Today, I got rejected 7 times, and counted 2 wins in my favor. One of the rejections was (felt) personal.
I don’t keep score as a rule, but on this day I did. After hearing one no after another, I could feel myself slipping. I kept reminding myself of the wins, of taking one step at a time, and just doing my best.
I’d love to pretend things like that roll off my back but that would be a lie. They hurt. Even if there’s no big problem to fret over, the little ones can gang up on you if you’re not watching. Before you know it, you’re only a few weak moments away from poor choices you’ll beat yourself up for later. Maybe for days, maybe weeks.
So I have to be careful. I have to rally the troops; squeeze every ounce of willpower I can, use distraction, deep breaths, whatever.
Let’s face it, we have to deal with hard things. Some are harder than others. Some might show up for a few minutes, while others stick around indefinitely. In the grand scheme of things, one day of rejections is hardly insurmountable, but the way you get through is one day at a time.
Often, though, we deny, avoid, delay, or we blame. We find a lot of ways around, but shy away from the way through.
I love being done with hard things, but the process, the getting through the river with the crocodiles, not so much. I love having written. I love having resolved the argument. I love having made the tough call. I love being done.
And yes, I know it’s the process we’re supposed to love and learn from, but that’s the intimidating part. It’s why we are too scared to start, or to keep going. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve kicked and screamed and resisted said process, only to discover later that’s when I’ve grown the most, and changed my life, over and over again. And yet, I still have to fight the initial urge to run away the next time I have to face something.
Rejections from today won’t sting as much tomorrow. The hard part is getting through the day without it breaking you, and that’s the part you hope will be just a bit easier next time.