Find Inspiration to Live Your Dream Career, Take Hold Opportunities & Watch Project Runway

I love watching the television show Project Runway, which airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on the Lifetime Network. It’s a reality-based show about individuals from virtually all walks of life who are living out their dreams and competing to become a famed, nationally recognized fashion designer.

“Either you’re in, or you’re out” is the show’s motto, regularly spoken as fact by Project Runway host, supermodel Heidi Klum. Despite the fact that contestants could possibly kill their careers simply by getting voted off the show, they still gladly put themselves up on the chopping block each week, facing criticism of their work that the average person would likely crumble underneath.

I don’t want to spoil the premiere if you haven’t already watched it, but there was a scene that aired that I could really relate to and that serves as the inspiration for today’s post.

One of this year’s contestants, who had auditioned for the show in the past two seasons but who didn’t make it, began to fall apart during the very first design challenge. Suddenly, as he began to drape the cloth over the mannequin to create his garment, he became absolutely paralyzed.

He abandoned his work station, found a quiet room, sat down and all he could do was hold his head in his hands. 

Tears were streaming down his cheeks as mentor Tim Gunn tried to gently coach him out of his self-doubt and coax him back into the design room with his fellow contestants.

As Tim continued to chat with the contestant, he (the contestant) disclosed that he had recently overcome a drug addiction. And what had paralyzed him from moving forward to finish his garment, was that he feared he would once again devastatingly fail.

Tim had assured him that he was more than capable; he encouraged him to let go of the past and trust in his talents.

The following day, it was obvious that the contestant felt a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth when he said, “You don’t throw in the towel when you have these opportunities. You don’t give up. You swallow it down and be strong. And whatever happens on the runway, happens on the runway.”

You may not be vying to be the next great American designer, but you might be trying to make a name for yourself within your industry, at your place of work, or as a business owner. Perhaps in the past you’ve failed more times that you care to remember, and your self-doubt is slowing chipping away at your confidence and faith.

Combat the doubt by replacing it with affirmative, positive thoughts, such as:

  • “I can do this, and do it better than anyone I know.”
  • “I’ve been given this opportunity for a reason. This is my passion and my purpose in life.”
  • “I am more than capable. In fact, I am talented and gifted. This is what I was made to do.”
  • “Even if I don’t get it right the first time, at least I made an effort and can improve. How many people can say they’ve tried?”
  • “Cemeteries are filled with people who no longer have a chance to live out their dreams. What am I waiting for?!”

Opportunities don’t just show up out of oblivion or out of no where. You’ve obviously positioned yourself professionally to open up new doors. So then why do you shut or lock them once the opportunities come knocking?

I came across and read this anonymous quote recently, which goes: “Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.”

At face value, some opportunities may seem small, minor or insignificant, but you never know what’s waiting around the bend once you decide to accept that opportunity.

On the other hand, as the quote suggests, if you casually dismiss the chance to do something new, later you may sadly realize that that small opportunity was actually a big open door in disguise.

Don’t allow any type of opportunity to slip by unnoticed. Seize it while you can. For you never know when the next one will come along.

Keep the Discussion Going

Have you missed an opportunity because you let fear stop you in your tracks, hinder you from making a prompt decision, or paralyze you from moving ahead in faith?

Take my advice and remember that if God brought you to it, he’ll bring you through it!

About the Author

Emily Brown is the key contributor and creator of, a blog that delivers articles and posts about job industry trends; plus motivational, retrospective stories about career exploration and discovering one’s passion. A former business journalist at Bloomberg News, her work has also appeared in  The Wall Street Journal,  The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and others. Emily lives and works in Washington, DC. She can easily be reached at Feel free to drop her a line to say “hello,” suggest an opportunity, or provide news of your own.