Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game"

The first time I heard those words was in 2004 when I was sitting in a movie theatre watching A Cinderella Story. I was about as inspired as a 11 year old can be, that is, I thought it was one of the most brilliant pieces of wisdom that I had ever encountered, but then proceeded to forget about it 10 minutes later when Chad Michael Murray appeared onscreen. As I passed through my childhood and early adolescence without ever really facing much rejection I filed the quote away in the back of my brain, having become relatively used to getting what I wanted. Recently, however I have been facing a fair share of rejection and I have found myself returning to this quote whenever I feel particularly discouraged.
 Here’s the thing about rejection. It sucks. Badly. No matter how many times it happens, being told you aren't good enough always feels like a stab in the gut. As previously stated, I faced a fair share of rejection in the past few months, and I find that I know this feeling all too well. While you're curled up under your Avengers blanket downing fro-yo and crying into your best friend's shoulder (definitely not speaking from experience here) it might seem like all you're ever going to hear is "I'm sorry, but *insert generic excuse here*." But there comes a point where we have to accept the fact that rejection is a part of life, and we must learn to cope with it and use it to make ourselves better instead of allowing it to crush our morale. Sometimes we're going to "strike out", but that doesn't mean we should stop playing the game.
 We've all heard the stories of how J.K Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before someone picked up Harry Potter, or how Abraham Lincoln ran for office 8 times before being elected president, but guess what? That doesn't make it any easier to hear that you aren't good enough. Seeing that some other guy hit the ball doesn't make you any less worried that you're going to strike out. Hearing about how someone else managed to rise above rejection doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to do so yourself. So be your own success story. Hit the ball. You have to believe that even though that one person or group or board of directors couldn’t see your brilliance, someday, somebody will. Put down your fro-yo, turn off your Netflix marathon and remind yourself that rejection is a part of life. Even if it seems like your continued attempts are futile, that no matter how many times you try, the answer will always be "maybe next time" consider the fact there won't be a next time if you aren't there to create it. If you are so afraid of striking out that you never go up to bat, you're going to miss out on your chance to score a home run. (Wow I just wrote an entire blog post using a sports metaphor my brother would be so proud) 

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