If You Don’t See A Door, Build One: 4 Simple Ways To Create Opportunities For Yourself
How many times have you thought to yourself, “Nothing is working out for me”?
Or “Why is this always happening TO me?" (i.e. you feel stuck, hopeless, helpless, and completely out of options). Sound familiar?
We like focus on the negative instead of the positive. We like to focus on what’s not working in our lives rather than what is. We like to focus on our weakness rather than our strengths.
Has anyone ever told you a hundred nice things before and they suggested that one thing you could work on?
Instantly, you disregarded all those nice things that were said about you and obsessed with that one slightly negative comment. And then, instead of moving onward and forward, you went into a mindset black hole of “I suck. I’m a loser. I’m horrible at everything. I should just give up."
That’s how we convince ourselves we’re not good enough. We tell ourselves we’re not cut out for this, and we should just quit. Because what’s the point, right?
Since we’re the ones feeding ourselves the negative self-talk, the good news is that you can change it around.
Instead of saying “Life is happening TO me,” start saying “Life is happening FOR me.”
See / feel the difference?
One of them feels helpless and stuck. The other feels like peace, hope. and possibility.
If you don’t see a door, build one yourself.
Meaning… if you feel like you’re out of options and there’s nothing left for you to try, then create your own door and opportunity. Who said you have to keep doing what’s already been done for? Or sit around waiting for someone else to build you a bridge?
Build your own bridge.
If you don't know how to build one, that's fine. That's where learning comes in. What you don't know, you can learn.
Remember you're starting out as a beginner, which means you're not going to be perfect at it (or even remotely good at it, so be prepared to cut yourself a lot of slack). There's a big learning curve involved, but if you keep going and keep putting in the work, you will learn and you will get better at your craft.
Every time you try, you learn something new. You learn how to put things together, you learn what works and what doesn't work, you learn to be more patient, and you learn about how you can do better the next time around. And every time you try again, you apply what you've learned from past experiences.
It takes 10,000 hours to get good at something. We have to put in the work.
It’s the exact same thing with everything else in life.
Sometimes, the first thing we tried like our first job didn’t work out. But we learned why it wasn’t working for us. Was it the work environment? The company culture? The people you worked with? The things you were doing?
We can then take these lessons and apply them to our second, third, fourth, … job until we find a good fit that works for us. But you wouldn’t have known what was working or wasn’t working if you didn’t try out all those previous jobs.
So before you jump to the conclusion that “Nothing will ever work out for you and you’ll end up homeless on the street and you’re a complete failure for not having it all figured out yet (I know this feeling far too well),” take a deep breathe and give yourself some space.
And remember you’re never out of options.
All you have to do is a build a new door.
So where do we go from here? How do we get started?
Change your mindset. You have to be willing to work on your mindset, because you become what you think.
So if you’re thinking negatively all the time and complaining at every chance you get, chances are you won’t be building many doors in the near future because you’ll always be pointing out all the closed doors and why you can't build any new ones.
But if you’re thinking positively and ready to learn how to build doors despite not having a lot of prior experience, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless and up to you to create them. You’ll realize that each door closed is an opportunity for a new door to open. And it’s up to you to build it.
And you can build it.
You have everything you need to build it. The toolkit is already within you. You are the toolkit.
Here are 4 simple ways to get started:
1. Replace your vocabulary.
Take “I can’t” out of your vocabulary and add in “I can."
“I can’t build this door; it’s impossible." to “I can build this door; I have everything I need and I’m going to make it happen."
If you believe you can’t do something, you’re going to try to find reasons and evidence for why you can’t do something.
So believe in yourself and create reasons for why you can, because you can.
You are capable. We all are. We are all more capable than we realize.
Write a list of all the things you've accomplished in 2016 and tape it on your wall. Look at it anytime you're feeling discouraged.
2. Change your environment.
Switch things up. Go to a cafe or library instead of sitting at home. Talk to new people and have a conversation.
If you only talk to like-minded people, you’ll only get the ideas that you already have.
In order to get new ideas, you have to have new experiences.
Go to a networking event, social mixer, karaoke bar, open mic night, poetry jam, book club, wine tasting event, etc. Read a book. Go on a road trip. Watch a documentary.
The more experiences you have, the more you’ll realize that life is actually limitless and you never really run out of options.
3. Identify what’s holding you back.
Why is resistance coming up for you? And what are you resisting? Is it fear of failure? Fear of doing something uncomfortable? Fear of people judging you?
When you can identity and become aware of what it is holding you back, you can then come up with actionable steps that will help you get past those blocks, so you can move forward.
When you act from a place of fear, you’re thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong.
When you act from a place of love, you’re thinking about all the things that could possible go right.
If you aren’t aware of something, you can’t work towards changing something you don’t know is there.
So ask yourself why you’re holding back, and be honest with yourself. Dig deep.
4. Give yourself permission to mess up.
I cannot stress how important self-forgiveness is. Giving into the negative self-talk and beating yourself up for not doing things perfectly is never going to help you move into the right direction.
Give yourself permission to be messy, to be flawed, to be imperfect, and to keep going despite all of that.
Whenever you do something new, remember that it’s going to take you a while to figure things out. Would you expect yourself to perfectly build a coffee table from scratch? No, right? Because that’s insane.
So give yourself a break.
Girl, you got this. It's a process of trial and error.
There’s no reason you can do something, unless that’s what you tell yourself every time you try. And trust me, it doesn’t matter how much work you put in if you don’t believe in yourself.
So before all else, believe in yourself.
Believe that you can do this.
Life isn’t happening to you. It’s happening for you.
So let’s get to work.
Hi there! I'm Molly, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wholehearted Woman. A storyteller, introvert, self-love advocate, and multi-passionate creative with big dreams and even bigger fears. I help women find their voice, share their stories, and authentically embrace who they are.
You can read more about me and my mission here.