Celeste Owens

Celeste Owens

A motivational speaker and licensed psychologist with a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.


Open and closed doors

Q: What's the right response when you come tantalizingly close to success but fail to achieve your goal? How hard is it to recover from heartbreaking setbacks like the ones the Washington Redskins have endured in recent weeks? How often have you experienced reversals that tested your own spirit?

Life is a series of open and closed doors; just as one door closes another opens. Embracing this truth lessens the sting of a setback.

Free-Online Dictionary defines success as the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. Most characterize attempts as failure -- but I disagree. The old saying, "if at first you don't succeed try, try again" still rings true today. Success is intentional, and a dream is accomplished through persistence and painful effort.

In fact, researchers have discovered that those who succeed big have several key traits in common: purpose and direction, passion, persistence and faith. It is their faith (the belief of something bigger than them) that carries them through seemingly impossible circumstances. They don't often know how they will succeed -- they just believe success is imminent and never give up.

Joyce Meyers, one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers, has been quoted as saying, "Rejection is God's protection." These are words that I live by. I have learned to release what cannot be and persist to the next open door. No matter your belief system, believing in something bigger than you is the key to overcoming life's challenges.

"A setback is a setup for your comeback." states Willie Jolley, motivational speaker and bestselling author of "It Only Takes a Minute to Change Your Life!" Jolley recognizes that we won't always get the results we expect or desire but we can come back (and with a vengeance).

While completing a Master's degree in psychology, I began the process of applying to doctorate programs. I needed three recommendations. My first choice was my absolute favorite teacher. I could hardly contain my excitement as I shared with her my desire to further my education. She listened quietly and then said, "you'll never get in." She further explained that she didn't think that I was competitive enough. I disagreed and proceeded to argue my case -- I had excellent grades, I was passionate about psychology, etc. She still flat-out refused.

What does any self-respecting adult do when ones feelings are hurt?

Go running to mommy.

I phoned my mother and explained the situation through tears. I proclaimed my dream to obtain a doctorate degree was over! She listened patiently then replied, "You have other professors, right? Ask them." Genius. I asked three others and the rest is history.

I encourage you to embrace the ebb and flow of life with a resolve that failure is not an option -- success awaits you at the next open door.

By Celeste Owens  |  December 11, 2009; 1:48 PM ET  | Category:  elusiveness Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Never give up | Next: Bouncing back better


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Thank you Ms. Owens! A delightful article, to say the least, that couldn’t have come at a better time….just when I need the reminder. Recently, I started a new job that is quite challenging and has taken me in a much more different direction than what I've grown accustom. My excellence depends on my daily activity and delivery. Needless to say 60 days in, I haven’t delivered anything yet and am questioning my decision to work here. While I still have the time to prove myself, my decision to find another opportunity all together is rooted on "fear". Essentially, your article has allowed me to reevaluate my decision and have faith and “knowing” that all will be well no matter what happens with this position today. Thanks again, I’ll remember to continue looking forward and embracing the possibilities.

Posted by: Karen247 | December 15, 2009 12:56 PM
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This is an excellent article as I pursue the next chapter in my life. When things don't go the way I expect them to, I have the tendancy to think that I should give up or maybe this is not the plan/direction for my life. This article has helped me to see that I need to look for the next open window; instead of the closed door.

Thank you!

Posted by: daughtersofdestiny_56 | December 13, 2009 8:11 PM
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