6 Steps to Making Dreams Come True: From Rejection to Redemption
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyse us, they’re supposed to help discover who you are” – Bernice Johnson Reagon
Any kind of rejection, whether in love, your career, friends, or anything else can feel as if the world is caving in on you and you might never be happy again. The reality is that rejection is a part of life; there will be times when your request for a job or date will be turned down by someone, somewhere. Ultimately these painful experiences can be an opportunity to call upon your strength and perseverance, all while learning the art of surrender – that sometimes it’s just a matter of timing. We can make our dreams come true, but it takes time, perseverance, a positive attitude, and faith in ourselves.
Flashback 20 years ago, I was devastated when I received that small envelope and not the huge package that would clearly indicate acceptance. I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t good enough (so I thought) and I wasn’t going to the school of my dreams, University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. It was tough to swallow, at first, but I was determined to make my dream a reality. At 17, I took on a full course load at a community college while working 20 hours a week. I worked hard and two years later I finally did receive that big acceptance package getting into USC’s Marshall.
In hindsight I’m grateful for how life unfolded, cultivating a deeper appreciation for the education I passionately valued and that was going to cost me a small fortune. Not being accepted that first time around served me well in my future. It made me stronger and dedicated towards fighting for what I really wanted (like a true Trojan), as well as saving vast amount of money. Fast-forward my my dream come true and my dream, has afforded me life-changing opportunities: an invaluable education and an extensive network, working for two major Entertainment studios, owning my own businesses, working and living abroad, while travelling the world. And now, fifteen years later, USC’s Alumni Association: Society of Trojan Women has asked me to host and speak at their first London event!
From my own personal experience and witnessing with my coaching clients, I strongly believe that rejection can be a great source of strength and opportunity, when accepted with a healthy attitude. It’s a part of life and to acknowledge that while discovering the way to bounce back and try again, is what really matters. In finding your way, using both heart and head, you can start to learn what you’re truly capable of. Here are six ways you can begin making your dreams come true, even amongst rejection:
1. Time out to process. Allow yourself to feel the myriad emotions that may arise from rejection. It’s healthy to give yourself some time to process and grieve. Perhaps take the rest of the day off work or take a rain check on going out with friends and stay home instead. Have a relaxing bath or go out for a walk in nature.
2. Don’t take it personally. Remember that the rejection is not about you as a person. The other person (or people) was making their decision on something particular that didn’t work for them. They were rejecting the request, not you.
3. Stay Positive. Rather than focusing on the “No” focus on the good in yourself by re-framing the rejection. Remember rejection is not about you as person. Say aloud and silently to yourself “it didn’t work out” instead of “they didn’t choose me” to remove the blame from them and from you.
4. Believe in yourself. Sometimes rejection can be an important wake-up call to help you shift your priorities, your energy and improve your life. Look at this as an opportunity to continue learning, experiencing and polishing yourself closer to your dream.
5. Keep moving forward. Accept that things don’t always work out the way or in the time that you may want. By staying in the present, rather than dwelling on the past rejection, you’re able to stay more focused on the goal you want to achieve.
6. Make a road map. Get clear on where you are now, what it is you want and what you will need to do (or stop doing) to make your dream come true. Continue referring to this map to help you stay motivated and committed.
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how you made your dream come true amidst feeling defeated. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,