I imagine it would be hard to find one person on earth that has never been denied anything that they wanted, whether it was a person, organization, group, position, or situation. Most of us have been denied something at least once in our lives but more than likely it’s been numerous times. If you are in that slim minority of people that have no idea what it feels like to be rejected, this post is not for you so you can keep it movin’.
For the rest of you, doesn’t rejection have a way of stopping you dead in your tracks? A way of making you second-guess every single thing that you once believed in—even making you question yourself. It makes you wonder if there is something inherently wrong with you that caused the rejection. If it was a major rejection, it make even trigger a bout of depression and make you want to give up.
A few minutes ago, I was surfing the web to find a little inspiration for a blog post. I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately as you may have guessed by me skipping my usual Sunday night post. During this web-surfing inspiration-hunt, I stumbled on an article that reminded me of a rejection I experienced within the last 5 years.
It was an interview featuring a popular blogger, she-who-must-not-be-named, who I briefly worked for. Although the work I did was nothing fancy—just some editing and affiliate marketing work mostly—it was huge for me. The opportunity first came during a low point in my life (shortly after college) and it gave me hope.
Growing up, writing was as easy as breathing. I wrote poems, stories, song lyrics. I didn’t have to try to write or force it. Writing and reading came naturally and were even coping mechanisms for me during tough times. But during college, I started having severe writer’s block and began to question my writing abilities and even my passion for all things literary.
The part-time work I did for this she-who-must-not-be-named blogger gave me hope again because it showed me that it was possible to do work in a field that I loved and that success was possible (based on the founder of the blog’s success). When this blogger told me that my work was great, but that I wasn’t needed anymore, I felt crushed. I wondered what the real reason for terminating our working relationship was. This blogger had other people working for them, why was I cut?
My mind went straight to questioning my abilities, work ethic, my very being. What did I do or did not do that caused this to happen? What’s wrong with me? But looking back, I’m (mostly) at peace with the way things turned out with that situation and with other situations when I felt rejected.
If I had continued to work for that blogger and gained more responsibility, would I have had the desire now to blog for myself and stick with it no matter if I get 1 view a month or 1,000,000?
The same question can be asked for every situation or person that made me feel rejected or less than. If that person had not turned their back on me as a friend, would I have missed out on learning the importance of loving myself no matter how other people treat me? If that company had hired me full-time as soon as I graduated from college, what other experiences would I have missed out on? If that professor had not told me who I wasn’t, would I still have this burning desire inside of me to prove what type of person I could be?
Although rejection hurts, we should thank God for it. If the door of mediocrity never closed in our face, we would miss out on finding something of greater value through a different door down the road. So the next time you want to throw a pity party over being denied something you really want, remember that every obstacle strengthens your backbone and changes who you are for the better.
Although it may get dark and lonely as we go through those valleys in our lives, we have to remember that all of it works in our favor in the end—to mold us into people that can truly appreciate not only the moment when we reach the mountaintop, but most importantly, the climb as well. It’s the climb that really shapes who we are and really makes us savor being on the mountain top when the day comes. And if we keep going, that day will come.
Let me know why you’re grateful for rejection or tell me about all the haters you plan to prove wrong in the comments or on Facebook 😉