Rejection is merely a redirection;
a course correction to your destiny
-- Bryant McGill
Have you ever thought you were in love only to be told by the one you admire that he or she wants to break up with you? Have you ever applied for a job and been told the organization or company chose someone else? Have you ever applied to a school or program and been declined entry?
In all likelihood, you can answer “yes” to at least one – or more – of these questions. It’s something most of us experience sometime.
But when we are in these moments of disappointment, it is very hard to move on. We get stuck. Our minds dwell on the past, we worry about the future and deconstruct what went wrong. Sometimes the feeling of rejection can be so painful that we doubt our self-worth and find the possibility of a new beginning daunting.
All of these responses are normal.
What’s important to remember in these moments is that there is not a single person alive who has not experienced rejection. There is no journey without roadblocks. There is no lifespan without the distress of a detour, a dream that is shattered or an aspiration that goes unfulfilled.
So how do we move forward the next day with renewed confidence? How do we navigate life's twists and turns in healthy and constructive ways? How do we avoid becoming mired in negativity and paralysis?
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said that a righteous man will fall seven times and get back up seven times. Falling is a part of the experience of life. We will inevitably make mistakes. We will get no for an answer.
That’s why the most important ingredient to success and inner peace in life is developing the resilience, faith and grit to transform obstacles into opportunities and rejection into renewal.
In the crucible of the painful rejections, we are confronted with two choices: 1) We can sit in the darkness and lament our fate; or 2) we can muster the strength to transform our fate into destiny and the pain into purpose.
Norman Vincent Peale, author of the bestselling “The Power of Positive Thinking,” shared the story of a salesman who could never hold a job for more than a year. Then, he learned a prayer that he began to recite every day: “I believe I am divinely guided. I believe I will always take the right turn in the road. I believe that God will always make a way when there is no way.”
This prayer changed the salesman’s mental attitude and sowed seeds of success in life, Peale said.
I will never forget the feelings of deep pain I had when a girlfriend broke up with me. Within months, I realized how grateful I was for this rejection as it led me down a path to find the love of my life.
I will never forget coming in second in a rabbinic search only to be pushed to apply as a rabbi in a different synagogue that was truly right for me.
I will never forget being rejected as an 18-year-old from a school in Israel only to be led to the school that ultimately would prove a sanctuary for personal development and lead to lifelong friendships.
In each of these cases, I wondered “why me?” but learned that rather than wallow in doubt and darkness, God was sending me a message to find light. God was closing one door so I would walk through another.
Try this exercise to find your own path forward:
* Think about past obstacles. Identify personal examples of when you came to an obstacle or “closed door.”
* Look for the open door. When confronting that obstacle, what new or exciting opportunity came to you? Think about how you could have passed it by, but you didn’t. You took it.
* Keep looking for success. Every week, reflect back on obstacles and how you’ve overcome them. Make it a practice to always remind yourself of how you are moving forward.
Remember, no matter where you are in life, no matter what your age, your income level, your job, or your relationship status, the best part of your life is yet to come. Every day is a new day with new possibilities for greatness and impact.
Every day we possess a choice to follow the path of life or death, lament in the past or forge ahead towards a better future. It is truly in our hands and our hearts. Choose life.
©2018 by Rabbi Daniel Cohen. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission: Health Communications Inc.,
Deerfield Beach, FL. www.hcibooks.com
What Will They Say About You When You're Gone?: Creating a Life of Legacy
by Rabbi Daniel Cohen.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen will help you rise above the distractions to tap into the best version of yourself. Through a unique blend of storytelling, practical exercises, and profound wisdom, he will teach you seven transformative principles to reverse engineer your life so that you are living with purpose and passion, so that the person you are today more closely aligns with the person you aspire to be.
Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book and/or download the Kindle edition.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen possesses a unique blend of authenticity, wisdom and spiritual insight for contemporary society. He has served in the rabbinate for over twenty years and currently serves as senior Rabbi at Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT, the largest modern orthodox synagogue in New England. He is also co-host with Reverend Greg Doll of the nationally syndicated radio show "The Rabbi and the Reverend" Sunday at 11:00 AM and evenings at 9 PM. For more information, visit www.rabbidanielcohen.com