I got turned down the other day for a job I really wanted. It wasn’t a full-time gig or anything, just a one time event that I had pitched the week before. I knew it was a long shot because I don’t have the preferred degree for the job. But I had decided to throw my name into the ring anyway, because it’s something I knew I could do well and would really enjoy. I was a bit self-conscious and nervous about making my case, and I hit send on the email quickly, before I could change my mind.
I got a very gracious “no, thank you” in return. My initial reaction was disappointment (“dang it, that would have been cool,”) and then dismay (“oh no, I’m never going to get into that line of work,”) and then shame (“I can’t believe I thought they’d hire me!”).
It was starting to become less about the one-time event and more about me and my worth. That’s the thing with rejection, it doesn’t often stay in the realm of "wrong time, wrong fit." It often slides into the arena of "there’s something wrong with me."
Having just celebrated Valentine’s Day this weekend (and I use the term “celebrated” loosely), I think back on all those years that I was single on February 14th. My college roommate and I would joke about wearing black on Valentine’s Day. It always felt like a repudiation, that I couldn’t manage to have a boyfriend to exchange mushy cards with. And rather than thinking of it as an issue of "wrong time, wrong fit," I took it as evidence of my unworthiness. In my mind, the issue was, "I’m not good enough."
I can tell you that it’s not really in anyone’s best interest to subscribe to the mantra, "I’m not good enough." So, let that one go. Really.
And don’t be fooled into thinking that it will go that easily. It's bound to show up in other forms:
If only I were…
Sometimes we call these self-limiting beliefs. All they do is serve to keep us boxed in and destined for less than we are capable of and less than we deserve.
Typically, these are conversations that we have in our heads. We let self-limiting beliefs swim around in our minds, where they get bloated and sluggish, becoming even more distorted and ugly. Show them the light of day, air them out loud and they lose some of their power. That’s the first step.
Secondly, let them know who is in charge. Write them down on paper and then tear them into shreds. Or say them out loud, and imagine the words getting blown away on the wind or churned up by the ocean waves.
And finally, take it upon yourself to write a new mantra or begin a new chapter –
one that gives voice to what lives inside of you,
one that opens you to possibility,
one that speaks loudly of your truth.
Everything is waiting for you.
What is a story-line that is no longer serving you?
What do you want to say, “YES!” to?
What is ready and waiting to emerge?
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