I want to tell you a story how I recovered from rejection.
On its surface, the story seems to be about failure. Upon closer inspection, however, it is about intuition, energetic alignment and one of my favorite phrases:
This or something better.
Here’s a belief I live by: rejection is not bad or final. Rejection is a useful navigation tool and a way that the universe challenges us to step into the highest and best version of ourselves.
We are playing an infinite game, and rejection is a normal, natural part of the journey
The story I will share is about my own recovery from rejection, although I believe you will recognize your own experience in the story, too.
Back in October, I sent off my application for the Fulbright – a prestigious grant from the US government.
It was a badass proposal. My editor at Northwestern University said I had one of the best personal statements he’d seen that year. Plus, it was an awesome topic. I planned to study the intersections between flamenco and personal development.
About a month after I clicked “submit,” however, I got a gut feeling: I wasn’t going to get the award. Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t meant for me.
<<Ok, readers, check-in no. 1 – can you relate to this story yet? Is there a time when you felt in your bones that something was not right for you, even if you didn’t know quite why?>>
Last week, a rejection letter confirmed my hunch. And, while my stomach still dropped when I read it (I’m human, after all), I knew this was the right outcome.
This is when I turned to my mantra:
This or something better.
Something better, I trusted, would be on the way.
<<Check in no. 2! Can you relate to trusting something better is on its way to you?>>
Although this was the outcome I expected, and I had made peace with it, I wanted to think more deeply about why this happened.
I’m a coach, after all. Thinking deeply about shit is what I do.
After some introspection, reading and journaling, I realized the Fulbright wasn’t an energetic match for me.
This proposal was meant to teach me a lesson, but the fellowship was not my next step:
The universe doesn’t just present opportunities when our success is inevitable.
Need some examples?
- That guy you dated briefly wasn’t meant to be your future husband, but to teach you some important lessons that facilitated your next level of growth
- Your first job out of college seemed awesome… but in the end, it taught you how to stand up for yourself with a cranky boss
- The program you created was a flop, but you certainly learned a thing or two about launching…
The universe gave me the Fulbright to have me think more deeply about the intersections between two things I love: movement and personal development. And, gosh darn it, it worked. I foresee many future retreats around this topic…
<<check in no. 3. Has the universe ever given you an opportunity that was meant to teach you something?>>
My purpose is to challenge the status quo:
We’re all born with desires, goals and needs that are the perfect fit for the impact we are meant to make. I have very often been rejected by large institutions. I have also often been rejected by people who thought my ideas were downright crazy. In the end, I still did the thing – created a six-figure business, got an amazing master’s degree that had nothing to do with my previous studies, led dance trips around the world, etc…, but a lot of people out there were betting against me.
Given all this, it’s no surprise that a governmental agency with an academic bent wouldn’t be altogether psyched about my proposal that talked about spiral dynamics, self-esteem, personal empowerment and self-help storytelling.
Thanks for the reminder, rejection. I’m meant to take a path that’s outside the box so that I learn lessons to teach others and can model this lifestyle for kindred spirits.
Now, make no mistake, I’ll still pursue this project… and I’ll do it in the visionary way I do many things. People may not “get it,” but that won’t stop me from writing a best-selling book, creating a mind-blowing retreat, or doing something else that’s awesome.
<<Check in no. 4 – are you an out-of-the-box creator? Do you ever feel like people don’t get you? Remember: You were perfectly created to do what you are meant to do!>>
The work was misaligned with my money mindset:
I’ve done quite a bit of money mindset work this year, and I am no longer available to earn less than a $30k/month. The project (in the Fulbright form) would have asked a lot of me for little compensation – we’re talking about $1,000 a month for part-time work. Of course the universe would close that door! Perhaps I was available for this type of exchange right after college, or even throughout my early years as a professional. Now, though? We can go bigger than that…
There must be better partners available:
While Fulbright is a fantastic partner for many people, it clearly wasn’t the best partner for me. If someone does not get our genius (or simply aren’t properly equipped to support us), we don’t need to argue. Our job is to own our vision and show up consistently. This way, you will find the partners who are an optimal fit.
When you shout your desires from the rooftop, after all, you’re hard to miss.
I’ll say it once more…
Rejection is a useful navigation tool and a way the universe challenges us to step into the highest and best version of ourselves. While it may initially make us disappointed, sad, or angry, it is always in our best interest.
So, repeat after me:
Thank you, rejection, for closing doors so that I can navigate toward ideal opportunities.
Thank you, rejection, for reminding me to go bigger.
Thank you, rejection, for limiting the time I invested on a path that wasn’t quite right.
Thank you, rejection, for reminding me who I am.
What are your thoughts on rejection, reader? Share them below!
Embrace the Adventure,