Everyone faces challenges. Even the luckiest or most talented people in the world face their own unique challenges daily, weekly and monthly. We see some people appear to have it made. They flow through life and seemingly nothing gets in their way to shut them down. Meanwhile, here we go again. Someone knocking on our door, ringing our phone, or dinging our messages or email inbox with our next hassle before we’ve even finished with the last one.
This creates an atmosphere where it becomes easy to feel overwhelmed. We look at not only each individual rejection or trial as a challenge, but then proceed to view the whole picture and see them heaped on top of one another maybe even hiding a few extra for good measure!
What is rejection?
We often view difficult things that come at us as defeat, rejection, stopping us from doing what we want or going where we want to go. The end of the line. Yet our lives still go on. Tomorrow still comes. The sun still rises (even with gray cloudy skies). We look at these things as the end yet everything about and around us carries on? Hmmm. ? If things carry on, then it can’t be the end, right?
: The action of assigning or directing something to a new or different place or purpose.– Oxford
When we come to a T-intersection, it could seem like the end. When we head down a dead end street on our way to somewhere we’ve never been before, we have definitely hit an end. Yet in both cases, we make a choice. We turn left or right as needed at the T-intersection, and we turn around in the dead end, head back out and maybe even double check our nav or ask someone for directions. The most common occurrence is construction while we are using nav to get somewhere and it…. redirects us.. to a new route.
All of these apply in our lives. Always.
The weird winding path to now
Looking back on my life it hasn’t always been easy to see this. Getting fired from a job. Going through breakups, and even a separation and divorce. Feeling the sense of opportunity only to find out it wasn’t.
I had almost never felt more rejected in my life than after I had left machining the first time. I was trying to continue the systems and network administration work I had done at Fall River Manufacturing, and everything was falling through. Interview after interview after even a few second interviews. Ghosted every single time. I may have gotten a few rejection calls, though ghosting is, I feel, the highest form of rejection for most.
And I’ll be honest about this. I didn’t have hope. I didn’t look at this as a set back. I very much viewed this as the end. I was going to stay in manufacturing “forever”. Don’t get me wrong. Manufacturing is perfectly decent work, paid me incredibly well for the time, and was something that held some challenge while still being work that I could easily flow through. The feeling of rejection came from not feeling passionate about manufacturing, while feeling passionate and excited about continuing on in IT. It was defeat.
Yet as you may remember, I did end up in IT again, a mere two years later. Let’s explore that, shall we? I was mostly applying for computer shops. Back then we had hundreds of small shops selling built computers in seemingly every town. I was applying at contracting companies. I was applying for entry level positions at the local tech college. In nearly a dozen cases and, if I recall, more than a few second interviews, nothing. But what if I did get one of those jobs. Well I can tell you this. They were all much lower tier jobs than the one I did land a couple of years later at Mount Mary College. Ok fine, but SURELY I could have still gone on to work at Mt. Mary with one of those jobs. Being honest, Mt. Mary didn’t actually pay very well (sorry. private college and all, but the benefits and time off were amazing). So the likelihood that had I even been offered the position at Mt. Mary, they likely wouldn’t have been able to match my pay at one of the other jobs, nor do I have confidence that I would have looked at the higher tier position as outweighing lower pay.
“I had been redirected to the path I was supposed to be on.”
I needed to be rejected from what I thought I should be trying for so I would be ready for what I was meant to go on to. I needed to be turned around at the dead end street of me looking for those lower level positions so I could eventually get to my destination of a more challenging job I likely would have turned down or not even been offered had I stayed in that dead end. I had been redirected to the path I was supposed to be on.
This was but one example. Even still, I am able to look back to every stressful or discouraging point in my life and see how I was redirected away from something and pushed toward something that I needed more. Maybe better, maybe more meaningful, or maybe saving me from something even more stressful.
Today in the middle of my toughest moments, I always work to keep this thought of redirection in mind. It can be difficult. ? We often say to ourselves, “This sucks. I’ll never see this happen now”. This type of thinking shuts us down. Yet when we ask ourselves “Huh, this seems to not be meant for me. I wonder what’s next?”, this opens us up to possibility and keeps us alert!