Rejection Letters And Pep Talks: Learning to Let go of Rejection

Rejection and disappointment rear their ugly heads on a day that has already been actively challenging my faith. Their timing, as always, is impeccable. I begin kicking myself for checking my email right before I had to walk into work. I mean, the disappointment would be inevitable, but I wish it could have been delayed. I swallow the urge to start crying, even though I can tell that the release of a good cry is exactly what I need right now. I put on a smile, hold my head up high and walk through the door with my game face on.

While I chase my Opry dreams here in music city, I'm paying the bills as a fitness coach. A huge part of my job falls in the department of encouraging folks in moments of disappointment and frustration, and being able to bring encouragement to others is something I take a lot of pride in. I love giving a good pep talk. It's a trait passed down to me from my grandpa Melvin.

He could give a pep talk so inspiring that after talking to him, you felt like you could take on the world. He was amazing and he taught me so much about perspective. So when I'm hit with disappointment of my own, I instinctively launch into pep talk mode with myself. But sometimes, even my best attempts to pep myself up fall flat. As a glass half full kind of girl, it frustrates me when finding a silver lining doesn't come easy. But the truth is, there isn't always a quick fix to feel better about a situation. Sometimes you just have to sit with your feelings before you can let them go.

The email I received was from the Bluebird Cafe, letting me know that I didn't pass my audition. Now, let me just say, as far as rejection letters go, you couldn’t ask for a nicer letter than that sent out by the Bluebird. It’s still rejection and it still stings, but they execute it in a kind and loving way. When I auditioned I had decided that the outcome didn't matter. It was the experience that mattered and was just one of many opportunities I would encounter. I still truly believe that, but I felt weak for my reaction to the email. Was I really on the verge of tears? This was not how I had planned on receiving the news and the dialog in my head went something like this “ Come on Rachel...BUCK UP! This does not determine the course of your dream". While my inner drill sergeant had some valid points, what was the harm in allowing myself to be honest about how I was feeling?

I held it together for work and when I got home I threw myself a mini pity party (complete with a bottle of bluebird just seemed right). I embraced my feelings and welcomed them to the party. Almost instantly, after I acknowledged and honored my feelings of sadness, I felt free of them. It’s like they say, our feelings are like waves. We can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones we want to surf. I can be so compassionate with others. I know exactly what I would say to someone else in this situation, but I have a hard time showing myself the same kind of compassion. I’m my own worst critic, but it’s something I’m working on and this was an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s been said that when one door closes, it's because another is about to open somewhere else. I’ll never know what doors are opening to my dream if I never try to open them. I've faced rejection before and I’ll face it again. It's uncomfortable, but it's a necessary part of the journey.

Thanks for reading! I'll see ya at the Opry!