You were Created to Win
by Linda D. Barbour ©
Have you ever heard sayings like “If the door doesn’t open, it’s not your door” Or, “If one door shuts, another will open”? The truth is, people used to tell me these things all of the time whenever I was facing what looked like a disappointing moment. So much so, that these statements became a cliché to me.
I was reading something a little while back about “doors of opportunity”, and it really caught my eye. I realized when reading the book that this was much more than mere clichés. When I look back at my life, every single time a door closed, another door really did open, and when it did there was another opportunity for me to grow. I also realized that at times I actually kept trying to walk through the doors that had been closed, or doors that weren’t meant for me and those were the times when I struggled the most.
I have had many doors in my life open and many shut right in my face. When I was in my twenties, I had a vision of which I was certain was my destiny. It started out great, then BAM! Life Happened – and the door shut. Then a new door opened, and I embraced it without a clue of what the future held in store for me. What if I told you another door shut? It did, however, another door of opportunity opened up. Fast forward a few years as I was rocking my corporate career traveling the world making a generous six-figure salary, and out of nowhere I was downsized (door closed). At the time, I felt as though my life had crumbled right under my feet. However, what I didn’t know at the time was that a new door was being opened for me. So, picking up my pride as I brushed myself off and straightened my crown, I walked through a newly opened door of opportunity. Much to my surprise, it turned out to bring another great level of success for a while. But, then things started to feel a bit uncomfortable, I was finding myself in a place where I wasn’t happy, and surrounded by people that challenged me to go against my values, so guess what? That time, I chose to close the door myself in order to stay true to my character and core values; as well as maintain my sanity and peace. It was a hard decision, but I “asked” for a new door of opportunity to open and I “believed” that it would happen. I desired an opportunity that would allow me to walk in purpose, one that would fulfill my desires, and most importantly one that would allow the lives of others to be touched. I realized that I had learned a lot from my past experiences and that I had the ability to change my course if I wanted. However, I had to fight to protect my vision, and it took a sacrifice of time, much energy, major trust and much self-belief that I could do it. But, I also understood that it was a door that I must walk through to reach my fulfilled purpose.
You may be thinking that I make it sound easy, trust me I know differently. It took overcoming much adversity and withstanding things that were thrown at me. Was it easy? No! I was criticized in many ways for choosing to go against the grain of the corporate mindset because of my past experience and success. Being your own business owner, especially when you are starting something from the ground up isn’t easy, to begin with, but the added scrutiny from family, friends, and colleagues never helps. Because what they saw from their perspective and viewpoint of my life was that I tried and failed, tried and failed, and tried and failed some more. But, this wasn’t the case I was on my “purposed path” for my life and the door that had just opened for me was the door that was purposed for me. I also had a new perspective, and a new level of tenacity like never before. All of the other doors had been preparing me, teaching me, training me, and cultivating me for my purpose. I am a firm believer that nothing in life happens by accident, and that everything we endure is for our greater purpose; the good, the bad and the ugly.
You may be reading this and find yourself in a place where you feel that nothing is working. Maybe you are in a place where you feel stagnant, or that everything you try fails. I want to pose this question… What would’ve happened if Walt Disney had given up when they told him that his big eared mouse cartoon idea was crazy, and no one would pay to bring their families to his harebrained fantasy of a theme park? What if the Walton family would’ve bought into the idea that no one would want to buy groceries from a local department store? What if Bethany Frankel would’ve stopped after hearing that Skinny Girl drinks were a stupid idea, or when someone knocked down her idea of offering low-calorie cocktails? These individuals all ran into roadblocks but that didn’t stop them. They kept having doors close, and new doors of opportunity open for them. There are doors of opportunities for each of us. And… it doesn’t mean that because one door closes in your face, there isn’t going to be another door of opportunity that will open. What it means is you have to be willing to hear and endure the no’s, be willing to face the challenges, and overcome the ugly stuff that life throws at you and allow all of it to build your faith, grace, and endurance muscles. It means that you have to roll up your sleeves, put your big girl panties on and make it happen! Don’t ever give yourself permission to give up, quitting is not an option. You have to trust and believe that great things will happen even before you step foot across the threshold of the doors of opportunity; and you have to be willing to endure in the midst of the doors that close on you in the process. Never, ever let an obstacle knock you out of the game. Trials and tests are a sign that what you are embarking on is leading you to the place of your purpose. If you get knocked down, learn from it, get up, brush yourself off, straighten your crown, and move forward!
Here’s the real raw reality, there are still doors that I’m fighting to burst through in order to realize my full purpose, and yes doors still close from time to time. But, I’ve learned to cross every threshold with grace, even when under fire. My crown may get knocked to the side, it may even fall off once in awhile, and sometimes sadly others may try to take it off. But, I refuse to quit. I challenge you to take the same approach. I encourage you to do the same. Whatever your goal, whatever your promise, whatever your purpose, decide today that you won’t give up until it’s yours. Take possession of your dreams and goals, even if you can’t see them just yet. Straighten your crown, stand tall, and look for doors of opportunity to open for you, no matter what your current situation may appear to be. Grab your grace and overcome any firestorm that comes your way, and watch what happens. Mastering grace under fire will ultimately carry you through whatever comes your way… You were created to win!