One Door Closes, Another Door Opens
I think about failure a lot.
And since it’s Valentine’s Day today, my inner rebel is contemplating a type of failure I know a thing or two about. Unrequited love and rejection.
Unrequited love is a feeling I got to know early on in life. The first time I loved someone who didn’t love me back I must have been 11 or 12. And worse than not loving me back… he loved my sister! Well into adulthood there was nothing as painful as not being loved by the one I was head over heels for. It made me feel invisible and unworthy.
Unrequited love and rejection go hand in hand. They are very unpleasant parts of life.
Even when I found a wonderful and stable life partner, I still danced with rejection and disappointment. Close friends drifted away, I lost a major client, candidates I was excited about pulled out of the race, and projects I wanted to work on were given to other employees.
For my clients and friends the feeling of rejection hits when we get laid off, lose a source of funding, are left out of important meetings or have to walk away from a beloved dream or business idea. Our fear of rejection keeps us from requesting informational interviews and networking.
Oh yeah- and interviewing. Everyone hates the potential of rejection inherent in interviewing.
But we know that hiding away at home or playing small to avoid being rejected will not lead to our most desired future. So what do we do? Reframe failure. Reframe rejection.
When we broaden our perspective on failure we can see what sucks about it AND what opportunities it might offer.
There's a reason proverbs exist and we all know this one... When one door closes, another door opens.
Think about a time in your life when someone rejected you or you missed out on something important, or when a big plan collapsed. These would be times in your life when a door closed.
Now think about what happened afterwards? What would have never happened if the first door remained open?
As my special gift to you on Valentine’s Day I’m offering you an exercise called “One door closes, another door opens.” I hope it will help shift your view on closed doors.
It comes to you from the Positive Psychology Toolkit and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Click here to download your copy.
And then click here to bask in the beautiful music that only unrequited love can create. As much as I’m fascinated by the pursuit of happiness, I still love sad songs the most. Thank you First Aid Kit.