Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Denied: The Shotgun Approach


When I was in high school/college, I struggled with rejection. People say that you need to simply “shake it off,” but it is not always that easy. I would find myself personally invested in an opportunity and be devastated if it did not come out in my favor. I would wonder for hours about what went wrong. Rejection sometimes motivates people to try harder and succeed when the next opportunity arises, but it had the opposite effect on me. It would make me want to roll over and not consider myself at all worthy of attacking  the next opportunity.

Then after finishing graduate school (my master’s), I had to get a job. The market was not good, so I knew I needed to work really hard. So I tried the shotgun approach. I pounded the keyboard day after day. I sent out one or two applications a day. I applied if the opportunity was even remotely related to my training. After a month or so of this routine, the rejection letters started to roll in. As they did, I noticed something strange. I did not really care. I thought it was funny because here I was getting this nice letter about a job for which I did not even remember filling out an application. After a while, I ended up getting a job that I loved. 

Later on, I used the same technique with online dating. I would see a new match and gauge my gut reaction, then I would quickly send her a message without thinking too much. I sent these messages quickly enough that I would not always remember them, so not getting a response would not phase me. Again, the technique worked. I did find the love of my life.

Although I do recommend that others try my technique, it may not work for others. My ingenuity is not the point of my story. I think improving my ability to cope with rejection has been one avenue that God has used to transform me into someone that is more capable of being successful in life. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians 3:18 that we are continually being shaped in his likeness. In the same chapter, Paul also wrote that being in God’s company espouses freedom and boldness.

As I now find myself in a position of job searching once again, I am not completely free and bold. Thankfully, I can look back and see growth. I am still learning, being shaped and molded. I pray that I will continue to seek the sweet nectar of freedom!

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