t think we are (having a coffee, for example). By making conscious choices we can always check in and ask, “is this helpful to me and/or others”? Our bodies are amazing when we listen to them.

11. Learning to love who we are, by recognizing that we too, are full of opposites and they are all valid, gives us the confidence to handle any situation that comes up with the knowledge we will do our best.

12. We are all a part of the whole. Humans share the need to love and be loved. Whatever the event, collaborating with others rather than attacking them will bring positive results and that is a guarantee.

13. Be grateful for every experience because it has made you the person you are today. In hindsight, we always see the reason for things.

14. Inspiration is the key to transforming Obstacles. It is readily accessible when you are in the right frame of mind.

There you have it, my friends. We are incredibly strong; there is nothing we can’t do. Wishing you an easier passage through time. After all, we are power women!


Tula Tzoras img Leaders in HeelsTula Tzoras

Tula Tzoras, The Inspiration Genie is here to Unleash Your Full Expression. She is an Actor, Author, Speaker, Host, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s top rating shows as actor and presenter. Her experience in the Corporate Arena and Mindset realm make her a multi dimensional source. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit

As Power Women, we control our career, diet, exercise and lifestyle. As women, our nature is to nurture. But when it comes to relationships, many of us seem to fall down. Divorce rates are staggering. So what are some of the situations we can find ourselves in?

Some of us seem to be beacons for troubled people with major issues like addiction. We go in to rescue them, and find ourselves bereft at the end of it. Some of us attract partners who cannot commit and wonder why. Some of us are in marriages resembling hell. There is arguing, misunderstanding, sometimes even violence. This wears out our self esteem to such a degree that we begin to blame ourselves! Worse, these situations can render us powerless to leave. After all, perhaps we have children to consider.

23 tips for transforming failing relationships:

1. If you have a willing partner, relationship counselling can be great for establishing boundaries and tasks to work on for the relationship.

2. If you are working alone, the work you do can shift the perception of your relationship, and provide an example your partner may choose to follow.

3. Take an internal inventory of your own habits and behaviour. Develop self awareness. This will allow you to see and take responsibility for your part in every situation.

4. Realise that continuing the same behaviour will give you the same results. Be open to change.

5. Stay on your side of the fence. This means bringing the focus to the self and making it a rule not to name, blame, shame or state your partner’s reality. An example of stating someone’s reality is to tell someone how he or she is feeling, or what they are doing.

6. Own your feelings. Our feelings belong to us and though we may be triggered by events, we cannot blame others for them.

7. Refrain from criticism. If something hurts your feelings, you can communicate how you feel in a constructive way, without lashing out. Use “feeling” words like sad, scared, frustrated, angry, ashamed, lonely etc. If you express how you feel and leave it at that, when asked why, you may respond by saying “When you do this, I feel that”. It is not asking anything, it is letting them know and leaving the choice up to them.


8. Do not expect or ask someone to change. Love is accepting someone for who they are and who they are not. It is only at the point of something we absolutely cannot accept that a relationship ends.

9. Find your joy! Stop focusing on what you hate and begin to focus on what you love. We are our attention. The happier you are within yourself, the less you are affected by others.

10. The beauty of self-awareness is that we begin to identify what is ours and what isn’t. This way, we can build self-referral, aiding us in becoming immune to outside poison.

11. Find gratitude and express it for the great things your partner does.

12. Begin to focus on your partner’s good points.

13. Recognise that we are all connected and our ultimate wish is the same. We all want to be loved.

14. Realise that we are mirrors to each other. What we give, we give to ourselves, what we withhold we also withhold from ourselves.

15. Find the love in your heart.

It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else

16. Always ask yourself, “Is this choice loving to me and to others?”

17. Release the Judge! When we stop classifying things as good or bad, right or wrong, we experience peace.

18. Show kindness to your partner, no matter what.

19. Surprise your partner with treats, big or small, in or out of the bedroom.

20. Compliment your partner. A compliment is a gift.

21. Go into service for the other. This will give you happiness and invite service to you.

22. Practice regular meditation, visualising your relationship as you desire it to be.

23. Always do your best, after all that’s all we can do!

Before you go, here are some helpful quotes by Dr. Phil:

  • Awareness without action is worthless
  • You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you
  • Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration
  • It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else
  • You cannot be who and what you are unless you have a lifestyle, both internally and externally, that is designed to support that definition of self

It is said that leaders can only lead by example. With any luck, your partner will be committed to a loving relationship and will choose to work with you. If not, practicing these tips will most likely inspire him to reciprocate accordingly. It’s your choice to stay or leave the relationship. That will require some courage, which of course you will have cultivated working on your self-awareness.

Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0


Tula Tzoras img Leaders in HeelsTula Tzoras

Tula, a.k.a The Inspiration Genie, is an experienced actor, author, speaker and host, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s top rating shows as actor and presenter. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit

2015 Bubbles and Bargains  event will feature a “Success Collection”, comprised of outfits and success tips from 50 women of influence, such as Pru Goward, Naomi Simpson, Mia Freedman and Leaders in Heels Founder, Kasia Gospos!

Since opening in 2009, Dress for Success Sydney has supported over 8,000 women in need by providing high quality professional attire and practical advice to prepare for job interviews. And today Dress for Success shared some of the fantastic advice with Leaders in Heels to inspire and motivate our readers.

Success tips from women of influence

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right

Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia

 Have confidence to push for the role you want and keep a sense of humour.

Ann Sherry AO, CEO Carnival Australia

When you feel sad, when you feel that the world is not appreciating you and you feel hopeless, the best you can do is to help someone else. You will quickly notice that amazing things happen when women help other women.

Kasia Gospos, Founder of Leaders in Heels

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!

Alexandra Mills, CEO of Product, AussieCommerce Group

Never underestimate the power of self-belief. Know in your heart that you’re capable of achieving great things. Only surround yourself with positive people that build you up, support you and believe in you for they will become your rock in times of need. Back yourself and be amazed at what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.

Deborah Hutton, Publisher and Founder, Balance by Deborah Hutton

Be true to yourself and don’t let work rule your life. Family must come first.

Deb Knight, Co-host Weekend Today | Host of Financial Review Sunday and Nine News presenter

Your reputation is everything. Word hard, treat everyone with respect and always try to do the right thing.

Kirsten Galliott, Editor InStyle Magazine | Ambassador Dress for Success Sydney

Minister for Women “Don’t hesitate when taking the next step. Take a risk and back yourself. Men don’t get bogged down in the qualifications they need for a role. Women need to stop believing they need to be overqualified to do the job. There’s no substitute for getting your hands dirty and getting experience under your belt.

Pru Goward, New South Wales Minister for Planning | NSW

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.

Naomi Simson, Founding Director RedBalloon Author, Blogger and Speaker

Fail fast. You don’t learn by omission, you learn by co-mission.

Mia Freedman, Journalist, columnist, author, blogger and media consultant


This Sunday the 15th of March 2015, grab a bargain and sip champagne at Bubbles and Bargains, whilst raising critical funds to help women in need. Whether you fancy a near new pair of Prada shoes, a fabulous suit or just the opportunity to browse with a glass of bubbles in hand, Bubbles and Bargains is the event for you.

Bubbles and Bargains will be running from 10am – 3.00pm at the Easts Bondi Leagues Club (93-97 Spring Street, Bondi Junctin). Funds raised support Dressed for Success, find out more about Dressed for Success here.

Separation and divorce reorganises nearly every aspect of your life, at a time of emotional turmoil. First of all, let’s acknowledge that there are limits to staying “bright and brave.” This is a difficult time you’re going through, and it is important to get support. The very last thing you need is to lose track of your financial planning right now. So, let’s go back to the most basic tool of every successful woman – the checklist.

Here are 5 things you need to keep track of when separating.

The Date

In Australia, divorces are generally granted only after a one-year period of separation. In addition, assets acquired after the date of separation may be dealt with differently than those acquired before. For both these reasons, it’s important to keep track of when the separation began. That’s easy when one party moves out of the house, less so when the separation occurs with both spouses under the same roof. In the latter case, it would be very wise to speak with your family law attorney about how to establish when a separation has occurred.

Financial Settlement

This 12-month period is the best time to work out the details of a financial settlement. Although it’s possible to put it off until after the divorce is final, this is generally a bad idea. Get professional advice, and remember that complete financial disclosure on both sides is the rule. Common wisdom about who owns what is often based on a misunderstanding of the law. More assets may be subject to division than you think.

Child Support and Custody

This requires some thinking into the future. Children get quite a bit more expensive as they get older, so work with a financial advisor to project costs for items such as school fees. Older children also have quite a bit more say in their living arrangements.

Your Will

Yes, you have to remember to change your will too. The provisions of your will and your former husband’s will may figure into the financial settlement as well. Don’t have a will? Now is the time to get on top of this task.

Succession Planning for Your Business

If you and your husband own and run a business together, special care must be taken to keep the business running and profitable while one or the other of you arranges your exit. It is generally unwise to try to maintain a business relationship while the personal side is coming apart. One of you will have to buy the other one out, and that can require some sophisticated financing. If you are not a co-owner, other arrangements may be possible to ensure that you do not just suddenly find yourself without a job and an income.

Sound arrangements about finances and the care of children take time and negotiation. Don’t be rushed through this process. Don’t rely on informal agreements, and don’t try to save money by using the same attorney. The legal and financial framework you build over the period of separation will determine much of what life looks like thereafter.

Featured Photo credit: Laura4Smith / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


Karen-Cho-Leaders-in-Heels-profile-picKaren Cho

With nearly a decade of experience in the legal profession, Karen’s main areas of interest include wills and probate matters, conveyancing, criminal law, debt recovery, civil litigation and commercial transactions. For every client Karen strives to reach positive outcomes and she does this by offering attentive, time-effective and friendly service. Karen is currently a Lawyer at Owen Hodge Lawyers.



Look around you and you will see examples everywhere of the extraordinary things people are capable of achieving. We all have unique gifts and are capable of achieving amazing things if we allow ourselves to. Reaching the peaks of our potential takes both recognising for ourselves what we are great at and allowing other people to see what we offer.

It saddens me how often I meet people who are blind to the depth of their own potential or are afraid to be seen. The emotions that hold people back from sharing their talents with the world are many and complex. Among the most common I observe is a fear of being judged or ridiculed. There is no doubt our well-known ‘tall poppy’ syndrome undermines the willingness many Australians feel regarding standing out from the crowd.

Here are five of the most important things you can do to stand in your spotlight and showcase what’s great about you:

1. Choose to thrive

Deciding to thrive is a critical first step toward making it happen. Wanting to be the best possible version of yourself and achieve everything you are capable of will help you overcome barriers to your success. Reflect on how much happier and fulfilled you life would be if you had the courage to do the things you really want to, unconstrained by limiting belief or fear.

2. Appreciate your talents

We all have strengths, and our recognition and appreciation of them is an important step toward leveraging our potential.  Take the time to reflect on all of the things you are great at.  Allow yourself to be completely honest about the ways you are able to contribute, make a difference and influence the world around you.  Unless you see and believe in your own talents,  you will not likely step up and give things a go.

We all have unique gifts and are capable of achieving amazing things if we allow ourselves to

3. Recognise your fears

Fears about what other people think and how they will react are common reasons people hesitate to stand in their spotlight. Understand how fear holds you back from pursing the things that matter most to you. What role are you allowing fear to play in dictating the decisions you make about the career or life directions you choose?

4. Be proud of yourself

Choose to be proud of who you are, and recognise your strengths and achievements for what they are. Being proud and willing to showcase what you are capable of isn’t the same as being arrogant or conceited. Don’t be afraid that people will perceive you as having an inflated opinion of yourself.  Have the courage to ignore your critics  – look past their unfounded beliefs and inaccurate perceptions.

5. Let go of perfectionism

Realise and accept that you are not perfect and few people expect you to be.  Choose to ignore the views of people who set unreasonable expectations and dish out harsh criticism. Your best endeavours are all you or any other reasonable person can expect. Give things a go knowing it’s OK to fail – all we need to do is get back up and try again.

Featured photo credit: theglobalpanorama via photopin cc


Karen-Gately-profile-pic-Leaders-in-HeelsKaren Gately
Karen Gately is a leadership and people-management specialist and a founder of Ryan Gately, a specialist HR consultancy practice. She is also the author of The People Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical guide to getting the best from people and The Corporate Dojo: Driving extraordinary results through spirited people. For more information visit or contact [email protected]

At the start of each year, many of us set New Year resolutions around being healthy and happy. We all articulate this goal in our own way. Some of us want to reduce our waistline or the number on the scales. Others want to beat running times or increase strength. Many want to eat less junk food. And as a client of mine recently put it, some of us want to experience more “ugly laugh” moments.

Then we go back to work. Back to school. Back to our “To Do” list. Back to keeping up with the busyness of our world. Life gets in the way. Before we know it, it’s time to set New Year resolutions again.

My wish for you is that this year is different. That you make life-changing traction with your health and wellness goals. I have suggested 8 steps below to help you make this happen.

1. Identify how you want to feel and what you want to gain

We often think about how we want to be different. How we DON’T want to feel. What we want to LOSE. I encourage you to flip this on its head this year. Think about how you DO want to feel. What you want to GAIN. The person you want to be. The life you want to live.

Write this down as an affirmation or intention (e.g., “I want to feel confident, radiant, and energetic.”) – and put it in a prominent place where you will see it often. Then make a conscious effort to make choices based on this affirmation or intention.

Think about how you DO want to feel. What you want to GAIN. The person you want to be

2. Write positive and feelings-based goals

We need to feel connected to and inspired by our goals in order to achieve them. Goals that have a negative tone or are focused on a loss are generally not inspiring or motivating. They can be easy to: let go of; view as too hard; or make us feel like we are missing out on enjoyable things.

How often have you set a goal like “lose 10kg” or “quit smoking”? Even if this goal was important for your health, has it generally worked for you? If not, I encourage you write goals based on how you want to feel and what you want to gain this year.

Positively worded and feeling-based goals like “To be the most vibrant, happy, and energetic I’ve ever been” or “To truly love, accept and appreciate my body and myself” can put us in a better headspace to be in action toward them.  It is important to take ample time to reflect on your goals and articulate them in a way that will uplift and inspire you. We want them to make you smile. To make you feel the promise of an incredible life.

I encourage you write goals based on how you want to feel and what you want to gain this year

3. Note your starting point

Once we identify a goal, we often impatiently want to achieve it already. We race out of the gates, only to get exhausted half way around the track, and give up until (or if) a second wind comes.

Let’s do things differently this year. Start slowly, and first take note of where we currently sit with our goals. Identify our current feelings, behaviours, choices, and triggers.

For health and wellness goals, for example, you might:

  • Keep a food, movement, energy, and feelings diary to identify current behaviours and patterns
  • Keep a diary noting your negative thoughts, what triggers them, and what you do to ‘respond’ to them
  • Record your current fitness milestones
  • Do a wellbeing inventory (e.g., Are you due for a preventive health check? How many hours are you sleeping?)

Recording your starting point will help you see your progress in the weeks and months ahead. Taking the time to stop and ‘observe’ can also reveal ‘Ah ha!’ moments about how you can successfully move forward.

4. Identify your Personal Psychological Resources (PPRs)

We all have inner strengths and resources that help us get through challenging times and help propel us towards our goals. When we know what these inner strengths and resources are, we can more easily draw on them and use them to our advantage. Tips to help identify your PPRs include, thinking about:

  • What your best traits and qualities are – and asking others to tell you what they think they are too
  • How you’ve historically got through difficult periods in your life. What inner strengths did you draw on to get through these times?
  • When you have responded to a difficult experience or conversation in a constructive way. What did you do that was constructive?
  • What you have achieved in your life to date. What inner strengths did you draw on?

Once we identify a goal, we often impatiently want to achieve it already. We race out of the gates, only to get exhausted half way around the track

5. Create a vision

Now that we know our starting point and our PPRs, it can help to think ahead about where we want to be. What is our vision for the future? What would be the dream outcome? How would we feel when we’ve reached the goal?

Taking time to reflect and journal on this – or to create an inspiration board around it – can really help us feel connected to the goal and how life will feel when we’ve achieved it. It also gives us an ‘end point’ to move toward.

6. Regularly write action steps to lovingly step toward your goal

Decide on what intervals (e.g., weekly, fortnightly) you’re going to take to plan your action steps. Then sit down during those points and write what steps you’re going to take during that period. No matter how big your goal is, if you take loving steps toward it, each day or week, you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve.

It is important to be kind and gentle with yourself during this process. No matter how motivated you are, most goals wont happen overnight. Most won’t just involve consistent steps forward. You will sometimes step backward, not progress as quickly as you like, and feel unmotivated or impatient. During these times, return to your vision and how you want to feel – and remember to treat yourself with loving kindness.

No matter how motivated you are, most goals wont happen overnight

7. Focus on the present and your vision of the future, rather than on the past

It is important to reflect on life and to draw on the lessons we have learnt from past experiences. However, we can often get stuck in the past – which is not always the most motivating or inspiring place. When you find yourself here, try to focus forward. Think about your goal. How you want to feel. Your vision for the future. Then identify what you can do now to take a loving step toward that future.

8. Get an Accountability Partner or Partners

Enlist help. Surround yourself with people who will support you, inspire you, and hold you accountable to your action steps. Depending on your goal, this might include a life coach, personal trainer, psychologist, or health professional. Ensure your accountability partner is someone that makes you feel safe – but who will push you.

I hope these steps help you in achieving your goals this year. As a final note, make sure you celebrate the little and big wins along the way!

Featured Photo Credit: Nickay3111 via Compfight cc

Naomi-Arnold-Leaders-in-Heels-imgNaomi Arnold
Naomi is an award winning Business + Life Passion Coach, writer, speaker and human rights activist. She works with big hearted, creative and mission driven people who want to make a difference in the world. Through her coaching, writing, and award nominated Freebies Library at, she helps people embrace their uniqueness and live their version of a passion-fueled and purposeful life.