This word carries a lot of power and a lot of meaning. This word has been on my mind a lot over the last few weeks. I have thought about how it affects us, motivates us, and restricts us.
I struggled for 3 months to find a finance internship for the summer. I was 90% certain that I had a specific internship lined up, but it got cancelled 3 weeks before school ended. I finished the end of the semester not knowing what I was doing for the summer. I applied to around 30 different jobs and internships and I received one “no” after another.
“No” humbles. I was not used to being turned down for every single job I applied for over a 3-month period. I assumed that my 4.0, top-finance-student award, and being a college athlete would be enough to at least get me interviews at several places. No. I was humbled very quickly as the semester ended. My ego took a little hit.
I realized that my perception of myself is not what everyone else sees. As qualified and great as I think I am, my opinion of myself doesn’t mean anything to others. I have to prove myself every day to separate from the pack. Don’t wait for all the no’s to get you moving. Don’t wait to be turned down for you to start building.
(Side note: I did get an internship with Asurion that I start tomorrow. I got lucky)
“No” motivates. When I got turned down for one internship, I applied to two more. I used the constant rejection to fuel my desire to get a job. The more I heard “no,” the harder I searched. “No” has the power to wake us up. It told me that I’m not where I need to be. Don’t just sit around and wait for a yes. Go and work for it. You can see rejection as a wall or a hill. You stop at a wall, but you keep climbing a hill. “No” is just another hill for you to climb before you reach your destination.
“No” disappoints. We always want to hear “Yes.” We want to be accepted and appreciated. We want our plans to be approved or our opinions to be validated. “No” lets us down. It tells us that we aren’t good enough, that our plans won’t be happening, or “we are moving forward with another candidate who best matches our skills and requirements for this role.” Rejection hurts.
Lysa Terkeurst gave me a new way to look at rejection in her Power of Positive Summit video this week: “Sometimes what we see as rejection from others God sees as a protection of your calling.” Being turned down for 30 positions may be what God wants for you to end up in the one position that is part of your calling. Being rejected by that guy or girl you are interested in may be God protecting your heart. Maybe the only way for God to show you your calling is by turning down all of the things you want.
“No” has the power to keep you down, disappoint, and restrict your life if you let it. How you look at “no” will affect the rest of your life. Are you going to let rejection refine or define you?
Let the no’s fuel you.
Let the no’s humble you. Don’t let the rejection leave you bitter. Accept that you may have to keep growing and developing.
Not every “no” is a bad thing. What you see as rejection may be God’s protection of your calling.
I appreciate you.