May 20, 2013 is a date that I would never forget. Not only was it my graduation day, but it was my first real word lesson as an adult, which was how to embrace rejection.
Dr. Valerie Jarrett, who currently serves as President Barack Obama's longest serving senior advisors, was my graduation commencement speaker at Clark Atlanta University. Like any other graduate, I was super excited on this day and I looked forward to an inspirational speech that would validate my success in the world we live in. Unfortunately... Dr. Jarrett decided to keep it 100 by giving us all reality check about rejection and to get prepared to experience it as soon as we embark on our journeys as young professionals. As I was sweltering in my all black graduation rob, in my mind I was thinking,"This has got to be the most depressing commencement speech ever!" I didn't want to hear someone tell me about rejection and how to adapt to it because it's the norm. I wanted to hear something about being successful or how the sky is the limit because I graduated with my hard earned degree. But looking back 3 years later, I am truly grateful that Dr. Jarrett shared the truth about how the world operates.
|IMAGE CREDIT: REJECTION LETTER FROM BIGSTOCK|
Embracing rejection in my personal life has helped me protect my own sanity during the long hours I spent applying for jobs, just to receive a response back stating I'm not qualified. Rejection has taught me to develop thick skin and to not take things personal. It has also put me in the state of humility, so that I may recognize where I need to grow spiritually and mentally. In order to embrace rejection, you must first realize that there is nothing wrong with you as a person. Everyone in their life has experienced it. Just like Dr. Jarrett, her road to success required a lot of rejection, but she never let it defeat her.
We live in a world full of endless opportunities, therefore you must be patient enough to figure out which opportunity was created for you and sometimes it can take years. It took me 3 years after graduating college to finally dive into my career in the film industry, and it is only the beginning! Instead of worrying about why I wasn't good enough for the countless number of jobs I applied to, I started handling rejection like a pro by simply embracing. And I challenge you to do the same! Now watch how life challenges become easier to manage.