Within the past week, I fielded a couple of rejections- one writing related and one dating related. The simple email response from the intern telling me, “I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to sell your writing,” had me oddly happy as any response from literary agencies, even a “we don’t want you,” is fairly exciting for someone attempting to write a book for the first time. It’s the silence that stings. And that was the other rejection. Silence is so fucking loud sometimes. He blew me off. Didn’t call. Didn’t even seem to care. Maybe it’s a girl thing, but these type of rejections then become, “Oh- if only I was more this…or didn’t do that…or hadn’t said those things.”
I have two words for this train that takes you to the land of “I don’t believe I am good enough…”
Yes. I said the f-word and Grandma may be reading this (sorry G-Ma), but it is warranted. Sometimes we need to not care so much about what other people think of us, how other people rate us, or why other people reject us. It may have NOTHING to do with us or it could have everything to do with us, but does it really matter? You were the same person before this tragic rejection, and you are the same person now; Beautifully you.
We all deal with rejection, not just when we apply for our dream airlines or when step into the choppy waters of love or in any other aspect of life. Rejection happens and it hurts, but don’t allow entities that don’t deserve the power to change your self-worth, happiness, or determination have that power. Rejection hurts, especially if we only find our worth from outside sources. If your worth is only based on things that are constantly changing your sense-of-self and your whole entire persona of happiness will be affected by what happens in a day.
And too much can happen in a day.
You are not what you do. You are not what you accomplish. You are not the no or the nothing that someone sends your way.
There’s a story about this concept of believing that ‘you are only what you do’, what you look like, and what you accomplish that I would like to tell you. I’m too scared right now to tell you the whole story. Maybe soon I will be able to, but, I want you to know that I did this; I believed, to my entire core, that I was only the value of what I looked like. And that belief broke me. It almost killed me. I lost my spirit, joy, and any desire to live. My family was left heartbroken, and I was left just broken. It all seems like someone else’s life now as I travel the world, meet interesting people, and do things that I never even imagined that I would have the opportunity to do, and I am happy and excited about life. I cry when I get rejections, but I know I am ok. I am loved, beautiful, and adored. What changed? How did I change? How did I discover my value in other ways and learn to not take rejections so personally? I’m not sure I know all of the answers of how it happened, but I think there have been a few pieces on my own journey to believe in my value. Part of it is I sincerely believe that God’s got me. I’ve seen Him subtly, silently, and softly working in my behalf through all of my rejections. I’m not the one to push Jesus down anyone’s throat, and there are other pieces besides God that will help you know your value as an individual, so read on:
Steps to take to discover your worth:
- Put positive into your mind: Read things that bring your mind to a positive space, that remind you that you are valuable,and that teach you to think on a higher level. Some sites that I like or accounts that I follow on Instagram are, Made For More, She Is More, and She Has Worth. There are also many great podcasts that are free that offer a way to hear positive things daily.
- Surround yourself with the people that encourage you to always be you and to reach higher: I have three best friends that are always there, even timezones apart, that tell me I am loved, that listen unjudginly to my drama, and encourage me when I am discouraged. These girls are my angels. I also have two supportive parents and a father that constantly tells me I am proud of you. I have colleagues that give me hugs and relay the message to “keep being you. I love you. You are going to do incredible things.” I am so blessed to have a strong community of loving and caring individuals. Find your community. It’s a game changer.
- Know that this rejection could lead you to the best thing that you have ever had: Before I got my first job with an airline, I had fielded rejections from SO many jobs in Marketing and Advertising. I remember only about a month before my first airline interview, when I hadn’t even thought of being a flight attendant, I got to a third interview to be a Marketing Manager for an agricultural company. And then, I was rejected. That one hurt. I was so low. I felt worthless. That was what I had wanted, or so I thought, but I didn’t know the future adventures in store for me. Now, everyday I say my prayers of gratitude for that No as I would have never been gifted my flight attendant life and this writing life that I am so blessed to live. Trust that the rejections in your life are taking you to better places.
- Get to know yourself- your strengths and weaknesses: Rejections hurt less when you know who you are. Take time to explore what you enjoy and don’t enjoy. Improve on areas in your life. Capitalize on your strengths. You have so much going for you Darling. Discover it!
- Allow yourself to be disappointed and hurt, then pick yourself up, and keep flying: It’s ok to be disappointed and discouraged by a rejection. They hurt pretty bad sometimes. Feeling hurt is ok. It’s actually part of the healing process. But, don’t let it break you. Keep your chin up and keep trying. You got this.
For a girl who put so much value in looks, and for me to now be working in an industry where looks and image matters– that’s kind of amazing. But, you know what is more amazing and what matters more than looks? ENERGY. That contagious kind where you are excited about life, curious about people, and ready to discover everything you can about the world around you. I’ve discovered through quite a few mistakes and detours that what matters more to me than being skinny is being healthy and whole. FOR ME. For no one else, but the dual blessing in being whole and balanced is that I know if I am not at my happiest and my healthiest, I have no impact on the world around me, at least not a positive one. And I believe that we must touch the world around us positively. I want to be more than just a body taking up space, but an individual creating change. What and who do you want to be and become?
It comes down to, “What do YOU want and who do YOU want to be?”
Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will want you. Not everyone is going to think that you are incredible. So what? It’s OK! Actually, you know what? It’s more than ok and once you accept you, you can accept that. You are going to need people in your life during the seasons of rejection to remind you that you will get through this one, that you are winning, and that you can try one more time.
I know that there are a lot of you going through the interview process with airlines right now. Some have been trying for years. Keep trying. Adjust your strategy. Maintain your hope. Last night, I found this little note that I scribbled on the back of a business card last year. The card is from a bookshop cafe that is located in Bergen, Norway, and the message written was just as true then as it is now:
“I will get you to the places that you need to be. The disappointments and detours, when you have thought all was going wrong– those were the moments when the reality was that all was going right.”
You don’t need to be religious to believe those words, but when you do believe those words completely, the rejections that happen today won’t hurt so bad tomorrow. You know and believe that the rejections may be your angel in disguise. Now go apply for those airlines, ask someone out on a date, or plan a trip around the world by yourself. Just promise me that whatever you do…