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Rejection is an opportunity for other possibilities – #HeshdeSilva

"Truth is if you're not willing to put in a sustained effort over a long period of time - success is going to be very hard to find." De Silva

Either you can let it tear you down, or you can realize that there is more to life than some person telling you ‘no’

I’ve been rejected more times than I care to remember. At times, these rejections felt like a never ending pit of hopelessness with no promise of success on the horizon. Here’s a list of the “no’s” that came my way.

First, I was rejected by my dream universities when I was applying for further education. Brown and UPenn. At the time, I thought I had a shot at getting in. Little did I realize that a 2.75GPA was so average they wouldn’t even blink twice over my application.

Then came university and my desire to ‘find love’. A typical and normal endeavor for many young people who are presented with the freedom that University life offers. I looked in all the wrong places and made horrible choices – ending up being rejected again and again. I went for people who quite simply were not right for me – choosing temporary comfort over long term stability.

Then I dropped out of university rather spectacularly with straight F’s and a letter saying I was not welcome back. Couple that with a raging substance abuse addiction.

After returning home, I got clean and applied for a variety of jobs in Nairobi. I was rejected by every hotel I applied to. I wanted to be a kitchen assistant because I figured if they gave me a chance, I’d prove myself and rise. The starting salary for those jobs was between 15k-20k a month. That’s shillings. And employers believed I wasn’t good enough for that.

The point is, all these rejections could have slowed me down. They could have halted me altogether. Could have even led to me trying to take my life again. We can get so caught up in the temporary NOs that we lose sight of the future YESs.

Today though, life is quite different. I never even dreamed at 25 I’d be so lucky to be recognized in ways that people twice my age still haven’t experienced. To be so lucky to have a girlfriend who builds me up and inspires me to dream even bigger and crazier. To be able to mentor people who now see life in a completely different way, devoid of all the negativity that often consumes us.

Yes, it will be daunting to receive rejections. To be told by some people that you are not ‘suitable’ for the job they have to offer – or that your business is not a good partner for what they are looking for, but you cannot let that tear you apart. That’s the beauty of rejection. Either you can let it tear you down, or you can realize that there is more to life than some person telling you ‘no’. All it means is that your greener pastures are ahead of you.

Bless you all.

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