“Quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it’s realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it’s learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.”
― Osayi Osar-Emokpae,
Preface: After I wrote the first draft of this post I received a rejection letter from a popular blog site saying my submissions were too divisive. The rejection was and is painful and I remembered how hard it is to move through those painful emotions.
What is rejection?
When people come to me “scared of rejection” I try to understand exactly what that means. For example, people are often scared to ask someone to spend time together or to ask for a raise. What if they say no? What if I get rejected. The only real choice you have on those moments is to pack up your feelings and move along.
I think we spend too much time trying to be something we’re not to fit something that doesn’t fit. This goes for relationships with partners and friends. This goes for employment or education. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit, and it’s okay to move on and try something else. Go on ahead and change course!
When I was in my mid-twenties, I was certain that I wanted to be a professor and researcher. I tried to shove myself into that lifestyle for three long and painful years. In many ways, the universe tried to tell me it wasn’t a good fit. I started losing hair. I drank a lot of box wine (I get heartburn thinking of it). I got accused of things I did not do. But, I pushed ahead.
Then, I experienced a significant life trauma (while doing an internship with dying cancer patients) and I finally got the message. I was trying to be someone I was not. Although I could do research, I didn’t like doing research. In fact, I hated it. I hated it very much. The culture was not a good fit for me. The writing was not my style. The world was not my world. My body was literally rejecting the entire situation.
I realized that it wasn’t me and it wasn’t them (it was kind of them but that’s a different story). It was more that it was not a good fit for me. I was a round peg and they were a square hole. It was never going to work and I needed to stop wasting my life trying to be someone I wasn’t. So, I let go (or quit or failed or whatever).
It was the best decision ever. I stopped trying to be someone I was not and got about the business of being someone I wanted to be. I started paying closer attention the messages in my environment. Now, I work an incredible job filled with wonderful people. I share time with friends and family that support me, appreciate me, and want to be with me.
Although, some may say I failed or quit, I don’t tell my story that way. Instead, I chose a healthier path that was a better fit. And, I am so much happier for having done this. What I learned was: Let it go! If it doesn’t serve your life – let it go. People, jobs, cars, houses, cities, any of it. Let it go. Be willing to let go of things and circumstances that are not healthy or no longer serve your life.
Let go of the idea of rejection. If someone doesn’t want to spend time with you – fine, let them go. Don’t waste your time trying to be with someone that doesn’t want you just the way you are. If you don’t get the job you want – fine, let it go. Find a job where they appreciate how incredible you are. It’s not rejection it’s a message that you are going the wrong way!
I think the only reason I was accepted into research hell was to meet my husband. I should have grabbed him the moment I met him and ran the other way. Anyway, you live and you learn.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― Ann Landers